Well, 2020 has been a wild 12 months. If you had advised me this time final 12 months what was coming, I don’t suppose I’d have believed you.
Despite all of the pitfalls, frustrations and different points, 2020 additionally had some wonderful moments for me. I’d like to take a while to acknowledge just a few of these issues and mirror on my favorite components of this 12 months, equivalent to some critiques I completely loved writing, video games I loved taking part in and extra.
Favourite tech of the 12 months
2020 noticed a ton of corporations launch new tech merchandise. One of the upsides to my job is that I get to go hands-on with and check out many of those new merchandise. This 12 months, there have been fairly just a few gadgets that actually stood out to me as top-notch.
Perhaps my favorite new tech from 2020 was Microsoft’s Surface Laptop Go. Although I argued it was a tricky laptop computer to suggest given its excessive worth, I additionally fell in love with it. It was such a enjoyable little laptop computer to evaluation, and I had an absolute blast testing it out. For extra about nice laptops, take a look at this round-up of MobileSyrup’s favorite laptops in 2020.
Speaking of Microsoft, I additionally fairly like the corporate’s audio choices. The Surface Headphones 2 and Surface Earbuds arrived this 12 months, and I repeatedly use each. Granted, neither are the very best of their class, however on the similar time, the Headphones and Earbuds are wonderful at what they do and work nice for me.
Just a few different highlights embody Toronto-based Nanoleaf’s sensible mild panels — I examined a number of new additions to the ‘Shapes’ model this 12 months, and so they’re fairly good. I additionally fairly appreciated the Google Pixel 4a — each the common 4a and 4a 5G are wonderful Pixel units for somebody who doesn’t need to spend some huge cash on smartphones.
Favourite writing of the 12 months
I do a number of writing — it’s my job, in any case. But more often than not, that entails short-form writing, fast snapshots of day by day breaking information and comparable content material. This 12 months, nonetheless, I had the chance to spend a bit extra time writing longer items, and I had a number of enjoyable with a bunch of them.
One of the extra memorable items I labored on concerned protection of Apple and Google’s joint effort to construct a cross-platform publicity notification system. This system finally grew to become the spine for a number of publicity notification apps in a number of nations, together with Canada’s personal COVID Alert app. But the early protection of Apple and Google’s system was fascinating. It was a novel expertise protecting the behind-the-scenes work so extensively after which seeing the fruit of that work arrive later within the 12 months.
Along with that, I additionally completely loved protecting the iOS 14 privateness points that stemmed from modifications to how Apple’s cell OS handles copy and paste performance. The modifications uncovered a whole lot of apps that had been studying customers’ clipboards and in the end led many builders to vary the behaviour or higher clarify why their apps had been studying information from individuals’s clipboards.
Finally, I had a blast working with my colleague Dean Daley to discover Google’s distinctive method to the Pixel 5 and focus on what it actually means to be a ‘flagship’ smartphone.
Favourite gaming of the 12 months
Although I take pleasure in gaming and spend a number of time taking part in video games, I sometimes don’t prioritize new releases. With most video games, I don’t thoughts ready some time to play, whether or not that’s to present builders time to work out bugs or simply ready for a sale and decrease costs.
With that in thoughts, I needed to the touch on just a few video games that I spent a number of time taking part in this 12 months. While many weren’t new in 2020, they had been new to me.
Early within the 12 months, I spent an absurd period of time in Stardew Valley and Factorio. Several individuals on the MobileSyrup workplace discovered themselves taking part in Stardew, and the sport shortly grew to become a well-liked matter of dialog. With the whole lot that’s happening, Stardew’s laid-back gameplay and enjoyable expertise had been a welcome reprieve.
As for Factorio, a buddy beneficial it to me in direction of the tip of my Stardew kick and that sport dominated my evenings for a number of weeks after I found it. At a primary degree, Factorio is about constructing an enormous manufacturing unit to finally make a rocket ship. However, what’s distinctive about Factorio is that just about something you’ll be able to craft within the sport might be automated by constructing a manufacturing unit. In different phrases, gamers will discover themselves constructing completely different manufacturing unit methods to make supplies they should increase their manufacturing unit to construct extra, and it turns into this actually participating puzzle.
Aside from Stardew and Factorio, just a few different video games have saved me fairly engaged all year long. My buddies and I hung out taking part in Apex Legends, Spellbreak, Remnant: From the Ashes, The Cycle, Fall Guys and extra. Most not too long ago, a number of of us determined to check out Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass — the present $1 for 3 months deal is de facto good. After becoming a member of Game Pass, we took to the excessive seas in Sea of Thieves looking for misplaced treasure.
I’d suggest trying out all of those video games, particularly when you have a few buddies to play with, as they’re all fairly good.
Along with all of the cool new tech, video games and writing I did in 2020, I additionally had some vital modifications in my private life. I’m a reasonably reserved particular person and normally don’t publicly share a lot of my private life, so I’ll preserve it quick — this 12 months, I bought married.
Getting married in a worldwide pandemic was fairly the problem. Still, fortunately we had been ready to take action safely by adhering to all of the well being tips — and going above and past in a number of areas — in addition to by having a small ceremony.
Difficulties apart, it was arms down the very best a part of my 2020 and such an thrilling a part of my 12 months. I can’t wait to see what subsequent 12 months brings, each for my spouse and I, and likewise within the tech world.