GigaOm: When it comes to new markets, one size does not fit all

2014-01-18 22:47:05

SUMMARY: Before you expand globally, be sure you know the technology, demographics and culture differences of those new markets.

he 1958 novel The Ugly American was a fictionalized study of American jingoism in action. Its Americans didn’t embrace other cultures or try to understand them and then offer better solutions. Rather, they took a preconceived solution, put the culture ‘in need’ in a bear hug and tried to bend that culture around the existing solution.

Fast forward to now. The same dynamic is at work as American tech companies try to expand into international markets. Historically, internet-driven technology has radiated outward from Silicon Valley. Some of this is due to the difficult reality of scaling an internationalized application or service. But much of it is driven by projection bias and its partner in crime – false consensus bias. To put it another way – if people like it in Silicon Valley, they’ll like it everywhere.

akamaiglobeBut, that dynamic is no longer true (if indeed it ever was.) The next 1 billion new internet users will be located all over the world in cultures and economies with quite different and diffused needs compared to North American and European early adopters.

Silicon Valley is now looking to emerging regions like China, India and Brazil, where mobile usage is skyrocketing, for their new consumer-base. In this dynamic, the one-size-fits-all-model fails more than it succeeds. It fails for the simple reason that each market has different mobile usage needs, habits and demographic drivers that require a localized approach to product, acquisition and retention.

The winners of the next wave of the web will be those who best balance the product, marketing and strategic tension between standardization and localization.

Start with the following 3 steps.

Know your tech differences

Start right here. Your product must comply with market-germane needs around privacy, data handling and regulations – they often differ widely from country to country. Consider Brazil. If you’re a web browser trying to grow in Brazil you’ll need to implement the G-Buster plugin. G-Buster is designed to prevent any malicious code from running during the authorization or transaction process. This mechanism is the only security measure used by Caixa and Banco do Brasil to protect their customers.
Heard about Amazon’s trouble in India? Indian laws won’t allow Amazon to sell and stock products themselves. Amazon has to do it through partnerships with Indian-owned and operated middlemen – like Croma and Vijay Sales.
If you’re Android, are you working in the Android gray market? Or white? Gray market Android is shipped or modded Android that usually has Google services removed or hidden. Better for you, gray market Android gives you better screen real estate and discoverability.

Know your demographics

Understand your market’s demography. For example, the median age and reasons spent on the internet differ dramatically per region. In the U.S., the average age for internet users is 41 with shopping and e-commerce driving the majority of the usage. China’s median age is 24 and the bulk of what this cohort does online is around social sharing and casual gaming. Head to India where the average age is older than China.

In Moscow, a smaller 30 percent of total internet time per capita is spent on social networks. In a city like Volgograd, 40 percent or more total internet time per capita is spent using social networks. For Russia, the smaller the city the higher the percentage of internet time is spent using social media. Adjust accordingly or accept that you won’t be optimized in one or more markets.

Know the culture and localize your brand(s) accordingly

You’d be surprised at how many companies don’t take the time to really know their market when localizing their brands. One notorious example is Gap’s 1969 Jeans’ marketing campaign in China. 1969 was a year that most Chinese want to forget. It marked the peak of Mao’s Cultural Revolution – where intelligentsia and political enemies were being tortured, executed and/or sent to countryside labor camps. For China, 1969 was the furthest thing from the Gap’s vision of 1969 – a free-spirited period of personal empowerment and self-expression. So, know the history. Know the culture. Hire for your market. Conduct outreach to potential customers. Then, run your entire brand architecture and product set through your newly-developed cultural filter.

The challenge is balancing localization against standardization, and this applies to all companies. To win, you’ll have to move away from the “cookie-cutter” model and go local. But the balancing act is not solely limited to product and branding. You’ll find market-by-market differences in every part of your organization. Outside of product and branding, balancing local vs. global in your partnering/business development strategy is crucial. The right mix of global and local partnerships gives you the targeted credibility and user experience that melds “I have a right to be here” with, “I understand and serve your specific needs.”

