The Tech News That Dominated The Year And What You Can Expect In 2017
1. Facebook Live, the tech that made virality real-time
Technically launched in 2015, Facebook’s new live-streaming platform Facebook Live was made available to everyone on the gigantic social network only in April this year.
It allowed everyone to "go live" whenever they wanted all with the help of their smartphone and Internet connection. They don't need anyone’s permission or special equipment.
While there is nothing new about live streaming technologies, in 2016 what’s different with Facebook Live is how easily it's accessible to a huge chunk of the planet's population.
2. Huawei P9, the DSLR among smartphones
Huawei's P9 is a revolution of sorts for people who love mobile photography. It's the DLSR among smartphones thanks to its dual-lens camera made in collaboration with Leica.
Two contenders for the attention of photographers now compete with the device, Samsung’s S7, which sports a fast f1.7 lens and the iPhone 7+, which follows Huawei’s lead with a pair of rear facing lenses for photography.
3. Pokémon Go, the game that brought people outdoor.
The surprise hit of 2016, Pokémon Go made full-grown adults forsake sanity and their own physical well-being in the name of capturing virtual characters with their smartphones.
With Pokémon Go, a huge number of people were introduced to augmented reality.
It was the fastest mobile app to reach 10 million downloads and exceeded USD200 million in worldwide net revenues during its first month of availability in July.
4. Samsung Galaxy Note7, the recall
The Galaxy Note7 was everything a smartphone could be: stylish, premium, and hot.
It was released to gushing reviews and the demand for it was so high that Samsung was forced to delay its launch in several markets.
But pretty soon, things changed for the Note7 as users started reporting problems with overheating and even outright fires. Frequent explosions of Note7 forced many airlines to ban flyers from using the device onboard and Samsung was forced to recall the Note7.
The Note7 recall has been both a PR and a financial debacle for Samsung.
5. iPhone 7, the courageous new smartphone
With iPhone 7, Apple wanted to re-invent itself. So the company removed the 3.5mm headphone jack in the iPhone 7 to pave the way to a wireless future.
Apple's Phil Schiller said it took "courage" for Apple to move on from legacy ports.
This courage, however, made a lot of Apple lovers angry as many felt the change showed that Apple cares more about its own vision than about consumers.
Let's not forget how everyone made fun of the Airpods...
6. Macbook Pro, the not so Pro enough laptop!
It's the best-selling laptop of the year. It brings in a new keyboard paradigm for Qwerty-based keyboards. But the new MacBook Pro has been damned for not being Pro enough due to the 16GB RAM upper limit.
Then there's the battery issue. The new Macbooks have shorter battery life of around six to seven hours, which stand in contrast to Apple's up to ten hours' claim.
7. Google Pixel, the new Apple!
The Google Pixel is the new Apple among Androids. It mimics many iPhone design elements and improves upon several functional ones, including a better battery life and more storage.
The Pixel is significant because it's a game changer in the smartphone industry, posing a significant threat to Apple. Google's Pixel is a sign that the search-engine giant is serious about breaking away from its own shell and ready to offer something new.
8. GoPro's Karma, that drone that lost power
GoPro's Karma is probably one of the biggest tech failures this year.
Released with much fanfare in September, it was the first consumer drone of the company and was one of the most talked about device thanks to its fantastic specs. But the drone had a massive issue: it became uncontrollable at mid-air.
This was such a huge setback for GoPro that the company decided to recall the drone just two weeks after it was released, selling around 2,500 units.
Watch the 2016 tech wrap-up hosted by Malaysian comedian Jason Leong and Faiq as they spin you a funny overview:
What to expect in 2017
Next year, in terms of smartphones, the Samsung Galaxy S8 and next iPhone will likely have edge-to-edge displays (something Xiaomi already beat them with its Mi Mix this year).
Other mobile features such as rapid charging, wireless earphones, premium camera functions, etc., which are mostly found on flagship phones are expected to become a norm industry-wide.
While 2016 has been a breakout year of sorts for virtual reality, 2017 promises a fully immersive virtual environment that can allow users to experience technology in radical new manner.
Expect a lot more of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technology in 2017.
Another technological innovation that we can expect is that automation will become a bigger mainstay in and throughout 2017, with advanced technology enabling the automation of previously human-exclusive tasks, like driving.
Overall, while 2017 has the potential to throw up some pretty interesting technological gifts, their practical and everyday usage will depend on how much quality control has gone into the process. Hopefully not a repeat of what happened with Samsung and GoPro.
Speaking of which, next year Nokia is taking us back to the good ol' days of mobile handsets with the Nokia 150: