As usual, at the end of every year, we’re looking back at what happened over the course of twelve exciting months — that got us a lot of extraordinary products and services. We not only do this because it’s fun and important to recap some crucial events, but also because we usually also look at the future, trying to anticipate what the next year will bring us; and, in order to realistically try to predict things from the future, we need to know what happened in the past.
So far, we looked at what we think were the best and worst apps of 2014, as well as the biggest disappointments of the year we’re preparing to leave behind. Today, we’re continuing on a more positive note, as we’re happy to talk about what got us excited this year, what/who we think are the 2014 winners. Whether it’s an application, an operating system, an ecosystem, a device, a manufacturer, an event, a decision, or a move, our editors have sent in their thoughts of what got them excited in 2014.
Contributing Editor/Social Media Manager
The new CEO and cloud/mobile first movement.
Making apps free on all platforms.
OneDrive space increasing to Terrabytes/unlimited offerings.
God, this company is having an incredible year, except in the arena in which we’re interested in – mobile hardware.
T-Mobile USA’s determination to shake up the industry has been the most exciting thing of 2014 for me.
Sure, they started last year, but they’re still trying really hard to change things with their “Uncarrier” campaign.
Things like 1GB of high speed internet on all plans, 200Mb of data/month on tablets for free, paying off other carrier ETFs, music streaming that doesn’t affect your data plan allotment, and most of all the expansion of their high speed LTE network.
Anton D. Nagy
Sony is a company which could have done much better this year, and the year before, it it had a more significant North American presence and/or push. However, despite all of that, Sony managed to end yet another great year (for the consumers at least, even if the financial numbers are not as high as the company would have expected).
And, if smartphones with large screens are not your cup of tea (and you don’t find any other “mini” models from competitors like HTC, LG or Samsung worthy of your hard-earned bucks), you can always opt for the Xperia Z3 Compact, a true flagship with a smaller footprint. Oh, and they also have a tablet in the Z3 family as well.
Apple finally wakes up and smells the coffee.
The world had been asking for a larger iPhone since the launch of the iPhone 4s a few years ago. Apple didn’t just make the iPhone larger, but it launched its first phablet for people that wanted an extreme.
Users are now able to choose between the iPhone size that they want, or the amount of power they want under the hood.
2014 brought us wearables, useful, stylish wearables! Following in Pebble’s footsteps, Google’s partners released smart watches which look beautiful and help keep our phones in our pockets!
I can see the time, get notifications, make quick replies, and do it all without pulling out my phone, turning it on, responding, and putting it away.
This has help increase my battery life, and has made me a much more sociable person – not a cellphone zombie. We’ll see more wearables in 2015, but 2014 got us off to a great start!
It’s packing a four-year-old processor, a less-than-ideal display, and it launched with a software platform too undercooked to be of much use.
But Motorola has used the intervening months to hone its firmware as Google pushed out a major platform upgrade, and the result is a smartwatch that finally lives up to its potential. With several custom options and a hardware design unmatched by anything on the market, the Moto 360 almost single-handedly kept Android Wear relevant in the time between its initial release and the much-needed Lollipop update.
Even after the Apple Watch makes its debut, the 360’s classic look and circular display stand a good chance of keeping Android Wear in buyers’ minds.
Chief News Editor
How can I not answer “smartwatches?”
Phones try and innovate with new features, but even the latest and greatest models can feel like only the latest iterations on existing designs. Tablets – well, tablets are still just big phones. But wearables have been a breath of fresh air, and it’s been fascinating to see how different manufacturers approached them. That extends from the software, whether we’re looking at Samsung or Apple out on their own, or at any of the many Android Wear manufacturers working around a common UI (a boat which Samsung finds itself in, as well), all the way to hardware, with companies like Apple pushing the limits of where we draw the line between mobile tech and jewelry.
Despite none of the models currently out there really appealing to my tastes, I love that they’re here at all, and that there’s the level of variety there is, especially with smartwatches still struggling to go mainstream. I’m still not sure where we’ll see these products go in 2015 and beyond, but 2014 has been a great year for watching them really come into their own.
“Moto X (2014)”
One of the most exciting companies in recent years has been Motorola.
It’s cleaned up its skin into a perfect add-on atop stock Android, provided quick updates to its phones, and made those phones some of the best in the industry. There’s little not to like about the company, unless you’re simply a devout unbeliever in stock Android.
Without doubt for me, what I looked forward to most all year was the launch of the new Moto X, and it’s safe to say that Motorola was able to appease me. The phone combined powerful specs with near-stock Android (meaning fast updates), hardware customizability, and more, making it a great consumer-facing phone with few criticisms.
It’s safe to say that, for me, the Moto X launch was the most memorable and exciting moment of the year.
“Who are your 2014 winners?”
Regardless if you agree or disagree with the editors above, or, should you have your own winners for the year, drop us a comment below. It’s never easy to satisfy everyone, we know that, but, luckily (for us, and sadly, for the players) this game, the one that brings tech to consumers doesn’t always offer a second change. Who/what got you more excited this year?