2010 Wrap up: Andrew
There have been a lot of remarkable pieces of technology released this year. Unfortunately, we didn’t cover most of them because we were busy with off road high heels and boil buoys. Fortunately, we stopped giggling at the vibrator chess set long enough to realize we should add some real content so you, the wonderful and dedicated reader that you are, can get your money’s worth out of this show.
First off: the good. For me it was really exciting to see all the innovation in the cell phone space, most noteably by the Android headset makers. It all started when the Nexus one debuted Android 2.1 a few days before CES 2010 and leap-frogged the iPhone, setting new smart phone hardware standards. Google and company never looked back. The race was on with hardware makers seeking to best each other. It seemed like we had a new ‘superphone’ coming out every other month: The Incredible, Evo 4G, Galaxy S series and DroidX all topped off with the recent addition of the Nexus S.
In addition, we saw the introduction of Windows Phone 7. Despite sales being comparably slower then Apple and Google’s platforms, the experts agree: This OS has legs. If Microsoft can overcome Windows Mobile’s reputation they will grab a sizeable piece of the market. The early WP7 front runners seem to be the Samsung Focus and HTC HD7. With an approach combining aspects of both iOS and Android I believe Windows Phone 7 will be the product to watch in 2011. Want something more concrete? Here it is, my official prediction: WP7 will claim 20-25% of the US smart phone market by the end of 2011.
So we, the consumer, have really benefited. There are a lot of great phones out there now. Unfortunately, I didn’t get one of them. Not that the Streak isn’t a great piece of hardware – it is. However, the build of Android 1.6 it shipped with was a glitchy disappointment. Maybe things would have turned out differently if AT&T could get their crap together and push out Dell’s shiny new Froyo release. You know, the one people with an unlocked device and users in the UK have had for a month. More on carriers later.
A few other things that I loved. First off, my mobile app of the year. Even though I switched to Android in August, my app of the year is on iOS: oO Tunes. One of the things I miss most about Columbus is my radio station, CD101. Any station in Sacramento that even approaches being decent gets killed off within months. Apparently there just aren’t enough alternative music fans in the 916 to make a station viable. With oO Tunes I can stream CD101, or just about any other terrestrial station, over 3G. Love. It.
My final like for this year is the Dipr. Remember this? It was the spoon that lets you submerge the whole Oreo (or Hydrox, if your parents didn’t love you) without putting your disease riddled fingers in the milk. Genius!
And now some fail. We covered a lot of fail here on the Gmen this year. In fact, we built a show around it. Like the spray on shirt. Those guys are lucky there was partial female nudity in that video, otherwise I’d have stuck those spray cans right up their snooty French butts for inventing something so stupid. How about that 3D hologram that is supposed to remind you that kids are dumb and occasionally run in to the street without a sense of self preservation or the appreciation for the pristine condition of the hood on your ’98 Dodge Stratus? Not running over kids is a great idea, but I’m 99.879% sure this will actually lead to an increase in car accidents of the rear-ending variety. Now that I think about it, it’s probably a scam cooked up by personal injury attorneys. So go ahead and run little Holo-Suzy down when she chases that ball into the street. It’ll be cathartic.
Next, a bit of a rant on one of my least favorite topics: wireless carriers. They suck. All of them. Verizon has tons of coverage, but not enough to justify their ridiculous prices, having the slowest data speeds and loading their phones up with proprietary crapware. To top it off, they got together with Google and asked the FCC to let them have free reign over wireless data networks. The nerve! Next is AT&T. Fastest data speeds of all the carriers …for that one guy who can get a signal. Sprint and T-Mobile have great customer service, a great selection of top phones and 4G (although T-Mobile is stretching the definition of 4G a bit). Awesome, except they’re tiny. If you exist in a region covered by them, consider yourself lucky. The rest of us will just have to deal.
Finally, my ‘Full of Fail Champion 2010’: Tokyo Flash! There wasn’t anyone else even remotely close to this award in my eyes. The Japanese watch maker provided us with material for nearly every show, single handedly filling the ‘Watch Watch’ segment. I don’t think they created a single product this year that didn’t make us here at the Gmen unanimously say, “WTF?”. That takes dedication. So congrats. Your trophy is in the mail.
And to you out there in gadget land, thanks for hanging out with us. Thanks for the feedback and thanks for being awesome in general. I never thought I’d get this off the ground. Last year at CES, doing show was just a pipe dream of mine. To see how far its come, from a drunken shouting matching in a cab between me and Iyaz, to certifiable podcast with listeners and everything, is awesome. Even though we’re just getting started, 2010 has been a blast. Here’s to a great 2011! See you then!
…if I can figure out how to tell the time with my new Tokyo Flash watch.