Year in Review | Top tech stories of the year
Year in Review | Top tech stories of the year

Representational image of a robot hand and a human hand appearing to touch
| Photo Credit: REUTERS

Be it electric vehicles, cryptocurrency, internet accessibility, gadget launches, artificial intelligence, or Big Tech firms, 2022 was a year that irreversibly changed the tech and fintech sectors. New innovations and exciting developments came alongside multi-billion dollar crashes and legal investigations. Exhilarating discoveries were followed by privacy concerns, ethics debates, and even safety risks.

On the last day of 2022, we take a look at some of The Hindu’s biggest tech stories and their impact on people across the globe.

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1. Apple’s App Store meets its nemesis in the East

Apple’s app store takes a cut of developers’ earnings whenever users buy an app or make in-app purchases; a tradition that even Twitter CEO Elon Musk attacked in late 2022. However, in March this year, South Korea’s competition regulator approved an enforcement ordinance that was meant to shatter the dominance of Apple and Google’s app stores. The new rule stopped giants like Google and Apple from forcing developers to use their native payment systems on the app marketplaces. The developer community is waiting to see whether other countries will roll out similar regulations in 2023.

2. How Apple Watch Ultra compares against the Garmin Epix 2

2022 saw Apple releasing its most expensive smartwatch, which it also said was the brightest watch it had ever produced. With a 49mm titanium case and a claim that it could withstand 36 hours of usage, the Apple Watch Ultra was a formidable release aimed at premium device buyers who are devoted to adventure sports. However, Apple is not the only company with a horse in the smartwatch race, as the Garmin Epix 2 also targets a similar segment of buyers. Our comparison lays out the pros and cons of each product so that gadget lovers can make the choice that is right for them.

3. Explained | Can virtual servers bypass India’s VPN rules?

Companies providing VPN services to India-based users in order to help them maintain their privacy online were spooked by the Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) cybersecurity agency’s directions to maintain their customers’ logs for a set period of time, store customer data, and report cyber crimes within hours of them taking place. Companies such as NordVPN and Surfshark spoke to The Hindu, explaining how they were relocating their servers in order to cater to India-based users while also complying with the laws of the land.

4. Explained | What are the challenges of fiberisation ahead of India’s 5G deployment?

Despite the strong presence of telecom service providers (TSPs) in the country and the availability of relatively cheap data, India lags behind other nations when it comes to the deployment of 5G technology. In order to access 5G technology, one vital step is fiberisation, or connecting radio towers with optical-fibre cables. The investment needed for the project is likely to be in the lakhs of crores of rupees. Adding to that, different state bodies are not coordinating when it comes to the adoption of the Right of Way (RoW) rules that standardise the process of laying overground telegraph lines.

5. A shadow library ban pits publishers against free information activists

Students and others who could not afford to buy paywalled academic books often relied on pirated book databases online, or shadow libraries, where they could download these materials for free. SciHub was a destination for scientific papers while Z-Library offered everything from unreleased novels to scholarly journals. The original publishers of these works have launched an international effort to have such databases shut down. In 2022, Z-Library was brought to court in India.

6. Explained | The FTX fallout and what’s next for crypto

Cryptocurrency went out with a bang in 2022, as the final months of the year saw the collapse of the FTX crypto exchange, after allegations that customers’ funds were being lent to a sister company. FTX CEO, the now ex-billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried was arrested as a long line of creditors and customers waited to claim their assets. The stormy court case will extend well into 2023, with huge repercussions for an already volatile sector that is often associated with the Dark Web and illicit activities.

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