Well, that’s it, 2014 is over. It’s been a massive year for me. I turned 30 and, less depressingly, my first child was born. Since that moment a lot has changed for me. I have a lot less free time than before, for a start, but being a dad is great, if not a little tiring!
On a less personal note, it was also a big year for iOS and Apple with large scale changes for both software and hardware. The phones went huge and the OS opened up more than ever. The year has also seen some great new products, not just from Apple, and incredible films. In light of this, and the fact every other blog seems to be doing it, I wanted to do a recap of my favourite things of the year. I’m not going to go into each choice in massive detail here, it’s more of an overview.
iOS App of the year
This first category was an easy pick for me. This category goes to Overcast by Marco Arment. If you’re unfamiliar with it, Overcast is a podcast client, with some great, unique, features. I use this app more than any other app on my phone, by far. The Smart Speed feature has, so far, saved me 38 hours, which is pretty impressive alone!
iOS Game of the year
Another easy pick here. I’m going to give this one to Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft. This is the only game that I have played on iOS for more than a few weeks. In fact I play it at least every couple of days, when I’m able to. It’s also the only game I have played that I can be terrible at, but awfully addicted to. That’s a very rare occurrence.
Console Game of the year
I have long tired of the games spewed out for the Playstation and Xbox. Yet another FIFA and Call of Duty game, year over year. I longed for a return to what got me into gaming in the first place, so I decided to get a Wii U. While not everyones cup of tea, I have not looked back. The console is a real joy, as are the gorgeous games from Nintendo. My console game of the year, therefore, can only go to one game, namely the fantastic Mario Kart 8. The game looks incredible in HD and is just fun and relaxing, whilst also being challenging. I have some very fond memories of playing Mario Kart on the SNES with my brother, and iOS 8 certainly retains that feeling.
Hardware of the year
You’ll never guess what I am going to pick here … Oh, you did? Yes, that’s right, I’m going to pick my trusty iPhone 6 Plus. I have to admit that I started getting a little bored of the small iterations the iPhone was seeing, so I was pleasantly surprised when Apple unveiled the 6 and 6 Plus. When I saw it, there was only one real choice for me, after deriding large phones for years. I had to eat my words and get the beastly 6 Plus. I don’t regret it for a moment.
Film of the year
It’s been a fairly quiet year for films this year, especially compared to the delights we have in store for 2015, but one film really stood out for me. I’m giving this one to this years unexpected hit from Marvel, Guardians of the Galaxy. This was a movie from Marvel that I didn’t know all about prior to its release, so it was a fun ride learning about fresh new characters. A what a set of characters they are! Every one is well fleshed out, and very real, while at the same time being totally insane. This film really did feel like Star Wars for a new generation to me. It’s a film I can’t wait to watch with my daughter, when she’s old enough to do so.
TV show of the year
While there has been few films to get massively excited about in 2014, there has been a lot of great TV. The vast majority of the stuff I watch at the moment comes from the US. I have completely given up on keeping my geek cred up and have dropped The Walking Dead. The show lacks direction and is just so depressing. I no longer care about any of the characters, and I was just not having fun watching it at all. I have limited time to watch anything now, since the baby, so my time is fairly precious in this regard. Much in the same way I enjoy my Wii U because of the light hearted games, I have been enjoying some very light and relaxing shows this year. I have been loving The Flash). It’s extremely cheesy and corny, but that’s its charm. I am also really liking Arrow), but my show of the year goes to the fantastic Gotham). I am a sucker for anything to do with Batman and, while this is fairly tenuous, it’s good enough for me! The characters in the show are well acted and it’s moving at a nice pace. I’m looking forward to the second half of season one coming back on shortly.
Podcast of the year
I am a huge podcast fan and I’m subscribed to about 35 different shows. 2014 was another bumper year for podcasting in general, and there are some amazing shows out there. Relay.FM launched with some of the best shows around, but my show of the year is going to go to one that has been around for a few years now, but it’s one I absolutely love. I’m going to give it to Filmsack from the excellent Frogpants Studios team.
While I often haven't seen some of the films they discuss, the shows are always a great laugh and an enjoyable listen. The shows are, also, pretty timeless and can be re-listened to quite a bit, which is very rare in podcasting.
Thst's it, a geeks 2014 in a nutshell. I'm excited for a few new things I have planned for 2015. It's going to be a good year to be a geek with some amazing films on the horizon, and I can't wait to get my hands on an Apple Watch finally.
Here's to a great 2015 to you all!