Favorites of 2012

I’m going to be honest here. 2012 was a pretty great year for me. A lot of amazing things happened in both my personal and professional life; most publicly, I got my first book published, and I hope do the same in 2013. While I don’t have too many traditions on this blog (something I hope to change in 2013), my Favorites of the year post has been a pretty good staple.

Tech Favorites

Favorite Gadget: The Nexus 7. I know what you’re thinking; more often than not I choose an Android device as my favorite gadget; but hear me out: this year I’ve used the Nexus (last year’s winner), the Samsung Galaxy Note II, the iPad 3 (or new iPad), the Microsoft Surface, and the iPhone 5. I usually eliminate iOS devices because I don’t feel a lot changes between them. I truly feel they are a little boring. The Nexus 7, however, is fast, the perfect size, and great for reading and watching movies. While the iPad is better for hand-written stuff and drawing, the Nexus 7 I feel is better overall.

Favorite App: Adobe Ideas for iPad. I love drawing, sketching, and writing. Adobe Ideas (for iPad, hopefully soon for my Nexus 7) is by far the best app for at least drawing and sketching. While I am not all that good, I’ve enjoyed coming up with sketches and small pictures (especially during meetings). Plus, the app uploads everything to Adobe’s Create Cloud and you can open Idea files right in Adobe Illustrator.

Something I did in Adobe Ideas

Favorite Technology: The Mobile Web. Last year I wrote in Responsive Web Design (RWD), which was quickly emerging as a new gold standard in web design. This year I want to take it one step further and say that the mobile web is my favorite technology. Because of RWD, more powerful smartphones and tablets, and diversity among devices, there is a big push towards awesome web-based apps that work  across all devices and platforms. We’re not quite at a place where the mobile web can completely replace native apps, but we are getting there.

Media Favorites

Favorite Book/Book Series: Divergent. With The Hunger Games last year and Divergent this year, it seems I’m really into post-apocalyptic worlds where our hero is a teenage girl. While I don’t think this series is as good as The Hunger Games, the Divergent series (there are 2 of 3 books out now, with 3 coming out next fall) presents some interesting theories on the human condition and how we interact. There are also some pretty cool fight sequences. Here’s the description:

In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

Favorite Movie: The Avengers. There were a ton of awesome movies in 2012. Aside from The Avengers, there was The Dark Knight Rises, 007: Skyfall, Les Miserables, Django Unchained, as well as a bunch of movies I haven’t seen yet. I chose The Avengers because it had everything- action, comedy, a cool story, and a star-studded lineup.

Favorite TV Show: Once Upon a Time. I love this show. It’s really smart, it keeps you thinking, and there are so many twists and turns that you never get bored with it. Plus, I’m a big Disney fan and getting to see some alternative back stories to my favorite characters is really cool. I highly recommend this show if you’re not watching it!

Favorite Music: Handwritten by The Gaslight Anthem. Man I love The Gaslight Anthem. I saw them in concert this year and they were great. Handwritten came out over the summer and I’ve listened to at least one song from it every day since. It might not be their best album but it’s really fantastic and I highly recommend it.