 
SOURCE

 

 

AppAdvice: Maxthon, The Mobile Safari Alternative Is All Dressed Up For Apple’s iOS 7

2014-01-08 22:59:50

Maxthon is out with a new update to its popular Web Browser for iOS. Version 4.5 includes a number of new tools, and features a new iOS 7-inspired design.

First launched for iPad in May 2012, the universal Maxthon app now includes:

  • Multi-Tab Support: Users can open multiple tabs and easily navigate through them, enabling them to stack, save, view and even sync them to other Maxthon devices through Maxthon’s Tab Sync feature.
  • New, Elegant Design: Maxthon designers have created a minimalist, uncluttered design that optimizes available screen space without making it harder to find and use features.
  • Personal file back up and syncing: Users can push and sync their local files from their iOS device to a free, secure account in the Cloud and from there to their other iOS, Android, Windows Phones, Mac or Windows PCs running the Maxthon Cloud Browser. The free storage is unlimited.

According to Jeff Chen, CEO of Maxthon:

Apple makes great products, but we’ve felt for a long time that Safari needs improvement. Our new iOS browser builds on its solid foundation of speed and performance while making it easier and visually beautiful for iPhone and iPad users to surf the mobile web.

The Maxthon Web Browser Free app is available to download in the App Store.

 

SOURCE

Maxthon Releases Version 4.5 of its iOS Web Browser with New Design, ‘Easy Tabs’ and Customized News

2014-01-07 23:03:37

Today, Maxthon, a global software company that develops state-of-the-art web browsers, today released a new version of its popular iOS browser — version 4.5 — with a new, elegant design and easy-to-use tab navigation features that make mobile browsing simpler and faster.

“Apple makes great products, but we’ve felt for a long time that Safari needs improvement,” said Jeff Chen, CEO of Maxthon. “Our new iOS browser builds on its solid foundation of speed and performance while making it easier and visually beautiful for iPhone and iPad users to surf the mobile web.”

Maxthon’s latest version of its iOS mobile web browser works on both iPads and iPhones, offering best-of-breed page rendering speed, fast start-up times and low memory usage. Additionally, Maxthon for iOS, version 4.5, includes:

  • Multi-Tab Support: Users can open multiple tabs and easily navigate through them, enabling them to stack, save, view and even sync them to other Maxthon devices through Maxthon’s Tab Sync feature.
  • New, Elegant Design: Maxthon designers have created a minimalist, uncluttered design that optimizes available screen space without making it harder to find and use features.
  • Personal file back up and syncing: Users can push and sync their local files from their iOS device to a free, secure account in the Cloud and from there to their other iOS, Android, Windows Phones, Mac or Windows PCs running the Maxthon Cloud Browser. The free storage is unlimited.

“Our latest iOS web browser is the perfect complement to anyone using iOS 7,” says Karl Mattson, VP and GM of Maxthon. “Our new design and navigation features marry with iOS 7 perfectly, adding value to iOS 7′s already-strong experience.”

Download Maxthon for Windows

http://www.maxthon.com

Download Maxthon for Android

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.mx.browser

Download Maxthon for iPhone / iPad

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/maxthon-web-browser-best-out/id541052011?mt=8

Download Maxthon for Windows phone

http://www.windowsphone.com/en-us/store/app/maxthon-browser/7930f298-bd1e-462c-bbf2-0e36f26d04d4

About Maxthon

Maxthon is an innovative software company that develops superior web browsers that continue to set new standards for speed, security, simplicity and cloud features. It is available on the Windows, Android, iOS, Mac and Windows Phone platforms. With offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong, Maxthon reaches a global community of users that tops more than 120,000,000 people each month in more than 150 countries. Click here for more information about Maxthon

Contact:
Burson-Marsteller for Maxthon
Sandy Choi
Sandy.Choi@BM.com
(+1) 212-614-4757

WinSource: Maxthon Browser for Windows Phone gets a huge update

2013-12-27 23:04:22

 

The popular browser on Android finally made its way to Windows Phone in October. Maxthon is one of the fastest 3rd-party browsers we’ve used. It has a great UI, easy to use tabbed browsing, and it uses gestures that feel native to Windows Phone. Today it got its first big update since release with tons of new goodies.

