The Best Technology Products of 2016

Including the Golden Kitty Award Winners 🏆😺

The 2nd annual Golden Kitty Awards have come to an end. 15 categories, 200+ of the best new products, 2 weeks of pure excitement from the community. We’ve gathered some of the best reactions:

In many ways, 2016 was the year of the bots. Celebrity bots, customer support bots, translation bots, data bots, an app store for bots. So. Many. Bots. The Bots Topic on Product Hunt has over 1,100 bot related products right now. 🤖

Similarly, iMessage apps came onto the scene in the middle of 2016 with the launch of iOS 10 and Apple’s iMessage Store. The promise of living inside of peoples’ day-to-day communication is certainly attractive to many makers. As of today the (newly created) iMessage Topic has over 500 products.

Looking back, nostalgia (and Nintendo) was a big winner this year. Pokemon Go was a phenomenon that captured just about everyone’s attention. Nintendo even doubled up on the nostalgia strategy with the recent launch of Super Mario Run, and hardware products like the Classic Mini and the impressive Nintendo Switch (which will come out in March).

We also saw a resurgence of exciting hardware, including Microsoft’s preview into the future of desktop computing, and Apple’s highly anticipated Touch Bar-equipped MacBook Pro.

Meanwhile, Google doubled down on hardware:

And Snapchat came along and launched Spectacles in one of the greatest launch strategies of all time.

In 2017 we’re expecting more developments with live video (hello, Houseparty), and a lot of exiting new use cases for audio interfaces like Apple’s AirPods (the first ‘face computer’), and in particular, Google Home and Amazon Echo (because who doesn’t 😻 Alexa).

🏆 The 2016 Golden Kitty Award Winners

Now lets talk Golden Kitty Awards.

Here’s how the winners were determined:

  • Voting was open to anyone with a Product Hunt account 😺
  • The winner of each of the 13 product-related categories had the most upvotes as of Sunday December 18th at 7pm PST 📅
  • The products linked to below are the original posts that were nominated at the time of their launch (not the newly created post that was used for the voting process) ⬆️

Without further ado, the 2016 Golden Kitty Award winners and runner-ups!

🏆 Tech Product of the Year

🏆 Winner: Gboard by Google

💫 Runner-Up: Pokemon GO

Gboard was one of the most exciting keyboards for iOS and quickly jumped to the App Store’s #1 spot. Last week it (finally) launched on Android, and the Gboard team stayed true to their promise and created dance videos for every day they led in the Tech Product of the Year category.

👯 Day 1 👯 Day 2 👯 Day 3 👯 Day 4 👯 Day 7 + cat 👯 Day 9ish 👯

😏 Sexiest Product of the Year

🏆 Winner: Tesla Model S P100D

💫 Runner-Up: Spectacles

The Tesla Mode S P100D with ‘ludicrous mode’ is the quickest production car in the world, going 0 to 60 mph in 2.5 seconds. The all-electric sedan is perfect when you and the family want to make a loud entrance (in complete silence) and is a worthy recipient of this year’s coveted Golden Kitty.

Snap’s Spectacles followed close behind, with an impressive roll-out strategy. Somehow they were able to make vending machines cool again.

🚀 Breakthrough Product of the Year

🏆 Winner: Tesla Solar Roof

💫 Runner-Up: Tesla Model 3

Tesla just keeps on winning! The Solar Roof is truly a breakthrough product that promises to bring renewable energy to homes in style (and at a lower price). Watch the 15 minute launch video from October to fully appreciate the potential of this product.

We hope to update this post with a photo of Elon Musk holding both Golden Kitties he’s just won. 😸

🛠 Hardware Product of the Year

🏆 Winner: Leaf

💫 Runner-Up: Microsoft Surface Studio

As impressive as Google’s 2016 hardware lineup was, and the qualifications of the Microsoft Surface Studio as the best overall product; 7 states legalized marijuana on Election Day and we should accept the democratic process that took place and the votes that were cast.

Leaf has won. 🍁

📱 Mobile App of the Year

🏆 Winner: Tinycards by Duolingo

💫 Runner-Up: Hardbound

This was a super-tight race between Hardbound and Tinycards, but in the end Duolingo’s interactive approach to learning with flashcards has won. Special shout-out to other community favorites, Prisma 🎨, Anchor ⚓️, Whale 🐳, and Houseparty 🎉.

P.S. Naming your startup after emojis is critical for the success of your app.

💻 Desktop App of the Year

🏆 Winner: Franz

💫 Runner-Up: Slack for Mac

Franz is a desktop app for Windows, Linux and Mac that combines all your favorite messaging app into one, including: Slack, WhatsApp, WeChat, HipChat, Messenger, Telegram, Google Hangouts, GroupMe, Skype, and many others.

