Review of the Year 2022

Dylan Pepler

Dylan Pepler

Things certainly don’t stand still in the technology space. The tech and telecoms world is constantly evolving and improvements, innovations and changes be that good or bad are constantly making the news and improving our lives.

This year we saw 5G and fibre connectivity improving (in certain areas), ChatGPT launched, the Metaverse featured across tech publications (it became one of the tech buzzwords of the year), Dyson gave us an air purifying headset, the Nothing 1 smartphone launched and is set to (possibly) disrupt the smartphone market and the list goes.

The way we work has changed dramatically. Many of us won’t return to the workplace we knew. Companies are still working out how to adapt to meet the tech needs of employees. We’re seeing more stakeholders involved in the decision-making process, and demand is being driven by employees to heads of departments and upwards.

We said farewell to some technologies and tech companies that were stalwarts of the industry. The Blackberry faded away at the beginning of the year; we saw UK video conferencing company, StarLeaf, go into administration, the iPod died, Meta Portal was phased out and a few more that we cover in December’s breakdown.

In our review of the year, we’ll take a month by month look at what happened over the course of 2022 in the world of tech and telecoms.

Let’s get into it…

January

We said goodbye to Blackberry on January 4. Blackberry announced that any devices running on their Blackberry OS will stop working. A sad day for a company that was a pioneer in the smartphone game. To reminisce the good old days of Blackberry, here are five things you heard if you had a Blackberry. 

January also saw Vodafone reintroduce roaming charges in Europe, one of the first mobile operators to do so as regulations changed post Brexit. EE followed shortly after in March with O2 still putting a handbrake on charges in Europe… for the time being.

CES, the tech exhibition, experienced a tough year. Lenovo, Amazon, T-Mobile, BMW, Mercedes and more pulled out of the in-person event. They also had to call off the last day due to COVID concerns. Check out The Verge’s breakdown of the best things they saw at CES 2022.

Our thirst for PCs, gaming, cars, cloud storage (and other products that require a chip), while the lack of supply due to multiple factors meant the chip shortage continued into 2022, and Deloitte predict it will last well into 2023

Our partner Konftel launched an interactive map to help you choose the right video equipment for your rooms. Click on the image below to try it out. 

Source: Konftel

February

TechRadar provided some insight into the future of conferencing, spoiler: informal is on the rise. We’ll see the use of Q&A’s, polling and more people using emoji’s. Read the article.

Qualcomm announced the first 5G AI chip capable of 10-gigabit 5G connectivity.

Apple admitted they have a security problem with the AirTag. The AirTag is used to track personal belongings through the Find My app, however people are using it as an effective stalking tool. 

At Samsung’s Unpacked event they announced a the new Samsung S22 range, the Galaxy S22, S22 Plus and S22 Ultra. Subtle changes were made from last year’s S21 devices, a trend we hear more about later on. At the time The Verge believed it was the Android device you should purchase.  Here’s TechRadar’s review of the S22 range. 

Source: Three

March

The UK Government announced plans to erase mobile coverage ‘not spots’ in rural areas and roll out next-generation 5G, under new barrier-busting laws. They also slashed the red tape from 5G rollouts to help boost mobile coverage quicker.

HP announced plans to purchase the leading provider of workplace collaboration solutions Poly in a deal reported to cost $3.3bn. HP completed the deal in August.

Is Google all in on headphones? They’ve been on a buying spree, acquiring four audio companies in recent years suggesting they are going to take a big swing at the headphone market. 

Whilst we’re talking headphones… Dyson launched their new air-purifying headphones, which launched the day before April fools but this was no joke. Later on in the year the Dyson Zone was launched, coming in at an eye watering £749. The first reviews have started to trickle in as I write this (21st December), if you’re considering buying one or are just curious here are some reviews from TrustedReviews – Gizmodo – T3.

 

Source: Pocket-lint

April

Google Japan love to crack jokes on April Fools day, this year it was the 1.6 metre keyboard

Apple announced they could be turning the iPhone into a recurring subscription-based service.

UC Today outlined the benefits of Direct Routing. If you’re considering making calls in Microsoft Teams, read this blog from UC Today. Even though they wrote this back in April 2022, the benefits of Direct Routing haven’t changed. 

Poly released the new Poly Sync 10, the all-in-one USB speakerphone for home offices.

Our partner 8×8 created an eBook that looked beyond 2022 and what the future holds for cloud communication, agility, CX, and EX. Download and read their eBook, most points are still relevant as we move into 2023 – Business communication trends 2022.

Source: 8x8

May

MacRumours reported that a UK consumer champion is lodging a £750 million legal claim against Apple over the 2017 iPhone throttling controversy. Apple was accused of slowing down older devices.

New USB-C charging rules were announced and this is what it meant for the iPhone.

We hope you’ll forgive us for a little self promotion – May also saw us, Blackstar, nominated in IT & Telecoms Support category of the Go:Tech Awards, something we’re very proud of. Our support and account team work hard to provide an excellent service to our clients and they were thrilled to be nominated.

Source: Canva

June

Apple held their Worldwide Developers Conference, here are the 16 biggest announcements. One of the biggest ovations of the conference came when they announced you could edit and un-send text, this was clearly something users have been begging Apple to do. 

StarLeaf, the UK based video conferencing provider, entered into administration

UC Today outline the hottest 2022 trends in UC Endpoints. Highlighting that decision makers need to consider what hardware the end users need to be productive. The latest trends are a good place to start to understand the endpoint landscape and making the right decision.

Zoom launched Zoom One, their all-in-one communication and collaboration offering. 