  • Speed links: Allows you to enjoy the most popular and useful websites right at your fingertips.
  • Tab recovery: Easily restore your last visited page with just one click of a button.
  • Customizable UI color: Allows you to pick a UI color just right for you.
  • Progress bar: Let’s you see how fast your pages load.
  • Quick Access: With this new feature, it now takes seconds to add your favorite website to Quick Access.
  • Smooth Scrolling: Scroll through your pages with ease.
  • Optimized memory usage : Allows you to use multiple tabs at ones without the slightest fear of crashing.

Windows Phone is slim on 3rd-party browsers, but Maxthon makes up for that. If you’re looking for something other than Internet Explorer you should give Maxthon a try. It’s pretty, fast, intuituve, and full of features. Download it for free for Windows Phone 8 devices below. Happy browsing!

 

SOURCE

Maxthon Releases Version 4.1.4.2000 of its Android Browser with Offline Reader and Alerts Mode

2013-12-18 23:05:48

Today, Maxthon, a global software company that develops state-of-the-art web browsers, today released a new version of its popular Android browser — version 4.1.4.2000 – that now supports expanded offline reading and updating.

“We launched our NewsBites content feature in September to tremendous, positive responses from Maxthon Android customers,” said Jeff Chen, CEO of Maxthon. “I believe there is no better Android browser for consuming internet content on the go. This release, with its smarter WiFi and alerts feature, makes it even better.”

NewsBites is a Maxthon service where Maxthon’s C4 Cloud Engine harvests, compresses and then pushes the best news, technology and entertainment content from sources around the world directly to users’ devices to read or watch in a very user-friendly design.  Launched today, this new version of Maxthon’s NewsBites service for Android supports silent WiFi downloading, notifications of new content and offline reading.

Maxthon Mobile version 4.1.4.2000 also includes:

  • The industry’s top Android performance: Maxthon’s optimized core enables faster speed along with the world’s best HTML5 performance and the most comprehensive HTML5 support of any Android browser.
  • Ad Blocker: Easy setup and a mix of global and user-created rules block annoying pop-ups, ads and promotions that get in the way.
  • Personal file back up and syncing: Users can push and sync their local files from their Android device to a free, secure account in the Cloud and from there to their other Windows, Mac, iOS devices running the Maxthon Cloud Browser. The free storage is unlimited.

Download Maxthon for Windows

Download Maxthon for Android

Download Maxthon for iPhone / iPad

Download Maxthon for Windows phone

About Maxthon

Maxthon is an innovative software company that develops superior web browsers that continue to set new standards for speed, security, simplicity and cloud features. It is available on the Windows, Android, iOS, Mac and Windows Phone platforms. With offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong, Maxthon reaches a global community of users that tops more than 120,000,000 people each month in more than 150 countries. Click here for more information about Maxthon

Contact:

Burson-Marsteller for Maxthon
Sandy Choi
Sandy.Choi@BM.com
+1-212-614-4757

 

SOURCE Maxthon

MaximumPC: Maxthon Makes Bold Claim, Says Its Browser is Fastest for Windows

2013-12-12 23:09:36

New versions uses Blink rendering engine

Maxthon’s developers have officially joined the ranks of braggadocios browser makers who puff out their chest and claim their online vehicle is the fastest around. You may recall that Maxthon (originally called MyIE2) started as a nifty shell of Internet Explorer that brought tabbed browsing to the IE experience. Now dubbed “Maxthon Cloud Browser,” these days it stands on its own two feet.

The newest release is a beta build that uses a branched version of the Blink rendering engine combined with Maxthon’s own “speed and performance enhancements.” The result, according to Maxthon’s team, is the world’s fastest browser, trumping Chrome 30 by 10 percent (Maxthon’s figures, not ours).

