If you thought 2016 was crazy, then you..
If you thought 2016 was crazy, then you may have been prepared for all that came in 2017. There were catastrophic hurricanes in the US and Caribbean. There were more mass shootings in the US and terrorist attacks around the world. The FCC repealed net neutrality regulations. We found another solar system with eight planets. We got a new president in the US. And we at Ars said a sad goodbye to our colleagues at Ars UK.
As another year comes to a close, let’s look back at the top stories from Ars, both features and news stories.
If you’ve ever said “You know what would be awesome? If they took Dragon Age: Inquisition and reskinned it into a Mass Effect game,” then boy are you going to love Mass Effect: Andromeda. That was Ars Senior Technology Editor Lee Hutchinson's take on the latest Mass Effect. The game play was so rich that it took him six days—about 30 hours of play time total—to make it through 30 percent of the game.
After years of building on previous iPhone designs, Apple just about threw away the iPhone template and started from scratch with the iPhone X. That may be a bit of an overstatement, but it is true that the iPhone X marked a radical departure from the design of its forerunners. TouchID? Gone. Facial recognition? Here to stay, apparently. As always, Apple's newest smartphone grabbed the attention of readers.
If you want the best Android experience possible, our advice has usually been to buy Google. That was the case again in 2017, as we reviewed Google's latest smartphones, the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. Hardware-wise, Google failed to push the envelope. Software, on the other hand? As Ron Amadeo put it, the Pixel phones sport "a killer software package that no other Android OEM can touch. It's got a great camera, the best Android UI performance, and three years of day-one OS updates packaged with hardware that's "good enough" for the high-end of the market.
Detecting a theme here? Readers really like our smartphone reviews, and the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus garnered more reader interest than did the iPhone X. Announced at the same time as the iPhone X, the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus live in the now and the not yet simultaneously. For the now, Apple built on the tried-and-true design of the iPhone 7 and its predecessors, instead of pushing the form factor forward. The not yet is the stuff we're looking for: augmented reality and beautiful OLED displays.
The 10.5-inch iPad Pro is the first device in what we'd call the second generation of the iPad Pro. Tablet sales have been slowing for Apple—and everyone else—over the past few years as users aren't finding the incremental updates too impressive. Apple attempted to change that trend with the launch of its latest tablet, which is paired with a really solid Smart Keyboard. The bigger and brighter screen were matched with more memory, a faster processor, and new display technology.