100 Best Gadgets Ever: The Mobile Age

The dawn of the noughties saw our media making its way into our pockets, with the advent of the iPod, Napster and Facebook

It's difficult to imagine a time when you could go anywhere and not see someone sporting Apple’s signature white headphones, but before 2001, it was an everyday occurrence.

Yes, this was the era that saw Apple introduce the first iPod. Along with the first (successful) peer-to-peer downloading service, the noughties were the era when digital music came of age.

Mark Zuckerberg also launched his social networking site Facebook (although we’re sure the Winklevoss brothers would disagree), so if you can tear your eyes away from your News Feed, strap in and learn when it all began.

READ MORE: 100 BEST GADGETS EVER: THE COMPLETE LIST

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Sony AIBO (1999)

With AIBO, Sony demonstrated that the ideal pet of the future might well be an intelligent hunk of metal and plastic – after all, there’s no need to housetrain a robot. While cute, AIBO was in fact a deceptively advanced robot packed with sensors allowing him to ‘see’ and recognise speech commands – but tragically for techno-pet lovers, a cost-cutting Sony put him permanently out to pasture in 2006.

Napster (1999)

While the MP3-friendly media player Winamp appeared two years earlier, digital music didn’t truly take off until peer-to-peer download service Napster showed what was possible with an internet connection and some (OK, a lot of) patience. Yes, it was illegal but without this pair the digital music revolution would never have happened and without that we wouldn’t have iTunes, Spotify, et al. Every cloud, eh?

More after the break...

Nokia 3210 (1999)

It’s a tough call between the 3210 and its slightly smaller offspring the 3310, but the chances are you owned one of them. For most people the memory of a 3210 doesn’t go much further than Snake, but there was more to the phone than that. It was one of the first to squeeze the aerial inside making it instantly more pocketable. Plus it came with T9 predictive text, use of which became a vital skill for much of the next 10 years. Aside from calls and texts it didn’t do all that much, but what it did do, it did better than pretty much anything else.

Creative DAP Jukebox (2000)

Inexplicably shaped like an overweight portable CD player despite the 6GB hard drive nestled inside, the DAP arrived a full year before Apple’s Ive-designed iPod - although, given that you’re not reading this on a Creative tablet while listening to music on your Creative smartphone, it doesn’t take a genius to work out which one took off. Still, props for getting there first, Creative.

Sony Playstation 2 (2000)

Officially the best-selling console of all time, over the course of its 12-year lifespan the PS2 saw more classic games than the Wembley arch, including Grand Theft Auto III, God of War, Ico, and the birth of the Guitar Hero series. It also put a DVD player in every home that bought one - a cunning stunt copied by the PS3 to help Sony’s own Blu-ray disc format gain traction. 

READ MORE: 100 Best Gadgets Ever – Rise of the WWW

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