Close behind was this new Mac app from a company you may have heard about.

🌀 iMessage App of the Year

🏆 Winner: Momento

💫 Runner-Up: Giphy for iMessage

Momento is a tiny app that converts similar photos (outtakes) from your camera roll into lovable GIFs. Just fire up the app iMessage app and scroll through the newly created GIF memories you likely forgot about. Everyone’s favorite GIF evangelist followed up with Giphy for iMessage.

🤖 Bot of the Year

🏆 Winner: Letz

💫 Runner-Up: Nerdify Bot

Congratulations to the small Letz team from Macedonia on winning the first ever Golden Kitty in the Bot of the Year category. This was a tight race right till the end between Letz, Nerdify Bot, and Duolingo’s Bots product. Honorable mention to Statsbot, the Google Analytics bot for Slack.

🌐 Chrome Extension of the Year

🏆 Winner: Toby

💫 Runner-Up: Ghost for Facebook

There is a Chrome Extension for everything these days. A B.S. Detector for Facebook, a way to turn Google Calendar into a desktop app, an extension that turns Product Hunt Dark, and just as you were starting to get over Twitter fav’s being gone (RIP ⭐️) there’s a Chrome Extension that brings Twitter fav’s back!

The Chrome Extension of the Year winner, Toby, is simply the best way to organize your browser tabs. While Ghost for Facebook, the runner-up, is a clever little hack that keeps you invisible on Facebook chat (talk to everyone without having a last seen time-stamp or a green light visible to everyone).

🙈 WTF Product of the Year

🏆 Winner: Pee World VR

💫 Runner-Up: Snapbots

No words. Congrats. 🚽🎉

😻 Community Product of the Year

🏆 Winner: Siftery

💫 Runner-Up: Startup Pitch Decks

Community Product of the Year is a special category that includes some of the most highly upvoted products by members of the Product Hunt community. Congratulations to Vamshi, Ayan, and the team on building Siftery: the place to share and discover the everyday products you use at work and see which ones are used by others.

Check out all 20 Community Product of the Year nominees on Product Hunt.

🎙 Podcast Episode of the Year

🏆 Winner: Becoming Superhuman: David Heinemeier Hansson

💫 Runner-Up: How to Build the Future: Mark Zuckerberg

The most upvoted podcast episode this year may have been Y Combinator’s How to Build the Future episode with Sam Altman and Mark Zuckerberg, but it will have to settle for the runner-up spot. Congrats to Jonathan Levi on the Becoming Superhuman episode with Ruby on Rails creator DHH on finishing at #1. 🎙 🎉

💬 LIVE Chat of the Year

🏆 Winner: Cyan Banister LIVE Chat

💫 Runner-Up: Everette Taylor LIVE Chat

LIVE Chat of the Year was a tight race all the way to the end, between Founder’s Fund Cyan Banister and Everette Taylor. Congrats to Cyan Banister on winning LIVE Chat of the Year and we encourage you to check out both of their LIVE Chats. 😊

🎁 Maker of the Year

🏆 Winner: Mubashar Iqbal

💫 Runner-Up: Lucy Guo

This year we introduced two new Golden Kitty Award categories that were selected based on data, rather than community upvotes (as done in the other categories). The data showed that, over the course of 2016, the top makers on Product Hunt included: Lucy Guo, Mikael Cho, Moritz Kobrna, Mubashar Iqbal, Seth Louey, —as well as Ahmet Sülek, who just narrowly missed out on the top 5 (click on their names and goto the ‘made’ section to see the products they’ve launched). 🚀

Lucy Guo and Mubashar Iqbal were particularly close. In the end, Mubs and the cumulative performance of the 12 products he launched this year, landed him the #1 spot.

🙏 Community Member of the Year

🏆 Winner: Chris Messina

💫 Runner-Up: Kevin William David

Last but not least, the Community Member of the Year. There are simply too many to list here but after running the calculations, two people were head and shoulders above everyone else in their contributions (number of comments, upvotes, hunts, and more). Congratulations to Chris Messina who just about edged out Kevin William David for the #1 spot.

Follow Chris and Kevin to stay up to date on the latest products. Just this year, Chris hunted over 400 and Kevin hunted over 300 products! 🎯👏

This wraps it up for the 2016 Golden Kitty Awards. We’ll be back next year with more awards, new categories, and 2017’s best products.

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook to stay up to date on the latest products as soon as they launch. 🐱🚀