The nominees went head-to-head, votes were cast and the winners were (quite literally) drawn from a sparkly gold envelope live on Twitter this morning (check out @ShinyShiny if you’re keen to catch up).
If you missed the play-by-play action then don’t worry, we’ve collected together all of the awards below with the winners and highly commended apps, services and gadgets that changed the lives of our expert tech panel and our readers the most this year.
Click each image to find out more about why each one bagged an award.
Our Health Helper of the Year shortlist was hugely varied, from top calorie counting services and one of our favourite activity trackers through to apps designed to ease stress, clear up our minds and another to expertly keep tabs on fertility. What an exciting time for health-related tech! Now even your average Joe (and Jane) can take their health and wellbeing into their own hands more than ever before with the help of their gadgets and their mobiles. But the overall winner is (without a doubt) Headspace. Read more.
Our Must-Have Fitness Partner of the Year nominees all helped the ShinyShiny team get moving – and most importantly, keep moving – throughout 2014. Our shortlist was packed with our favourite fitness trackers and apps, ranging from the cheap and simple Fitbug Org right through to the heart rate monitoring Withings Pulse Ox. The winner our panel here at ShinyShiny chose was the Fitbit Flex. (You can read our full review here). This fitness tracker is our favourite of the whole year because it ticks all of the boxes. Read more.
We’re talking dream presents here, so there’s no point thinking small. Some of the contenders on our shortlist are brilliant but practical, like the Clarisonic, Philips’ Wake-Up Light, or the inventive and useful Smartmat, which senses how well you’re posing to make sure you’re doing yoga properly. Others are more flashy and covetable – Monster Diamond Tears headphones, Gold iPad Air… But this year, one piece of tech blew them all away: Samsung’s super-stylish HU8500 Curved Smart 3D UHD 4K LED TV might not fit under the tree, but it’d be a huge gift in more ways than one. Read more.
This year was the year that we finally stopped chasing women down streets to ask where they got their dress from, and started letting technology do the legwork instead. Using top-notch visual recognition technology, the brilliant findSimilar by Cortexica wins our fashion innovation award for styling itself as the original ‘Shazam for clothes’, and actually being pretty damned accurate too. Read more.
In an era where we can buy every single one of our Christmas presents without leaving the sofa, bricks-and-mortar retailers are suffering. Particularly under threat are those lovely little independent shops, the butchers and bakers and candlestickmakers that bring life to your neighbourhood – but not chops to your door. Until now. Connecting greengrocers, fishmongers, butchers, bakeries, cake shops, cheesemongers, breweries, chocolatiers, delicatessens and a growing list of more, Hubbub allows you to do an online food shop on your local high street, buying from across the best artisan stores and producers in your area. Read more.
A year ago wearable tech amounted to some lame-looking, bright wristbands and the exceptionally geeky hype around Google Glass. Twelve months on and the world of wearables is exciting, much better-looking and seems to have a great deal more sticking power than any of us ever expected. Next year we predict the Apple Watch will suck regular consumers into the wearable trend and all of the big tech brands will likely be vying to keep up, but what about the smaller wearable devices that are pushing boundaries and will be bringing us all something a little more unique over the next year? Well, the winner in the Wearables to Watch category is Moov. Wearable fitness fans have been eagerly anticipating the launch of the Moov gadget because unlike so many other similar devices on the market, this wearable promises to actually do something genuinely useful with all of the data it tracks and collects. Read more.
Our Everyday Tech Genius award was voted for by you, our dear readers. And from day one there was only ever going to be one winner. The truth is, the Philips innovative Hue lighting system leapt into the lead from the very beginning and ended up with many more votes than its nearest rivals. Bravo for your landslide victory, Hue! Read more.
ShinyShiny readers voted for DoingSomething for its completely unique and fun approach to online dating, as well as the fact that, as a membership-only website, it’s much less creep-friendly than the free ones. Then there are the incredible dating events that DoingSomething holds, like Giant Twister and Sleepover at The Shard. Read more.
So which was the best value tech product of the whole year? Well, the winner was a device that completely ticked all of our boxes. We were on the lookout for a product that retails at a very competitive price and yet still manages to perform at a top level, giving high-end devices with similar specs a damn good run for their money. In the end, despite there being some really great value products from the worlds of mobile, entertainment and fitness, there was one clear winner: the ASUS ZenFone 5 A500KL. Read more.
Brad Pitt was recently spotted taking a selfie with one, the Apprentice candidates use it horizontally, and it’s been one of the most popular HTC phones of all time. But none of those reasons are why we chose the HTC One M8 as our Smartphone of the Year 2014: the fact is, it’s just a really excellent phone. Beauty. Build quality. Software. Camera. Speakers. Screen. There’s next to nothing we didn’t love when we reviewed the One M8 earlier this year. Read more.
Instagram and its snap-happy community have grown a great deal over the last year, with more than 60 million photos now uploaded each day. Our shortlist for the Instagrammer of the Year award celebrated some of the app’s top emerging talent, chosen for the way they use Instagram to showcase their creative photography, provide fans and followers with a sneak-peek into their lives and tell compelling visual stories. We put this vote to our readers and we’re really happy to see that their Instagrammer of the Year is the very talented Mr Whisper (@mrwhisper on Insta). Read more.
It’s fair to say that all three finalists for Funniest Woman on Twitter 2014 are ridiculously, jealousy-inducingly funny, and you should follow all of them immediately. We genuinely couldn’t choose between them, which is why we put this one in the hands of you, the readers, and more than half of you cast your votes for the amazing… Periwinkle Jones. Read more.
With more than 30 years’ experience as a science and technology journalist, older readers might remember Maggie from Swap Shop and Tomorrow’s World. These days, she reports on science and tech for BBC productions including Bang Goes the Theory, Inside Out and Webwise. She’s also founder and CEO of TeenTech, which helps young people and their parents understand the opportunities in technical fields. Read more.
Most Inspirational Woman on Twitter
When it came to the Most Inspirational Woman on Twitter Award for 2014, our voters had little difficulty picking a firm favourite: Lucy-Anne Holmes, founder of the No More Page 3 Campaign. Read more.
So, it’s been in your hands and now it’s been decided by you: the winner of the ShinyShiny Award for the Most Shareable Video 2014 goes to #HeForShe! Read more.