Inspired by multiple posts on similar lines, I decided to reflect on the products and services that made life better for me in 2014. I enjoyed reading lists authored by several bloggers and thought of curating my own in this post.
Below are the apps, services and gadgets that that had me hooked in 2014.
My primary source for news and interesting stories.
Surfaces interesting content shared by those I follow on Twitter.
Similar to Nuzzel but extends beyond Twitter.
Newsletters, Blogs, Podcasts
a16z, Mattermark, Benedict Evans, Techpinions etc.
Media and Entertainment
Switched from Spotify. No support for Chromecast was a deal-breaker. Combined with ad-free Youtube videos and ability to upload your own music, it offers much better value.
The primary source for TV shows and movies.
Everything else in online video.
Netflix like experience for streaming content from your personal library.
Overview and alerts for all my accounts. Even works with non US financial institutions.
Google Now proactively delivers information to the user that it anticipates they will want, based on their search habits.
All to dos go here. The cross-platform support comes in handy.
The repository for all my documents.
Anything that requires collaboration.
Good LTE coverage and free international data roaming. The best network for those using unlocked phones.
Voicemail to text and cheap international calls. You can use your number over VOIP while traveling overseas.
The best email client for exchange. Strips long email threads into clean chat message streams. I wonder why Google or Microsoft hasn't acquired this gem of an app yet.
Makes it super easy to scythe through the deluge of email on my Gmail account. The email scheduling feature is pretty neat.
Seriously, there is no competition at all in this segment. It's like PC makers don't even bother to compete anymore.
Unarguably the most used gadget that I own.
Use it mainly to read books and watch movies during long flights. Perfect form factor for these use cases.
Simply the best way to stream anything to your TV and turn it into a giant photo frame.
A pocket camera that rivals entry level DSLRs in photo quality. It's rugged too, having survived multiple falls.
Won't ever bother with a regular cab. Have to try out Lyft this year.
Never had a bad experience. It's amazing how Airbnb was able to solve the age old problem of establishing trust between strangers. It's harder than ridesharing.
Still no competition on the horizon when it comes to assortment and product search. Not cheap anymore but fast shipping is addictive.
Google Shopping Express
Will end all grocery trips if they start delivering perishables too. I use it more than I use Amazon. Excellent value when combined with a Costco membership.
I love Costco for the limited but high quality assortment.