We still have an obsessive focus on the latest developments in consumer electronics. We still proudly count tech enthusiasts as our most loyal readers. And our audience has grown to include millions of people who weren't with us at the start, but who also care a lot about the role technology plays in their lives, and who turn to us to keep them informed, provide context and to help them decide which new smartphone, laptop or gaming console to buy.
Today, 148 million Americans own smartphones, and more than a third of the US population owns a tablet. Mobile apps, which barely existed a few years ago, now represent an $8 billion industry. HDTV sets, which were considered a niche luxury item when Engadget launched (so much so that we started an HD-only subsite back in the day), are now in more than 90 percent of US homes.
In fact, the rate at which HD has become the norm is a great indicator of how our relationship with technology has changed. Color TV first became a real option for consumers in the 1950s. But it took until the early 1970s for half of all US homes to include a color set. HD, aided by a government mandate shutting off analog broadcasts, hit the 50 percent mark in 2009, just a few years after prices for HD sets dropped to a level that made them a viable alternative to the bulky CRTs that some people had held onto for more than 30 years.
The latest advances in personal technology matter to all of us in a way that they didn't just a few years ago, and Engadget is evolving to make sure that we're serving the millions of readers who come to us to help them make sense of that technology.
With the rollout of our new features today, including our comprehensive product database, our forums and Q&A tools, pricing data on thousands of gadgets and the Engadget Global Score (which makes it easy to see which products were rated highly by gadget experts from around the world), we're making it even easier for you to get the information you need about the products that matter to you. These features join our detailed and comprehensive reviews, our in-depth coverage of the latest product news and all of the other great reporting that has formed the backbone of Engadget since 2004.
Last week's redesign, today's new features and some surprises we've still got up our sleeves, are all part of our commitment to continually reinventing ourselves -- not unlike the very industries we cover -- while remaining the best source of news and information about consumer electronics and technology.
Our new features also include, for the first time, robust user profiles, user reviews and more ways for you to play an active role in the site's evolution. We hope you'll join us, and become an early adopter -- of the new Engadget.
[Photo: Sean Gallup, Getty Images]