The gadgets that most changed our lives this decade

The devices that most altered our lifestyle in the 2010s

While the decade is not quite over, ZDNet provides a round up of consumer technologies that had the biggest impact on our lives. 

2010: Apple iPad. Other tablets existed but failed until Apple provide an easy to use interface and many, many available apps.

2011: Chromebook. The browser only computer-like device was a big hit for the educational sector.

2012 Raspberry Pi. This $25 development computer was the basic building block for people to invent connected devices.

2013: Playstation 4 and XBOX One. These consoles are responsible for an entire refresh of game console libraries.

2014: Satya Nadella and Windows 10. Nadella took over a flagging Microsoft from Steve Ballmer and put it back on track.

2015: Amazon Echo and Alexa. Amazon has made Alexa the defacto voice interface for the home and soon, car.

2016: Pokemon Go. This game taught the world what augmented reality is and how it works.

2017: Nintendo Switch. Nintendo showed that it could regain its former stature with a portable game console.

2018: Apple Watch Series 4. This watch includes EKG readings and fall detection.

2019: To be named.

dis-rup-shun: PCs were widely available in the 1980s. The Internet was mainstream after 1995. Smartphones became mainstream after 2007. Uber changed transportation starting in 2009. The pace of technology innovation is increasing each year, making the release cycle between game changers shorter and shorter. In five years we will be talking about how drones changed the delivery business starting in 2020.

Tablets get a new lease on life as second screens

Apple has released an application called Sidecar which turns an iPad into a second monitor for a Mac. Just put the iPad into a stand and the device is a slave to the computer. TechCrunch

dis-rup-shun: A brilliant move by Apple and a real advantage over PCs. PCs will be quick to emulate this functionality, and maybe even Apple will enable this functionality for PCs in order to sell more iPads, but iPads were falling out of favor to slim laptops and large smartphones. This will keep people buying iPads.

Apple’s serious production woes

Apple contracted with Samsung to build a massive OLED (higher quality display technology) manufacturing plant to handle higher volumes of iPhones. Problem is, iPhone sales are way down, meaning the plant is running at less than 50% of capacity. To address this shortfall and liability to Samsung, Apple has cancelled its 5.8 inch iPhone model and will be adding OLED screens to a larger number of its products (that weren’t originally intended to get the better screens). That means better iPhones are coming in 2020, providing less incentive to upgrade in 2019. Forbes

dis-rup-shun: The economic impact of slowing iPhone sales will hit Apple hard. Its other popular products don’t have nearly the volume of iPhones. A slowing Apple will have a significant impact on a global economy that is appearing fragile. Bumpy road ahead.