Apple’s iPad was named technology of the year in 2010 by Time magazine. While it wasn’t the very first tablet computer — that honor goes to Microsoft, which introduced its Tablet PC in 2000 — Apple’s version was the first to hit the mass market and achieve widespread popularity. As of 2018, the company had sold about 425 million iPads around the world. Nowadays, several tech companies offer tablets that will fit any budget.
The Chromebook was released in 2011, but it seems as if it has been around for much longer than eight years. The laptop runs on Google’s operating system, and its main function is browsing. It’s also light and affordable. It’s a good device for those who need basic functions such as sending emails, using social media, or surfing the internet. In 2016, Chromebooks outsold Macs in the United States by about 250,000 units. Shipments worldwide have steadily increased over the years, and at the end of 2018, a fifth of all mobile notebooks sold in the U.S. were Chromebooks.
3. Social media taking over
Technology has turned social media into an addiction. The average smartphone user checks Facebook 14 times a day. And that’s just one social media platform. Between Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and various messaging apps, people are glued to their phones. In fact, people are expected to spend more time online watching videos, shopping, and browsing through Facebook than watching TV this year.
With their potential to reach millions of people in a matter of minutes, Facebook and Twitter have fundamentally changed political discourse, especially after the impact they had on the 2016 presidential election.
4. Personal information for sale
Remember the Cambridge Analytica fiasco of 2018? It’s no secret anymore that companies are profiting from every bit of information a person chooses to share online. Personal details — from professional history to how many friends one has — are being collected, analyzed, and sold. The value of such data can be worth as much as $8 trillion in the U.S. alone, according to a report by software maker Oracle and MIT Technology Review.
Snapchat, the popular messaging app that lets users exchange videos and pictures that disappear seconds after being seen, was launched in 2011. It now has more than 190 million daily active users, who create more than 3 billion snaps a day.
A user spends more than half an hour a day, on average, using the app, and a quarter of U.S. adults have it. According to Snap, the app reaches 90% of 13- to 24-year-olds in the U.S.