What pushed technology forward in 2014?
Here’s a look at our picks for the most innovative gadgets, apps, services, and other tech things to launch this year.
The camera on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus is the best we've ever used on a smartphone. In just about every head-to-head test, it performs better than the competition.
It's becoming clear why Facebook bought virtual reality company Oculus for $US2 billion this year.
The company's latest prototype, the Crescent Cove, is closest to what that final consumer version of the headset will be like. The experience is simply mind blowing and nearly impossible to put into words.
But once you try it, it's hard to disagree with Mark Zuckerberg that this is the next step in personal computing.
What if you didn't have to spend thousands to get a virtual reality experience?
That's the promise of Google Cardboard, an open source project that lets you slot your smartphone into a headset and experience VR on-the-go.
The Moto 360 may have problems like limited battery life, but it proved smartwatches don't have to look like chunky mini-smartphones strapped to your wrist. It even comes with a nice leather band.
Many have promised to make your credit card obsolete by using your smartphone, but no one has pushed that promise forward as much as Apple with the launch of Apple Pay. Apple Pay lets you buy stuff in stores by tapping your iPhone 6 or 6 Plus against a special payment pad. It's available at more retailers than similar solutions from Google and PayPal, and it could become the dominant mobile payments platform.
The OnePlus One may only cost about $US300, but it's just as powerful and capable as the best Android phones out there that cost at least twice as much.
The One is only available for purchase with an invitation from the company or a current owner, but expect wider availability with a new version of the device next year.
Lyft Line is a new service from ridesharing company Lyft that lets you carpool with other Lyft users.
The app automatically pairs you with another rider who is headed in the same general direction as you. The two of you then split the fare.
The result? Cheaper rides that are just as convenient as a regular Lyft ride.
However, Lyft Line is only available in San Francisco and Los Angeles for now.
We have never seen a computer with a screen as good as the one on Apple's new iMac with Retina display. It packs nearly 15 million pixels onto a 27-inch screen. Words don't do it justice. You have to see it to believe it.
The downside? It ain't cheap. The new iMac starts at $US2,500.
Lollipop, the newest version of Android, launched this fall to very positive reviews.
Google gave the new Android a complete redesign and improved everything from notifications to security. Some critics have even said it's better than iOS, the operating system for iPhones and iPads.
After about a four-year wait, Microsoft finally released a version of Microsoft Office for iPad. This fall, it released a version for iPhone too.
It's a smart move for Microsoft as it becomes more open to developing productivity tools for rival platforms like iOS and Android. And it's a good first step to make sure Microsoft software is everywhere, not just Windows machines.
There's still plenty more to come in 2015. Here are some cool gadgets and other tech products to look out for in the coming months:
Apple will release the Apple Watch in early 2015.
Apple may also release a bigger version of the iPad.
Windows 10 should launch launch by the end of the year. Based on an early version, it looks like it will fix a lot of gripes people have with Windows 8.
Samsung is expected to release a phone with a bendable screen.
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