“Our challenge to our team was to build a browser that is faster and lighter than Chrome,” said Jeff Chen, CEO and founder of Maxthon. “I’m pleased to say that our team rose to the challenge and exceeded expectations. The new architecture nets 40 percent faster start times than previous iterations and test results comparing the new Maxthon 4.1.3.700 against Chrome 30 show that Maxthon is 10 percent faster. Plus, our proprietary approach to 3rd party cookie handling is a boon for anyone who wants the personalization benefit of the cookie without allowing ad networks to track their usage.”

Maxthon says its browser has a reduced memory footprint and low CPU usage. It also boasts support for WebGL and has a GPU accelerator, along with deep support for HTML5 coding. That’s all fine and dandy, but is it truly the fastest? In our limited testing, it certainly feels snappy, though the few impromptu benchmarks we ran show that Maxthon’s claim might be a little ambitious.

Since Maxthon compared itself to Chrome, we ran a few benchmarks on a daily workhorse system (Asus G73J laptop) with Chrome 31 installed, one version higher than Maxthon’s comparison. However, the Chrome browser had several open tabs and extensions installed, whereas Maxthon represents a clean install. Here’s how things shook out:

SunSpider 1.0.2
Chrome: 193.4ms
Maxthon: 417.5ms

Futuremark Peacekeeper
Chrome: 2318
Maxthon: 2213

Google Octane v2.0
Chrome: 8869
Maxthon: 8509

HTML5Test.com
Chrome: 503
Maxthon: 515

Chrome won three of the four benchmarks, though Maxthon was nipping at its heels in each test. A full gamut of tests on a proper testbed is needed to tell the whole story, but from our quick examination, it looks like Maxthon is right up there with the best, albeit it doesn’t yet take the speed crown.

The newest version of Maxthon is available to download now.

SOURCE

Softpedia: Maxthon Cloud Browser – Review

2013-12-11 23:06:49

Incredible as it may seem to some users, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Internet Explorer are not the only viable web browsing solutions on the market.

Maxthon Cloud Browser is not new on the market and the Internet Explorer clone label has been long lost thanks to the multiple features and improvements implemented over the years.

Version 4.2 of the application is touted by the developing company as the best release in the history of Maxthon, as it integrates a tweaked Blink rendering engine and faster startup and file download times.

The browser is available both as a regular desktop version as well as a portable download, which does not require installation and can be deployed from a removable storage drive.

The latest release integrates a branched version of the Blink rendering engine in order to infuse increased browsing speeds. Looks are modern, with essential buttons readily available in the toolbar, a multifunctional address bar, and the less used features hidden under the menu button.

By default, a side bar pops from the left offering access to additional useful features for managing bookmarks, download tasks, reading feeds, or taking notes; all these are implemented through built-in extensions and can be disabled from the extension manager.

Maxthon Cloud Browser prides itself in its cloud features, such as synchronization of data across various devices (supports Windows, Max, Android, and iOS platforms). For the data to be shared (bookmarks, options, address bar history, extensions, and tabs), you need to create a Maxthon Passport account.

Of particular importance is the Cloud Push feature, which can be used to send links, text, and images to instances of theweb browser running on a different device, connected to the same account.

The option is available in the context menu of any page and can also function as a sharing service for sending content to up to five email addresses. On Android it is present next to the address bar (tap the paper airplane).

Pushing the information to a different device worked like a charm during our tests; tabs opened almost on the spot and images or text were sent immediately. Content can be stored in Maxthon cloud and used at any time; accessing it is done from the download manager, which shows locally downloaded files as well as the content in the cloud.

The list of features in Maxthon destined for the average user is impressive even without cloud support. Some of the options not present in the high-end browsers include tab locking (protecting it against unintentionally closing), mouse gestures, and muting the sound in the entire application and per tab customized refresh frequency.

On the same note, the developer bundled in Split Screen mode, which basically allows you to divide the browser in two. The feature comes in very handy when you need to compare two online sources.

Another impressive feature is reader mode. Maxthon automatically detects long texts in the page and offers the possibility to switch to a view that hides distractions and focuses on content. There are tweaking options as far as the page width, color and font go.

