At the end of year every magazines, websites, blogs and newspapers publishes a list of best things of that year. So, here are my bests of 2016. The choices not based on expertise but on my personal preference.
Best photo of the year: Anyone, who visited Thiruvanaikaval, surely knows her. She is Akila and this is my favourite picture of her captured by Ethirajan.
Akila: Have a seat and look around
Best research article of the year: Optofluidics of Plants by Demetri Psaltis et al. (DOI: 10.1063/1.4947228). This paper explores optofluidic mechanism which can be used for the understanding of how plants function. Apart from its technical significance, the authors explained the things in a manner, so that even a graduate student with slightest idea about either optics or plant physiology can understand most of its parts.
Best article of the year: Who was Ramanujan? URL An excellent article depicts the life and times of great mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan. In addition, photographs of the original manuscripts makes this article to be considered as the primary intro material to anyone who wish to know about Ramanujan.
Best news media of the year: Modern media behaves as news makers rather than news breakers. In such a scenario, unbiased opinions are essential to explore the truths underneath the facts. And I hope, Wire serves best in that case.
Best cartoon of the year: Cartoon by Surendarnath in The Hindu.
Best meme of the year: Source Unknown. Shared in Facebook.
Best social media of the year: Created by the founders of twitter, Medium offers blogging solutions. Even though it is similar to wordpress and blogger, the UI is awesome with features like time to read and highlighting and sharing options.
Best moment of the year: Dhoni’s ultra fast stumping in ICC T20 match (March, 2016) vs Bangladesh.
Star of the year: P. V. Sindhu: The fourth Indian and the first Indian women to clinch a silver in Olympics.
Best book of the year: From the fishing hamlet to red plant: India’s Space Journey — Even though there is much of technical details, which may tired a layman, the book portraits the stories of hurdles and success of an institution built on the modern India.
Best fiction of the year: Farthest Field: An Indian Story of the Second World War by Raghu Karnad. This is the first book of the author, narrates the lost epic of India’s war, in which the largest volunteer army in history fought for the British Empire, even as its countrymen fought to be free of it. It carries us from Madras to Peshawar, Egypt to Burma-unfolding the saga of a young family amazed by their swiftly changing world and swept up in its violence.
Best short story of the year: Set in Buenos Aires, the story ‘Disappearances’ by KJ Orr, excavating the mind of a retired plastic surgeon while he observing a particular waitress in a cafe. This story was selected as the best national short story by BBC (The author resides in London).
Best literature magazine of the year: Even though many literature magazines are in Tamil, Thadam by Vikatan group joined as special one in the list. Released by a big media offers a great opening. But still it acquires trust by bringing the variety of things to limelight which are hardly noticed by the mass such as painting, sculptures, poems, technical overviews on cinema, dalit literature etc. This makes thadam as the best among the others.
Best tamil movie of the year: Andavan Kattalai by ‘Kaka muttai’ fame Manikandan. In tamil cinema, the hero is usually depicted as a middle class man. But, he is so masculine to challenge the minister of a state and the heroine should fall in love with him, even if he is a beggar. In such a scenario, telling a story of a real common man with real life incidents should be applauded. A special congrats to the director for showing the lead female character as bold and intellectual, which is very rare in Indian cinema.
Best hollywood movie of the year: Don’t breathe by Fede Álvarez. Just with few characters and an excellent screenplay, the film brought the viewers to the edge of the seat.
Best movie of the year: Kammatipaadam by Rajeev Ravi. The film centres on Kammatipaadam, a slum locality in Ernakulam, Kerala. It focuses on how the Dalit community was forced to give up their lands to real-estate mafias and how modern urbanization of Kochi metro-city took place over the plight of the Dalits.
Best song of the year: Ae zindagi in Dear Zindagi movie composed by Amit Trivedi and Ilayaraja. Sung by Arijit Singh.
Best game app of the year: Atomas: Require some little chemistry knowledge, you have to build new atoms by combining the available atoms with certain rules. Perfect entertainment for hours with less phone resources make it awesome.
Best productivity app of the year: Google Keep: A simple sticky notes with great features like place reminder, hand written notes etc. Since it is available as chrome extension too, you can keep and view notes across your devices.
Best travel app of the year: Trainman: The app is initially released and majorly considered for PNR prediction. But it has more interesting features like auto upcoming train reminder, train running status update and train speed calculator etc.
Best e-reader app of the year: eReader Prestigio: With extended support to almost all forms of the text, this app provides complete solution to android e-book reading requirements. It can voice your text (Indic language support is not available!), adjust the brightness to optimum level and offers options like, font style and size changes, text and background colour etc.
Best tools app of the year: CamScanner: With an android phone, conventional scanners are not required any more. This app provides professional level scanning of documents with pdf and image options.
Best photography app of the year: Google Snapseed: With professional photography editing tools and special filters makes this app to the top position among the similar apps.
Best messenger app of the year: Telegram: Probably this is the only app available as open source with high security options. The speed of the app is so fast and much better than whatsapp. An unique feature is that it is available for all platforms so that you can use the app (simultaneously) in all your devices ranging from Apple iphone to p4 desktop system. The only limitation is that it doesn’t have a calling facility but the variant of the same app ‘voicegram’ can be used for that purpose.
Best fitness app of the year: Pedometer: Among many huge fitness apps, this simple, small and smart app just measures your footsteps over a particular time and displays the number of calories burned, walking speed and distance.
Best multimedia app of the year: VLC: This is the default app for many in their laptops and desktops for multimedia requirements. For android, VLC moved to a stable version from beta in this year. As usual the app is awesome and you can download the subtitles on the go, or watch youtube videos. An extra feature is that it can play songs or videos from directories directly!
Best smartphone of the year: Moto G 4th Gen: I’m a big fan of Moto. So this may be biased. But with stock OS and excellent finishing (to know the level of finishing just check the volume and power keys of the device!) Moto G4 rocks.
Best laptop of the year: Lenovo Yoga (i5): This super slim laptop with excellent performance and specs with affordable budget makes it top of the list.
Best OS of the year: Apricity OS: A derived version of Arch linux, the OS offers super speed and excellent linux experience.
Thats the end of the list. Any suggestions or opinions? Please comment below.