- The 2010s had some really great tech – like the iPhone 4,Roku, and SpaceX.
- At one point it felt like the whole world was playing Pokémon Go
- Insider reflected on the technology that really felt like it won the decade.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Following is a transcript of the video.
Abby Tang: Pokémon, literally, you gotta catch ’em all.
Lisa Paradise: Pokémon Go is an app that I use every single day, and I’m embarrassed to talk about it on camera.
Aylin Woodward: And it’s a super great way of getting out into the universe. But also occasionally dangerous if you are playing and not looking where you’re going.
Chris Snyder: I almost got hit by a bus actually on day one. Which is one of the things they warn you about. You know, like, look out for traffic.
Paradise: You walk around essentially staring at your phone, and you catch Pokémon, you can, like, fight other Pokémon trainers.
Snyder: I think the thing I like best about it is it’s a video game, but you have to play it outside, and you can play with other people.
Woodward: I used to have this Pikachu hat that I wore everywhere. And yeah, it would get me a lot of people who’d walk up to me and be like, “Are you playing Pokémon Go?” And I’d be like, “Yes!”
Paradise: I am so embarrassed to love it. I don’t use it on my commute because I’m afraid other people on the train will see me playing it. When I use it, I turn my brightness all the way down on my phone, and then I use it when I’m walking around.
Snyder: I actually met some really good friends playing. I think that’s honestly one of the best things about it.
Tang: Pokémon Go was a really fun way to get me out of my apartment when I was depressed. Because I could still play a video game but, like, be outside, which is, like, good for me. Snyder: So, like, the first year it came out, I was walking by Central Park, and this, like, mass stampede of people, like, ran by me. And I asked what they were doing and they said they were chasing a Snorlax. The stream of people never ended. It was really crazy. And they were all just standing there, you know, spinning Pokéballs to catch a Snorlax. And then, like, a fire engine had to come and, like, break up the crowd.
Paradise: I think Pokémon Go is so different because it connects back to the nostalgia of your childhood. Like, even though I wasn’t that big of a fan of it growing up, I obviously knew what it was.
Snyder: I mean, it’s addiction to, like, literally try to get them all. I’ve come so far. Like, I can’t stop now until I get them all. Will Wei: Tesla is an electric-car company, and it’s run by Elon Musk.
Tang: Elon Musk is a clown. Meg Teckman-Fullard: I love Elon Musk, but he’s weird.
Starr Chen: Tesla has made all-electric cars really cool though. It really helped set a pretty high bar as far as what electric vehicles could be.
Wei: Me and my colleague Graham Flanagan, we drove a Tesla Model X across the country, starting from San Francisco and getting back to New York. Tried to only use Superchargers along the way, and we found out that it just took a lot longer than we thought it would. But the car itself is beautiful. It’s comfortable. And it’s very fast. Goes 0 to 60 in three seconds or so.
Chen: It was really exciting when Tesla came on the scene. People were driving the cars. They looked great. They didn’t look weird, future cars, or, like, they didn’t scream, like, “I am environmentally friendly!” Wei: Tesla stands out from other all-electric cars and electric-car companies purely because of, I think, Elon Musk and the way he’s marketed this thing.
Matt Stuart: iPhone 4! Yes. Ah, the best-shaped iPhone.
Alex Appolonia: iPhone 4? Wow.
Shayanne Gal: It was the first iPhone that you didn’t need to be on AT&T for.
Jason Sanchez: So obviously the first iPhone is, like, a groundbreaking design, but I think the 4 is actually the only iPhone that had, like, really great design after the first one in terms of, like, hardware and appearances.
Stuart: A lot of people have a strange love with the iPhone 4. I think for a lot of people it may have been their first iPhone.
Appolonia: The iPhone 4 was the first model that had the front-facing camera. I guess that was the start of the selfies. Sanchez: The 4 looked like an old-school camera. It looked like an old Leica camera. Appolonia: I remember the iPhone 4 being really small, compact, a bigger screen.
Sanchez: It had this sort of aluminium band around the frame, and then the back was black, and it just, it looked like an old, like, ’70s, ’60s camera. It looked awesome.
Stuart: Also it introduced the more rectangle shape with the solid sides. If you wanted to, for example, prop the phone up to take a photo, you could just set it down, and it would stay there.
Sanchez: One of the best-designed pieces of tech the entire decade. Jacqui Frank: I love Google Translate. I think it’s perfect.
Danielle Cohen: Google Translate is a website where you can input, you know, a phrase or a sentence in any language and ask Google to translate it into a different language.
Taryn Varricchio: Google Translate saved my life when I was living abroad. Because I literally would not have been able to talk to my Italian host family.
Frank: So Google Translate is translation witchcraft, like, essentially.
Gal: As someone who’s done a lot of world travel, like, that is just the No. 1 go-to for me. We’re able to just, within a moment, pull out a phone and communicate what we want to say.
Michelle Yan: Google Translate is the greatest tool for me to communicate with my parents.
Trisha Bonthu: Google Translate was great when I was trying to learn Portuguese during college.
Yan: My parents, they speak Chinese and they don’t really know English that well. I think, you know, it helped during those conversations where I was like, I want to tell you something, but I don’t know, but OK, let me go to Google Translate, translate that word, show it to you, and then they’re like, “Oh, OK!”
Gal: My grandparents speak Hebrew, which I speak pretty fluently as well, but there are words and things that I don’t fully get with them, and vice versa. You know, they learned English at an older age. So we actually share a lot of memories through Google Translate.
William Antonelli: The Nintendo Switch is Nintendo’s newest console. And the whole deal behind it is that you can play it on a TV, on a big screen, or you can pull it right out of a dock and then take it with you on the go.
