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10 things 2016 was.. (tech edition)

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We are back! After a month-long hiatus, Life In Technocolor is back to the grind with more excitement and dedication than ever towards creating valuable content for our readers. And as one of the most interesting years comes to an end, what better way to get back onto the technology horse than looking back at what 2016 meant to us from a technology perspective. Over the next few days, we’ll be writing more about the adventures of technology in 2016, in addition to our usual opinions and thoughts. Today, though, is the day we put on our 20/20 glasses and look back at 10 things that 2016 brought for us technophiles.

  1. 2016 was the year of the rise and fall of wearables. Fitness trackers rose, smartwatches fell. One of the first movers in the wearables space, Google, announced that Android Wear 2.0 would get delayed and the makers of one of the best smartwatches, Moto Lenovo, announced that they won’t be making any more smartwatches, for the time being. On the indie side, Jawbone is almost dead (Apple, please acquire the awesome UP app from Jawbone in 2017 if they go up for sale) and the company that flagged off my craze for wearables, Pebble met its end by selling off its platform assets to Fitbit.
  2. Speaking of fitness trackers and Fitbit, the company, though running losses, seems poised to be the biggest name in the wearables’ market for the foreseeable future. And a reason for that is that in 2016, Fitbit finally figured out that those trackers on our wrists need to look good too. They revamped their entire line of fitness trackers and we got some good looking fitness trackers (Alta, Charge 2, Flex 2; with Blaze and Surge being the ugly ducklings) with new and useful features to boot.
  3. For the company that makes my favourite smartwatch, Apple, 2016 will be remembered not for the products they released (Apple Watch 2, 9.7 iPad Pro, iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, AirPods and the new MacBook Pros – all really good products, with the Apple Watch 2 taking the cake for me), but for the number of ports they killed in their relentless pursuit for thinner and lighter devices (the headphone jack from the iPhone and the SD card and MagSafe from the new MacBook Pros were the most high profile killings that Apple made).
  4. Speaking of killings, Samsung, the South Korean electronics giant who makes around 2000 different phones a year to confuse us into buying their products, almost literally killed a few people and definitely killed their reputation when the alleged ‘best phone of 2016’, the Galaxy Note7 started blowing up (literally) in people’s faces. That said, one of their products that caught my attention and for the first time in my life, got me excited for a Samsung device, was the Gear Fit 2, Samsung’s latest fitness tracker.
  5. Another brand that got me excited in 2016 was OnePlus. After promising us a ‘flagship killer’ phone for 3 years and asking us to ‘never settle’, the startup delivered the OnePlus 3 (and then, the OnePlus 3T) which is, I believe, the best smartphone anyone can buy this year.
  6. 2016 was also the year of the rise of the ‘ecosystem’ with Google and Microsoft trying harder than ever to gain complete control over both hardware and software to deliver a better experience to their users. Google launched their first ever premium ‘designed by Google’ phones, the Pixel and Pixel XL, signalling a shift in how Android phones will be made and looked at in the future. Microsoft too, wanting to create ideal versions of Windows PCs and laptops, released the drool-worthy Surface Studio and updated their Surface Book. And with Apple’s consistent success being thanks to the user experience they provide by exercising control over both, the hardware and software aspects of their products, these products from Google and Microsoft (and Samsung wanting to develop Tizen more and acquiring Viv, the digital assistant created by the people who created Siri), I think ecosystems are the way to success in the future.
  7. 2016 might also be remembered as the year of the dawn of the age of digital assistants (Ha! I guess I can name Planet Of The Apes movies now!). Alexa from Amazon on the Amazon Echo, Echo Tap and Echo Dot duked it out in the ring with Google Assistant on the Pixel phones and Google Home while Siri on Macs, iOS devices and AirPods watched from the sidelines. And ya, Cortona forgot to show up to the fight altogether.
  8. Given that our reality wasn’t the brightest in 2016 (what with Brexit, Syria, American elections, etc.), there were big pushes for VR and AR. With the Playstation Vue, Google Daydream, HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, etc., VR became more accessible and widespread while devices and software like Lenovo’s Tango phone and Pokemon Go, along with Apple’s Tim Cook’s blessing, made the case for AR.
  9. On the gaming front, 2016 was one of the best years we’ve seen. The year gave is some of the most beautiful looking and awesome-playing games yet (Uncharted 4, Overwatch, Forza Horizon 3, Battlefield 1, Civilization VI, Titanfall 2, etc. make a pretty strong case of the same). Uncharted 4, according to me, was the winner by a mile, on either platform. And speaking of platforms, Sony kept its lead in a one of the few categories it still does well in and kept Xbox One S more than an arm’s length away with really good hardware in the form of PS4 Slim and PS4 Pro.
  10. On the personal front, I began my year with iPhone 6s Plus, Moov Now, iPad 3, MacBook Air and the Mi Band and I’m ending it with iPhone 6s Plus, Apple Watch, Fitbit Alta, Moov Now, iPad Mini 2 (I also bought and sold a Mi Pad during the year), Moto G4 (to get to know Android even better), Xbox 360 and MacBook Air. Yup, from the looks of it, I’m really into fitness.

2 Comments

  1. Maitri Maitri

    Welcome back! And this was an awesome read..

    • Aniket Sharma Aniket Sharma

      Thank you for the kind words..

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