It's been a typically dramatic year in consumer technology and, as ever, New Year's Eve is a chance to reflect on everything that's happened. We've already told you about the movers and shakers of the year and about the trends and buzzwords. Now is the moment for something a little more personal.
We've asked each member of the Pocket-lint team for their best moment of 2012. It might have been a story, a press conference or a gadget launch. On the other hand, it might have just been one of those epiphanous moments on a press trip when you realise that the life of a tech journalist can sometimes be something of great privilege. So, if you're the sort of person likely to turn green with envy, then perhaps you'd better look away now.
Mapping in Martinique
Chris Hall, editor
My most memorable moment of 2012 has to be the opportunity to fly over to Martinique with TomTom to see how the company puts its maps together. There has been a lot of talk about mapping this year, what with the furore surrounding Apple Maps and the continued drive from Google to bring good-quality mapping to as many mobile devices as possible.
Seeing the TomTom field agents on the ground, surveying, logging and correcting maps gave me a thorough understanding of how important good mapping is when it comes to driving - which is what TomTom is all about. It helped, of course, that this took place on a charming jewel of an island in the Caribbean, but I try not to labour that point.
You can read all about it here.
Crates of Kindles
Hunter Skipworth, contributing editor
Most memorable moment was when I stumbled across a pile of Kindles at the Amazon Fulfilment Center. Seeing that stack of what was likely 400-500 Kindle Fires, I realised how small and insignificant my proud tablet purchases were.
That was the moment when a tablet stopped feeling special and became just like every other piece of tech we take for granted.
Take a look at the story here.
Super-fast on a superbike
Mike Lowe, contributing editor
Ah so many! As the newest member to the 'Lint team, the list-topping highlight has got to be landing the new job. It was offered to me at a strange time of life, just after an operation following a bike accident, which feeds into another memorable moment:
Over in San Francisco with GoPro for the launch of the HD Hero3 "mini camcorder" I did a pillion ride around Sonoma Raceway on a superbike ridden by Jason Pridmore - AMA Formula Extreme Champion 2002, American superbike fans - which was not only tech-wettingly fast, but a bit of an overcoming of the two-wheels fear moment. Adrenaline like that can't be bought, and can never be forgotten.
You can take a look at the footage here.
Q on the Fifth
Dan Sung, editor of features
If I had to pick a moment from the work side of things, it would have to be the quite amusingly over-dramatic moment at the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S III in April when the huge backdrop behind the stage at the Earls Court event lifted up like a giant curtain to dry-ice smoke and indigo lighting to reveal the phones on stands in a great hall behind. Watching people cross the stage in awe to get their hands on was like something out of the final moments of Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
For pure giggles though, it had to be the closing party to Qualcomm’s annual developer event Uplinq. Each year, the company closes off the main street in San Diego and holds a massive party for around 5,000 of its guests. Once in, you can eat or drink pretty much anything in any of the bars and restaurants on the street for free while circus acts, dualing pianos and a host of mini parties go on around you. Needless to say, it also produced by far and away what was the most memorable hangover of the year.
You can’t read about that here. The best I’ve got for you is an article on AR which I managed to squeeze out while I still had the brain to remember it.
Ian Morris, editor of reviews
My most memorable moment for this year was everyone falling out of love with Apple, while I started to fall in love with the company I've always been very grumpy about. The moment iOS 6 launched, and Google Maps was replaced by Apple Maps was the point at which people seemed to wake from their foggy sleep and started to jump online and start railing against the firm that made its name with beautiful objects. The Apple Maps thing didn't seem much of an issue to me, as Google gets it wrong plenty too as my wife can attest when we're stuck on some weird back road in Sutton, rather than at home in the warm.
The general public's reaction to this was exactly contrary to my own. But theirs helped make me love Apple a bit more, because I'm a contrary sort of person and because it made that company seem more human, somehow. Apple's products are the best they've ever been, but the people who have previously rushed out to buy them are starting to get antsy. Could this spell trouble for Apple? Perhaps, although it's unlikely to worry with more than $120 billion in the bank but mark my words, Apple Maps was a significant event this year, for lots of reasons.
Rik Henderson, editor of news
As a football nut and life-long Liverpool fan, the chance to meet former Reds manager Rafa Benitez was enough to turn me back into a giggling schoolkid. The fact that I got to spend an hour with him, talking hardcore technology, both in retro and future terms, was an unbelievable and honoured opportunity.
Benitez, you see, is more than a mere football manager. During the gap between his stint in charge of Inter Milan and his current job, as head coach of Chelsea, he devised and created his own iPad application that makes the day-to-day management of a football club much easier, no matter what level of the game the user may be in.
Globall Coach is predominantly designed to create training patterns and movements that can be implemented by players on a football pitch. It is in-depth and fully featured, and benefits greatly by being designed and worked on closely by a man who has won trophies at just about every club he's ever been involved with. And I got to talk about it with him, along with some of Liverpool's greatest achievements (such as the surely never to ever be repeated astonishing comeback in the 2006 Champions League final).
It didn't just make my day, it made my whole year.
You can read all about it here.