Google, Apple and Microsoft are the three companies that have stood the test of time. They were, and are, still considered to be the biggest tech companies on Earth, with almost every computer user having used one of their products. These companies are old and experienced now, Apple is 39, Google is 17 and Microsoft is 40, but all of them are still trying to innovate to improve - and recreate - their products.
In 2015, all these three companies released products that are successful in different categories. With Google, it was the Nexus 6P that made waves, with Microsoft, it was the Surface Pro 4 and Windows 10 that were hugely successful, and Apple led a smartwatch revolution - by selling the highest adopted smartwatch ever. Which means, these three companies had to be featured on Toppers of 2015, and I asked my audience which products they found most worthy of appreciation from each of the companies.
So here are the results...
The Nexus 6P took almost 44% of the votes, and it clearly an excellent product. I already talked about the Nexus 6P in the Toppers of 2015: Smartphones, so you can read up about it there. But what I am interested in telling you about is Android M.
Android M won a fair share of votes - 18.2% - and it is the readers choice best product after the Nexus phones. The Marshmallow edition of Android doesn’t bring any big aesthetic changes, but fixes the many things that were wrong with Lollipop. M introduces an all new much awaited app permission system that will let you individually control what you give a particular app access to. Moreover, it beings “Doze”, a battery saving feature that disables a lot of background tasks like syncing with connected services and turns off network access to allow for least possible battery usage. Doze proves to work really well, as pointed out in the Nexus 6P review on the blog. Android M is a great step up from L, reducing the number of bugs while including settle yet important changes to the OS. The only concern: how much time will it take to reach the majority of Android devices?
The iPhone 6S and 6S Plus are clear winners. The improved camera, 3D Touch and a faster processor make the latest iPhones an obvious choice. Again, you can read my iPhone 6S review and the Toppers of 2015 Smartphones post for more information about the phones.
The iMac with the 5K Retina Display comes in third on the chart, and this is the product I voted for. Even today, the adoption of 4K hasn’t been all that outstanding, but Apple is taking it one step further with their 27” iMac all-in-one desktops. The 5K display is a glorious piece of innovation. At 218 PPI, this display is almost as good as that on the MacBook Pro with Retina Display, which means pixels are just not visible to the naked eye. The computer is a beast, with the dedicated 4 GB graphic card pushing the insane 14745600 (yeah, that’s 5120x2880) pixels packed in the display panel. This means editing 4K footage on 100% scale is possible on your desk using this computer. The iMac has no practical competition as yet, so I have to conclude that it is the best all-in-one desktop to own (unless you want to go with a Mac Pro paired with a bunch of 4K displays).
Not so surprisingly, Windows 10 is the winner here. With the free upgrade program, Microsoft really got users interested in this OS. Microsoft put all its efforts to make this OS seamless on the desktop, on the laptop, on your phone, on the Xbox and even on your future VR/AR headset. And seeing Windows 10 success after the criticism they received for the half-baked Windows 8 really gave Microsoft new light. I’ve used Windows 10 a lot myself, and I find it remarkably good. It is an OS that checks the right boxes when it comes to functionality and compatibility - both on the hardware and software sides - and makes for an improved overall computing experience. In fact, with the Lumia 950 series, you can use your phone as a full fledged Windows computer when you hook it up to a monitor, keyboard and a mouse, clearly showing Windows 10's potential of morphing into whatever the hardware supports.
All the other products, like the SurfaceBook and the Surface Pro 4, rely on Windows 10 for their ultimate form and function. The OS does have a lot of expectations to live up to in the coming years.