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Prime devices of the last decade – jj
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Prime devices of the last decade

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If I had told you in 2010 that one day you’d be able to take photos and videos with a flying camera that would take off from the ground, follow your directions as it soared into the skies and miraculously returned back, you might have thought I was pretty crazy.

But it indeed happened. As did an app that could sense where you were and get a car to you within minutes for a ride. And a small box that connected to the TV and changed how we view entertainment forever. 

DJI Spark drone

Yup, the “10s” were pretty mind-blowing for tech. So enjoy, as we run them down in the final 2019 edition of the Talking Tech newsletter. 

Apple iPhone. No device did more to change our lives in this decade. Sure, the original iPhone came out in 2007, and there’s been a new model every year since, with modest upgrades over the previous one. But back then, the phone was cool, but not yet an extension of our arm that we used for hours and hours.

The iPhone was only available via one wireless carrier, AT&T. By 2010, it opened up to the rest of the world, and over the decade replaced so many accessories we now rarely reach for, from the GPS navigation car unit, to MP3 player and flashlight. Many of us have ditched our wallets, to use the phone and accessory wallet case instead. Some filmmakers even ditched their cameras and made entire movies, on the iPhone.

iPhone 11 Pro in midnight green

And take a look at iPhone 4 from 2010 vs. the 11 Pro in 2019. Then: 3.5 inch screen with 960×640 resolution, 16 gigabytes of storage, a 5 megapixel camera and the introduction of video chat, with FaceTime calling.

The latest: a 6.5 inch screen with 2688×1242 resolution, water-resistant body (remember the rice trick?) a 12 megapixel camera with three lenses, for ultra-wide, wide and telephoto, Portrait mode and all the advancements in low-light photography. Add in the GPS mapping, calendar functions, billions of units sold for the most popular consumer tech device in the world. Even though rival Samsung has made strides with its Galaxy line, and offered many features later copied by Apple, we have to give the nod to Apple. It started the smartphone revolution and did the most to upgrade it every year. 

The rest of the best: 

Echo. Apple had the first personal digital assistant in the form of Siri, first introduced in 2011 with the iPhone 4S. But Amazon took the ball and ran with it, popularizing Alexa to turn on and off our lights, play music for us, answer trivia questions and order pizza from Domino’s. Alexa was first seen in 2014, and since then, Amazon has brought it to dozens of other products, from TVs, microwaves and even a shower, to cars and eyeglasses. 

Amazon Echo

GoPro: Think about it. A tiny camera that could connect to your surfboard, ski helmet, bicycle or the windshield wiper of your car, and not be destroyed along the way. The early models were so primitive, one Hero camera only could capture ten seconds of footage. The latest edition, the Hero 8 ($399) finally solved the biggest issue plaguing GoPro — shaky footage from those awesome shots with image stabilization that truly rocks. And as good as smartphone photography has gotten, you still can’t connect an iPhone to a surfboard or go diving with one.  

GoPro surfer
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