Night mode is another way to tend to your eyes, as it changes the page colors to fit the contrast between the display and a darker environment. It can be scheduled to kick in between specific times. The configuration options also include changing the colors for the text, background, and links.

One option we did not see in Maxthon Cloud Browser is tab pinning, very useful when you want to keep content readily available without crowding the tab bar; also, there is no tab tearing support at the moment.

However, the cool list of features has always been part of this web browser, and the difference in this release consists of performance compared to the top dogs on the market; and, according to our tests, the development team deserves some praising.

In Octane 2.0 Maxthon managed to come on top of the recently released Mozilla Firefox 26 and just behind Google Chrome 31.

Running the Kraken benchmark also showed small differences between the three products. This time, Chrome and Firefox did better, while Maxthon lagged not too far behind.

SunSpider tests did not change the order of the top but revealed the same small deviations in the performance of the products recorded in the previous benchmark tests.

On the other hand, checking for HTML5 support on HTML5test.com revealed a better score than Chrome (501) and Firefox (446), with 513 points out of a total of 555.

From a performance perspective, the three browsers are not too far apart and shows that there are competitive alternatives on the market for the already established browsing applications.

The Android counterpart of the desktop version of Maxthon Cloud Browser is free of clutter and easy to use. The Cloud Push feature is within easy reach, and configuration is not difficult to handle.

The new tab page is divided into two sections that allow accessing favorite pages as well as content, through the NewsBites feature. This is a content delivery service similar to Opera’s Discover page, where you can select between categories such as Economy, Entertainment, Lifestyle, Sports, and Technology, and there are numerous sources to pick from.

The Good

It has both desktop and portable versions, cloud support makes it easy to transfer content across supported devices (Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS), and during our JavaScript benchmark results were very close behind Chrome and Firefox.

It comes with high usability, at the same time keeping configuration simple, which adds to overall user experience.

The Bad

The interface could be simplified further by eliminating some of the buttons or condensing them. Occasionally, we had trouble viewing content on some web pages as it would not be displayed, but refreshing solved the issue.

The Truth

This version of Maxthon Cloud Browser is touted as the best product of the developing company to date and there are good reasons behind this. It has a ton of awesome features and services and performance is on par with that of the leading applications in the field.

SOURCE

Maxthon Releases World’s Fastest Web Browser for Windows

2013-12-06 23:10:50

Today, Maxthon, a global software company that develops state-of-the-art web browsers, today announced the beta release of its latest Windows PC web browser, with superior speed input that renders web pages and manages downloads faster than any other browser in the world. Maxthon’s updated browser uses a branched version of the Blink rendering engine coupled with Maxthon’s own speed and performance enhancements, resulting in an improvement on the world’s fastest browser that is 10% faster than Chrome 30.

“Our challenge to our team was to build a browser that is faster and lighter than Chrome,” said Jeff Chen, CEO and founder of Maxthon. “I’m pleased to say that our team rose to the challenge and exceeded expectations. The new architecture nets 40% faster start times than previous iterations and test results comparing the new Maxthon 4.1.3.700 against Chrome 30 show that Maxthon is 10% faster. Plus, our proprietary approach to 3rd party cookie handling is a boon for anyone who wants the personalization benefit of the cookie without allowing ad networks to track their usage. ”

In addition to improved speed for both page loads and downloads, the latest version also offers:

  • The world’s broadest and deepest support of HTML5 standard
  • Support for WebGL & GPU accelerator for enhanced graphics and image processing
  • Reduced memory footprint and CPU usage
  • Proprietary, multi-threaded downloads boosting speeds that are 5x faster than Maxthon’s current, already-fast download features
  • Ability to automatically import the guest account data when registering a new account
  • Lowest RAM usage of any PC browser
  • Best third party cookie policy in the world to protect users’ privacy

“We re-architected our approach to downloading files to make it even faster,” says Karl Mattson, VP of Maxthon’s International Division. “Combined with our C4 Cloud engine, users get seamless web browsing from device to device with the fastest upload and download speeds out there. With faster startup speeds, a new blink core, better HTML5 support and the best third party cookie policy there is, the newest version of our Windows Browser is sure to shake up the playing field.”

Download Maxthon for Windows: www.maxthon.com

Download Maxthon for Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.mx.browser

Download Maxthon for iPhone / iPad:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/maxthon-web-browser-best-out/id541052011?mt=8

Download Maxthon for Windows phone:
http://www.windowsphone.com/en-us/store/app/maxthon/7930f298-bd1e-462c-bbf2-0e36f26d04d4

TechCrunch: Maxthon Reaffirms Commitment To PC With New Windows Desktop Browser

2013-12-05 23:11:46

Cloud-based browser maker Maxthon’slatest announcements have been for mobile products (including its deal with MediaTek to be pre-loaded onto 100 million mobile devices next year). Despite keeping pace with the rapidly growing mobile market, however, Maxthon is still focusing on its desktop products. Today the company announced the release of its latest Windows PC browser (download link), with features like proprietary multi-threaded downloads and a third-party cookie policy meant to protect users’ privacy.

Maxthon’s 120 million monthly users are divided between 60% who access its browsers mainly on desktop and 40% on mobile products. Although its mobile business is growing three times as quickly as PC, Karl Mattson, vice president of Maxthon’s International Division, says the company believes that releasing new or upgraded PC products is still a crucial part of its overall business strategy.

Maxthon users are located in 150 countries. Over the last two years, its main base has shifted from the Asia region and users are now divided equally among the U.S., Russia, China and India.

One of its fastest growing markets is Russia, where close to a quarter of Maxthon users are now based. According to IDC, PC shipments there decreased 30.7% in volume year-over-year to 2.7 million units in the third quarter of 2013, a decline that reflects the desktop market’s slowdown throughout the world. But sales in the business sector, as well as new purchases after the expiration of the Windows XP operating system in April 2014, could still propel quarter-on-quarter growth, says the research firm.

“We still have a number of users around the world on the PC side and we’ve found that this is not a small market. For a company like us it would be foolish to disregard it for a couple of reasons,” says Mattson. Most people still prefer using a PC to work. Making desktop browsers is also an important part of Maxthon’s cross-platform philosophy.

“You still can’t beat PC or Mac browsers for monetization at a higher RPU. Mobile still has some catchup to do in terms of lifetime value per user,” says Mattson. “So any little bit that we can grow on our PC side is good for not only our cross-platform strategy and markets, but also for our bottom line financially.”

Maxthon’s new Windows PC browser includes these features:

  • Broad support of HTML5
  • Support for WebGL and GPU accelerator for enhanced graphics and image processing
  • Reduced memory footprint and CPU usage
  • Proprietary multi-threaded downloads
  • Improved mobile app-promotion
  • Lower RAM usage
  • Third-party cookie policy that protects users’ privacy

So how does this translate into user experience? Maxthon claims that its new Windows PC browser is 10% faster than Chrome 30. The third-party cookie support enables “do not track” without users needing to download a plug-in first. Maxthon’s browser separates cookies from subframe pages, which means its cookie is saved in a different place. That means users can still take advantage of personalization features, including instant login, without worrying about the subframe page’s third-party cookie sharing information with other domains.

The new features also reduce bandwidth consumption, which is important for users paying for flat rate data packages or per gigabyte.

The multithreaded downloads, which are supposed to boost download speeds up to five times, means that your browser downloads files through five different connections at the same time.

“We’re really proud of the multi-threaded piece because we’ve taken something that’s been relegated to a plug-in used by power users and made it a default experience that actually makes it a lot faster,” says Mattson. “What that translates into for users is that that movie, that video clip, that enormously large PowerPoint file that someone emailed you is going to arrive five times faster in a lot of cases.”

 

SOURCE

What’s next for Tablet Technology?

2013-11-19 19:11:50

By Michelle Smith, Guest Blogger

Mobile device use makes up nearly 40% of all time spent online, a number that industry analysts predict could grow to more than 50% by next year.

