Looking back at 2010
2010 was a huge year for technology. We didn’t know about all the stuff that would be coming. Yeah, there was Apple’s rumored tablet, but we had no idea that we would be seeing a relaunch of two of Apple’s least-appreciated products: Apple TV and the MacBook Air.
January 2010 was a big month for tech. The Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas kicked off and 3DTVs were a big part of the show. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer did his opening keynote and showed off a few tablets, including the HP Slate, which nobody seems to know the status of at this point.
Later that month, January 27th, to be exact, Apple announced the iPad. As with many of Apple’s events, it generated a buzz heard ’round the world. Even the non-tech-savvy people were talking about this new iPad thing.
In February, the iTunes music store reached its 10 billionth download. Louie Sulcer of Woodstock, Georgia was downloading Johnny Cash’s Guess Things Happen That Way and happened to be the fellow who purchased iTunes’ 10 billionth song. He got a $10,000 iTunes gift card and a personal call from Steve Jobs.
In March we heard the surprise announcement for Nintendo’s next-generation handheld, the Nintendo 3DS, a glasses-free 3D system. All we could do at the time was speculate about how the device would work. Unfortunately, no one would know for sure until E3.
The iPad wifi launched in the beginning of April, and the 3G released by the 30th and was shipping to homes early May. It became a huge success, and the launch of Apple’s new device was covered by various news stations, including the mainstream outlets.
Apple also announced the latest version of their iPhone operating system, iOS4. Then still known as iPhone OS4. The name became iOS to reflect the fact that the operating system would be used across various iDevices. We liked it, but we thought it was a bit behind the jailbreak community.
Perhaps even more interesting than the iPad’s launch was the iPhone 4 leak. At the time, we didn’t know the official name, we just called it the iPhone 4G. It was apparently left/lost/stolen or somehow separated from the person who was field testing it at a bar in Redwood City. Gizmodo picked it up and got the biggest scoop in the blogosphere since TMZ broke the news of Jackson’s death. Further showing the edge the internet world is gaining over traditional news outlets.
New Apple TV rumors emerge. Apple was in the process of improving their then unpopular set-top box by making it faster and adding the now standard A4 processor. The initial rumors said the device would be smaller, but described it as “an iPhone without a screen.”
In early June Apple released iOS4 to get it out to users before the rush that would be the launch of hte iPhone 4, which was announced on June 8th. Jobs even joked about the leak by saying “Now, stop me if you’ve seen this…” then added something to the effect of “trust me, you haven’t seen anything yet.”
In mid-June E3 2010 in Los Angeles brought gamers all kinds of awesome news in interactive entertainment. The Nintendo 3DS was finally unveiled, and wowed attendees. Microsoft redesigned their popular Xbox 360 console and motion controls and 3D dominated the show. The convention center also had plenty to show on the iOS side, which went to show the growing significance of the platform.
Steve Ballmer says that Microsoft is working on an iPad rival. This was during a conference call, but everyone’s favorite CEO, Steve Ballmer, said that the company is working on Windows-based tablets that will compete with the iPad. He emphasized the urgency of getting a tablet on the market by calling it “Job one urgency.”
Another major event was the whole Antennagate fiasco. In fact, we were pretty harsh in our criticism against the iPhone 4 when it was first released. Apple held a special conference in which they basically said, “All phones do this,” and they gave away free bumper cases. Those who had already paid for their cases were refunded for the purchase.
In August, the first rumors of BlackBerry’s new tablet emerged. It was all rumor at this point, but it was nice to hear that some tablet computers would finally be emerging, and would be coming from serious competitors. We wouldn’t know anything about the device until September when it was officially announced.
In September Research in Motion (RIM) announced the BlackBerry PlayBook, which is coming early 2011, and will be RIM’s answer to Apple’s iPad. The device is similar in size and specs, but works with Flash and loads webpages faster, according to RIM’s test videos.
We also saw the revival of Apple’s “Hobby” device, the Apple TV. It was about 1/4 the size of the original model, and ran on a build of iOS. We were also introduced to the new line of iDevices: iPod Touch 4G, iPod Nano and the iPod Shuffle.
The rumored MacBook Air revamp turned out to be true. Apple announced Mac OS X Lion, the Mac App Store, iLife ’11 and closed the show with the brand-new MacBook Air. This time, it came in both 11-inch and 13-inch models. The notebook saw vast improvements over the original, and even tempted us to eventually buy one.
In November Windows Phone 7 hit the US. We had been paying attention to it for some time now, because we like the improved interface over previous Windows phones (which tried to recreate a desktop interface). This one took a cue from modern smartphones and streamlined things, making it easier to access various menu items. Their whole marketing campaign was based on giving control back to the user and saving you from your phone.
November was also when Microsoft’s Kinect released. It’s a very cool piece of technology, and it does some interesting things by simply capturing your movements with its two camera setup. We later saw a ton of hacks for the device, and will probably continue to see them for a while.
Also big news was the Beatles hitting iTunes. While we personally aren’t fans of the Beatles (Ducks under desk) we felt that this was a huge event because it showed how much negotiation power Cupertino had with the remaining Beatles and the estates. All are parties who are notoriously, again notoriously protective of their works, and this was even apparent in the past lawsuits between Apple and Apple Corps.
Gorillaz had announced that they were working on an album that was to be created on the iPad. It finally released in December, and while very mellow, was a cool concept and probably an interesting goal that the band set for themselves.
Skype finally rolled out video calling for iPhone. It’s a feature many have been asking for, and as an added bonus, it came much earlier than expected.
Looking into 2011
2010 may be on the way out, and we are already looking forward to what 2011 will bring. Why not have a look at what we are expecting to happen in 2011.