Things that made the world more tech-savvy in 2017

  • Published 23.12.17

The next leader?

It has been an impressive year for Xiaomi as the Chinese start-up moved to the top slot in India with 23.5 per cent of smartphone shipments, which ties it with long-time market leader Samsung, according to IDC (International Data Corporation). This comes in the year when one of the company’s most-loved faces, Hugo Barra, moved back to the Silicon Valley after spending years in China. He has joined Facebook as vice-president of its virtual reality team (Oculus).

And how can we forget Xiaomi’s slew of brilliant phones in 2017… Mi MIX 2, the A1, Redmi Note 4? And oh, it got Katrina Kaif to endorse one of its phones, the Redmi Y1!

Back in the running

After the Korean electronic giant’s reputation was gutted by the exploding Galaxy Note 7 in 2016, Samsung made the comeback of the year with Galaxy Note 8. It’s the best Android phone out there, with all the features we want — infinity screen, dual camera, S Pen, wireless charging, water-resistance, a memory card slot and wow performance. Did we say that it looks stunning and has taken the competition to Apple?!

Character check

To appease critics and shareholders, Twitter took the bold step to double its 140-character limit to 280. In a blog post, the company said the expanded character limit would allow for easier expression while retaining the brevity for which the service is known. 

Top Google searches

Google’s 2017 Year in Search results (India specific) are as interesting as ever. The top trending queries (overall) were Bahubali 2, Indian Premier League and live cricket score. The top trending entertainers were Sunny Leone, Arshi Khan and Sapna Choudhary. Hmm... films? Bahubali 2, Dangal and Half Girlfriend. Songs? Hawa hawa, Mere rashke qamar and Despacito.

The big buzz

The OnePlus ringtone was heard louder than before. Besides its fans, many started opting for OnePlus 5T, which is no slouch when it comes to taking photographs (the balance of colours is brilliant) or taking on complicated video games. It’s as good — if not better — as any of the “popular” flagship phones around. 

Stories swapped

The battle for social media dominance was fought between Snapchat and Facebook and the latter emerged the winner. Mark Zuckerberg’s company unapologetically copied Snapchat’s Stories feature, which became extremely popular on Instagram, amassing more daily users than Snapchat. To fight back, in a way, Snap redesigned its app.

Second coming

Nokia, which was erased from our shopping lists for years, returned in fine form, thanks to HMD Global (which now makes Nokia phones). Not only did the brand steal the show at this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona with the relaunch of the iconic 3310, it gave a wonderful twist to the selfie concept. With Nokia 8 one can take bothie, which fires up both the rear and front-facing cameras at the same time.

Pixel power

Google gave us two Pixel 2 phones this year — a five-inch and another six-inch — and both are winners, especially the camera. Instead of having two snappers on the rear, the phone’s software does all the tricks to give equally impressive shots that can compete with the iPhone X. And there is the story of the impressive Pixel Buds that connect wirelessly with Google’s latest smartphones and it can translate 40 spoken languages nearly in real time.

Digital bank

Paytm enjoyed a milestone with the launch of Paytm Payments Bank, a mobile-first bank with zero charges on all online transactions and no minimum balance requirement. On opening a Paytm Payments Bank account, you will get a free RuPay digital debit card with which you can withdraw money from your account.