While New Year’s might seem like it was only yesterday, we’re already halfway through 2015, and have had more than six months of new products to look at and purchase. From useful to completely useless, there’s plenty of variety. I recently came across an article that features what they believe are so far the best tech products of 2015, listed below:
1. Amazon Echo: Imagine a black cylinder with all of the features of Siri or Android Now that you can put on your shelf, and you’ve got something like the Amazon Echo. It understands your spoken commands from across the room, no matter what you’re doing. By starting every command with its name, Alexa, it automatically knows when you’re addressing it. “Alexa” can answer questions about sports, news, weather, unit conversions, facts, geography or just about anything on Wikipedia. You can even ask her to tell a joke or reorder something you’ve previously ordered on Amazon. You can also ask her to play music, as Echo works with various music apps thanks to its rich Bluetooth speaker. While its vocabulary is somewhat limited, this app is off to a great start.
2. Apple Watch: While this isn’t the first smartwatch out there, this product was still able to make a huge splash in the world of media. It’s a nicely-designed accessory that saves allows wearers to check the news, weather forecasts and social media without pulling out their phones. It even has a built-in fitness app.
3. ResearchKit: This software toolkit lets researchers write iPhone apps for medical studies. While this seems way too specific, it allows researchers to monitor activity, sleep, heartbeat and much more, tracking useful data every day. This app has the potential to unlock that data and safely make it available to researchers without violating your privacy. As the phone owner, you have total control over how much of your data you want to share, how long you want to share it and which studies you want to join.
4. Galaxy S6: Not only is this arguably the most attractive smartphone that Samsung has ever produced, but it also has one of the most accurate cameras of any phone. The phone itself is fast, has a gorgeous display and metal body and packs both a mobile payment system and built-in fingerprint reader.
5. LG G4: Much like the Galaxy S6, the LG G4 has got a stellar camera that can capture the most accurate and colorful images of any major smartphone on the market. In a series of tests comparing this phone to the S6, Note 4, iPhone 6, 6 Plus and the M9, this phone offered the sharpest, most vivid photos of any phone.
6. Lenovo LaVie Z: While it isn’t as attractive as the sleek computers of Apple, this laptop is lighter than any other 13-inch laptop on the market, and has the processing power to edit photos and videos without slowing down.
7. MacBook: What would a list of new technologies be without a couple Apple products? Ever since the iMac debuted without the floppy drive, Apple designers have been looking to take away anything that’s not essential. Unfortunately, their definition of “inessential” is ahead of the public’s. Their new product is super thin and super light, causing Apple to eliminate a lot of connectors, including the standard USB, video output, Thunderbolt, Ethernet and MagSafe power port. So far there’s just one USB-C port, which handles both power and data connections. While some might think Apple’s gone too far, others find that this works just fine.
8. Nintendo 3DS XL: Even though they’ve dominated the handheld video game business since the 1990s, this doesn’t mean they haven’t stopped constantly tweaking its systems, as can be seen with their new 3DS XL. From intelligently repositioned switched to an analog stick nestled above the face buttons, there are improvements everywhere. Of course, it isn’t perfect, but when compared to other platforms, it remains the best handheld video game system on the market.
9. Roku 3: While there are plenty of boxes that stream Internet content to your big-screen TV, none are as reliable and easy-to-use as the Roku 3. This improved Roku 3 allows you to search for something to watch by speaking the name of a show or channel into the remote, with over 2,000 channels to choose from. The tech will even alert you when shows you’ve been waiting to watch are finally available.
10. Sling TV: The arrival of this product is great news for anybody who likes to watch sports and other live TV but hate paying their cable provider for it. For just $20 a month, this app delivers a dozen popular “cable stations” to any connected device. And for another $5 a month each, you can add packages offering more channels. While there are occasional connection problems, when it works, the Sling TV is something to write home about.