2009: A year in review, April
April always starts with a large bag of salt to pinch at with the 1st of the month designated fools day. This year saw the BBC iPlayer toaster, some satnav shoes from Firebox, the Guardian goes Twitter only and YouTube appearing upside down all in order to cause us mirth and confusion in equal measure. Curiously, RIM decided the April Fool's Day would be a good time to launch the BlackBerry App World app store and it actually looked like a joke for a while when certain developers decided to charge for their apps when the same ones were free on other platforms.
Regardless, RIM soldiered on giving us word that we'd see the new and improved BlackBerry Storm in September, while other handsets announced included the Android-toting Samsung Galaxy, the Palm Pixi, the new Skype phone from 3 and even the promise of both the Cupcake and the HTC Magic finally in the month to come. For those who really wanted to look long into the future, there were also rumoured plans of Toshiba TG02 and TG03 phones even though the TG01 had yet to have its verdict.
As for the ones we could actually pick up there and then, it was a good month with the arrival of the Samsung Tocco Lite, the Viewty Smart and the see-through LG GD900 which went from MWC prototype to Carphone Warehouse reality in less than 2 months. Now, that's what you call lead time. And it wasn't just there that LG got to show off. The Korean company announced it had sold over 2 million Cookies and that it was also bringing out its first Freesat integrated LCD TVs.
Mitsubishi, though, were even further ahead of the game. LG might have been Freesat ready but it was no comparison with a 3D ready back projection unit on sale in the East. At the same time, Sky completed its first successful live 3D broadcast as it geared up for full launch some time in 2010. Back in the real world of AV though, was the actual realise of another of the treats from CES 2009, this time the super-thin, wall mountable Samsung BD-P4600 Blu -ray player. And thin it was, but not as thin as the 0.25mm speaker prototype built for the living room of tomorrow by boffins at Warwick University.
Audio itself was a bit of a theme for the month, and it all kicked off when president Obama presented the Queen with a personalised iPod. Of course, that may have gone straight onto the Buckingham Palace eBay account, what with the details of the Zune HD coming out at the same time, but whatever Marm chose in the end there was plenty of headphones to pick from too. Radiopaq introduced their specially tuned earphones and jackets, Logitech unleashed a range of Ultimate Ears and the Custom Hf2s from ACS and Etymotics hit the Apple Store too.
Life was still busier in the PC industry as Packard Bell came back from the dead with enough launches in their "dot" range for an entire year. HP brought out the Pavillion DV3, Asus the A70, Toshiba the NB200 netbook and Acer the Timeline series, the Nvidia Ion powered Revo and, accidentally, the news that Windows 7 was to launch on 23rd October. Whoops. The fact that Microsoft was still out by 1 day didn't make the company look any better.
All was strangely quiet on the camera front with just the arrival of the swivel screen Nikon D5000, the Flip Ultra and UltraHD, and the fantastic news that Poloroid was coming back. Instead it was the games machine news that began to crank into life ahead of the summer E3 exhibition. The SIMS 3 was dated, the PSPGo! was rumoured and the Nintendo DSi actually hit the shelves for added camera trickery.
In slightly sadder news, Pleo's owner, Ugobe, filed for Bankrupcy and Yahoo! informed the world that it would be shutting GeoCities down, much to the horror of old school webbites everywhere. In some semblance of balance, Jeeves came back to show the way on the Ask search site with a bit of a face lift - perhaps that's where he had been all this time - but if you were completely new to the Web, then there was good news as Richard Branson began plans for broadband school. Unclear if this meant standing between two young ladies in uniform for everyone else too.
Two of the web giants moved up another gear as well in March. Twitter hit the mainstream officially as Oprah Winfrey opened her account and with the race to 1 million followers between CNN and Ashton Kutcher. The microblogging service took the time to do something sensible of its own and introduced both Twitter search and Trending Topics.
YouTube was the other company making moves, with its announcement about offering official TV and films. The company also had the YouTube Orchestra concert in New York's Carnegie Hall and just to prove that the old duffers in the red cushioned room are still on the ball, the House of Lords opened its own YouTube channel while BBC iPlayer went HD.
Elsewhere, GE created a 500GB optical disc, Apple reached 1 billion app downloads, the Chumby arrived in Blighty, the Segway promised to come in 2-seater, Blackwells created a machine that would print books to order and the Pirate Bay four were found guilty.
Last, and most certainly not least, Pocket-lint went worldwide as our reporters landed in America where are offices remain open today.