TechRap: Top tech moments of 2013
MANILA, Philippines – This week on TechRap, we look back at the top tech moments of 2013 and give you all the details about our CES 2014 coverage.
First episode of TechRap for 2014 airs January 12.
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2012 was the year of Instagram but, with backing from Facebook, 2013 was a year of BIG improvements to the mobile photo-sharing platform, taking it beyond photo-sharing and is now also a video sharing and, in a way, a messaging app. Its November launch of Instagram Direct was a Direct Attack on SnapChat.
For those who haven’t tried the app, some call it the sexting app because it allows you to share photos and have them disappear a few seconds later. Facebook tried to acquire SnapChat for $3 billion, but SnapChat’s 23-year-old co-founder and CEO Evan Spiegel said NO.
This year people used Instagram not just to share selfies but also as a reporting tool, although the most liked photo isn’t one of much socio-political significance but one of Justin Bieber with Will Smith.
The Top Geotagged Location is Siam Paragon – a mall in Bangkok, Thailand – followed by Times Square in New York. The Top Hashtag is #love.
Twitter’s Most Retweeted post was one by Lea Michele – a tribute to her boyfriend and Glee co-star Cory Monteith, who died this year.
It was a big year for the microblogging social network: the company hit WallStreet, ending its first day at $44.90 a share, the second biggest IPO by an American Internet company since Facebook.
On Twitter, Katy Perry overtook Justin Bieber as the most followed celebrity. The pop star with the eye of a tiger added 15 million users in 2013 alone, and now has 48.9 million followers. Katy Perry tells Ellen Degeneres, "I think people like following me because they see that there's an authenticity to it, because it's always me tweeting, and it's me sharing about my life."
While the Oxford dictionary's word of the year was SELFIE – and rightfully so, even world leaders do it – photos were not the big thing this year, but short videos.
It all began when Twitter launched a separate platform for posting short videos.
In the spirit of its 140-character limit, Twitter launched Vine, which limits video posts to 6 seconds. Facebook-owned Instagram later shot back, adding videos to Instagram – a bit more generous, allowing up to 15 seconds worth of video clips.
But when you talk about video, YouTube is still king.
On the popular video-sharing site, it was back-to-back wins for Psy.
Who can forget last year’s mega-hit "Gangnam Style," which ended the year with a historic 1 billion views? This year the Korean pop star’s follow-up hit "Gentleman" is the most viewed video on YouTube. With over 600 million views, the catchy dance hit has over 200 million more than Miley Cyrus’ "Wrecking Ball" music video, which ends the year with 437 million views.
BUT Psy’s hit was released in April. Wrecking Ball was released 5 months later in September of 2013.
Facebook is still the most dominant social network today. But with 1 billion users, the goal now is to reach out to the unconnected regions in the world, the premise behind founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s internet.org initiative.
On Facebook itself the biggest innovation was Graph Search, giving users the ability to take advantage of the wealth of personal data collected by the social network. The only downside of Graph Search is that it doesn’t work on mobile. Coincidentally, more and more users access the service on their mobile phones.
Many will forget Facbeook’s attempt at a Facbeook phone.
One great innovation of Facebook Home was Chat Heads. For Android users, it means avatars from your friends pop out when your friends send you a chat message.
2013 was a year of amazing smartphone growth. In the 2nd quarter of the year, smartphone sales overtook the sales of feature phones for the first time.
According to Gartner, based on the total number of smartphones sold in the 3rd quarter of 2013, Samsung is the undisputed leader with 32.1% marketshare over Apple, Lenovo, and LG.
Android dominates with 81.9% of devices sold. iOS is second with 12.1%, with Microsoft edging Blackberry out for third.
Windows Phone 8 looks to get stronger this year with last minute arrivals of Instagram and Vine on the Windows Phone app store and the purchase of Nokia’s smartphone business by Microsoft.
After more than half a decade Sony’s Playstation and Microsoft’s X-Box got major updates this year. Both the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One sold a million consoles in their first 24 hours of going on sale. But the biggest news in terms of console gaming this year was the Oculus Rift, virtual reality goggles that actually work.
The head-mounted display takes gamers into a Stereoscopic 3D environment with a wider field of view taking immersive gaming to a whole new level.
40,000 developer units were sent out this year and with second round fundraising amounting to $75M there is no doubt that it will usher in the future of gaming.
While smartphones and phablets hogged most of TechRap’s attention this year, wearables continue to make small steps into the future of computing.
Google Glass became available to a select group of early adapters in February. The hands-free device with an optical head-mounted display is designed to be a computer that’s always there when you need it but one that disappears into the background.
Fitness bands also became popular. Devices like the FitBit Flex, Jawbone Up 24, and Nike Fuel Band SE track physical activity and, some of them, sleep patterns.
We also saw smart watches from Samsung and Sony and KickStarter project Pebble, but Apple’s iWatch has yet to be seen. – Rappler.com