Technology is getting smarter, easier to access, and easier to carry around with us. In 2008 there have been many new breakthroughs and fads, and below I have compiled a list of 2008’s best tech.
1) Smartphones like the iPhone 3G, T-Mobile’s G1 Android phone, RIM’s BlackBerry Storm, and Nokia’s upcoming N97 are just the newer smartphones out on the market. A few years ago it might have seemed strange to have the Internet in your pocket, along with your calendar, to do lists, games, and any number of other useful tools all in one place, your phone. I can’t imagine going back to a regular phone now, and I find that when I describe my own smartphone I usually end the description with, “Oh yeah, and you can make calls on it too.” Smartphones are only going to become more prevalent as competitors clamor to have the next best, fastest, and most fun phone.
2) Wii Fit, a game with an add on peripheral for Nintendo’s Wii was a huge hit this year. Nintendo has really set itself apart since it came out with the highly interactive DS and Wii, but I think the Wii Fit is its best achievement yet. Long has there been the joke about gamers being pale indoor kids who don’t exercise. Well now there’s a game to solve that!
3) Netbooks have become the next wave of portable connectivity. Ever stop and think to yourself, “I’d like to be able to stay connected to the Internet when I’m out and about, but I don’t need all of the functionality of the laptop or want to pay the price of a laptop”? Well apparently enough people have for Netbooks to start becoming very popular. Looking like small laptops, they can keep you connected and keep some money in your wallet. Ranging in price from 200-500 dollars, it’s an economical choice. With solid state flash drives they also have a great battery life.
4) Rock Band is probably one of the biggest games in recent memory. While the original Rock Band came out late in 2007 it deserves a mention here, not just because of Rock Band 2 but because of its continued prevalence. With an ever expanding list of songs, it’s not a game that you get tired of playing, and with the different difficulty levels and instruments it has the potential to be ever evolving. Whether you rock out by yourself or have your friends join your band, Rock Band has set the bar for fun music based games.
5) Twitter came out in 2006, but it really hit it big this year. Some folks like social networking sites or blogs to have a lot of content, but some just like a quick sentence. That’s where twitter comes in. Why waste words when all you have to say is, “I’m going to the AC/DC concert” or something similar. Twitter is fast becoming a popular way to blog, and it will be interesting to see where it goes from here. Maybe all I should have said is, “Twitter is our number 5 top tech for 2008.”
6) Firefox 3 is safer, sleeker, and less buggy than Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and is raising the bar for browser must haves. Its features make navigation easy with little touches like the back button being larger because it’s used more than the forward button, as well as their “Awesomebar” which makes returning to past websites easier. Its built in pop up blockers and other safety features make it safer for your computer, and overall it’s a faster web browser.