The last 12 months have certainly been interesting and one more so than in the world of technology. It plays such a vital part of our lives now that any major news in the sector concerns us all. Let’s take a look back at 2016 and the part tech played in it.
2016 was the death of Vine. The video recording app had proved popular and produced a few well known ‘stars’, but it was not enough to save it from the wrath of its parent Twitter. Twitter are still struggling to boost numbers and costs are rising which makes Vine surplus to requirements. The whole process also saw Twitter lose 9% of its workforce. Vine will be kept online and available to watch, but people will no longer be able to upload.
The big social news of the year was intertwined with Donald Trump’s presidency. The rise of fake news on Facebook made headlines across the globe as it was revealed the extent to which it influenced the US election. Fake news articles aimed at rubbishing Hilary Clinton or praising Trump were complete lies. This was born out of business rather than a political one though. Knowing that it would ignite shares and readers there were hundreds of opportunist sites hoping to make a quick buck. Many of them were being run by non-US citizens, mainly eastern Europe. They would earn up to £3k a day from advertising on the sites.
The Galaxy Note 7 from Samsung stole all the news for mobile phones. The tablet like phones spawned thousands of pictures and videos as the battery in the phones began to catch fire. The phone cost $800 but was a huge health hazard and huge controversy for the usually trustworthy South Korean company. Even replacing the faulty devices failed to work as they caught fire too!
Apple also made headlines with the controversial decision to remove a headphone jack from their phone. They only made the phone compatible with wireless headphones, something the customer was afraid of losing. And they should have been afraid because Apple were charging $100 for a new pair. They claim that they were creating space inside the phone for something else but it came across as a cynical ploy to create more revenue.
Russia were in the news all of 2016 with allegations of hacking from Sporting bodies and political parties. They were accused of stealing information from WADA on Olympic athletes including Simone Biles and Bradley Wiggins. There were some revelations that lead to further questions in the latters’ case.
There is still an ongoing investigation by US intelligence agencies in the activity surrounding the 2016 Presidential campaign. Russia have been accused of not only funding Trump’s campaign but hacking into the email accounts of the Democratic party and releasing information that could damage Clinton’s campaign. We should expect some big announcements and changes in cyber security in 2017.
An updated version of the big two consoles on earth were released last year. The XBOX One and PS4 Pro. Playstation also broke ground in the battleground of virtual reality when they released a relatively cost effective version called Playstation VR. At around $350 it is hoping to bring VR to the masses and the possibilities are thrilling.
The biggest success of 2016 came from Japan and Pokémon which came back into the public’s consciousness with mobile game Pokémon Go. It became a viral sensation with 500m users at its peak. It was also the most Googled keyword in 2016. It has struggled to maintain the success but is still creating new gameplay features, as well as raking in the money for Niantic and Nintendo.
The biggest flop of the year came courtesy of No Man’s Sky. The small British indie game had an incredible excitement around it after going viral and being shown on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Fans in their thousands voted with their wallets and paid the $60 for the game. Then came the furore however as people claimed that what was in the finished game was not what was promised. Even advertising controllers got involved. Hello Games were cleared of any wrongdoing in their marketing of the game, but it was too late, they had lost a massive amount of players.