Mobile

Tim Bradshaw

Thousands of developers are gathering in San Francisco for Google I/O, one of the internet company’s biggest events of the year. Google is expected to reveal the latest updates to its Android smartphone operating system and Chrome web browser platform, as well as its extensions into wearable technology, TV sets, the “internet of things” and perhaps even virtual reality. Richard Waters and Tim Bradshaw are at the Moscone Center to bring live news and commentary from the keynote, which starts at 9.30am local time (5.30pm BST, 12.30pm EDT). 

Tim Bradshaw

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

Tim Bradshaw

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

It was probably best that I died, my computer companion told me sadly. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

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.  

“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

Sarah Mishkin

A German start-up is trying to change America’s reluctance to long-distance ride-sharing by partnering with Uber to make it more convenient, even in the sprawling US.

Munich-based carpooling is launching today in the US with an app that lets drivers offer spare seats to passengers for rides. The model has proven a hit in Europe, with multiple start-ups in the same field, but it has not taken off in the US, where cities are further apart and public transit within most cities fairly meager. Blablacar, carpooling’s French rival, told the Financial Times last week that it would not launch in the US. Read more

Robert Cookson

The Economist, the 171-year-old weekly magazine, is launching its first daily edition.

The new product, called The Economist Espresso, will be available from Friday via smartphone apps and email. It takes the form of a daily briefing that is designed to be read in a few minutes each morning, and is part of a drive to expand The Economist’s digital audience following the first circulation decline in more than a decade. Read more

Ephemeral snaps and messages help the technology take on the form of a conversation Read more

Robert Cookson

The New York Times Company and Axel Springer are hoping that a little-known Dutch start-up called Blendle may hold the key to making money from news online.

The two media groups have paid a combined €3m to acquire a 23 per cent stake in Blendle, which was founded last year and styles itself as the “iTunes for journalism”.

Blendle was launched in the Netherlands in April and sells individual articles from a number of newspapers and magazines to internet users through its website and app. On average an article costs 20 cents. The pricing per article is set by the publishers and revenues are split 70:30 between the publisher and Blendle. If a reader doesn’t like an article, they can ask for a refund. Read more

There is something peculiarly impressive about the video below of Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, talking in Mandarin to students at Tsinghua University in Beijing. If nothing else, it shows a dedication to the country’s customs that very few foreign business leaders can match.

Mr Zuckerberg clearly has business motives for making the effort, in addition to his personal connections – Priscilla Chan, his wife, comes from a Chinese family and her mother speaks mostly Mandarin. Facebook is blocked in mainland China, along with other US internet companies, and wants restrictions to be loosened. Read more

First it was Vice, then came Buzzfeed. Now, Ozy has become the latest news start-up aimed at young, digital natives to ramp up its offering on the back of a new injection of cash.

The California company backed by German publisher Axel Springer and Laurene Powell Jobs, widow of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, is stepping up advertising and has hired Jonathan Dahl to become news editor from the Wall Street Journal. Read more

Richard Milne

Angry Birds may be in free fall but two of the executives most responsible for its success are spreading their wings.

Just days after the company behind Angry Birds cut 16 per cent of its workforce amid disappointing growth, two former Rovio executives are launching their first game backed with $5m of venture capital money.

Andrew Stalbow, former head of strategic partnerships at Rovio and now chief executive at Seriously, said he hoped Thursday’s launch of Best Fiends would be the start of creating a mobile phone-centred entertainment brand. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

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’s latest iPhone has been has been hailed as the thinnest and biggest mobile device it has created yet. But those qualities may have created an unexpected problem: the gadget may have a tendency to “bend”.

Lewis Hilsenteger of product review site Unbox Therapy has published a video that has gone viral (over 3m views and counting), in which he conducted a not-so-scientific “bend test” on the phone. Using his hands to apply pressure on the back of the device while pulling the edges back, he found that the device was warped.

“Will this happen in your front pocket?” asked Mr Hilsenteger. “That probably depends on how tight your pants are.”

 Read more

Tim Bradshaw

After weeks of hype, Apple’s big day is finally here: the iPhone 6 goes on sale in the US, UK, Hong Kong and other key markets (though not China) on Friday.

As ever, the Apple faithful are lining up outside its stores, after supplies of its supersized iPhone 6 Plus were exhausted in online preorders within a matter of hours last week. Most analysts predict pent-up demand for upgrades will push iPhone sales to a new record.

“Big” is the operative word all round. Apple has lent the FT both of the new iPhones and, after an evening playing with both devices, one conclusion feels obvious: the iPhone 6 Plus is just too big. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

Don’t let anyone tell you that size doesn’t matter.

The first reviews are in for the latest iPhones and if there is one common obsession, it’s the undeniable fact that these are the largest iPhones Apple has ever made.

Here are a few highlights from reviewers’ first takes of the iPhone 6 and the supersized iPhone 6 Plus. (No sniggering at the back.) Read more

Buried under the avalanche of Apple announcements this week was the one that got the mobile operators pretty excited: an innovation that lets people use a WiFi connection rather than mobile signal to make calls.

On the face of it – like much of Apple’s news – it seems an old idea, with various services already on offer that allow people to make calls using WiFi. Three, the smallest UK mobile group, launched a service called InTouch this summer, while Telefonica’s O2 has offered TuGo for some time.

But, again like many of the advances unveiled this week, it is just being done better by the Cupertino-based technology group. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

Apple Unveils iPhone 6

Expectations are high as Apple prepares for its biggest event since the launch of the iPad four years ago. At the Flint Center in its Cupertino backyard, Apple is expected to unveil not just new iPhones but a push into payments and wearable devices. Tim Bradshaw and Richard Waters bring live updates from the event, with input and insights from other FT reporters around the world.