Tech News

The Biggest and Best Tech News Stories of 2017

Dave Parrack 22-12-2017

The end of the year is nigh, and 2017 has been an epic year for technology. We thought it would be a good idea to look back over the past year in tech news to see which stories made the headlines. But remember, we try to cover tech news you can make use of, as that’s our thing…



In January, Netflix launched a new app for DVD rentals Netflix Launches a New App for DVD Rentals Netflix has launched a new app dedicated to DVD rentals. Which are, apparently, still a thing. I know, we're shocked too! Read More , Instagram added ads to Stories Your Instagram Stories Now Come With Adverts Instagram is adding adverts to Instagram Stories. Thankfully these video ads aren't going to be as bad as all that. But still, they're ads, and no one likes ads. Read More , Chrome added support for FLAC files You Can Now Play FLAC Audio Files in Google Chrome With the release of Chrome 56, Google Chrome is finally adding support for FLAC. Audiophiles around the world, rejoice! Read More , Samsung explained why the Galaxy Note 7 exploded Why the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Keeps Exploding Samsung has finally figured out what was causing the Galaxy Note 7 to explode. Now it can focus on salvaging consumer confidence in the Samsung brand. Read More , Google announced all new Chromebooks would run Android apps All New Chromebooks Will Run Android Apps Any new Chromebooks launched in 2017 and beyond will ship with access to the Google Play Store included as standard without the need for an update. Read More , and HP recalled 101,000 batteries HP Recalls 101,000 Laptop Batteries, So Check Yours Now HP is recalling 101,000 laptop batteries deemed to be at risk of overheating. Thankfully, HP is offering a free replacement battery to everyone affected. Read More .


In February, Club Penguin went offline Club Penguin Dies and Generation Z Cries With the passing of Club Penguin, the world will lose one of the first online communities Generation Z forged in its own image. Albeit with penguins. Read More , Sony added support for external hard drives on the PS4 You Can Now Use an External Hard Drive on Your PS4 With the next software update, PS4 owners will be able to download, install, and access games on an external hard drive. And about time too. Read More , WhatsApp enabled two-step verification You Can Now Enable Two-Step Verification on WhatsApp WhatsApp is now offering two-step verification to all of its 1.2 billion users worldwide. And we encourage everyone to enable it ASAP. Read More , Cloudflare was found to be leaking passwords Cloudflare Was Leaking Data, So Change Your Passwords Some of the most popular websites have been leaking user data onto the web. The scale of the problem isn't yet clear, but the advice, as always, is to change your passwords. Read More , a new version of the Nokia 3310 was announced Everything You Need to Know About the New Nokia 3310 Nokia has launched a brand new version of the legendary 3310. This is the Nokia 3310 brought up to date for 2017, but with a heavy dose of nostalgia thrown in for good measure. Read More , and Microsoft launched the Xbox Game Pass Microsoft Launches Xbox Game Pass for Hardcore Gamers Microsoft is launching a new subscription service called Xbox Game Pass. This Netflix for games offers those willing to pay the monthly fee access to over 100 Xbox One and Xbox 360 titles. Read More .


In March, YouTube launched YouTube TV YouTube Launches YouTube TV for Cord Cutters YouTube has announced the existence of YouTube TV, a new over-the-top TV service set to launch within the next few months. Read More for cord-cutters, Google split Hangouts into Meet and Chat Google Splits Hangouts Into 'Chat' and 'Meet' Google is splitting Hangouts into two separate apps, Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet. No one seems to know why, but it's happening nonetheless. Read More , Pandora launched Pandora Premium Pandora Launches a Premium Music Streaming Service Pandora is launching an on-demand music streaming service to rival Spotify and Apple Music. The question is can Pandora Premium differentiate itself from the competition? Read More , Netflix replaced its ratings with thumbs-up and thumbs-down Netflix Replaces Ratings With Thumbs Up/Down Netflix is ditching five-star ratings in favor of a simple thumbs-up/thumbs-down. The company hopes that a binary system will entice more people to rate the content they watch. Read More , Google added live-location tracking How to Track Your Friends Using Google Maps You can now share your real-time location using Google Maps. This also means you can track your friends using Google Maps. Read More , and then Facebook promptly followed suit Facebook Adds Live Location Tracking to Messenger You have been able to share your location on a one-off basis for some time, but Facebook has now added real-time location sharing to the mix. What could possibly go wrong?! Read More .



In April, Android became more popular than Windows Android Is Now More Popular Than Windows There are some caveats to consider here, but Android is on the way up, passing Windows on the way down. And that has to be a cause for concern for Microsoft. Read More , Facebook helped us all spot fake news Facebook Offers Tips to Help You Spot Fake News While Facebook doesn't produce fake news, it's at least partly responsible for its dissemination. Which is why it's now offering tips to help you spot fake news before it spreads. Read More , the Xbox One got a Steam-like refund system Microsoft Unveils Steam-like Refund System For Xbox One Xbox One is officially the first video game console to offer digital purchase refunds to all users by default. The "self-service refund" system will arrive soon. Here's how it will work. Read More , Spotify started offering discounts to students Spotify Is Now Cheaper for Students in 36 Countries Spotify has, since 2014, been offering Premium subscriptions at a discount to students in the U.S., the UK, and Germany. Now it's offering the same sweet deal to students in 33 more countries. Read More , Duolingo launched a premium subscription service Duolingo Plus Makes It Easier to Learn a New Language Duolingo has launched a paid subscription service designed to give language learners a leg-up. Paid subscribers will gain a couple of advantages over free users, all while keeping Duolingo in business. Read More , and Apple started offering free educational classes Apple Stores Now Offer Free Classes for Everyone Apple Stores around the world will be hosting free classes where all and sundry can learn new skills. Sure, all of these free lessons involve Apple products, but a freebie is a freebie. Read More .


In May, Yik Yak went the way of the dodo Yik Yak, the Anonymous Messaging App, Is Dead Yik Yak, the anonymous messaging app beloved and loathed on university campuses in equal measures, is no more. Will anyone miss Yik Yak? Probably not. Read More , Microsoft unveiled Windows 10 S Microsoft Unveils a Streamlined Version of Windows 10 Microsoft has unveiled a new version of Windows 10 called Windows 10 S. This is Microsoft's answer to Chrome OS, and the new streamlined version of Windows 10 is being targeted mainly at students. Read More , Amazon added free voice calls on Echo devices You Can Now Make Free Voice Calls Using Alexa Anyone with access to Alexa can now make free voice calls. This not only goes for people with Echo speakers, but also people who have the Alexa app installed on Android or iOS. Read More , Microsoft announced it was bringing Linux to Windows 10 Microsoft Is Bringing Linux Distros to Windows 10 Microsoft is doubling down on its support for Linux by announcing that three of the most popular Linux distros are coming to the Windows Store. Read More , Google Photos learned a trio of awesome new skills All the New Things You Can Do With Google Photos Google is adding a bunch of new features to Google Photos. All of which should help make Google Photos even more of an essential app than it is already. Read More , and Apple begged Android users to switch to iOS Apple Begs Android Users to Switch to iPhone Apple is ramping up its efforts to entice Android users over to the dark side. Or, to put it slightly less melodramatically, from Android to iOS. Read More .


In June, Microsoft launched the newly redesigned Skype Microsoft Redesigns Skype for the Next Generation Microsoft has launched a new version of Skype which has been redesigned from the ground up. Skype's makeover borrows elements from Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook Messenger. Read More , Google tried to keep kids safe online Google Teaches Your Kids How to Stay Safe Online Google has launched a new initiative called Be Internet Awesome. It comprises of five key lessons which should help children everywhere navigate the online world. Read More , Microsoft unveiled the Xbox One X E3 2017: Microsoft Unveils the Xbox One X Microsoft has unveiled the Xbox One X, which the company describes as "the world's most powerful console". Read More , Facebook finally started supporting GIFs You Can Now Use GIFs on Facebook (Here's How) Facebook is finally allowing everyone to use GIFs in comments. So expect Facebook to become a mess of MySpace proportions in a very short space of time. Joy! Read More , you finally had the chance to tip your Uber driver You Can Now Tip Your Uber Driver... Finally! Uber is finally allowing riders to tip their drivers. This change in policy won't please everyone who uses Uber, but most people realize it's long overdue. Read More , and we discovered that the new Yahoo Mail is actually rather good The New Yahoo Mail Is Actually Rather Good Yahoo Mail has been given a major makeover. It's now cleaner, faster, and more able to compete with the likes of Gmail and Outlook. No, seriously. Read More .


In July, Sony started pressing vinyl records again Sony Is Set to Start Making Vinyl Records Again Sony is opening a new vinyl pressing plant in Japan almost 30 years after the company stopped making vinyl records. And with this one piece of news the vinyl renaissance can no longer be denied. Read More , Microsoft launched Microsoft 365 Microsoft 365 Should Put Less Stress on IT Departments Microsoft has unveiled Microsoft 365, a new offering for businesses which brings together Office 365, Windows 10, and Enterprise Mobility + Security. Which should help prevent IT departments from losing their minds. Read More , Microsoft ended support for Windows Phone Windows Phone Is Dead As Microsoft Ends Support Microsoft has officially pulled the plug on Windows Phone, having ended all support for Windows Phone 8.1. There is still Windows 10 Mobile, but Microsoft doesn't seem to care about that either. Read More , Google brought Google Glass back Google Glass Is Back to Make Your Job Easier Google Glass is back, and with a much more sensible target audience than before. The consumer edition is dead in the water, but Google is now focusing its attention on businesses. Read More from the dead, Google Play Protect started keeping Androids safe Google Play Protect Helps Keep Your Android Secure Google has released Google Play Protect, a security suite designed to keep your Android safe. Play Protect resides on your handset, scanning your device around the clock. Read More , and Adobe committed to killing Flash in 2020 Adobe Is Finally Killing Flash... in 2020 Adobe has announced it's killing Flash. This is it, with Flash going away for good. No comebacks, no last-minute reprieves, gone but not forgotten. Read More .


In August, Mozilla launched its Test Pilot program Mozilla Needs You to Test New Firefox Features Mozilla has launched a trio of experimental Firefox features, and it needs you to test them out. Your feedback could help determine whether they make it into a future version of Firefox. Read More , LastPass doubled the price of LastPass Premium LastPass Doubles the Price of Its Premium Service LastPass has doubled the price of its Premium password manager. This 100 percent price hike has happened without warning, and has understandably upset existing Premium users. Read More , Consumer Reports said don’t buy a Microsoft Surface Consumer Reports: Don't Buy a Microsoft Surface Consumer Reports is no longer recommending the Microsoft Surface as a worthy purchase. This is because, according to existing owners, the Microsoft Surface has a high failure rate. Read More , MoviePass started offering unlimited movies for $10 MoviePass Now Offers Unlimited Movies for $10 MoviePass is now offering unlimited movies in theaters for just $9.95-per-month. Which is insane. Read More , Microsoft reminded us Bing exists Microsoft Claims "Bing Is Bigger Than You Think" It seems no one openly admits to using Bing. And yet, according to market share statistics released by Microsoft, it turns out that plenty of people actually do use Bing. And not ironically. Read More , and Tinder launched Tinder Gold You Can Now Pay Tinder to See Who Swiped Right Tinder has launched its new paid subscription tier around the world. And Tinder Gold offers a new Likes You feature that reveals everyone who has swiped right on you. Read More .


In September, Roku launched its own movie channel Roku Launches a Brand New Ad-Supported Movie Channel Roku is launching its own ad-supported streaming channel across all of its apps. Is it worth a look? Let's find out. Read More , Apple suffered an iPhone X leak Apple Suffers Major iPhone 8 and X Leak Days Before Launch Apple has suffered a major leak just two days before a major launch event. What do we now know about the iPhone 8? Let's find out. Read More , Chrome finally started blocking autoplaying videos Chrome Finally Adding Autoplay Video Blocking; Ability to Mute Entire Sites Autoplaying videos are the bane of the internet. You'll be pleased to know Google are introducing a new feature that blocks those noisy videos. Read More , we learned that CCleaner had been distributing malware CCleaner Was Distributing Malware for a Month CCleaner, a popular piece of security software with a squeaky clean reputation, was distributing malware for the best part of a month. Which means you need to update ASAP. Read More , PicMonkey destroyed its free offering PicMonkey Now Makes You Pay to Save Your Images PicMonkey has rendered its free offerings absolutely pointless. While you can now use every tool in PicMonkey's arsenal for free, you'll have to pay to save, export, or share your image. Read More , and Mozilla unveiled the Firefox Quantum beta You Can Now Try the New Firefox Quantum Beta Mozilla is almost ready to unleash its new vision for Firefox onto the world. Called Firefox Quantum, this is designed to see Firefox reborn as a serious challenger to Google Chrome. Read More .


In October, Microsoft killed Groove Music Microsoft Is Killing Groove Music Because Spotify Microsoft is killing off Groove Music and helping its users switch to Spotify instead. Because Groove Music is a bit meh, while Spotify is awesome. Read More , Netflix raised prices to fund original content Netflix Raises Prices to Fund More Original Content If you're currently subscribed to Netflix then you should prepare yourself to start paying more for the privilege. Because Netflix is raising the price of two of its three plans in several countries. Read More , Microsoft admitted Windows 10 Mobile is dead Microsoft Admits Windows 10 Mobile Is Dead Microsoft has put Windows 10 Mobile on life support, administering the bare minimum in order to keep it alive. But in reality, Microsoft's dream of making an impact in the mobile market is over. Read More , we bid farewell to AOL Instant Messenger AOL Instant Messenger Is Finally Saying Goodbye You might be surprised to discover that AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) is still a thing. You may be less surprised to learn it's now being killed off for good. Read More , Amazon launched Amazon Key Amazon Key Lets Couriers Into Your House Amazon's latest innovation is Amazon Key, a new service which means you can let strangers into your house even you're not there. Which isn't as scary as it sounds. Read More , and WhatsApp afforded us the ability to delete sent messages You Can Now Delete Sent Messages on WhatsApp WhatsApp will now let you delete sent messages, essentially unsending messages, and hiding them from view from everyone in the conversation. Read More .


