Two Days Matter

I love news, which is why Tab Dump exists, but I need to be honest: For over half a decade, I haven't been reporting the news as much as I've been hyping it. You see, manufacturing hype isn't just something a public relations person does, journalists are a key part of the process. Chances are you've heard the cliché already, that there's always something new around the corner. I'll forgive you for believing that lie. 

You're probably thinking that I'm an old and cynical bastard, but give me a chance to walk you through 2014 the way I see it. Every January, like clockwork, the Consumer Electronics Show takes place. It's been over a month and a half since this year's CES, do you remember anything from it other than a giant bendable television? Exactly.

Then there's Mobile World Congress in February. A whole bunch of phones will be announced, each of them being slightly better than the phones from last year; we'll even see the Galaxy S5. It doesn't matter what the S5 will look like, how much it's going to cost, or what components Samsung decides to put inside, it's a phone that will sell tens of millions of units because of Samsung's marketing muscle.

March is when HTC will announce their new phone, and you can expect the media to call it a flagship competitor that can do battle with the Galaxy S5, despite the fact that HTC doesn't stand a chance because they make pocket change compared to their Korean rival.

April is when Microsoft will unveil Windows Phone 8.1, and guess what, journalists will find something to hate about it, despite all the improvements, because hating on Microsoft will always be in fashion. Bing? Outlook? Come on.

Switching platforms now, Google will host I/O in May, and they'll probably say something about Android. I sincerely hope they don't have a seven and a half hour keynote like they did last year, because that talk broke the souls of many good men. We'll likely get some more information about Glass as well, but don't expect the public to all of a sudden think Glass is socially acceptable.

June is Apple's big month. They'll talk to developers about all the new things that are going to come in the next version of iOS and Mac OS X. I'll come back to this later. Let's move on to July, the month when everyone takes a vacation, because hey, we're human after all.

LG will announce something "big" in August, because they know that when September rolls around, Samsung will be at IFA with their next generation Note. Like the Galaxy S5, it doesn't matter what the new Note will look like, how much it'll cost, or what chips Samsung puts inside it, it'll sell at least 10 million units. And as for LG's device from August that I mentioned at the beginning of this paragraph, no one remembers who wins bronze.

New iPhone in October. It'll be faster, lighter, thinner, bigger, and everyone will want it.

New Nexus phone in November. It'll be faster, lighter, thinner, and nerds will want it.

And then finally, December. A month where we all reflect about what's happened.

So is everything boring? Absolutely not. But out of the 365 days that make up the year, there are only two days that truly matter in the grand scheme of things. That's right, just two. And neither of them have anything to do with hardware.

The first day is the Apple WWDC keynote, because what gets announced there will shape how applications look and feel during the next 12 months. Developers will learn about what new things Apple will let them do with their apps, and I can't emphasize enough how important software is. As pretty as an iPhone is on the outside, it's a useless piece of junk if you can't make it run the bits that made the iPhone what it is today.

The second day is the Google I/O keynote. I like to think of Google as Willy Wonka's chocolate factory. Sure, Google releases a bunch of things throughout the year, but they only really open the gates and let people have a peek at how they work during their annual I/O event. Whatever Google says on this day will give us some clues about their future strategy. Last year, they couldn't shut up about Google+, and if you think about it, what we've seen during these last nine months is Google's (useless) social network slide its tentacles into everything that the company does.

But what about Amazon? They're trying to make logistics as cost effective as possible. That's boring. Surely all these new devices will let us do things we weren't able to do last year? You can make the A7 in the iPad Air 100x faster, it's still not going to be any better if it runs the same software. Same thing regarding Android. And what about services like Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, LINE, and so on? They're in a race to add new users, not reinvent the wheel, so by that definition alone, they're all pretty boring too.

Why did I even write this? Because I know that this time next week, every morning I open up my RSS reader, I'm going to swear at my laptop at the language people use to talk about the random widgets and gizmos that are on display in Barcelona. Never mind that these objects will be forgotten in a less than a month, as long as journalists tell you they're new, then those objects somehow become interesting.

Welcome to the news.