Natt GarunUS Editor
Natt Garun is the former US Editor at The Next Web, managing the North American team on content, events, features and reviews coverage. She Natt Garun is the former US Editor at The Next Web, managing the North American team on content, events, features and reviews coverage. She previously wrote for Digital Trends, Business Insider, and Gizmodo. Facebook | Twitter | Google+
The new year is just hours away (or perhaps have already begun, depending on your location). Before we officially say goodbye to 2015, here’s a look back at some of the biggest headlines we’ve had this year.
15. Apple’s iTunes Store is having problems and iTunes Connect is down
As a courtesy to confused tech users, we often write news updates when we’ve confirmed a downtime for any popular service. On March 11, when iTunes, the App Store, the Mac App Store, TestFlight and iTunes Connect became unusable, Apple users worldwide went into a bit of a panic.
A Twitter user even reported that his local Apple store in Birmingham, UK was unable to process payments with Apple’s software that they reverted to a traditional credit card flatbed.
@brokenbottleboy Never thought I would see one of these old school card machines in the Apple Store in B’ham, UK! ? pic.twitter.com/fj0i9jOu7I
— Nathan Ziabek (@NathanJozef) March 11, 2015
14. Drivers are being idiots with Tesla’s new autopilot features
If it’s anything we’ve learned publishing on TNW, it’s that people love hearing about silly tech misuses. Such was the case when Tesla users were beginning to upload videos of them recklessly driving on busy roads and expecting autopilot to save them from crashing.
13. Adobe Flash just took another step towards death, thanks to Google
As Adobe Flash continues on its impending extinction, this year’s nail in the coffin was made when Google officially ditched the software for advertising on the Chrome browser. Instead, Google AdWords now defaults to HTML5 to help make it easier for advertisers to reach more audience.
12. You can play Pac-Man inside Google Maps right now
April Fools’ Day in the tech universe can be a huge hit or miss, but it seems everyone loved Google’s easter egg this year which turns any part of Google Maps into a playable Pac-Man stage. My personal favorite stage? Lombard Street in San Francisco.
It is utterly impossible to get through Lombard Street on Google Maps Pac-man http://t.co/ow3nKKeLFP pic.twitter.com/4QJdmqe1Rn — Natt การุณรังษีวงศ์ (@nattgarun) March 31, 2015
11. Marshall just released the world’s most badass Android phone
Are smartphone wars officially boring? As we’re introduced with more metal slabs everyday, we were happy to see some originality from Marshall’s London phone, an Android device that touts superior music speakers. It’s even got dual jacks for you to enjoy content with a friend.
10. Lenovo caught installing adware on new computers
Lenovo’s had a pretty rough year this year after being caught installing adware, dubbed Superfish, on a number of consumer laptops fresh out of the box. The aftermath brought some big lawsuits against the company, with Lenovo having to embarrassingly explain how users can manually remove the adware.
9. WhatsApp is rolling out its voice calling feature on Android — here’s how to activate it
When free calling on WhatsApp finally arrived on Android, users were so excited that they were more than happy to share their phone numbers on our public Facebook page to get those with the feature to call them and help activate the service.
Probably not the most effective way to roll out a feature, but it certainly was amusing to see all the interested parties helping each other out.
ppl be thirsty for WhatsApp voice call. TNW readers helping activate by sharing # in public ? http://t.co/H6kWNadloJ pic.twitter.com/kMqPjB4e80
— Natt การุณรังษีวงศ์ (@nattgarun) March 13, 2015
8. 10 Web design trends you can expect to see on websites in 2015
Our annual Web design trend forecast piece is consistently one of the most-read pieces on TNW, which accurately depicts our audience of tech-forward design lovers. Have a look back and see if you started noticing the above 10 trends this year, and keep your eyes peeled for our 2016 version.
7. Snapchat has a mysterious new trophy case for achievements
On August 10, it looks like Snapchat accidentally rolled out a feature that wasn’t meant to be released. It would later be officially part of the social media service several weeks later, allowing users to collect trophies for the milestones achieved when using the app.
6. Anonymous drops names of KKK members online, including US politicians
This year, Anonymous prepped for one of its biggest wars against several terrorist groups – from ISIS to the KKK. Many people were waiting for the data dump which promised to name figures, including US politicians, that may have been associated with the KKK.
5. You can now add a Facebook profile filter to show solidarity with Paris
The Paris shooting shocked the world this past November, and Facebook was quick to respond by opening Safety Check tool and a French flag filter for anyone who wanted to share solidarity with the country.
However, this also prompted some negative responses from victims of crises in other countries who felt they did not receive the same kind of support from Facebook.
4. These are the new emoji in iOS 9.1
With emoji quickly replacing text in our modern day language, it’s no surprise that people lost it when Apple officially unveiled what new emoji approved by the Unicode Consortium would look like in iOS 9.1.
The new update brought much-requested emoji like burrito, taco and the middle finger (complete with your choice of available skin colors.)
3. This hilarious Cisco fail is a network engineer’s worst nightmare
See #14. It seems people enjoy reading about goofs in the tech world, especially if it involves design. In this particular case, it seems Cisco failed to realize that placing a reset button right above the cable plug meant users risked pushing the button every time a cable is inserted. For data centers, this meant an entire network could have easily gone down for such a simple design fail.
2. Amazon Prime Day is on and customers are bummed out by the virtual ‘garage sale’
After overly hyping up one of its biggest sales of the year, Amazon utterly missed the mark when its Prime Day sale launched with discounts on paper towels, socks and phone cases.
But if you were in the market for a giant tub of lubricant, however…
1. Here it is: The ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ trailer
Surprised? We’re not. The biggest headline of the year went to ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ after the first full-length trailer premiered during Monday Night Football in the states on October 20. Today, it continues to rack up traffic weeks after the movie officially premiered in mid-December.
Wanna know what this post looked like in 2014? Check out the biggest headlines from last year here.
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