With the launch of the iPad Pro and Surface Pro 4, and wearables such as the Apple Watch, 2015 was another big year for technology. Despite this, there were also a number of tech fails which the likes of Google, Samsung and Facebook would rather forget.
Below are some of the biggest tech fails of 2015:
Google Map Maker
Google map maker was intended as a way of letting users update local map areas and keep Google maps up-to-date. Even though the tool has been available since 2008, it wasn’t until May last year that serious issues in the review process came to the surface.
Some of the incidents include an Android robot urinating on an apple logo, and other users writing messages such as “Google Review Policy is crap”, and “Edward Snow Den” on top of the White-house. Google pulled the plug before any anymore damage was done, and it wasn’t until August that the tool was brought back.
Social Media Blunders
Last year Twitter switched the ‘fav’ star to a ‘like’ heart, which caused a large amount of backlash amongst the Twittersphere. An enormous amount of angry tweets followed, where one Twitter user even created a Google Chrome extension that reverts hearts back to stars.
Twitter wasn’t the only platform which faced backlash. Last year, Facebook received criticism after including “fat” in the list of feelings one could select to describe their mood on the social network. The icon and description have since been removed from the feeling bar.
Snapdragon 810 chip was literally too hot
Technically speaking, the Snapdragon 810 was the fastest and most powerful mobile processor Qualcomm released in all of 2015. There was just one small problem: It was prone to overheating. The 810 chip’s overheating problems were so bad it ruined several smartphones like the HTC One M9 and the LG G Flex 2. While many smartphones eventually went with the slightly slower 808 processor instead, the damage had already been done.
2016 smartphones will be featuring Snapdragon 810 v2.1, an upgraded and heat-free variant of the chipset.
Galaxy Note 5 S-Pen Flaw
Samsung’s Galaxy Note 5 came with many new features, but one large design flaw; if the S-Pen stylus is inserted back into the phone the wrong way, it will lose its stylus-detection abilities.
Samsung responded to criticism by pointing to a line in the Note 5 user guide: “Inserting the S Pen the wrong way can cause it to become stuck and can damage the pen and your phone.” Apparently, anyone confused by the poor design choice that can break the almost $800 phone, only has only themselves to blame.
Last but not least one of the most popular gadgets of 2015, the ‘hoverboard’, has been banned in many places worldwide for being highly flammable and extremely dangerous.
Not only does the hoverboard not actually hover, but reports have flooded in regarding hoverboards catching fire and even spontaneously combusting. With Amazon pulling the gadgets from their online store, and airlines such as United, British Airways and Virgin all banning them from flights, hoverboards are facing an Australia-wide ban after one caused a house fire in Melbourne last week.
However, the gadgets’ flammability wasn’t the only reason these wheelie-boards made headlines. Segway is suing the makers of the hoverboard for patent infringement.