Welcome to Adi’s Year in Tech News. If you are new to this website, this is where we take a look back at the year in technology news. There has been a lot happening this year so let’s get to it.
Smart speakers have also been in the news this year. Let’s start with taking a look at what apple did in the space. They announced their own smart speaker called HomePod which comes with the Siri voice assistant.
Google decided to follow up the Google Home speaker with a smaller version called the Google Home Mini and the Google Home Max. Both of them would come with the Google Assistant (Google’s answer to Siri).
Smartphones have been in the news in a big way this year. Apple did their own take on the bezel-less phone with the iPhone X(pronounced ten). The iPhone X’s most notable omission is the home button. Instead, you would swipe up from the bottom to get back to the home screen.
Another interesting smartphone came from Google in the shape of the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL. Both of them look pretty decent. With that said both of these phones followed the lead of Apple’s iPhone 7(released in 2016) which had no headphone jack. Google also made available a pair of wireless headphones known as the pixel buds. These headphones would allow you to translate different languages and therefore help you to have a conversation with another person.
Razer also showed their hand with their own smartphone simply known as the Razer phone. Are we heading for a future of smartphones with no headphone jack? As far as most of the main line smartphones go, the answer could be yes (sadly).
One of the big social media stories this year goes to Twitter. In the past you could only Tweet 140 characters, but now you can post tweets up to 280 characters in length. One of the more interesting things to come out of this year on Twitter was what happened on the inside. One of their employees suspended President Trump’s twitter account for a short time during their last day at Twitter before it being re-instated.
2017 has been an awesome year for gaming. We’ve had some amazing releases including Tekken 7 which is my Fighting game pick of the year. The online multiplayer experience in this one works really well. Of course, the Legend of Zelda : Breath of the Wild is a massive adventure with lots to explore and so many different things that you can do.
Persona 5 is a Japanese RPG from the fine folks over at Atlus. You play a shoolboy who has a criminal past and is sent to Tokyo, Japan to a school(that’s all the plot you will get for now). The game has an amazing plotline, awesome music and great presentation. There is even some Anime scenes in there. In fact, it even feels like you are actually in an anime episode.
As far as indie games go, one of the other standout games was Cuphead (a run and gun platformer in the same vein as Metal Slug or Contra). Cuphead and Mugman went into the Devil’s Casino where they lost a bet. The devil spared their lives under the condition that Cuphead and Mugman collected the souls of some previous visitors who owe the devil their souls. That’s where you come in. It’s a game that combines the mechanics of games like Metal Slug with the art style of 1930’s cartoons and some amazing music.
Other noteworthy games include Super Mario Odyssey, Nier: Automata and Horizon: Zero Dawn.
Of course security has been a big thing this year. Some of my UK readers might remember that there was a ransomware attack this year (known as WannaCry) which would lock you out of some of the stuff on your PC. Once on a network of connected computers, it would spread itself and would not allow you to get it back unless you paid a certain amount of money.
This attack actually found its way onto computers inside hospitals here in the UK (run by the national health service – better known as the NHS). In fact, some appointments at these hospitals had to be cancelled.
Another big security story this year involved Apple and a major hole which allowed anyone access to the administrator/”root” account.
There was also a huge security breach that was discovered as Yahoo. Some of you might already know of Yahoo as your email service of choice. With that said they have a huge data breach this year as it was discovered that 3 billion yahoo accounts were hacked.
If I were you, I would try and move away from Yahoo to another service like Google (as they do provide unlimited storage for most photos and a really good email solution that is very secure). I have flickr (which requires a yahoo account) so I have to keep my Yahoo account active. Other than that I have no reason to keep it going.
There was also a breach of an american credit firm called Equifax. 143 million customers were said to have been affected by the attack. The types of data stolen by the attackers includes names, birth dates, credit card numbers and addresses to name but a few things. Their website was also attacked and modified. When you went to a certain portion of their website, you would be redirected to a malicious website to download a fake version of Adobe’s Flash Player (which contained some malware).
Let’s go ahead and have a look at 2017’s crop of tablets. Apple came out with a 10.5-inch iPad pro and a 12.9-inch iPad pro. I will say that 12.9″ is quite a large screen size for an iPad. On the other hand, if you find it easier to see things on a larger screen, or you like using the iPad to draw on then perhaps there might be some benefits to that. We also saw the refresh of the regular 9.7-inch iPad as well.
Samsung came out with the Galaxy Tab S3. We’ve also seen Microsoft come out with their own tablet known as the Surface Pro(well it’s a hybrid of a laptop and a tablet but it still counts).
Adobe’s flash player has been around for a long time. However, in 2017 Adobe announced that they are going to kill off their Flash Player technology.
Apple also came out with possibly their most powerful desktop computer yet! I am of course talking about the iMac Pro. It’s basically a combo of their iMac desktop computer and the Mac Pro (which has not seen any refreshes in a long time). It’s a beast of a computer which starts from a price of £4,899. Personally I would rather take that money and spend it on a really powerful gaming PC(and some games).
Sticking with desktop computers we also saw Intel releasing the next generation of processors for desktop computers known as Coffee Lake. As part of this generation of processors we saw a huge surprise coming from them as well. Intel decided to team up with AMD so that AMD could put their radeon graphics card right into the CPU.
Bitcoin is a digital currency and it’s safe to say that it’s had an amazing year. It’s a tech news story that also is a finanace story. This is because it went from just under $1,000US (£750) to nearly $15,000 (nearly £11,230) as of 26th December. If you have some bitcoin lying around on your computer then it’s time to find that bitcoin and cash it out.
Let’s take a look at what Microsoft has been doing with Windows 10 this year. 2017 saw the release of two major updates to Windows 10: The creators update and the so-called Fall/Autumn creators update.
The creators update bought a “Game Mode” where if you are running a game then any resources (such as CPU power and RAM) will get diverted to the games that you are playing on a PC.
Additionally, we also saw a feature called Night Light. Similar to Flux, you can change the colour of your screen to a warmer tone to make it easier on the eye at night.
Of course, in the last few months we also saw the release of the Fall Creators Update. If you use Microsoft’s edge browser then there are some cool things for you to take advantage of. You can now pin a website to the task bar so that you can click on that icon.
If you use Skype a lot then there’s something kind of cool that you can do with a feature called “My People”. You can put up to three people (of your choice) onto your task bar. Once that’s done you can open up a Skype conversation with them without having to launch Skype itself.
Additionally, let’s say you want to email a document or a spreadsheet with someone, you will be able to just drag an drop a document onto them without having to open up your email program of choice (such as Outlook or Thunderbird).
I don’t know about you, but I think it’s fair to say that 2017 has been an action packed year. It will be interesting to see what 2018 has in store. Of course it will all start off with the annual consumer electronics show known as the International CES.
It goes without saying that there are lots of different places to get your news from. I would like to thank you to you for making Adi’s Tech Site your place for all things tech. It really means a lot to have you coming here to read my content. I would also like to wish you all season’s greetings and a happy new year.
What were your favourite stories from 2017?