Editor's note: This is a guest post from Cadir Lee, the CTO of Zynga. I invited Lee to offer up some predictions for 2012 with the understanding that only one would be about Zynga. --Paul Sloan, executive editor
Open Web stack will take hold for browser-based games
W3C and Zynga are lining up to enable rich gaming experiences in the browser across multiple devices. There's still a ways to go, but Zynga is not just waiting for this to happen. We launched our first fully HTML5 game in the App Store this year with Mafia Wars Shakedown. Following Facebook's launch of its mobile apps and mobile site, Zynga launched three HTML5 games: Zynga Poker Mobile Web, Words With Friends HTML5 and Farmville Express. Developed using HTML5, the games deliver faster load times, smoother game-play and near-immediate responses to player actions - all within a mobile browser. We've also released open source tools to help make games in HTML5 possible.
Mobile phones as a payment device will become commonplace
Square and Google Wallet are just the beginning. We're seeing it already in games, and also at the local level in San Francisco: big chains like McDonald's and Subway are among the first to join the growing leagues of local food trucks and eateries using mobile payment systems, which are arguably more secure than traditional pin-driven payment methods. We'll continue to see more options arrive on the scene.
Consumers will stream books along with music and video
More and more consumers are, of course, streaming their favorite music and video via Spotify and competitors. Even the big cable providers have gotten in on the action of video streaming--and all are racing to deliver compelling content to a myriad of consumer devices. Why wouldn't books be next? They will. The next wave in the e-book phenomenon will include streaming content.
Secure browsing, all the time -- big sites will turn off HTTP
HTTPS isn't new: Big e-commerce companies like Amazon and eBay use this to ensure secure shopping transactions. But more and more we're seeing others, like Facebook and Google, implement HTTPS. HTTPS allows users to enable secure browsing and it keeps user data safe when they're connecting over public networks.