Mitel announced they are sunsetting MiVoice Connect by the end of 2029. Mitel also put an end of sale on many of its cloud products in June 2022. These included MiCloud Connect, Teamwork, MiCloud Contact Centre and MiCloud Flex. It’s unclear when support for these products will end. We created the video below to outline options to consider if you are thinking about moving away from Mitel. 

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July

July was the month of firing in the big tech industry. Microsoft sacked 1% of its 180,000 workforce, then a further 1,200 in August. Lay offs were a trend in the industry as large tech companies expected post pandemic growth to continue, sadly this wan’t the case and inflation also played its part. Microsoft weren’t the only ones; the likes of Netflix, Lyft, Meta, Twitter, Amazon, Google, Salesforce and more all laid off staff in 2022. 

Google debuted their Magic Eraser tool (see image below) which is designed to remove unwanted people, objects, animals etc. from your photos. Pixel users in the office love this feature. 

The Nothing 1 smartphone launched, the first phone from the British tech company Nothing. The distinctive looking device has a translucent back, featuring hundreds of LEDs that are used for notifications and retails at £399. The device received 4 out of 5 from reputable smartphone reviewers. 

Our client Eloquent Technologies talk about their experience using us to deploy their 8×8 cloud phone system in this case study.

Source: PhoneArena

August

The Microsoft Inspire 2022 event that occurred virtually in August announced new features such as collaborative annotations, shared channels, video clip and chat to self. Read more on the event.

8×8 announced what’s new with their communication APIs including enhanced user experience and increased team efficiency.

LastPass, the leading password manager, experienced a security breach. They announced in December that malicious actors obtained a trove of personal information.

The UK announced plans to ‘unleash’ 5G and 6G innovation.

We launched ClarifyGo, which allows Microsoft Teams users to record every type of communication, including Teams calls, video conferencing and screen sharing. 

Source: Microsoft

September

The iPhone 14 is launched with reviewers not being that impressed. Some reviews pitched it as a slightly better iPhone 13S. Further troubles hit Apple when they halted production of the iPhone 14 Pro due to poor sales. 

Apple also dropped the Mini from their range, and announced updates to their AirPods, Watch range and Apple Fitness+. 

Not to be outdone Amazon also held an event in September to give us an update on their products. These were the 11 biggest announcements at Amazon’s hardware launch event.

European telecoms chiefs called on tech firms to share internet network costs.

Source: Apple

October

Zoom and Teams enter the Metaverse! The two giant UC companies have partnered with Meta to bring their communications platforms to its VR workspaces.  

Whilst we’re on the Metaverse topic…Met held Meta Connect, their annual event dedicated to the company’s latest AR and VR releases. The made promising announcements across important VR use cases such as gaming, fitness, social experiences and work. 

The Google Pixel 7 launched in October – read a full review of the Pixel 7.

According to our partner RingCentral the “Phone is still King” 

Source: PCMag

November

The news came in November that UK broadband speeds are rising, 18% from a year ago and by 60% since 2018. Thank goodness! The good news is the Government has a target of providing Gigabit capability to 85% of the UK by 2025. This is thanks to our partners CityFibre and ITS, who are building their own fibre networks at a rapid rate.

Blackstar became a Faster Britain partner. we’re responsible for promoting and installing full-fibre connectivity to businesses in Bristol. 

We also announced our referral program, you can earn up to £1,000 by introducing us to companies you know. 

ChatGPT launched, the new AI Bot with a difference. Its powerful AI system can reply to questions in conversational language. Some early predictions boldly claim it will be a Google killer. It can write poems, generate programming code and even write an english essay and pass. I should have asked it to write this for me! 

Teams tops the Gartner Magic Quadrant for UCaaS. We’re pleased to see 4 of our 5 strategic UCaaS partners (8×8, Teams, RingCentral and Zoom) in the top quadrant. 8×8 hit a milestone by being named a leader for the 11th consecutive year, more than any other vendor in the industry. 

Source: Gartner

December

The text message celebrated its 30th birthday this December. Fun fact, the first text message sent read “Merry Christmas”. The message was sent on an Orbitel 901, weighing a whopping 2.1kgs the equivalent of 12 iPhone 14s. 

Avaya edge closer to Chapter 11 bankruptcy... again. Their shares fell 97% in 2022. Are we going to see another telco swoop in and buy them out or is there a way out of their financial troubles… response coming in 2023. 

The BBC launched their Work in Review report for 2022, outlining the five biggest lessons of the year. 

We know this is a little late for Christmas but Gizmodo have provided a list of the best gadgets of 2022… and the most disappointing. 

In memoriam: Tech that died in 2022

Here are some of the biggest tech trends of 2023, according to 40 experts. 

woman on 8x8 phone to 8x8 reseller

Some 2023 telecoms resolutions....

We’re creeping closer to the ISDN switch off – make sure you don’t leave it to the last moment to switch. There will be a backlog of requests. Start considering your options now. 

As the BBC report outlines, hybrid work isn’t going anywhere – are you properly set up to collaborate and communicate with remote teams in the UK or abroad? Is this something you want (and need) to optimise? 

We’re also seeing vast improvements in connectivity, be that 5G or full-fibre networks. Connectivity is vital to a companies productivity. Say no to buffering in 2023!

With prices increasing everywhere you look you may want to consider consolidating your communication tools into one platform to reduce costs. Other ways of reducing costs include SIM only mobile tariffs or reviewing what you pay for your internet connection. 

You may have guessed where I’m going with this…we can help! Contact us using the form below and tell us what your challenges have been in 2022 and what you want to rectify in 2023. 

We would love to hear from you. 

Get in touch