My Year in Tech Purchases – It’s All (At Least) Good


My 2015 saw many new gadgets enter my life. While they are all good, some are great. Here is my ranking of the various devices that I acquired in 2015.

my-apple-watch21. Apple Watch Sport

While the Apple Watch has not seen stellar press, I love my Apple Watch. It enables me to read and reply to text messages, see where my next meeting is and see who is calling, all without touching my iPhone.  Technically, I could answer and place calls as well but that’s a bit too Dick Tracy-ish for me.  But, maybe, someday.  Its Weather and Activity apps are also favorites. Since I am no longer tethered to my iPhone at home, I also find myself using my watch to ping my iPhone when I am leaving the house. While not a true game changer for me, it still significantly impacted my techscape.

 

amazon fire2. Amazon Fire

I never thought I’d see the day where a $50 Android tablet would be #2 on my list but it definitely is. While I use it mostly to play games from Amazon Underground, the fact that the games are totally free has enabled me to recoup the price of the tablet (and then some).

 

echo33. Amazon Echo

Yes, Amazon strikes again. I will admit that the ‘always on’ factor, meaning that ‘Alexa’ was always listening, kind of creeped me out at first but I am so over it. I use Alexa mostly to find out the news and weather and to play either my music that I’ve uploaded or Prime Music since I am an Amazon Prime member. She is also a pretty cool kitchen timer. She is also a trivia buff and has recently added Star Wars trivia to her repertoire. Not a big Star Wars fan but still pretty cool.

 

apple-tv-4th-gen24.  Apple TV (4th generation)

My family has had an Apple TV for a few years and it has served us well. Still, I couldn’t resist a new Apple TV with its App Store, Siri integration and much improved remote. We were unsure whether to get the 32GB version ($149) or the 64GB version ($199). For the extra $50, we opted for the 64GB version. I didn’t want to have ‘deficient storage regret’ later on for the sake of $50.

 

nest5.  Nest Thermostat

The ability to adjust the thermostat using an app on my phone definitely makes this one of the better purchases in 2015. If I am going to be out for the day and are unsure of when I will return, I can turn the thermostat down (or up) before I leave and then adjust it with the app an hour or so before I return. It also learns your habits so it adjusts accordingly automatically.


 

iphone 66.  iPhone 6

I am a fan of the iPhone but with all of the ‘cool stuff’ I bought this year, my iPhone 6 finishes, well, sixth. If I had an iPhone 6s with its rose gold finish and 3D Touch, it most likely would have finished higher but still not at the top of the heap.

 

tile7.  Tile

Since my husband and I always seem to be losing something (devices, keys, wallets, etc.), we bought several Tiles this year.  Pretty cool and definitely useful when you are trying to find that lost article.

 

extender8.  Wi-fi Extender

My family was having issues with network connectivity on our second floor since our router is in the basement. We bought a NETGEAR N300 Wi-fi Range Extender and put it in our dining room on our first floor. We get a much stronger signal on the second floor now.

 

speaker9.  Portable Bluetooth Speaker

I like to listen to music when I am washing our cars. I’m really not a headphones person and playing the car radio wasn’t cutting it. I bought an AmazonBasics Ultra Portable Micro Bluetooth speaker. For what I need (good quality but not prime quality), it definitely fits the bill.

 

radios210.  2-way Radios

Definitely more of an ‘old school’ purchase. My husband and I are members of a Corvette club. For some of our excursions, we use 2-way radios to keep in touch. We bought Motorola MG160A radios.  With their 16-mile range and 22 channels capability, we found them to function quite well on our trip.


 

As you can see, I acquired a wide range of new gadgets in 2015, some more high tech than others. While I definitely use some of them daily and others I use infrequently, they were all good (and some great) purchases. No buyer remorse.

How about you, did you treat yourself to any new tech during the year?

 

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About the Author

Judy Novotny

Judy is a computer veteran with 30 years of experience. She has owned everything from a TRS-80, Apple IIe and various Windows-based PCs. She is currently living in her Apple ecosystem at home consisting of an iPhone, iPad, iMac, MacBook, Apple TV, iPod nano and two Time Capsules. She is a fan of all things mobile since she got her first Palm Pilot in 1999. Check out her iPad app, Number Wizard, in the App Store. Follow her on Twitter @junovotech or at Junovo.com.

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