2020 – Year in Review

2020 Review Header Image

Yeah, we’re doing this…

For more than half a decade now I’ve been reviewing the year and marking up my predictions. But this has been 2020 and nobody (apart from all of the people that did) could’ve predicted what came to pass. So, as is tradition, we’ll start with the specifics, however, I’m not going to be too hard on my self with the scoring and I’m not just going to copy and paste ‘because covid’ after every one:

Specifics

  • Updated iPads (including Pros) will be launched within the first three months of 2020, sometime in March:
    • They will focus on new camera tech (Pro models) and other ‘pro’ features
      • So, we got two iPad launches this year. The ones in March, with the LiDar sensor then later in the year, the new Air.
        2 points
  • The Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) will take place in the first week of June, starting on the 1st of June 2020:
    • They will show us the next operating systems for all of the eco-system
    • There will be some new Mac hardware
  • The next generation of iPhones will be launched on the 8th of September 2020 and we will get:
    • At least three phones announced
    • Somewhat redesigned (more than the last three years!)
    • New Apple Watch with new health tech (maybe in the bands)
      • Ok, dates, we know. However, we got four new iPhone (or two in different sizes, based on your interpretation)
        We got the re-design and they look great. Loving my Pro Max in blue
        Apple watch, nothing in the bands for health tech, but we did get the blood oxygen sensor, so that’s a new tech point.
        3 points out of 4
  • Long shot – At some point in the year, Apple will preview their AR tech in a headset. Reports have been that the launch has been pushed back by years, however, when Apple was launching the move to Intel chips, there was a developer-only Mac Pro released for development and transition. I wouldn’t be too surprised if Apple elects to do something similar with their AR hardware.
    • Complete bust! I wonder why *glares at global pandemic*
      0 points
  • Samsung will launch another folding phone that won’t immediately break. This will likely become the fan-favorite, moving on from the Note series
    • This is an interesting one. Samsung launched the Fold 2 and the Z Fold. Impressive devices and with more people on the folding band waggon, I can see Samsung doubling down. However, a folding Note won’t be a thing till Samsung can get those prices down.
      1 Point
  • In 2019 Google basically pre-announced Pixel 4 but in doing so, forgot to make a phone that was a real contender. Hopefully, lessons have been learned for 2020’s flagship
    • So, Google didn’t even bother launching a flagship. Yeah the pixel 5 is good, but Google is making a run for the middle ground, but they won’t get to be the volume vendor, not with Samsung about.
      0 points

Score: 8 out of 12

 

The rest

Oh hell. Really at this point is there anything more to say about the year that was 2020? Realistically, especially in the west, coming into January, it wasn’t that just how severe the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic was going to become. Here we are 100 years from Spanish flu and our response as a species has been almost identical however globally speaking the death toll has not been as severe as of yet. In a time where the United States of America sees more people die from COVID-19 per day than the number killed in total in the events of 9/11, it is utterly harrowing to think that this is yet another global challenge that we are all living through in such a short period of time. From the financial collapse of 2008 to the decisions in the UK and US in 2016, leading into the dumpster fire that is 2020, it is frankly remarkable that so much has been able to move forwards.

I don’t want to spend too much time looking into the abyss of 2020. Rather, I prefer to take a look at things that have changed for the better and I have ultimately had an effect on me as an individual and us as a global community.

Prior to 2020, I expected that a shift to more flexible working practices including homeworking and remote working would become significantly more commonplace over the next five years. This happened overnight. Out of sheer necessity companies across the world realised that you didn’t have to have people in the same room to get things done. The promise of the Internet from the 90s started to come true, albeit at a pace that most businesses could not comprehend. Worker protection schemes allow for flexibility in the deployment of new working practices. Microsoft, a company at the core of the vast majority of the corporate world for the most part had “dropped the ball” until they were able to better position their Teams software. It’s not like they had more than a decade worth of time passages after the acquisition of Skype!

And there we were, a huge selection of people working in bedrooms, living rooms, kitchens and sofas in homes that were not designed to be anything other than homes coming to terms With the reality that the boundary between work and life has gone. What happened to work-life balance when you took out the commute? What happens when children were no longer at school? How do we not lose ourselves in the world we find ourselves?

The whole reason progress is a slow process is because it often leads to more questions than it does answers. When you have time to answer those questions the changes seem tiny. Very few people have active memories of getting in the car and not putting on a seatbelt or in certain places going to a bar or restaurants and nobody indoors are smoking. These were societal changes then became commonplace because it happened over periods of time. This isn’t the case with the changes of 2020. These changes were immediate and hit everybody very hard.

That’s why we all feel disorientated. We’ve been hit in the head. Socially, economically, emotionally and for some of us physically. I completely and utterly underestimated the impact of this pandemic in the beginning. I genuinely thought it would be two to three weeks. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Since that point, I’ve been a lot more analytical and methodical in honing my foresight when it comes to what is changing and what will happen next.

If 2020 was the hit then 2021 will be us ‘coming to’ from it. It’s going to hurt. there are too many changes and factors for it all not to have such as lasting impact. looking just at the UK, we are still, even in our current best cases scenarios of 1 million vaccinations a week, a year and a half away from full national inoculation. That’s the initial injection and the follow-up booster. Now scale that up to 7.8 Billion People.

The impact of coronavirus will be felt globally for the next decade. Going places with a mask in your pocket, hand sanitiser in and out of every building it’s not going away any time soon. The way we work, the way we learn in the way we interact with each other it’s going to remain different. Hopefully in the not-too-distant future will be able to get back to hugging our friends hello. Going out in groups and sharing experiences. In December 2019, I went to a huge gig in the SSE Hydro in Glasgow with thousands of people. I’ll do that again, but it won’t likely be till 2022/23.

Technology has always been a huge part of our lives and has only grown in its significance. 2020 moved technology into a core dependency. Internet use in the UK doubled within the space of a year. For somebody who loves technology, this has been to some extent exciting but it’s come at a cost. Honestly, if you had asked me, it was not a cost I was willing to pay. I would have taken the easier, more general route of progress, rather than the catapult of a pandemic.

Almost every facet of my life changed in 2020 and I’m not the only one. But to each and every person who reads this, I just want to say to you; Well done. Keep going and we’ll get through 2021 together (but 2 metres apart).




%d bloggers like this: