The first wave of Apple Watch reviews are out and their conclusion is mixed. While there is consensus that Apple has made the best smartwatch out there, many see niggles that make it equally clear this is still very much a “version one” product.
That chimes with my experience trying the device at its two launch events. But after reading all the reviews, two unexpected observations stood out. Read more
April Fools’ Day has become a grand tradition in the tech world, with Google in particular pulling out all the stops to show how they don’t take themselves too seriously, no really haha.
But this is 2015, a time of self-driving cars, kickable robots, interplanetary internets and a Cambrian explosion of connected devices. It’s getting tricky for us poor journalists to separate reality from science fiction at the best of times.
So forgive us if some of us were left a little confused when some of this year’s April Fools were just too close to call. Read more
Facebook CTO Mike Schroepfer © Facebook
When will the consumer version of the much-anticipated Oculus Rift virtual reality headset ship? With competition looming from Sony PlayStation’s Project Morpheus and the Vive headset announced by Valve and HTC a month ago, Oculus’ early lead in VR suddenly looks like it could be under threat.
After launching two prototype headsets for developers and an “innovator edition” of its Samsung Gear mobile VR device, executives at Facebook-owned Oculus have been tight-lipped about when consumers will be able to buy the PC-based Rift.
But at the F8 developer event in San Francisco, one Facebook executive’s lips were a somewhat looser. Read more
After its original unveiling in September, the Apple Watch is nearly out. Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive, is expected to take to the stage at the Yerba Buena centre in San Francisco to detail new features, apps, pricing and its retail strategy. Tim Bradshaw and Richard Waters bring live updates when the show begins at 10am PST (5pm GMT).
Meerkat allows you to broadcast a live video stream from your phone, sending a link to all your Twitter followers, who can then use the 140-character messaging site to chat with you as you film. Its creators describe it as a “live video button for Twitter” but say “no reruns”: every video can only be watched live. Read more
Cheap remote-controlled quadcopters from Syma and Hubsan bring aerial photography within reach of a much bigger audience. Read more
Expectations are high for Apple as it publishes its first-quarter earnings, with analysts forecasting that it sold more than 65m iPhones in the three months to December. With the impact of China looming large but the iPad still looking weak, Tim Bradshaw and Sarah Mishkin bring the news, live updates and analyst reaction from San Francisco.
When the Oculus Rift VR headset raised $2.4m on Kickstarter in 2012, its crowdfunding was squarely pitched at the videogaming crowd, with its invitation to “step into the game”.
Now Oculus wants audiences to step into the silver screen too, as it unveils its in-house filmmaking team, Story Studio. Hired over the last year from the likes of Pixar and Industrial Light & Magic, Story Studio will be showing its first short at the Sundance Film Festival this week. Read more
“Cardboard” is a funny thing to call a teleportation machine. But when paired with a smartphone and a willing suspension of disbelief, Google’s low-cost design for a virtual reality headset becomes just that. Read more
Soylent, the start-up which aims to replace regular meals with its low-cost nutritional drinks, has raised $20m to expand its manufacturing capabilities and develop its recipe. Read more
Can two devices sort out web-enabled domestic chaos? Read more
Samsung has unveiled a prototype of a new kind of 360-degree camera that could help virtual reality move beyond its current gaming niche.
“Project Beyond” is an ambitious concept that looks a little like it belongs on top of a Google Street View car. Sixteen small cameras point out from a frisbee-sized disk, with another on the top. It can capture 3D, 360-degree video that can be streamed live to a VR headset, allowing the wearer to look around as if they were standing wherever the camera is placed. Read more
As Apple readies its Watch, Jawbone is aiming for “the other wrist” with the latest update to its Up fitness tracker.
Rather than challenge the iPhone maker’s forthcoming smartwatch head on, Jawbone’s new Up3 wristband is smaller than its predecessor, packed with more sensors including heart-rate and skin temperature detectors, and costs almost half the price of Apple Watch. Read more
SoundCloud has secured its first licensing agreement with a major record label, after months of tough negotiations.
The deal with Warner Music will allow SoundCloud, which was valued at around $700m earlier this year, to unlock new sources of revenue through advertising and subscriptions. Read more
The Silicon Valley crowd loves Nest’s $250 thermostats and $99 smoke alarms. But while its $3.2bn acquisition by Google confirmed Nest as a defining company of the smart home, for many its designer appliances might seem a little on the pricey side.
Enter Leeo, a new smart-home company that wants to be the Nest for the rest of us. Read more
Apple just disrupted another industry: the analysts who are tasked with predicting its quarterly numbers.
During Monday’s earnings call, Tim Cook, chief executive, revealed that Apple will not disclose sales figures for its forthcoming Watch when it is released early next year. Read more
Apple is expected to unveil new iPads and Macs at a small event inside its Cupertino headquarters. But will it be enough to revive growth in a sluggish tablet market? Tim Bradshaw and Leslie Hook bring live updates from 1 Infinite Loop.
Apple has invited reporters to an event on October 16, which is expected to see the debut of new iPads and Mac computers. Read more
Apple is making a big splash in Europe this week. On the same day the European Commission published the initial findings of its investigation into Ireland’s handling of its taxes, Apple popped up at Paris Fashion Week to show off its forthcoming Watch to the general public for the first time.
In a clear break with previous launches, Apple chose a chic fashion boutique, rather than its own retail stores, as the venue, giving a hint of how the smartwatch might be marketed and distributed when it goes on sale next year. Read more