Changelog - First Fortnight of 2016

In the Changelog I go through the top news in tech and mobile, and maybe provide a few extra snippets. Opinions are my own, and links provided are to my preferred news sources.

We're into 2016 and this is the first Changelog of the year. 2016 started with the tech news explosion that was CES, the Consumer Electronics Show, which is held in Las Vegas. CES is a massive trade-show where most consumer electronics and tech companies have some sort of presence. Nowadays there are less actual product launches during the show as tech news lifespan during CES is short lived. Below are the main CES Changelog items.

Huawei announce the Honor 5X for the US market. A mid-range Android device in price, but which delivers considerable bang for buck, you'll only have to put down $199 for it when it goes on sale towards the end of this month. This is a very US-centric announcement as the Honor 5X has already been available in China for a while and is expected to come to Europe "soon". Phil Nickinson of Android Central did a good hands-on with the 5X.

Huawei also announced the Jewel and  Elegant editions of the Huawei Watch. Thanks to Alex Dobie for pandering to my "mockodile thing" in his tweet.

Car Tech was a big thing at CES 2016. Most automotive companies now want to use the consumer electronics and systems on board their vehicles to be a value-add proposition for thier customers. Lots of talk about smartphone integrations, as well as Ford showing off Amazon's Echo integreation. Below is Yahoo Tech's quick video summary.

Hoverboards and CES. I dislike using the term, because if it doesn't hover or have a Mattel logo in my view it isn't a hoverboard. Heavy! Anyway, these mini-segway thingamabobs were very popular towards the end of 2015 to the point that "user testing" prove they are not entirely "consumer proof" [insert rant about average customers of consumer electronics]. When in Asia on business last year they were a very big thing in Shenzhen and I was tempted to put a disco-light boombox two-wheeler in my suitcase on the way back. Many different "hoverboard" companies were at CES, but what caught my attention was the booth raided by authorities due to patent complaints.

Android distribution numbers. Moving away from CES, Google announced the Dashboard update for Android distribution numbers. This is always an interesting snapshot of where Android is in Google markets. Lollipop (Android 5.x) is now more than 32% of the devices using the Google Play Store. Marshmallow (Android 6.x) has just passed 0.7% of the market. Gingerbread (Android 2.3.x) has now almost completely sunsetted at 3%. Full Android Dashboard report here.

BBC 3 new logo unveiled. The BBC showed off the new BBC 3 logo and the interwebs went a bit bananas. I'm not sure what went on at the BBC, but I have a gut feel that they just wanted to troll everyone. Some were angry and most of us just sat back and chuckled. I even made my own effort with a banana for scale, obviously.

March Of The Droids 2016 tickets are now on sale. I'll be at the event this year MCing. A great Android themed event and an occasion for you to meet like-minded people in real life, this year the event takes place in Edinburgh. Purchase your tickets here.

Microsoft discontinues support for IE 8, 9 and 10. This is actually a good thing for the internet. It will eventually force more users onto more modern browsers. Edge has me pleasantly surprised by how good it is. Brave move from Microsoft which also will improve things for the rest of us.

Skyscanner, my employer, was in the news too. This news confirms Skyscanner is a company well set for doing great things going forward.

Xiaomi announced the Redmi 3. At the price point it will deliver incredible value for money, as well as good battery life (4000 mAh) and a bit more of a quality build. It is on my shopping list. More on the announcement here.