Favorites of 2015

2015 has been an interesting year for me. It’s my last year as a single man, I’ve launched a couple of side projects, traveled around a bit, and challenged myself a lot! I’m happy to say I’ll continue to do that and so much more in 2016! But for now, here are my favorites for another year ūüôā

Tech Favorites

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Gadget: iPhone 6. This came as a surprise to me more than anyone, but 2015 was the year I tried an iPhone. Further, I switched to using it. I liked it for a lot of reasons, which you can read here. That also happens to be my most popular blog post by far. It got picked up by BGR and tweeted by Phil Schiller!  TL;DR: Battery, Integration, and Accessories were the driving factors.

App/Website:¬†Handoff. I know this isn’t strictly an app so much as a technological backbone, but it’s what makes using Apple products so great (if you use all of them). The fact that I have Operating System-level integration between my computer, my phone, and my tablet is something that has become invaluable to me. Using tools between my devices has become seamless because of it. It’s so seamless in-fact, that it took me not using it for a few days to realize how much I missed it. It’s a huge reason I switch to the iPhone as my primary phone.

Thing I Learned: Angular.JS. If I had done this for 2014, it would have been Sass, which I use every day. This year it’s Angular.JS – an incredibly powerful JavaScript library that allows you to create dynamic web pages that do all sorts of things. This coupled with the release of the WordPress REST API means I’ll be doing a lot more Angular in 2016, so I’m glad I took some time this year to get my feet wet.

Media Favorites

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Book: The Martian. I’ll just quote what I said over the summer:¬†I read the book over the course of 23 hours and could not put it down. Right from the beginning, Wier captivates the reader. Watney is¬†relatable and downright entertaining.¬†Seriously. Read the book. Then watch the movie. Both are great.

TV Show:¬†I realized recently that I don’t¬†watch too many new shows. This year, I took time to watch all of Seinfeld for the first time, and re-watched Friends. I’m currently working my way through South Park. I also watched a bunch of Stand-Up Comedians. I kind of feel the same way about TV that I did about music¬†last year: I know there’s great stuff out there but I’m not finding it or not committing to it. Cutting cable probably has a lot to do with it. We’ll see what happens in 2016.

Movie: Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Did you think it would be anything else?

Music:¬†Ed Sheeran. I actually have Spotify’s stats to back this up. He’s the artist I listened to most this year, and for good reason. He’s also one of this year’s most popular artists on Spotify overall, so I probably don’t need to give those reasons. I’ll just add that December was dominated by the Pentatonix. If you like talented vocalists, you will like them.

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Podcast:¬†Criminal. This was tough because I discovered a ton of great podcasts this year (look for an update to this post in January), but Criminal came out on top because of how consistently interesting it is. It’s a podcast that looks into a crime and the backstory behind that crime. The host, Phoebe Judge, is an excellent story-teller and keeps things pretty objective, which I also appreciate. It’s short and easy to consume. I strongly recommend it.