Well, another week just went by like a flash, and we at NextPit are here, once again, with what we think are the Winners and Losers of this week. This is the penultimate Winners and Losers piece of 2020, and we really hope that 2021 is a harbinger of good news for everyone in the tech community and for humankind. Anyway, as the world prepares to celebrate a subdued Christmas, let us first take a look at what happened in the world of tech in the past seven days. We will then proceed to talk about our Winners and Losers of the week gone by.
This week literally began with a bang with users worldwide waking up to a world without Google services. For well over 50 minutes on Monday, December 14, most of the major Google applications - including Gmail, YouTube, Maps, and Drive amongst others stopped working. The topic was immediately trending on Twitter and other social media platforms. While the outage was a minor annoyance for most people, there were others for whom the outage was, well, a bit more serious. For example, people who had set up their smart homes using Google’s Nest platform woke up to unlocked doors, non-functional lights, and thermostats going haywire. Needless to say, the outage reignited the debate about Google having too much power over our lives.
This was another week where we did not see too many product launches in the west. Things were different, of course in India where this week saw the launch of two new Xiaomi products - the Redmi 9 Power, and a new 55-inch TV. Another rather interesting launch was a new laptop from - believe it or not - Nokia! As of now, this product too remains an India-exclusive.
For Samsung fanboys, this was a great week since the first detailed renders of the company’s upcoming Samsung Galaxy S21 were revealed for the first time. This week also saw Qualcomm release a benchmarking video of its new flagship SoC- the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888. With Exynos’ flagship and mid-range chips also promising massive performance boosts, 2021 will certainly be an exciting year for CPU nerds.
Winners of the week: Android and iOS users
We had no choice but to choose you, the user, as the winners of the week thanks to two major developments. For Android users, Qualcomm and Google reminded us about the nearly forgotten Project Treble – the purpose of which was to enhance the OS and security update mechanism on Android devices. Starting with the new Snapdragon 888 chip, Android devices will get much better at receiving timely updates. Until now, only Google’s own Pixel series of smartphones promised updates for at least three years of OS updates. With Project Treble, expect other manufacturers to join in and offer similar update cycles for some of their flagship-class phones.
On the iOS side, users were the winners again. But the reason for them becoming the winners has something to do without our loser of the week. Facebook. Read on to find out.
Loser of the week: Facebook who is annoyed with Apple’s new privacy changes
A week after Apple started displaying privacy labels for apps, Facebook started a campaign against a soon-to-be-implemented privacy feature. In the next few months, Apple is expected to make it mandatory for all iOS apps to ask users for permission to gather data. This feature, which was initially supposed to debut with iOS 14, was delayed so that developers get time to adapt to the new rules. Anyway, Facebook, whose entire business model is dependent on the data it harvests from its users, is anxious about the upcoming changes.
The company launched a series of full-page advertisements that claimed that Apple’s upcoming changes would be ‘devastating for small businesses’. The ads go on to claim that Apple’s new policies will “change the internet as we know it for the worse”. What Facebook chose not to reveal in their ads was the fact that these changes, first and foremost, will impact their revenue and ad business. It was also outright funny to see Facebook claiming to be concerned about small business owners. Like really!
Anyway, do you agree with the winners and losers of the week? Or did you have any other candidates in mind for these positions? Do let us know in the comments below.