Personal technology

Analysts are looking at Christmas lists and wondering how many Apple products will feature on them – with the iPad Air and new versions of the iPad mini, MacBook Pro, and Mac Pro launched at an event in San Francisco on Tuesday. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

On a brisk, foggy Tuesdsay morning in San Francisco, Apple unveiled the iPad Air, a new tablet which is thinner and faster than the previous devices, in a bid to consolidate its grip on the high end of the tablet market.

In what it called the “lightest full-sized tablet in the world”, Apple said it had a “dramatically different experience” but the new tablet did not include the fingerprint reader that some had expected after it was introduced for the latest iPhone. The company also unveiled a new iPad mini and cut the cost of the original smaller tablet to $299, the cheapest price for an iPad ever.

Revealing a whole host of updates from mobile apps to its Mac OS update, it announced that it would now offer its software for free. Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive, said the move was “turning the industry on its ear”.

Tim Bradshaw and Hannah Kuchler followed the launch for the FT’s Apple liveblog as Tim Cook took to the stage at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in downtown San Francisco.

 

It’s Tablet Tuesday, with Nokia announcing its entry into the market this morning, Microsoft releasing the Surface 2 and Apple expected to introduce new iPads at an event in San Francisco. Read more

Chris Nuttall

It may be getting chilly for barbecuing sausages on BioLite’s new attachment to its twig-powered camp stove, but be warmed by the satisfaction of knowing you are helping its efforts to save lives in developing countries.

The US company is leveraging its success with outdoors types to help fund its longer-term project of providing safer stoves for the half of the world’s population that still cooks on open wood fires every day. Read more

Samsung’s unveiling of its first curved smartphone screen today has bent out of shape a few reviewers and analysts. Read more

Sarah Mishkin

Environmentally conscious or just clumsy people buying a smartphone are better off with a new Samsung or Motorola than with one of the new iPhones.

A new ranking from iFixit, a group that specialises in tearing apart phones to figure out to repair them, looks how easy it is to fix the top smartphones on the market. Read more

Sarah Mishkin

Trendy China tech group Xiaomi is branching out from smartphones into China’s increasingly competitive market for smart TVs.

The private company, which said its latest round of fundraising valued it at $10bn, launched the $489 TV at a jam-packed and much-hyped launch event in Beijing Thursday afternoon. Read more

In the mid-1990s, Nokia was well on its way to becoming the world’s leader in the adolescent mobile phone business, a dazzling rise that would see it peak with a 40 per cent global market share.

The reborn Finnish upstart, casting aside its heritage in pulp and paper, was brimming with confidence based on its market-leading technology, neat handset designs and a vision of the future that at times seemed to stretch credulity. Read more

Robert Cookson

As apps go, Ant Smasher sounds simple enough. The free game, which has been downloaded more than 50m times from the Google Play app store, allows mobile phone users to entertain themselves by squishing digital ants as they scurry down the screen. Splat, splat, splat.

But Ant Smasher has a dark side. It is one of a growing wave of apps that contains “adware” – aggressive advertising technology that displays ads in a phone’s notification bar and other places outside of the app itself, without consent. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Apple introduced a much-needed and radical redesign for its Mac Pro desktop line this week, but its refreshing of the MacBook Air was all internal – the laptop’s look has not changed since its revamp in 2010.

Since then, many Windows laptops have tried to copy the Air’s classic wafer-thin looks and it has inspired an entire “Ultrabook” category, created by Intel. But, after trying the new Air and its most recent competition, it’s easy to see why Apple felt no need to change things externally. Read more