There are a lot of things about 2008, technology-wise, that got me really excited. Here’s a few of my favorites from this past year.
iTunes’ Genius Feature
This one didn’t get a particularly lot of fanfare, but that’s because it “just works.” I tried out last.fm a bit first, and it’s nice, but it requires a lot of “maintenance.” With the Genius feature, you can just pick a song that you’re really enjoying, and have it make a playlist for you. It’s amazing! Plus, Apple built it to work with my iPhone, my iTunes, and our AppleTV right off the bat. While I don’t use it to shop on iTunes much, the playlists it makes on my Mac are a lot of fun.
Speaking of Apple, this was a big one. We got our iPhones in 2007, the day they came out, but they just didn’t live up to their potential until 2008, when Apple started letting developers build their own apps. This has been huge! It went from being a nice phone to being a killer device, which half the time replaces my laptop just fine. I now regularly manage my Netflix queue, discover songs just from recording ten second snippets, keep running grocery lists, manage my to-do’s, and more. Handy.
Adobe Flash CS4
We’ve been using less and less Flash over time, as a design studio, but I can see that changing. Finally. After years of releases that really just focused on (arguably) making life easier for programmers, Adobe finally did some things for designers. This release is filled with professional-level features for animation, which are long overdue. I can see us using Flash more in future projects now. In fact, the whole of CS4 is pretty cool.
Subversion Support in Some Favorite Apps
This year brought Coda, a handy app for building websites on the Mac, and an update later in the year brought support for the version control system Subversion. This is great, because you can keep backups of your code stored online, and revert to older versions at any time. This year also brought the release of several customized programs for working directly with Subversion code repositories, such as Cornerstone, which I use.
Seemingly Everyone I Know on Facebook
This is kind of a personal point, but still technical as well. Facebook seemed to reach some kind of critical mass this year, and I finally signed up. Before I knew it, it seems I’ve found folks on there from almost every “age” of my life! It’s pretty crazy. I still have some friends who joke about the whole thing, but I gotta say, it’s contagious. Some people are on there a lot. And it sure beats the pants off MySpace, which I never could stand to look at anyway. Gives me a headache.
At any rate, this is just the start of a list, but we’re looking forward to many more great things in 2009!