2012 is set to come to a close in just a few hours, and we are just in time with our annual top 10 list of the most-watched Gear Live video episodes. Over the past year, as expected, there was a bunch of Apple gear that made the list, and it's dominated by smartphones and tablets, with the exception of two Monster headphones, a look at the Boeing 787, and a USB 3.0 hard drive.
Sure, we've given you a list of our top 10 most popular stories of 2012, but we figured we'd go a bit more broad than that. We also thought it would be interesting to give you a look at the top ten most read stories on this site this year, period, regardless of what year they were posted. We must say, we're just as surprised as you are at what did (and didn't) make the list! For example, you guys seem to really like Monster's Beats by Dr. Dre audio line. Here we go:
- ColorWare now offering custom-painted Beats by Dr. Dre Studio headphones
- White iPhone 4 vs. black iPhone 4 comparison
- iPhone 3G vs iPod touch 2G in pictures: Odd that an image gallery featuring the iPhone and iPod touch from two years ago made our top ten list, but there it is!
- Exclusive: Pink Beats by Dr. Dre Charles Hamilton customs
- Limited Edition white Beats by Dr. Dre headphones hands-on: You can't deny that Monster has a hit on their hands with the Beats by Dr. Dre line of headphones.
- iPhone 5 vs. iPhone 4S vs. Original iPhone in pictures
- iPhone 5: White & SIlver or Black & Slate? (gallery)
- iPhone 5 White & Silver unboxing gallery
- Bleeding Edge TV 190: How to Replace Your iPhone Battery
- iPod touch picks up 4-inch display, better cameras, new colors, and Siri
Any surprises? We've also compiled a list of the stories that have dropped out of the top ten between 2010 and 2011, which you can check out after the jump, and don't miss the ten most popular Gear Live videos of 2012 either!
For the past few weeks, we figured that Apple would be unveiling both its next-generation iPhone 5 as well as a 7.85-inch iPad at the same event on September 12. We thought it made sense that the company would introduce its new iOS devices all at once, but Daring Fireball's John Gruber theorized that a simultaneous unveiling might not be in the cards because then the two devices would steal each other's thunder, so to speak.
Normally at this time of the year, I predict tech trends for the New Year. As I think about 2012, I realize that over the next 12 months, the personal computing and consumer electronics industries are poised to see some big disruptions that could change their course for the next five years.
In fact, I believe that when we end 2012, we will look back and realize that it was the most disruptive year we will have had in personal computing in over a decade. In the next 12 months, the market for personal computers of all shapes and sizes will have changed dramatically.
So, what will be the major forces that could reshape the PC business in 2012? There are four technologies and trends in the works that I believe will force the computer industry in a new direction.
The first will be Intel's huge push to make ultraportables 40 percent of its laptop mix by the end of 2012. Although I don't believe it will achieve that goal, especially if ultrabooks are priced above $899, the fact is that ultrabooks are the future of portable computing. Instead of thin and light laptops driving the market as they are now, ultrabooks, which are thinner and lighter, with SSDs and longer battery life, will eventually be what all laptops will look like in five years. The heavier and more powerful laptops that exist now won't go away completely since there are power users who will still need that kind of processing power. But ultrabooks will be the laptops of the future and 2012 will be the first year of their major push to change the portable computing landscape.
There is an interesting twist with ultraportables that could be even more important starting next year: the introduction of ultraportables with detachable screens that turn into tablets. In the past, this hybrid, as it is called, ran Windows when in laptop mode and Android when in tablet mode. But this approach was dead in the water from the start. With Windows 8 tablets ready to hit the market next fall, you will see ultraportables with detachable screens that will run Windows 8 with the Metro UI both on the laptop and in tablet mode. This will bring a level of OS consistency across both device modes and I think that this concept is a sleeper. In fact, if done right, this alone could reshape the traditional PC market in the near term.
ThinkGeek is set to bring the best of Siri and HAL 9000 together in early 2012 with the IRIS 9000 iPhone dock. This thing has a remote control that allows you to activate Siri from across the room, a built-in mic and speaker that lets you interact with Siri and make calls, and a menacing red LED eye that glows as Siri speaks. Check out video of the device after the break.
Read More | IRIS 9000 on ThinkGeek
Nintendo's hot Wii U console is set to ship next year, but one thing that won't be a part of the package is DVD or Blu-ray movie playback. According to Nintendo, customers already have DVD and Blu-ray players, and they are so cheap that you can get one easily without them bundling that into the Wii U software.
Wii U does not have DVD or Blu-ray playback capabilities. The reason for that is that we feel that enough people already have devices that are capable of playing DVDs and Blu-ray, such that it didn't warrant the cost involved to build that functionality into the Wii U console because of the patents related to those technologies.
Gamers hoping to find Mass Effect 3 under the Christmas tree this year are out of luck. The latest installment of BioWare's popular mature-themed sci-fi franchise has been delayed until the first quarter of 2012, the company said Wednesday.
"Mass Effect 3 will be released in the first three months of 2012. The development team is laser-focused on making sure Mass Effect 3 is the biggest, boldest and best game in the series, ensuring that it exceeds everyone's expectations," BioWare executive producer Casey Hudson posted on Facebook.
The follow-up to Mass Effect 2 was originally slated for release in time for the 2011 holiday season, according to various gaming websites, though some have already updated that information to reflect the delayed release of the RPG third-person shooter.
Hewlett-Packard apparently plans to put its newly-developed WebOS on every PC it ships next year, its new chief executive, Leo Apotheker, said.
According to BusinessWeek, in 2012, "every one of the PCs shipped by HP will include the ability to run WebOS in addition to Microsoft Corp.'s Windows, Apotheker said."
It wasn't immediately clear whether HP meant that those PCs would have the horsepower to run WebOS, or whether they would all come bundled. HP representatives were not immediately available for comment.
HP has already announced WebOS for three devices: two new WebOS smartphones - the HP Veer and the Pre 3 - and its widely anticipated new tablet, the
But Apotheker said that the goal was to attract a "massive platform" of developers.