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From the iPad to selfies to fake meat, CNET looks back at an action-packed decade

The 2010s are coming to a close. Join us as we spend the next few weeks looking back at what's worth remembering from the last 10 years.

This story is part of The 2010s: A Decade in Review, a series on the memes, people, products, movies and so much more that have influenced the 2010s.

Magical tablets. Battery-powered cars. AR monsters. Unicorns. Russian trolls. Global surveillance. Smartwatches. Not-so-smart glasses. Ride-sharing. House-sharing. Patent wars. Streaming services. Selfies. Fake news. Fake meat. Foldable phones. Superheroes. Real UFOs(!). The dress.


A lot has happened since 2010. 

Ten years ago, Steve Jobs introduced the world to the iPad, Yahoo outperformed Google in the stock market, Twitter started selling ads called promoted tweets, Tesla's Elon Musk ran out of cash and Cambridge Analytica didn't even exist. 

Today, we're asking smart assistants to order us pizza, welcoming robots into our homes, plotting missions to Mars, using tech to solve cold cases and preparing for self-driving cars. We're tethered to the smartphone as the remote-control of our lives and are starting to debate whether nascent 5G mobile networks -- which'll let us download movies in seconds rather than minutes  -- are going to be fast enough. We may've said goodbye to Carrie Fisher, but it looks like she was spot-on when she said "instant gratification takes too long."


Jan. 27, 2010: As the decade opens, Steve Jobs introduces the first iPad.

James Martin/CNET

If all that seems like a lot to unpack, it is. Which is why the CNET team is using the last few months of the last year of the decade to look back at the people, companies, products, technologies, ideas, games, popular culture, mistakes and moments that mark the 2010s. 

It's been an action-packed decade that's changed the way we live, work, play, dream and engage with each other. And it's also changed how we spend our time, whether we wanted it to or not. Americans check their phones more than 50 times a day and in 2017, surveys showed that 14- to 33-year-olds in the US were binge-watching shows for five straight hours at a time. (That's a lot of Game of Thrones, my friends. Winter is coming -- remember to go outside and play in the snow every once in a while.)


Smart speakers? Smart bulbs? Smart locks? A decade ago, our homes were just dumb.


Starting this week, we'll recap the best -- and worst -- tech products and trends. And we'll remind you of the top films and memes of the decade. (The dress still looks white and gold to me. And it's definitely Yanny not Laurel.) Then in coming weeks, we'll share our takes on everything from the apps that defined the twenty tens to the trendsetters and troublemakers who came -- and went -- and the ways technology expanded our vocabulary (Blockchain? Internet of things?). We'll also look back at how the Equifax breach and Facebook's foibles eroded our faith in the tech industry's ability to guard our privacy and how tech can be a force for social good.

So check back and come along with us on our journey through the not-so-distant past. I also hope you'll take time to share your favorite memories from the decade that saw "net neutrality," "selfie," "animated GIF," "listicle," "NSFW" and "swipe right" become everyday terms.