As another year draws to a close and we approach the roaring twenties, TIME Magazine has looked back on the last ten years and picked out the best and most influential gadgets of the entire decade. Everything on this list changed the face of the world to some degree over the last ten years, and the list is hard to argue with – even with a whopping three Apple products making the top ten alongside fare from seven other companies.
Let’s see what TIME had to say about Apple’s achievements, and check in on the remaining entries too for good measure.
iPad was launched in the very first month of the decade and has gone on to define an entire industry. TIME certainly thinks highly of iPad, awarding it first place in its Gadgets of the Decade list. Here’s what it has to say:
“Before the iPad’s introduction in 2010, the idea of a “tablet computer” was mostly relegated to slick science fiction movies and unwieldy laptop-adjacent monstrosities running terrible software. Apple’s iPad — like the iPhone before it — resulted in a cultural shift for personal computing, and set the tone for the next decade of portable devices. Its impressive multitouch display, complete abandonment of physical keys, and gargantuan selection of software and media created a perfect storm of entertainment that everyone could get on board with.”
Apple’s long-awaited wearable raised a few eyebrows at launch, but it’s gone on to absolutely dominate the smartwatch market in the years since. TIME ranked it 7th in its listings – here’s why:
“While many have tried, no one has been able to match the polish and performance of the Apple Watch, which set the standard for what a smartwatch could do. Since its introduction in 2015, it’s gone from a device for early adopters and fashion-deficient nerds to a mainstream accessory, thanks to its smart software and ever-improving hardware. And as the Apple Watch expands its health-oriented features, it could become the easiest way to keep your health on track and your day on schedule.”
TIME put Apple’s wireless headphones 8th in the rankings, thanks to their explosion in popularity as cord-cutting catches on. This is another category that Apple pushed into the mainstream almost single-handedly:
“Like the iconic iPod before it, Apple’s AirPods have captured the hearts, minds and ears of music lovers looking to jam to some tunes. First released in 2016, AirPods quickly became an icon in their own right, both for their aesthetic appeal as well as their larger cultural impact.”
And the rest…
Tesla Model S takes second place for making electric cars cool and shifting the entire automotive industry as a result. The next slot goes to Raspberry Pi, an inexpensive micro-computer perfect for school kids and DIY tinkerers alike. In fourth place, we have Google Chromecast, the TV stick that helped popularize the concept of streaming video, and in fifth is the DJI Phantom, the most popular drone of the decade.
Next up is the increasingly popular Amazon Echo smart speaker, which brought us a step closer to the robot butler of your dreams. The list rounds out with two gaming gadgets: the sort-of-handheld console Nintendo Switch, which put Mario and Zelda back on top, and the Xbox Adaptive Controller, which makes it leagues easier for those with limited mobility to play their favorite videogames.
TIME’s list is a great reminder of where we’ve come in the last ten years, and the full article is well worth a read for further thoughts on each of the choices.