And tablets make up an increasingly large portion of all mobile devices. The Pew Research Center reports that 35% of Americans aged 16+ own a tablet, and 43% own either a tablet or an e-reader. And thanks to new developments like fiber-optic Internet and image-sensor technology, tablet use isn’t slowing down: analysts project that tablet sales will overtake PC sales by the end of this year.

2013 is the year of the tablet. So – what’s coming up next?

Affordable options

Tablets used to be a luxury good, and the best ones available still cost upward of $500. Apple’s 128GB retina-display iPad with Wi-Fi and cellular data capability runs for a cool $929.

But expensive tablets are becoming a thing of the past. You’ll still get big-name tablets with all the bells and whistles.  But you’ll also have access to devices that are just as functional – and much more affordable. Last month at IDF 2013, Intel revealed more than 20 tablets that cost under $100.

Can a $100 tablet really compare to one that costs nearly ten times as much? That depends on who you’re asking. For hardcore tech aficionados, maybe not. But I’m willing to bet that consumers will be more than happy to invest in cheaper tablets.

Collapsible hardware

Bigger size is what sets tablets apart from smartphones and e-readers. Bigger screens with clearer definition are better for watching video, reading and surfing the Web – the most common activities for tablet users. But tablets’ bigger size also makes them less convenient. You can’t fit a tablet in the palm of your hand or slip one into your pocket.

But what if you could? Collapsible hardware would allow users to have the screen quality of a tablet with the convenience of a smartphone. And that might just be a reality before too long.

The only obstacle to folding tablets is their hardware – they involve a lot of inflexible parts, like processors, memory chips and batteries.  But continuing development in nanotechnology could lead to microscopic wires, flexible parts – and folding tablets. Innovation and Berner Labs have already shown a prototype of a tablet that folds like a piece of paper.

DIY mobile devices

You’re used to seeing tablets that are one smooth, sleek, solid piece of aluminum and glass. The average tablet user probably doesn’t know what’s inside – much less how to build one. But new developments in tablet technology could be heading toward a more do-it-yourself model.

Designer Kamil Izrailov has conceptualized Mobikom, a DIY tablet made up of a dozen or so mini-mobile components, for the blog DesignBuzz.

Each small square is like a touchscreen tablet of its own, with individual power supplies and computing processors. Users can lock squares together to make a Wi-Fi enabled mobile device of any size, from 22 mm x 44 mm to 1.5 m x 2 m – they can even make tablets and phones in unconventional shapes.

If you want a full-size tablet one day and a miniature smartphone the next – or you just really like puzzles – you’ll want this DIY device. And Mobikom could make that dream a reality.

Enter the phablet

With all the devices on the market, it’s not enough just to be a tablet. Or just a phone. Or just a laptop. The hottest new devices are hybrids.

No device is perfect. Laptops aren’t portable enough. Smartphones aren’t big enough. Tablet touchscreens aren’t functional enough.

Hybrids are the tech world’s attempt to answer some of these problems. 2013 has brought us the phablet – a mobile device that’s bigger than a smartphone, but smaller than a tablet. And manufacturers like Microsoft and Lenovo are coming out with laptop-tablet hybrids with removable screens and full-size keyboards.

Cloud browsing

The days of accessing the Internet on one device are long gone. Now, we get online on personal laptops, work computers, smartphones, tablets and more. And we want to be able to sync our online activity across all our devices.

With Maxthon Cloud Browser, that’s now real. You can surf on your tablet, and then switch to your laptop or your smartphone – all without missing a beat. Maxthon Cloud allows you to have a seamless online experience across all your devices, regardless of operating system or manufacturer.

Sync your user history, favorites and bookmarks across all your Internet-connected devices for unified browsing at home or on the go. Store downloads in the cloud so you can access them at any time, on any device.  Easily share content with friends through the cloud.

What tablet innovation are you looking forward to most?

 

Michelle Smith is a freelance writer with a focus on technology. She can be found typing away on her laptop in sunny Boca Raton, Florida. Michelle welcomes your feedback at michellelsmithwriter@gmail.com.