LAS VEGAS--Although hardware took the spotlight at CES 2011, there was plenty to see on the software and service side as well, particularly in conjunction with said hardware. For one, the vast majority of the latest and greatest TVs at the show were Internet-capable devices with some type of app integration. Several manufacturers of both televisions and set-top boxes will run the Google TV operating system, while others plan to offer their own proprietary apps as well.
Another hot topic from the show: Honeycomb, the upcoming Android OS designed specifically for tablets. In fact, the new platform contributed to the Motorola Xoom winning CNET's Best In Show award for this year's CES. Honeycomb features refined multitasking, richer and more interactive widgets, and a 3D user experience with unique home screen customization options.
We saw our fair share of mobile applications as well. In-car apps were prevalent, including those aimed at GPS functionality, some that solve the texting-while-driving problem, and one innovative offering by Toyota that collects several useful apps in one voice-responsive interface. Also expected in the near future: Flickr on Windows 7 and video chat on Android. Both Skype and OoVoo made announcements at the show.
Finally, several online services made appearances as well, particularly those that focus on multimedia. Unifi from RealNetworks took home our Best of CES category award in software and apps for its innovative approach to collecting all your media from across various services and devices and presenting it in a simple, unified interface. In other news, Vimeo increased video upload limits, so now aspiring filmmakers can share even more content.
As expected, the development of apps, mobile systems, and online services continues to move forward at lightning speed. What are you excited about for the coming year? What was missing from the show that left you disappointed? Please share your thoughts below.