The votes have been cast, the results have been tallied, and as the year draws to an end the last thing left to do, the final cap we need to put on it is to announce the 2010 TiPb Readers Choice Award Winners. That's right, your winners -- your favorite news, apps, games, and accessories. And we have them for you... after the break!
iOS Device of the Year: iPhone 4
Yes, our readers chose iPhone 4 over iPad and that's saying something. Whether it was the fabulous Retina Display, the glass and stainless-steel design, the FaceTime video chat, the powerful A4 processor, or all of the above, iPhone 4 not only made us happy, it led Apple to a 14+ million devices sold quarter and that's the ultimate proof of its popularity.
"iPhone 4 is the biggest leap since the original iPhone," said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO. "FaceTime video calling sets a new standard for mobile communication, and our new Retina display is the highest resolution display ever in a phone, with text looking like it does on a fine printed page. We have been dreaming about both of these breakthroughs for decades."
iPhone/iPad Feature of the Year: Multitasking
Narrowly beating out Retina Display, Multitasking has been one of the most requested iOS features since the original iOS device, iPhone 2G, was released in 2007. Well it took 3 years and 4 versions — even longer than copy and paste — but iOS 4 finally brought background tasks to iPhone and iPod touch, and iOS 4.2 is poised to do the same for iPad. Sure, some may quibble that the mix of fast app switching, saved state, background audio, location, and VoIP threads, local and push notifications, etc. (see the full walkthrough for details) aren't "true" multitasking but functionally it achieves what 90% of users need, with minimal impact on battery and management overhead.
iPhone OS 4's new multitasking offers users a new way to quickly move between apps, and provides developers seven new multitasking services to easily add multitasking features to their apps. These services include background audio, so apps like Pandora can play music in the background, and VoIP, so VoIP apps can receive a VoIP call even when the iPhone is asleep or the user is running other apps. iPhone OS 4 provides multitasking to third party apps while preserving battery life and foreground app performance, which has until now proved elusive on mobile devices.
iPhone/iPad #Fail of the Year: White iPhone 4
Apple is usually so on the ball when it comes to managing production and release of their consumer electronics — "great artists ship" is a favorite quote of Apple CEO Steve Jobs — that on the rare occasions when something like the white iPhone 4 fails to materialize it becomes a big story.
We're sorry to disappoint customers waiting for the white iPhone yet again, but we've decided to delay its release until this Spring.
Favorite iPhone Navigation app: NAVIGON Mobile Navigator
NAVIGON MobileNavigator has been at the forefront turn-by-turn navigation apps since Apple brought the functionality to the iPhone. Now, with iOS 4's multitasking background location services, and the latest updates and enhancements to MobileNavigator, not only does it rival traditional dedicated GPS units, but in many ways surpasses them. [iTunes link]
"We're honored that the TiPb.com community voted NAVIGON MobileNavigator as their favorite iPhone navigation app. This award recognizes our dedication to delivering innovation and quality products to consumers now and into the future. The iPhone has been and continues to be an extremely important platform for NAVIGON. It has allowed MobileNavigator to significantly move the category of navigation applications forward; delivering a solution that is the most feature rich navigation application available." – Bernd Hahn, Head of iNavigation at NAVIGON
Favorite Addictive iPhone/iPad app: Angry Birds
Angry Birds is one of those rare games that electrifies a platform, becomes part of every conversation, gets downloaded onto every device and gets enjoyed by every iPhone and iPad user. You load up one of a variety of lethally enraged avians in a catapult and launch them at a bunch of fortified, thieving pigs. It sounds simple until you start playing and don't stop even when the sun goes down and the alarm sounds the next morning. That's what made it a phenomena and with word of a multiplayer option and a sequel in the works (from the pig's perspective no less!) it shows no signs of slowing down any time soon. [iTunes link]
We thank all readers of The iPhone Blog and every fan of Angry Birds for their continuing support," said Ville Heijari, VP of Public Relations at Rovio. "We've worked hard to deliver the best possible game experience on the iPhone, and nothing is more rewarding than the positive feedback we get from our incredible fan community. We will carry on making Angry Birds an even greater game in the future, and rest assured – you have only seen a tiny glimpse of the Angry Birds world!"
Favorite iPhone/iPad Hard Core Game: Modern Combat 2: Black Pegasus
Modern Combat 2: Black Pegasus brought online multiplayer gaming to iOS. What, you need another reason? [iTunes link]
Modern Combat 2: Black Pegasus further improves the exemplary gameplay of the first Modern Combat for an astounding immersion in a modern war experience and one of the most complete FPS multiplayer games on the iPhone.
Favorite iPhone/iPad Entertainment App: Netflix
It took the iPad to finally get media companies to start streaming to iOS, but start streaming they did, Netflix chief among them. iPhone and iPod touch, even Apple TV has Netflix now. It's only available in the US and Canada, granted, and subject to the insanities of Hollywood release windows, but they plan on expanding throughout 2011 and not even Hollywood is immune to the force of change. [iTunes link]
"The innovation and consumer appeal of iPad make it a perfect device for instantly watching TV episodes and movies streamed from Netflix," said Reed Hastings, Netflix co-founder and chief executive officer. "We are excited to make a Netflix App available to iPad users beginning with the iPad launch."
Favorite Jailbreak App: MyWi
In a year of great Jailbreak apps, MyWi still took the top prize. Why? It lets you turn your iPhone into a wireless hotspot. We're not talking tethering here, we're talking taking your 3G signal, treating it like a broadband connection, then using your iPhone like a wireless router and sharing that connectivity with several other devices (for as long as your battery life and data cap allow, at least). For functionality freaks, what could be better?
Favorite Jailbreak Hack: Infinifolders
With iOS 4 Apple gave us the ability to put 12 apps into an iPhone or iPod touch Folder. With iOS 4.2, we were able to put 20 apps into an iPad folder. Know what's more than 12 and 20? Infinity, that's what! And that's just (theoretically!) how many Infinifolders allows.
Note: While Infinfolders got the most votes for a specific hack, "other" actually won this category so to see what else our readers thought deserved top tweak honors, check out their comments.
Favorite iPhone/iPad Protective Case: Otterbox Defender
Otterbox Defender is what I've often referred to as the full plate armor of iPhone and iPad protection. It has layers – a hardened plastic shell and soft silicon skin along with a transparent film to to cover the screen. It's what you use when you want to absolutely, positively keep your iPhone or iPad safe and secure. [iMore Store link]
"Thanks TiPb readers for naming the OtterBox Defender Series the Favorite Protective Case for an iPhone or iPad! We are flattered by the recognition and appreciate the support of every single customer!"
Favorite iPhone/iPad Luxury Case: Element-Case Vapor Case
Machined from a solid block of aircraft grade aluminum and anodized in brilliant color, Element-Case's Vapor Case is about the only thing that can make your iPhone 4 look even more like something out of a sci-fi flick. [Element-Case Store link
Last post of 2010 folks, have a happy New Year! See you in 2011!