The way we consume content on the web is undergoing pretty seismic shifts at the moment – probably the biggest shifts since the web was invented actually.
Just think, a iPad has only been with us since April 2010, a little over 8 months at the time of writing – only 8 months!!
Yet, it looks like Apple will sell 7 million of them this year and project that will double to over 14 million in 2011. Throw in estimates that there will be nearly 100 MILLION iPhone users by the end of 2011 plus the tens of millions of Android users and you now have a huge market of content consumers using devices with a form factor that is completely different to that which theme developers are traditionally used to designing for.
So what does it all mean for theme developers? Well it certainly should mean at a minimum that you should be testing your themes on these devices if you intend to release them to the community. But thats just for starters. We wrote recently in Theme Tip 17 about how 2011 would be the year HTML5 and CSS3 become dominant. Well here is another no brainer prediction for 2011. Mobile WordPress themes will become essential for lots of people using WordPress. There has been plenty of innovation in this space already but there is room for lots more.
I would love to see someone start to look at how WordPress content can be presented in a way that takes advantage of the unique capabilities and form factor of iOS powered devices. Just look at how cool iOS apps like Flipboard have taken off in the past 6 months. Imagine a WordPress theme optimised specifically for an iPad that could deliver content like Flipboard does – w0w.
And that’s just the start. I think the WordPress theme ecosystem will be completely different in another 12 months and I think mobile will be one of big drivers of innovation.
I can’t wait to see what we all create!