Tang: Oh, man.
Bonthu: The Switch is part of Nintendo. I think it kind of replaced the Wii but is a more modern and cool version of it.
Tang: My best friend and I didn’t live together for the first year I was in New York. She had a Switch. I didn’t. But I knew that we were gonna move in together at some point. So I waited. I waited 12 long months until she came and lived in my house with her Switch. And now all I do is play the Switch.
Snyder: I play video games, and I think maybe now I play them more because I have the Switch, because I can take them with me when I travel.
Antonelli: I like how portable it is and how powerful is for a portable console. It has so much better graphics, so much more processing power than any other handheld console. There’s a lot of really amazing games for it. So I’m a big fan.
Tang: “Zelda’s” my favourite game on the Switch. It’s one of my favourite games of all time. Like, all the “Zelda” games are really fun, but, like, “Breath of the Wild” is something special.
Snyder: “Zelda: Breath of the Wild” is the best game I’ve ever played.
Tang: I actually like playing on just the tiny little bar remote. I just get, like, real, like, in on myself. And I get super serious about “Mario Kart” on the tiny thing. I got tiny hands so I think it fits better.
Cohen: Venmo is like Chase QuickPay, but not Chase and not as quick.
Jade Tungul: Venmo is a money-transfer app.
Tang: Venmo is a social-media platform, and I am standing by that. Cohen: Venmo is honestly the best way to stalk people. It’s how I keep tabs on most people.
Appolonia: I can’t really imagine my life without Venmo.
Tungul: It has created this accountability thing for paying people back.
Victoria Barranco: Oh, it’s 100%, like, how I pay for things with friends.
Tang: I love the Venmo feed. Nikki Torres: Some of the comments are really funny. You see, like, kind of people explaining what they’re paying the money for in emojis.
Barranco: It used to have to be, “Oh, we have to split this check,” or “Oh, I have to have cash on me to, like, give to you.”
Tang: It is the funniest way to keep tabs on your friends and what they’re doing and who they’re talking to and who they owe money to.
Barranco: It’s just, like, how we do transactions now between friends.
Tony Villas-Boas: 4G is the fourth generation of mobile wireless communications.
Nich Carlson: You are probably watching this video on your phone. And without 4G, you would not want to do that. It would be like this, like, really long load time. I would be freezing. And then you’d be waiting, and it would suck.
Stuart: For a while, there wasn’t as much of a focus on increasing the connectivity for smartphones. Because once everybody started getting all these smartphones there was a huge demand to increase mobile connectivity, increase the data speeds that people were using, increase the bandwidth that an entire network could support. That’s where 4G really came in.
Villas-Boas: Without 4G, we would not be with some of the most popular apps that we know now. Carlson: If you look at all the things we do now on our phones, it’s pretty much all due to the invention of 4G or LTE.
Villas-Boas: It’s one of the biggest leaps in technology.
Teckman-Fullard: So SpaceX is a aerospace startup.
Wei: Their basic mission is to send humans to space. To send humans to colonise Mars. That’s highly ambitious, but they are taking strides to get there.
Teckman-Fullard: They do rockets. They do satellites. I mean, weird space suits.
Tang: I do have to admit though the thought of a car flying through space is very, very cool.
Teckman-Fullard: Who are trying to make aerospace possible without having to go through the traditional NASA and government things.
Wei: A rocket that can go to space and then land back onto Earth, and having that be reusable and saving billions of dollars along the way, that’s incredible.
Teckman-Fullard: It’s not just all about the fuel. It’s all about all of the engineering that goes into it. It’s all the pieces that go into it. So if you can send one up, recover it, and then send it up again, especially in a quick turnaround like SpaceX is trying to do and actually has pretty much succeeded in doing on some of these relatively recently, is pretty incredible.
Nate Lee: Oh! Dark mode is an art form. Katya Kupelian: Every app that is an Apple app turns to dark. So everything will be a black background. Tang: I just feel, like, cooler and smoother and more mysterious when my stuff’s on dark mode.
Lee: Dark mode really, like, puts less strain on the eye. Maybe that’s just advertising and Apple, like, brainwashing me.
Tang: I don’t give two shakes about my eyes. All I care about is how dark mode makes me feel.
Lee: But I don’t know, my eyes have been feeling great ever since using dark mode.
Tang: I like it lot. I do not like Google Doc dark mode. That’s insane. It doesn’t make any sense, and it’s really hard to write and type and see and do stuff. I have my limits with dark mode.
Stuart: I love Roku.
Paige DiFiore: I love Roku. Alyse Kalish: I’ve used other TVs in the past that have, like, cable or, like, different kinds of TVs, like Apple TV, for example, and they’re a lot harder to navigate and I like how easy Roku is. It’s, like, pretty straightforward. DiFiore: From my understanding, it’s like a magic stick that you plug into your TV and then it kind of makes it, like, a smart TV.
Stuart: Roku is basically a device that puts Netflix, Hulu, and every other streaming service onto your TV.
Kalish: On the remote there’s different buttons for, like, the most popular apps.
DiFiore: It’s basically like if you don’t have a smart TV but you don’t want to buy a new TV, you just get a Roku stick. That’s how I use it.
Stuart: It’s one of the best devices of the decade because it’s platform-agnostic. And the reason that is is because they don’t care what service you want to use. They just want to enable you to get those services and put them on your TV.
Carlson: Everyone talks about 5G, and I’m a sceptic I feel like it’s already fast. But you know what, people are gonna play this video in 5 years, and ten years, they’re gonna be like, “Look at that guy, he’s a moron. He didn’t think 5G was a big deal”
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