Every year I list my favourite gadget, book and app from the last twelve months, so here they are:
In early December my trusty Samsung S4 finally died. It had a few battle scars from daily use (read: abuse) yet worked well. One day it decided not to charge its battery any longer and despite changing a few components it was time to replace it. I had the offer of an iPhone but chose a Samsung S6 (you should have seen the look on my kids’ faces at the prospect of turning down an iPhone) – and I love it. It’s fast, big (almost tablet like) and stable. It’s the best phone I’ve owned.
Another contender is Windows 10 (OK, not really a gadget, but new technology). I’ve run Windows 10 on my Surface Pro 3 since early beta in February and really like it. I’m so used to it that last week I used a Windows 8 laptop and couldn’t understand why so much of it was difficult and clunky. Windows 10 still feels rough around the edges though – some commands show the old control panel and some the new one.
But my favourite gadget this year is the GoPro Hero 4 Silver. I have borrowed one from a colleague at Endava for a month – to use while I climb Kilimanjaro in January. The GoPro is a feat of technology engineering. It’s miniature, captures extremely high quality video at a high frame rate so that you can slow it down, and in its housing, almost indestructible. All for £250 – remarkable.
I haven’t read many business books this year – I think I overdid it in 2014 and so I’ve read some auto-biographies and hobby-related books instead.
We are using Lean canvas for some clients, and I bought a copy of Lean Enterprise, which was only released in January. I like Lean Enterprise, with its anecdotes, experience and simple methodologies.
I have a stack of books to read in 2016 and hopefully I’ll actually be able to finish each of them.
I still love (yup, that’s the right word) Strava to capture all my running and cycling – over 200 miles and 2,000 miles respectively for 2015!
Special mention goes to the Android Microsoft Office apps, which I’ve only used since I got my new S6, but seem to be feature-rich and stable.
I’ve also buckled under family and social pressure to install WhatsApp, but I don’t like it. I’m a big fan of social media but WhatsApp is a different level of alerts and interruptions.
Mrs H and I have watched the latest blockbuster films via Google Play, and the app is superb. The Google Play second screen experience is the reality of what we were dreaming of in 2010. Together with Chromecast it is my favourite app of 2015.
For the second year running my favourite award is for the eConsultancy Top 100 Digital Agencies. In order of revenue, Endava came 13th – we are the top independent agency and the top technical agency, and due to the timing of the award being submitted, that was based on our 2014 financials. I’m super proud of the team around me at Endava and the work we’ve produced.
This leaves me to wish everyone who reads this site, and your family, a wonderful holiday period, together with a healthy, happy and prosperous new year.