WHAT WE GOT WRONG THIS YEAR
We're journalists, not oracles.
- •We thought the Apple Watch was going to bring wearables into the mainstream. It didn't.A "killer app" never came, and even owners of the device have trouble justifying the watch’s usefulness.
- •We were surprised by two successful rocket landings.When it seemed like no company would accomplish rocket reusability, suddenly SpaceX and Blue Origin had both pulled off the task within about a month's time. Now, 2015 will be remembered as the year that ushered in a new era of spaceflight.
- •We didn’t think Samsung could design a better watch than Apple.Samsung's Gear S2 was this year's biggest revelation. The company that tried and failed most often and most publicly with its smartwatches all of a sudden had the best-designed smartwatch.
- •We thought Tech companies had given up on photo sharing. They haven’t.Yahoo totally reinvented Flickr, and Google introduced Google Photos, which now has more than 100 million users a month. We've never been so happy to have been totally wrong.
- •We thought biometric scanners were going to revolutionize security. They haven’t.There are millions of fingerprint readers out there, but less than 15 percent of iPhone users are actually using them to unlock their phones.
- •We thought Twitter might meaningfully fix abuse problems. It didn’t.The effectiveness of the new reporting process hasn’t been proven yet. Meanwhile, the best tools — like features that help people collectively block groups of known trolls — still aren’t available to regular users.
- •We learned that video evidence won't save us from police violence.A year ago, body cams seemed like the big solution. While some police have been convicted this year while being caught on camera, others have gone free, signaling that a reduction in police violence will require more than a camera.
- •We thought CGI was going away, but it’s here to stay.2015 saw some people (including us) trumpeting the glorious return of practical effects after years of ugly, obvious CGI. But the truth is CGI is alive and well. And more importantly, the CGI that people complain about may be bad, but good CGI is ever-present and often invisible.
- •We didn’t expect to be talking so much about Nazis.From Man in the High Castle to the latest Wolfenstein game to Baby Hitler, why are we talking about Nazis so much in 2015?
- •We found out that studios can still succeed without superheroes.Universal beat all the other major studios in terms of revenue in 2015, and they did it without a single superhero movie. Movies like Straight Outta Compton and 50 Shades of Grey aren’t marketed at young white men and were extremely successful, meaning Hollywood would do well to aim its upcoming projects at broader audiences.
- •We thought Snapchat Discover was going to be killer. It wasn’t.Users seem largely indifferent, even after Snapchat moved Discover to the top of the Stories feed. And publishers are starting to grumble about Snapchat’s heavy editorial hand and the weak return on their investment so far.
- •Hoverboards were more than just a fad.One minute we’re fighting that uphill and ultimately futile battle about what to call them, the next they’re everywhere.
- •Android cameras finally got better, but it didn’t increase sales.These improvements may pay off further down the line, if Android stays competitive against one of the iPhone's core strengths
- •We all worried ad blockers would be the end of the world. They weren’t.Most people were simply too lazy to download and install an ad blocker, and we all still have jobs as a result. It was 2015's most personally welcome reprieve.