Sunday, January 5, 2014

Two Thousand Techteen

2013 ended.So here's a quick recap!


2013 was dominated by wearable devices.We had Google Glass,Pebble Smartwatch,Oculus Rift,et al!
Starting off with Pebble Smartwatch,which was showcased in CES,right at the beginning of the year,it paved the way for Sony's smartwatch,Samsung's Galaxy Gear.But the problem with the latter ones were the bloatware that came along.
Pebble was neat,minimal and e-ink!

Then Google teased it's Glass,and well,I need not say anything.It's just one of those,"Shut up and take my money" moments.

While Glass was more like HUD,Oculus(yet another Kickstarter porject),was like a freaking display slashed onto your face!Oculus Rift displayed the most immersive experience that is to when it came to Virtual Reality.

With Valve in process of showcasing their own VR goggles,whatever the future holds,whenever wearables become commonplace,2013 will be marked as the year that wearables became mainstream.


There was HD,then came 2K.What was to follow?
4K of course.
And this Ultra-HD wasn't just restricted to TVs.No sir,we had tablets offering 4K resolutions.
Just feels like yesterday when I was awestruck by a 720p resolution and here we were witnessing more than 4 times the pixel density!

Ultra-mega-humongous resolutions were the only highlights for displays.We finally witnessed what had been teased a lot 2012,flexible displays.Not only did we get prototypes,there were consumer products,with curved OLED displays on sale.
And as the year drew to an end,we got phones with curved displays from LG and Samung.

Gaming Consoles:

It was like 7 years since Sony had a major refresh for the PS,and almost same time since Microsoft updated their XBox.So,well,come 2013 and both Sony and Microsoft updated their consoles to PS4 and XBox One,respectively.
With on paper specs which made the previous versions look like handheld,8 bit consoles,both the consoles took things online and cloud storage.Both a pro and con.

There was also OUYA's,ultra cheap Android based gaming console,Razer's and NVIDIA's,hand held consoles,Razer's gaming laptops,Android updating its Play Games app,and what not!

All and all,a good year for gamers. :)

Mobile Phones:

Two major headlines of the year,RIM renaming itself to BlackBerry,and BlackBerry with its final ace in the pack,unveiling the BB10,and failing.
Other being Nokia's takeover by Microsoft.

Samsung unveiling tons of mobiles under the Galaxy series,Apple,for the first time unveiling more than one iPhone,LG releasing the next Nexus series.
Amongst these,my picks were Sony giving huge support to the development community with the release of source codes for their flagship devices,and,Motorola.Boy,did Moto make its presence felt in 2013!
Firstly the Moto X,and towards the end of the year,the mid range Moto G.Again,embracing Open Source with open arms,and updating their devices to the latest software on offering.If only Moto,you'd release your phones all over the world!

And just before the year ended,Oppo released the first phone,with out-of-the-box after market ROM,CyanogenMod.

Oh,the usual patent trolls continued through the year.


All pc,mobile OS saw their yearly updates.
Biggest of them all,Canonical's preview of Ubuntu for phones.Ubuntu,by far cleanest Linux experience was finally a full fledged OS for the phone.Though just a preview,it got the ball rolling,with the OS ported to major Android devices.

Windows bumped both desktop and phones OS,with desktop version criticized for leaving out the iconic start button.The phone version getting incremental updates,to finally compete with Android and iOS.Also,helped with the merger of Nokia,Windows can finally develop the mobile OS,with control on both software and hardware.

BB moved to a touch-oriented OS with the BB10,betting all its fortune on this one piece of software.While BB10 did have it moments,it couldn't really connect as a whole OS,and failed to revive BB.

Android updated it self from 4.2 to 4.3 Jelly Bean and finally 4.4,Kit-Kat.With 4.4 came major Kit-Kat promotions and on the software front,Google's promise to optimize low end devices.To an extend,I did feel the 4.4 better than 4.3,on my i9000,and no,this isn't placebo!
With 4.4,Google also pushed it's new runtime environment,dubbed ART(Android Runtime).Set to optimize the startup time for applications,and amongst other things,its a step ahead from the Dalvik VM,but the downside being it's still in Beta phase and not many apps as of now.

And finally iOS completed its Android transformation with the release of iOS 7.Moving away from the black-white-grey colour scheme,iOS 7 was all about bold colours,for the software(and,it came with matching hardware).It included an improved notification center and a central command center.
Macs updated themselves to OS X Mavericks,shying away from the tradition of naming the OSes after cats,to places in California.That being the only major change,rest being the usual incremental updates on visual and functional line.


- CyanogenMod went from being an Open Source ROM to a corporate company,Cyanogen Inc.,and finding itself an OEM partner in Oppo,to release the Oppo N1 with out-of-the-box CyanogenMod
- Ballmer stepped as CEO for Microsoft
- JBQ quit. :(
- Hugo Barra left Google to join Xiaomi
- Bitcoin became serious moolah!
- Nokia released its Windows based tablet
- Fingerprint scanner on phones
..And lots more that I missed!

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