Top 10 mobile features of 2009

A mobile phone is an essential in almost everyone’s pocket nowadays. As different mobile technologies converge to become one unit, we’re pondering what we’ll see on every phone this time next year.

Last year, we saw features and functions on mobile phones that we wouldn't have dreamt about two years ago.

Now it's time to take our crystal ball and see what the future holds for the coming year.

Browsing

Surfing the net on mobile is still viewed as a challenge to a lot of people. The biggest problem is the size of the screen and text, but it's not easy to make the screen bigger without it impacting on the size of the handset. Therefore, browsers like those seen on the BlackBerry Storm and iPhone will be more commonplace, where you can just tap part of the screen to zoom in.

Bundled software

In the coming 12 months, manufacturers will begin to bundle more useful software with devices so it's easier for users to sync their mobiles and PCs. Although all manufacturers ship software with handsets, people never make full use of it. Just look at iTunes with the iPhone. Not only is it seamless to use, every iPhone user can and does use it.

Camera functionality

We've already seen camera phones hit the 8-megapixel mark, and in 2009 we'll seldom see anything below 5-megapixels. It's not just about resolution though; we'll also see an improvement with the functions of a mobile camera; face recognition, spot focus, xenon flash and optical zooms will all become essentials for a camera phone.

Email services

Not all devices offer push email or even a collaborative web-based email service. As more and more people expect to be able to access email on the move, we'll begin to see pre-installed apps on mobiles that allow you to receive all web-based (such as Yahoo, Gmail et al) and POP3/IMAP email in one place, pushed to the handset.

GPS

Not only will there be more location-based services available, every mid and high-tier handset will come with integrated GPS. Integrated GPS modules started off in the same way as mobile cameras, with manufacturers offering the attachment as an accessory, then integration into high-end phones, and now they're everywhere. GPS will follow the same path.

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