2022 Upgradies

November 23, 2022

My favourite podcast is once again polling its listenership for their “best of 2022” list. I didn’t have a pick for every category, but I thought it’d be fun to call out some of my choices.

Best Overall iOS App

Reeder 5

I already mentioned that I’d been falling away from Twitter for a while. As I did so, I wanted a replacement for how I got news. Reeder has been helping me with that. It’s a beautifully designed app with clever gesture controls. My favourite feature is its use of iCloud for syncing. Maybe nothing will bring back the hole in my heart left by Google Reader, but this comes closest.

Best Overall Mac App

Soulver 3

Soulver is a mix between a calculator app and a text editor. It perfectly fits how my brain works. I’ve been using it for years, but it got a lot of development love in 2022. It’s now even easier to do date and time math, as well as currency conversions. I’ve relied on it heavily this year and I think more people should give it a shot. Marco Arment put it perfectly: “If Soulver’s not running, I’m not working.”

Game of the Year

Vampire Survivors

This game was in early access for a while, but officially launched last month. It’s easy to be turned away by the crude graphics, but this game is pure zen. All you do is walk around and spew forth projectiles. After a few minutes you’re in a a flow state facing an absurd number of enemies. It’s a great way to de-stress. At $5, it’s a no-brainer. It’s also available on Game Pass for PC and Xbox platforms!

Favourite TV Show


I’ve only watched a handful of Apple TV shows. For All Mankind, Ted Lasso, and Foundation were brilliant. Severance is on another level, though. I won’t say too much for fear of spoiling things. If you haven’t seen it, you should really check it out.

Favourite Podcast

The Besties

As I mentioned above, Upgrade is actually my favourite podcast. But this is their best-of list, so I’ll choose another.

I first heard about The Besties when I saw a video about some Polygon employees doing secret Santa shopping. I followed their podcast through many formats and platforms. Let’s just say some times were better than others. Happily, it’s in a more stable place now. If you like the idea of some genuinely funny people talking about video games in a lighthearted way, you should check this out.

Favourite Apple Product of 2022

Mac Studio

I’m a weirdo who still insists on using a desktop. I had been using an M1 MacBook Air since 2020 when my then-7-year-old 27” iMac gave up the ghost. While the Air was mostly doing the trick, I needed more RAM. The next year Apple introduced a new M1 iMac, but it had the same guts as the Air and only a 24” display. Later in 2021 came the MacBook Pros, which really tempted me. I’m glad I held out. The Mac Studio is exactly what I was looking for.

Worst Gadget/Most Disappointing Tech, Favourite Tech Story, and Favourite Tech Screw Up


It’s like a train wreck, and I just can’t look away.

Most Life-Changing Hardware

Apple Watch Ultra

When Apple showed off the Apple Watch Ultra earlier this year, I knew I needed one.

I got hooked on smart watches when I kickstarted the Pebble Time Steel in 2015. I then tried to back the ill-fated followup. When that didn’t pan out, I switched over to the Apple Watch side of things.

At first I was a bit unhappy at some things I lost. The Pebble Time Steel got 4–5 days on a charge. It had an always-on screen. It had a bunch of physical buttons I could easily use with gloves on.

With the Series 5, Apple Watch caught up most of the way. It was already a more capable platform for software, and I used the heck out of it. But the Ultra is so much better. I love a chunky watch, and this one doesn’t mess about in that regard. The large display is great for reading email and messages. Its battery life is excellent.

Apple Watch is part of Apple’s “Wearables” category in their earnings. This past quarter, that category (which includes the extremely popular AirPods) was 11% of their revenue. The watch may not be setting the world alight, but it’s changed my life for the better. Based on the Ultra, I’m excited for its future.