2010: A year in review, April

As we make preparations for New Year celebrations, the alarmingly futuristic-sounding 2011 is waiting just around the corner. But before we take our first tentative steps into the new year, it's time to take a look at the biggest stories from the last 12 months.

April is always a tricky time as it kicks off with April Fools' Day on the first of the month - a gift for pranksters, but an awkward moment when you're trying to figure out whether the latest tech announcements are real or just a load of nonsense. So, in 2010, we trawled the internet to find the best online pranks so that you wouldn't get caught out by them.

Apple's iPad made its debut in the shops, although reported problems with the Wi-Fi capability weren't far behind. That didn't stop the brand from shifting 300,000 units on launch day in the US, although the UK roll-out was pushed back to May. Apple also made the headlines thanks to one red-faced employee leaving a prototype of the upcoming iPhone 4 in a bar. The resulting images turned up on various tech sites and made headlines in the mainstream press all over the world. Needless to say, Apple wasn't amused and called in its legal team to sort things out and confiscate all of Gizmodo's Jason Chen's computers.



April saw the true beginning of 3D at home, with the first 3D TV (Samsung's UE40C7000) going on sale in the UK hitting the shelves of retailer John Lewis. One of the other big stories on the horizon was the General Election. With party political fever gathering pace in the UK, Sky announced that the much talked-about leaders debates would be broadcast in high definition, while Facebook also got in on the act by asking users whether they'd registered to vote and directing them to the government's registration page if their answer was no.

Mircorsoft unveiled its Kin One and Kin Two social networking mobile phones with a planned May release date for the US, while they were penned in for autumn in the UK. The handsets failed to make friends and were pulled just a few months later. Nokia also introduced a (more successful) range of phones with a social networking twist while Sony Ericsson annonced its Zylo and Spiro handsets.

Toshiba announced a nice, and completely failsafe promotion for the summer, offering money back on its products should England win the World Cup. Needless to say, the company's hard-earned cash was safe as houses. Meanwhile, Twitter was inevitably among the tech headlines in April, this time because the US Library of Congress announced that it would be adding Tweets to its vast collection of published works.



In other news, a marketing stunt for Splinter Cell: Conviction nearly went dreadfully wrong when a harmless actor was paid to re-enact scenes from the game and was almost shot by armed police in New Zealand following several alarmed calls from members of the public. Elsewhere in April, we heard word that movie studio Constantin Films had demanded that all the popular parody videos featuring Hitler in his bunker in Downfall should be removed from YouTube due to Copyright infringement. Displaying a rather out-of touch legal team (some of the videos had been online for around six years), not to mention a spectacular lack of a sense of humour, the company has seemingly not been entirely successful, as there are still oodles of the videos on YouTube.

Possibly our favourite and yet completely unobtainable gadget of the month was the Jackie Chan-branded Canon 550D DSLR - sadly, only launched in very limited numbers in China.

For a closer look at these events and the rest of April take a look at our weekly round-ups from the month or head straight to the archive itself. The fact that we've only got two weekly roundups for this month is down to the fact that we had three public holidays in April in the UK.