Latest tech gossip from around the globe
Count down to the Apple Watch launch
There’s not long to go now before the Apple Watch, the company’s ambitious attempt at a wearable computer, launches. Apple have been teasing us with more details about how it will work. In a software release for developers, the company revealed how users will be able to interact with the iPhone-connected timepiece using different lengths of looks: Glance screens show one small snippet of information quickly, while longer Actionable Notifications can be responded to or swiped away with a prod. You’ll be able to use your Watch to control Wi-Fi music speakers in your home. Now all we need to know is the price, which will depend on just how gold-plated the ‘gold-plated edition’ that Apple is planning actually is.
First official Microsoft phone – Microsoft Lumia 535
Microsoft’s purchase of the mobile phone division of Nokia is finally complete. The software giant had used the Nokia brand to launch several smartphones this year, but it’s drawn a line in the sand with the new Microsoft Lumia 535, which drops the century old name entirely. It’s not exactly a powerhouse of a smartphone but it’s a promising device for its low US$137 price. You get a five-inch display, 5MP camera, the latest Windows Phone software and it comes in single- and dual-SIM variants, meaning it’s sure to be a hit in developing markets.
Tablet return (great design!)
Nokia may not make phones any more, but this month it announced the Nokia N1, a small, powerful tablet with a design reminiscent of an iPad mini. The 7.9-inch aluminium frame tablet runs Google’s Android software and boasts a desktop called Z Launcher that rejigs the icons and apps on it based on your actions. That’s not the only new tablet emerging from Finland however: the Jolla Tablet, made by a team of ex-Nokia engineers, smashed its US$1million target on the website Indiegogo to become the world’s first crowdfunded tablet project. When it ships in May, backers will receive a 7.85-inch tablet running the startup’s own Sailfish OS, which has a big emphasis on user security and privacy – and can also run Android apps too. Not bad for US$209.
The world’s smallest computer gets shrink-rayed
Who said desktop computers had to be big and chunky? The Raspberry Pi, a tiny computer that fits in the palm of your hand, has sold millions in the two years since it first launched, and now it’s got even smaller. The new Model A+ version is barely bigger than a credit card, and costs just £20 (US$31). It can connect to a monitor to let you run all sorts of software, including watching a video on an HD display.