Tech

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

Sarah Mishkin

Payments start-up Square is raising at least $100m in a funding round that valued the group at $6bn, up from a $5bn valuation earlier this year, according to a new company filing.

 Read more

At a conference this April, Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer, got chatting to Cherie Blair, a lawyer and philanthropist who is the wife of former British prime minister Tony Blair.

Fast forward five months, and the pair are now unveiling Facebook’s first partnership to promote entrepreneurship, among women who run businesses in the developing world. “I think this is the way women work – we wanted to see if we could cooperate to use Facebook and its technology to help women,” Mrs Blair said in a conversation with the FT.

 Read more

Tim Bradshaw

The design of Apple’s Watch draws on the heritage of the iPod and iPhone but wears its history lightly. Read more

Which is better value: Netflix or the BBC?

Some TV viewers – especially younger ones – seem to think the answer is Netflix. It has cool new shows, including House of Cards and Orange is the New Black. And a subscription costs UK viewers roughly half as much as the BBC – £6.99 a month, compared to the BBC’s licence fee, which works out at £12 a month.

But the BBC wants to knock down the Netflix-mania, at least when it comes to drama. Read more

Sarah Mishkin

Paypal will soon start to enable merchants on its payments processing network to accept bitcoin, a sign of the growing acceptance and maturation of the volatile digital currency sometimes derided as magic internet money.

 Read more

Tim Bradshaw

The Kickstarter community has funded many innovations in the past few years.

The Pebble smartwatch raised $10.3m in 2012, shooting the starting gun on the wearables trend that Apple is about to leap into. The Oculus Rift virtual reality headset raised $2.4m, only to be acquired by Facebook for $2bn two years later. SmartThings raised $1.2m for its first connected-home kit before being snapped up by Samsung. New ideas like Hello’s Sense sleep-monitoring device just keep coming.

But one crowd-funded gadget this week emerged to trump them all. After two years at the top, Pebble has lost its crown as the most-funded Kickstarter of all time. And it has lost it to… a freezer boxRead more

Hannah Kuchler

Instagram takes pride in being more than just a corner of Facebook. The pretty photo-sharing app that Facebook bought in 2012 has maintained much of its independence while picking and choosing from the strategies that have served Facebook well.

Now, with the launch of super-fast video app Hyperlapse, it is becoming clear that Instagram will follow in Facebook’s lead and create its own suite of apps, or as it is becoming known in social media world, a multi-app strategy. Read more

If you thought flying a Flappy Bird was fiendish, just wait until you try swooping Swing Copters. So say new addicts of the latest free app from cult Vietnamese developer Dong Nguyen, who this week overcame his famous revulsion at his previous creation to release what looks like another hit.

Droves of instant Swing Copters devotees took to Twitter Friday to bemoan how guiding the propeller-headed hero through a landscape of deadly swinging obstacles was even closer to impossible than navigating Flappy Bird’s famously exasperating arrays of killer pipesRead more

By Matthew Garrahan, FT global media editor

Thomas Lesinski, the former head of digital production at Paramount Pictures, has launched a new company to produce content for television and online channels, striking a deal with Legendary Entertainment, which will have first option to release its programming. Read more

Hannah Kuchler

amazon kindle fireAmazon founder Jeff Bezos is among the new investors in Lookout, a San Francisco-based mobile security company that just pulled in the largest fundraising by a cyber security company so far this year.

As Amazon promised to be “relentless” in its pursuit of selling everything, Bezos appears to being equally eager to make personal investments in almost every industry. Here are some – but not all – of the investments he has made through his vehicle Bezos Expeditions.

Media: Bezos’ most high profile recent investment was his purchase of the Washington Post, the DC-based newspaper renowned for its role in breaking the news of the Watergate scandal. But he has fingers in other media pies too: in 2013, he took a stake in Business Insider, the loud mouthed financial news site fond of slideshows, and back in 2008 he invested in Twitter, the social media site beloved by journalists. He also has investments in Vessel, a video platform, and Next Door, a social network for neighbours. Read more

Venezuela might have the mannequins with the world’s biggest breasts, but Britain now has the most tech-savvy models gracing its store windows and shop floors.

This week three UK retailers launched the world’s first mannequins embedded with so-called iBeacons – little Bluetooth transmitters that can send alerts to smartphones in the vicinity, offering details about the clothes such as how to buy them online and where to find them in store. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

The start-ups that took on the taxi industry are eyeing a new target: public transport.

The past 24 hours have seen Uber, Lyft and Sidecar all launch a new twist on their popular ride-sharing model: carpooling. The three San Francisco companies are letting some customers opt to share a ride with a perfect stranger going along the same route at the same time, for up to half the price of a solo journey. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

Fuseproject, the San Francisco design agency led by Yves Béhar, has agreed to sell a majority stake to China’s fast-growing marketing group BlueFocus.

Mr Béhar – whose designs can be seen in products from Jawbone, Puma and One Laptop Per Child – sat down with the FT to talk about the deal, the company he founded in 1999 and what happens next. The transcript has been edited for length. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

Nest’s smart thermostat costs $250. littleBits wants you to make your own for $59. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

After the market closes on Tuesday, Apple releases its third quarter earnings for the three months to the end of June. Its stock price has risen by more than 20 per cent since it beat forecasts with its last quarterly numbers, taking it close to its-all time high. Can Apple repeat the trick in what are likely to be the last results before the next iPhones arrive, and push its stock to $100?

Here’s what Wall Street is looking for this quarter: Read more

For the past year, new internet subscribers in the UK have had to make an “unavoidable choice”.

No, it’s not whether to pay for speeds of 152Mb per second, or whether to subscribe to Premiership football. It’s whether to turn on a “family-friendly network filter”, affectionately known as porn blockers.

And what did Brits decide? Read more

Forgotten about Bing? Well, Bing has not forgotten about you.

Microsoft has joined Google in taking requests from European citizens who want embarrassing or sensitive results stripped from its search results, in response to the continent’s new “right to be forgotten” online. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

Two experiments by Snapchat this week point the way towards the photo-sharing app’s first sources of income, almost nine months after it turned down Facebook’s $3bn acquisition offerRead more