This year has seen a lot of things happen in the mobile space, from Microsoft going all in with its Surface tablets to Apple extending its Air product line across two device types. Through it all, readers have voted with their eyeballs on the articles they like best on ZDNet Mobile News. Let's take a look at the most popular articles here in 2013.
Before looking at individual articles, it's worth breaking down the top articles by topic. This gives a perspective of what the hot topics were, and how they fared among other mobile tech subjects over the year.
The topic breakdown mirrors market share numbers in mobile, with Android leading the way, followed by iPad, Windows, Chromebook, and general mobile topics. The latter coverage was everything from working remotely to how to get better battery life on smartphones.
The top two articles in 2013 were big attention getters. They were each viewed over twice as much as any other articles this year, thus showing how popular the two topics were, iPad and Windows. The rest of the top 10 spread across the three top topics.
1. 9 best iPad keyboards (hands on): March 2013. I write regularly about using keyboards with the iPad for my writing work, including the most recent article this week, and this earlier article showing a collection of the best models was extremely popular. Reader feedback showed appreciation for the actual hands on coverage of these keyboards. The popularity of this article demonstrates that many iPad owners are looking to find a good keyboard to use as I do. This corresponds with what I see in my daily work outings. It is now common to see lots of iPads in one keyboard/case or another being used in public venues.
2. 10 advantages Windows 8 tablets have over the iPad and Android. Windows 8 tablets have gotten a boost with the release this year of Windows 8.1, which makes tablets even better. Before that happened this article, that details what Windows tablets do better than the iPad and those running Android, was popular with the Windows crowd.
3. Top apps for the Nexus 7: Early 2013 edition. Everyone likes good apps, and this list of some running on the Nexus 7 made a lot of owners happy. While the apps were shown running on the Nexus 7 tablet from Google, no doubt owners of other Android tablets tuned in to see the best of the best.
4. Top Android apps for the Galaxy Note 2 including multi-view usage. The Galaxy Note 2 was a very successful phone for Samsung, and this list of apps shown running on the big phone was popular as a result. Of particular interest were the apps shown running in Samsung's multi-view, i.e. running two apps side-by-side on the phone screen.
5. 5 best iPad mini keyboards. It didn't take long after the iPad mini was released for accessory makers to step up to the plate and release keyboards for the little iPad mini. This look at the five best models was a big hit with readers looking to bring some keys to the iPad mini.
6. Top iPad keyboards: 2013 First Edition. You sense a theme in 2013 with what readers found important, as this first look back in January at good keyboards for the iPad also made the top 10 list.
7. Top iPad office apps Winter 2012 edition. This article was written at the end of last year, but the search for good office apps on the iPad pushed it to the top 10 list in 2013. There are some good office suites for the iPad, and the collection detailed here is quite popular.
8. Good Android apps for the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1. The biggest Note tablet in the Galaxy line is a fine tablet, and this collection of good apps was appreciated by quite a few readers. Like the Galaxy Note 2 article above, the apps in this list that run well in multi-view got a lot of attention.
9. Top 15 Android tablet apps for work and play. In spite of what some people think, tablet owners are using their slates for both leisure activities and bringing them to work. Whether the work use is due to BYOD or just done on the fly, Android tablet owners are looking for apps for both work and play. Thus, this list of good apps resonated with quite a few readers.
10. 11 top Windows 8 apps for work and play. In spite of having the reputation of few apps in the Windows app store, there are some pretty good ones. This list of 11 Windows 8 apps covered the ones that I use with my Windows tablet.
Looking at the top 10 articles in 2013, it's apparent that tablets and apps were on many readers' minds. They were also looking to extend the value of those tablets with keyboards to make it easier for lots of text entry. That gives legs to the rash of Windows 8 tablets entering the market.