In November, Blizzard made Starcraft II free to play, Twitter gave everybody 280 characters Twitter Gives Everyone 280 Characters to Play With Twitter has decided to give everyone 280 characters to play with. So by the time you read this you should have the option to write tweets of up to 280 characters in length. Read More to play with, South Park landed on Android and iOS, EA took abuse Everybody Hates EA for Star Wars: Battlefront II EA has been the subject of some intense hatred over the years, but the company has now managed to achieve the seemingly impossible... uniting the whole internet against it. Read More over Star Wars: Battlefront II, Valve tried to fix Steam user reviews Valve Is Fixing Those Terrible Steam User Reviews Valve is once again making changes aimed at making Steam user reviews more helpful. And this time it's employing cold, hard math mixed with a dose of logic. Read More , and Amazon launched Echo buttons for quiz nights Amazon Echo Buttons Let You Host Quiz Nights You can now buy a new accessory for your Amazon Echo, and the Amazon Echo Buttons are destined to add an element of fun to any family get-together. Read More .


In December, Apple started offering tutorials on YouTube Apple Support Now Offers Tutorials on YouTube Apple Support now has its own YouTube channel, and while pickings are slim at the moment, it looks like it will soon be filled with tutorials. Read More , Facebook launched Messenger Kids Facebook Launches Messenger Kids for Children Facebook has launched a new standalone version of Messenger aimed at kids. And it is, rather inevitably, called Messenger Kids. Read More , Google launched Android Go for budget handsets Google Launches Android Go for Budget Smartphones Android Oreo (Go Edition) is a pared-down version of Android Oreo designed for budget smartphones, and it comes with lightweight versions of Google's core apps preinstalled. Read More , internet pioneers begged the FCC to save net neutrality Internet Pioneers Beg the FCC to Save Net Neutrality The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) looks set to repeal net neutrality. However, a host of internet pioneers have made a last-ditch attempt to prevent this from happening. Read More , Apple admitted to slowing down old iPhones Apple Admits to Slowing Down Old iPhones Apple has confirmed what many people have suspected for a while... that it slows down old iPhones on purpose. However, this isn't for the reasons you might be assuming. Read More , and Spotify launched on Linux as a snap You Can Now Install Spotify on Linux as a Snap The Spotify desktop app is now available as a snap, which makes it really easy to install and use without the need to install any other software first. Hoorah! Read More .

Forget the Bad News and Focus on the Good News

As with every year, 2017 has been a mixed bag. There have been countless bad news stories, but we prefer to focus on the good. As you can see above there has been plenty to make use of this year, and that’s all that matters. Thanks for reading, and we look forward to seeing you in 2018.

What was your favorite tech news story from 2017? Is it one we covered or one that fell outside of our remit? Do you have any predictions for the world of tech in 2018? What would you most like to see happen? As always you can let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Image Credit: Marco Verch via Flickr

Related topics: Adobe Flash, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Netflix, Roku, Twitter, Uber, WhatsApp.

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  1. Rane2
    December 25, 2017 at 2:37 pm

    It is available at

  2. Gazoo
    December 23, 2017 at 12:59 am

    > There have been countless bad news stories, but we prefer to focus on the good.

    We are in the dark ages of technology. A turning point. Privacy rights stripped away, censorship, manipulation of searches, illegal backdoor surveillance deals between tech giants and government, people jailed for not providing passwords, cavity searches at airports just because..., anti-competitive practices the norm, no repair laws being pushed by monopolistic tech entities, planned obsolescence increasing becoming the norm on expensive devices we buy..

    Man... I could go on and on and on. It's only a 'Brave New World' to the unitiated. The unitiated talk about fancy fonts, glass backs and giggle when the surveilling pseudo-AI talks to them on their phone.

  3. Howard A Pearce
    December 22, 2017 at 5:15 pm

    " internet pioneers begged the FCC to save net neutrality"

    That act that mandated that USP's treat communication (data, traffic) the same.
    Imagine if it was for printed communication or oral communication ?