FOOD FOR THOUGHT: What we can do now that we couldn’t do in 2014

It’s been quite a year in tech, and we’re going to cover a lot of that in the next week, as we do our traditional wrapup. But during the long weekend, I’ve been thinking about the stuff that was either hard or impossible just two years ago and I thought I’d share that with you. Here’s my short list of stuff you just couldn’t do a couple years ago.

  • Use Windows on a small tablet. Windows 8 on a tiny screen was even worse than Windows 8 on desktop. Windows 10 makes it easy to switch between tablet mode and desktop mode so that it doesn’t matter what size device you’re using.
  • Connect up a 4G booster without going up on the roof. Before the EZ4G, a super-powered 4G booster meant connecting a large outdoor antenna. Now, it’s a piece of cake to get 4G coverage all over the house or office.
  • Buy a 4K TV under $1,000. 4K TV prices have plummeted in 2015, although bargain units forego some features that you may not be able to live without.
  • Actually use Apple Maps. Apple Maps started out as a sincerely dangerous tool, full of errors and problems. Apple really started putting resources into it in 2014, and in the last 18 months or so it’s actually turned usable.
  • Watch DIRECTV programming in 4K. There may not be much, but if you have the proper hardware you can actually record DIRECTV 4K pay-per-view content and play it back. You’ll need a 2015 DIRECTV 4K-Ready TV or C61K client but at least it’s possible.
  • Stop making jokes about RadioShack. This was the year that the old RadioShack finally died, and the new company (though it keeps a low profile) is proving a worthy competitor. I approve.
  • Say “I have AT&T TV” without getting laughed at. Before AT&T and DIRECTV became one, the AT&T Entertainment product wasn’t very appealing at all. Now, teams of engineers are working hard to make the next generation of AT&T services better than anything else on the market.

What about you folks? What else can you think of that you couldn’t do just a year ago?

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.