My Favourite Gadget, Book, App and Award in 2015

Every year I list my favourite gadget, book and app from the last twelve months, so here they are:

Favourite gadget

Gone are the days of opening Word. Now its a case of "Which Word?"
Windows 10 – a second placing for new technology of 2015

In early December my trusty Samsung S4 finally died. It had a few battle scars from daily use (read: abuse) yet worked well. One day it decided not to charge its battery any longer and despite changing a few components it was time to replace it. I had the offer of an iPhone but chose a Samsung S6 (you should have seen the look on my kids’ faces at the prospect of turning down an iPhone) – and I love it. It’s fast, big (almost tablet like) and stable. It’s the best phone I’ve owned.

Another contender is Windows 10 (OK, not really a gadget, but new technology). I’ve run Windows 10 on my Surface Pro 3 since early beta in February and really like it. I’m so used to it that last week I used a Windows 8 laptop and couldn’t understand why so much of it was difficult and clunky. Windows 10 still feels rough around the edges though – some commands show the old control panel and some the new one.

But my favourite gadget this year is the GoPro Hero 4 Silver. I have borrowed one from a colleague at Endava for a month – to use while I climb Kilimanjaro in January. The GoPro is a feat of technology engineering. It’s miniature, captures extremely high quality video at a high frame rate so that you can slow it down, and in its housing, almost indestructible. All for £250 – remarkable.

Favourite book

I haven’t read many business books this year – I think I overdid it in 2014 and so I’ve read some auto-biographies and hobby-related books instead.

I struggled (read: I didn’t manage) to finish Disrupt IT! and Authenticity.

We are using Lean canvas for some clients, and I bought a copy of Lean Enterprise, which was only released in January. I like Lean Enterprise, with its anecdotes, experience and simple methodologies.

I have a stack of books to read in 2016 and hopefully I’ll actually be able to finish each of them.

Favourite app

Kingsman - a great film, and the real life gadgets are almost as good as the fictional ones
Kingsman – a great film, and the real life gadgets are almost as good as the fictional ones

I still love (yup, that’s the right word) Strava to capture all my running and cycling – over 200 miles and 2,000 miles respectively for 2015!

Special mention goes to the Android Microsoft Office apps, which I’ve only used since I got my new S6, but seem to be feature-rich and stable.

I’ve also buckled under family and social pressure to install WhatsApp, but I don’t like it. I’m a big fan of social media but WhatsApp is a different level of alerts and interruptions.

Mrs H and I have watched the latest blockbuster films via Google Play, and the app is superb. The Google Play second screen experience is the reality of what we were dreaming of in 2010. Together with Chromecast it is my favourite app of 2015.

Favourite award

For the second year running my favourite award is for the eConsultancy Top 100 Digital Agencies. In order of revenue, Endava came 13th – we are the top independent agency and the top technical agency, and due to the timing of the award being submitted, that was based on our 2014 financials. I’m super proud of the team around me at Endava and the work we’ve produced.


This leaves me to wish everyone who reads this site, and your family, a wonderful holiday period, together with a healthy, happy and prosperous new year.

3 thoughts on “My Favourite Gadget, Book, App and Award in 2015

  1. Nice one. I got the S6 edge this year and love it. Brilliant screen and fast. Windows 10 for free was great as it returned my old friend the Start button! Having tried loads if IoT things Samsung Gear Fit won, but is probably old tech already, Tag connected watch next I think. Airbnb for my best app. WhatsApp I’m used to now but it’s still Skype 1st, FB chat, WhatsApp and Wechat then SMS based on my usage.

    1. Thanks for the feedback Malcolm. You’ve raised some good contenders. I still won’t get a connected watch until the battery lasts longer than a week (or has kinetic charging).

  2. I finally changed my Blackberry for an iPhone just before Christmas and I then got myself an Apple Watch, love it, battery lasts just under 2 days but I always take my watch off overnight so there is no change to my routine to charge it. I love how the two work together. I’ve taken a few phone calls on the watch and it works really well (as long as no one is nearby to give you strange looks!). The activity tracking is good, especially at the gym and getting notifications to the watch instead of having to get the phone out and unlock it is handy. Sat Nav is good, I get in the car, say, Hey Siri direct me to home, it starts the directions and at every turn the watch taps me on the wrist to let me know something is coming up. It’s not essential but I do like it.

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