The 2010s were not as impactful as the previous periods for technology, but there are a few technological breakthroughs that have been discovered or developed in this recent era. To know more about these advancements, here is a short timeline of the inventions and discoveries in the 2010s.
By 2010, Apple would already sell more than 250 million Apple iPods, and the line has only been around for nine years during this time. On the other hand, Google began expanding its business again by announcing that they will sell their own mobile phones, with the first one being the Nexus One, which was manufactured by HTC and was released on January 5, 2010.
In the world of social media, Facebook has already surpassed Google in website visits per year, but the Mark Zuckerberg-led company will find its competitions soon, as both Instagram and Pinterest were launched in 2010.
In 2011, the 4G broadband cellular network became the most used mobile system, surpassing and succeeding 3G. The 4G network allows users to gain better and upgraded access to HD videos, online mobile games, and mobile web services.
Cloud services are also becoming popular in 2011, as the system offers people a safer and more accessible online storage space for their files and data. To capitalize on the Cloud trend, Apple released its own Cloud service called iCloud, which can be used by those who are using Apple devices. However, Apple received bad news in 2011, as it was in that year that the company’s co-founder Steve Jobs passed away.
It was in 2012 when Facebook bought its recent rival Instagram, which further boosted the growth of the latter, although Facebook did help Instagram become a powerhouse social media app. In other news, despite having great success in the late 2000s, Blackberry was experiencing a decline in sales and users, mainly due to the fact that the mobile phone market was dominated by the iPhone. Because of the financial problems of Blackberry, the company was forced to lay off thousands of workers.
After the successful and promising release of the Windows 7 operating system in 2009, Microsoft released the next version of their OS in 2012 called Windows 8. Unlike Windows 7, Windows 8 was met with criticism similar to how the Windows Vista was criticized back in 2006.
Because of having a low number of active users, Microsoft was forced to end services for its Windows Live Messenger software. The Windows Live Messenger was formerly known as MSN Messenger (MicroSoft Network Messenger), and it has been around since 1999. Because of Blackberry’s decline, there were only two companies that are competing for the number one spot in the mobile phone market, and these companies are Apple and Samsung.
Sony Computer Entertainment released the PlayStation 4 on November 15, 2013, and it will soon become the second best-selling home video game console of all time, with the first being its predecessor, the PlayStation 2.
In 2014, Facebook bought another social media company, this time it is WhatsApp, which they bought for $15 billion. Coincidentally, the year 2014 was also Facebook’s 10th anniversary, and they celebrated this occasion by offering a new feature that lets people view their posts in the past.
Around the same year, Samsung launched their S5 line of smartphones, and this will be one of their best lines, with some even considering it as the best even if there were already successors to the S5.
On March 1, 2015, SanDisk revealed the world’s first-ever 200GB microSD card. In the previous year, they have just released the 128GB microSD card, but in just a span of 12 months, they were able to increase the storage capacity of their products by 56%.
In July of the same year, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft successfully flew by Pluto, the farthest planet in the solar system, and it was also able to capture HD images of the mysterious planet. It flew near Pluto for more than five months before flying past it and into the Kuiper belt, which is considered to be the edge of the solar system.
A company acquired by Google in 2014 called DeepMind Technologies was able to create an AI (artificial intelligence) that was able to beat a European champion on a round of the popular board game “Go” on January 27, 2016. Just two months after that event, the AI then defeated the Korean champion named Lee Se-dol.
On June 20, 2016, China showed the Sunway TaihuLight, which is deemed to be the world’s fastest supercomputer because of its ability to reach 125 petaflops.
Nokia released the revived version of the iconic Nokia 3310 on February 26, 2017. This new version of the Nokia 3310 features a colored screen and a revamped design with a dual-SIM tray and Bluetooth 3.0 functionality. This 2017 Nokia 3310 originally supported only 2G networks, which was already about to be phased out in numerous countries in the 2010s in favor of the faster and more reliable 3G networks. Due to demand, Nokia released the 3G version of the 2017 Nokia 3310 on October 29, 2017. To learn more about this phone, read The Story of the Nokia 3310, A Cult-Classic Gadget of the 2000s.
On November 28, 2017, Facebook started utilizing artificial intelligence to find out users that are at risk for suicide by analyzing their posts, shares, and photos. The artificial intelligence helps people get proper help whenever they are having suicidal thoughts or in depression.
In March of 2018, Google announced that it had created the world’s most advanced quantum computer chip called “Bristlecone,” which features 72 qubits. Meanwhile, Amazon was able to open the first completely cashier-less grocery store that they aptly named “Amazon Go.” The stores inside Amazon Go are partially automated, and customers will be able to buy products using a self-checkout station.
On the 23rd day of October in 2019, Google announced that its Sycamore processor that features 53 qubits achieved quantum supremacy, which means that it can perform one specific task in just 200 seconds, while other supercomputers will take 10,000 years to finish the same task.
Furthermore, a company owned by Google called Alphabet, Inc. announced that it would begin manufacturing autonomous vehicles in a mass-production state. These autonomous vehicles wouldn’t need drivers to be controlled, and although this feature seems unsafe at first glance, it is actually safer than having a human driver that is prone to being dizzy, drowsy, or drunk.