The technology year in review Which? reviews the year's technology releases

31 December 2010

Apple iPad gaming

A few key trends have dominated this year’s technology announcements notably the launch of Apple’s iPad, the rise of ebook readers and the smartphone and changes in how we consume TV and play games.

Apple’s iPad

Apple’s iPad is undoubtedly 2010’s most talked about gadget and dominated our online news coverage since Apple announced it in January.

Consumers didn’t get their hands on the device until April when the device sold and impressive 300,000 copies in a single day. However, it wasn’t plain sailing for Apple as problems with the iPad’s wireless signal marred the launch.

By June of 2010 Apple claimed to have sold over three million iPads.

Ebook readers

Amazon Kindle DX Graphite

Another hot gadget this year has been ebook readers, popularised by Amazon’s Kindle, now updated to let people access their Twitter and Facebook accounts.

During the year Amazon announced two new versions of the Kindle ebook reader one of which included wifi access.

Read our first look of the Kindle 3G 

And, you can now also send an ebook voucher to friends and family for the Kindle device.

Amazon hasn’t had it all its own way, however. Samsung’s ebook reader, the E60, has had a high profile being on sale in WH Smith stores, which has since been updated to the E65.

Sony has also launched a new touchscreen reader.

Read our reviews of leading ebook readers including Best Buys 


Apple has announced the iPhone OS 4

Apple dominated the headlines this year with its iPhone but not always for the right reasons. iPhone OS4 launched in April only to be hit with reception issues and claims that the phone cut callers off.

Apple initially said it was ‘stunned’ at the claims but has since upgraded the software in an attempt to rectify the problems.

Read our first look review of the Apple iPhone 4

Microsoft also announced its new operating system Windows 7 phone this year, which was followed by a slew of phones notably the Microsoft Kin and a further six Windows handsets launched in October.

The changing face of TV

BBC iPlayer

How we watch television is changing, fast. This year, we’ve seen 3D come to your living room with 3D channels from Sky and we’ve reviewed the latest 3D TVs.

However, the other big story has been the rise of internet TV. New services such as SeeSaw have sprung up, which allow you to stream thousands of hours of TV channels, which you can now choose to watch advertisement-free.

Similarly, the BBC has continued to push its iPlayer service, this year launching an international service. It has also added social networking functions to the iPlayer service.

State of game play


Console makers have stepped up their game this year. Microsoft, for instance, unleashed Kinect, a system of innovative motion control sensors that meant you became the games controller.

Rival Sony took a more conventional approach with its Playstation Move, which also allows you to interact with games in a way similar to Nintendo’s Wii. 

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