Top Tech for 2011

Every year at this time, I compose a blog post that lists the top few technologies that I’ve personally experienced for the first time during the year.  It never seems like I’ve acquired that many gadgets until I sit down and reflect on things.  This year is no different.  But on reflection, here’s my top 5.

iPhone 4S – I’ve been an iPhone user for a couple of years and now the entire family totes one of the revered side-arms from the folks in Cupertino.  This year, both Carie & I were “upgrade eligible” at the launch of the new 4S so we both availed ourselves of the opportunity to upgrade.  I, because I’m a gadget junky, and she because she’d been using a 3 generation old iPhone 3G and it was painfully slow.  The new camera and processor have been a nice upgrade and I don’t think either of us regret the upgrade.

Siri – Technically, Siri is the voice recognition that comes with the iPhone 4S.  But it’s worthy of a call out on its own.  I don’t think Carie is using it much if at all.  But I’ve begun to use it to not only impress folks with conversational voice interaction with my phone, I’ve also begun to use it to dictate text messages and emails.  This is especially handy when you need to respond to a message when you’re otherwise occupied….like while you’re driving. Now I don’t advocate texting and driving but if you have to do it, at least use Siri.
iOS 5 – Yeah, technically this is another upgrade that came along with the new iPhone but it’s also applicable to the kids’ iPhones & the iPad.  The features that come along with iOS 5 that are worth mentioning include iCloud for iTunes, Photostream, and the new notification system.  iCloud makes my entire music library accessible from anywhere and that’s pretty cool considering that it’s way too big to fit on my iPhone all at once.  Photostream makes getting my photos from my phone to my iMac a seamless experience.  By the time I get home, my photos are already there and waiting on me.  And the notifcation system is just plain better than it was previously.

Ghost Armor – For the first time in nearly a decade, I’m not toting my phone on my hip.  That’s because I had Ghost Armor applied to my iPhone and now I don’t worry about it getting scuffed up if ends up in my pants pocket with loose change or heaven forbid, my car keys.  $39 covers all 6 surfaces and has a lifetime guarantee.  I’ve had it on the phone since the second day and so far, I’m pretty happy with the protection that it provides and the fact that I don’t have that wart hanging off my belt.

MacBook Air – This is the hands down the best piece of technology that I’ve acquired since I switched to the Mac 5 years ago.  This little laptop is light, compact, and smokin’ fast due to the solid state drive or SSD.  Rather than a spinning disk to store the data on, the internal storage is solid state memory with access speeds that put the fastest hard disks to shame.  In short, I love this little machine.  It’s become my daily/primary computer, and displaced my MacBook Pro & iPad.  These days, this is the only computer that I leave home with.

Well, there you have it.  These are the technologies that I’ve acquired this year that make my top 5.  There are a few others that are worthy of honorable mention, but maybe I’ll save those for a follow up blog post.



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