In a move that might cause some tech pundits to scratch their heads, TIME Magazine has just named the Google Chromecast as numero uno in 2013's top 10 gadgets. That said, it is also welcome news as this is the first time since 2010 that something other than an Apple device has claimed the top spot.
The Chromecast enjoyed a period of intense popularity after Google unveiled in late July. The size of a USB thumb drive, the Chromecast attaches itself to a TV via a HDMI port which then allows streaming of media to the TV over a WiFi connection. Although the initial number of officially supported media sources was depressingly few, limited in fact to YouTube, Netflix, Google Music, and Pandora at launch, the community still took to the device like bees to honey, attracting interest not only from streaming content providers but also from developers who want to squeeze out every bit of possible functionality from the dongle.
Although the furor has somewhat thinned over the past few months, the Chromecast's existence still managed to send ripples throughout the tech world enough for TIME to notice. Breaking Apple's three-year reign on the list, TIME praises the Chromecast for its simplicity and straightforward functionality. In an age of digital convergence where every gadget can do almost anything or everything, it was refreshing to see something that does only one thing but does it extraordinarily well.
Of course, this is mostly a reflection of how TIME has seen this year's technology evolve and the list will definitely ruffle a few feathers. At second and fifth are Apple's new iPads and the iPhone 5s, respectively. The Microsoft Xbox One sits at number six with no mention of the Playstation 4 anywhere. Fortunately, there was enough room for an Android device in the list, with the new Amazon Kindle Fire HDX at seventh place.