Week in Tech: Week in Tech: Mac OS X gets a Yosemite makeover, Samsung readies its Alpha weapon

by TechRadar on July 25, 2014

Week in Tech: Week in Tech: Mac OS X gets a Yosemite makeover, Samsung readies its Alpha weapon

"What’s in a name?" asked Shakespeare’s Juliet. But how many tech products did she try to shift in her lifetime? Apple teased a bunch of kooky names for its latest Mac OS back at WWDC, including OS X Oxnard and OS X Rancho Cucamonga, before landing on Yosemite. Now Cupertino might be struggling with a name for its smartwatch – "iTime" has appeared as another possibility this week, but we preferred iWatch. And don’t even get us started on the naming debacle of Samsung’s so-called premium S5. Is it the Prime? The Alpha? The F? The name game never rests.

The Mac has never looked so good

Well this is a nice surprise – for the first time since the 2000, Apple has opened up its latest OS for the public to play with. OS X 10.10 Yosemite, which was shown off at WWDC, is available right now as a public beta. We’ve already taken it for a spin and put together our initial impressions. "Yosemite still needs a bit of polish before its final release, but that’s to be expected," writes Matthew Balton. "More importantly, it does a good job of offering more information, and making it clearer. So far, this looks like an essential update for Mac users."

From beta to Alpha

The Alpha is the latest codename for Samsung’s long-rumoured S5 "Prime", but it may be Alpha in name only: some newly-leaked pictures show a phone that’s very Galaxy S2 in shape, and not too far off in size either. But now that we’ve dangled Samsung’s premium S5 in front of your face, we have to inform you that you might not even be able to buy one. One report reckons Samsung is going to face some serious supply problems, meaning the Alpha could be a limited edition handset at launch, one that might not even make it beyond Korea.

Spotify and Google: did they or didn’t they?

Just what exactly is going on with Spotify and Google’s relationship? Those two have been flirting incessantly for years. As far back as 2010 we heard whispers that Google was going to make Spotify an offer it couldn’t refuse, yet nothing has ever come of it. But the latest claim is that it was in fact Google who made the refusal, walking away from a potential buy because it wouldn’t meet the asking price. Then again, a separate report says this is all a load of tosh anyway. Maybe we’ll never know…

Numbers game

It’s all over for Apple! That’s what you wanted to hear, right? Seems to be what everyone on the internet calls out each time Apple announces its quarterlies. Unfortunately for the doom-mongers, Cupertino’s latest financial results couldn’t be further from the disaster narrative: the company is pretty healthy. However when it came to the iPad, it wasn’t all golden.

Sales were down on both the previous quarter and the equivalent quarter of the year before. So is there any cause for concern? While it might be down, it’s certainly not out, as Craig Grannell explains. The tablet is a different beast to the smartphone. If iPad sales take another hit this time next year, then maybe it’s time to raise the alarms – until then, Cook can probably sleep soundly.

iTime for iWatch?

Bored of hearing about the iWatch? Then maybe it’s time to talk about iTime. That’s the name bestowed on Apple’s wearable in the latest patent. Of course, this is possibly just one of many smartwatch-based ideas that’s been floating around in Apple’s massive tech brain. We can see the OS being called iTime, but it doesn’t feel right for the watch itself. Aside from the title, the patented gizmo has all the trappings of a usual smartwatch. But come on Apple, if the Moto 360 has proven anything, it’s that we want round faces. Shove your square.

Agents of Shield

There lies a gap between mobile and PC/console gaming that no one’s really sure how to fill right now. But Nvidia’s taken a pretty respectable swing at it with the Shield Tablet, which dissects the original Shield portable and offers tablet and controller as two separate parts. In part it’s a shame that we won’t see what the original Shield portable could have grown into, but the Shield Tablet is a device to be reckoned with, and while it sacrifices some of its portability, it delivers a seriously impressive performance. We’ve already had a play, so go and see what we think so far.

And finally…

It wouldn’t be a week in tech without us trying something a little bit unusual, so this week we jumped onto Honda’s robot ride of the future, the Uni-Cub. It’s a bar stool that’ll drive you home after a night of heavy drinking – just don’t try to ride it down any stairs.

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Blip: Tron Light Cycle is not roadworthy, says China

by Hugh Langley on July 25, 2014

Blip: Tron Light Cycle is not roadworthy, says China

Imagine it: you spend around $55,000 on the world’s coolest Tron Light Cycle replica only for your home country to tell you that it’s not road worthy.

But look at his face. He doesn’t care. He owns a Tron Light Cycle and he’s going to sit on it and look cool until it’s legal to drive and that’s totally fine by him.

China’s People’s Daily says Mr Lu’s bike, which wasn’t built by a registered manufacturer (hence being banned) can hit speeds of up to 120 mph. Naturally, it’s battery powered too.

Lu, while you’re waiting for China to change its mind, this TechRadar writer owns a Tron-inspired watch (this very one) that would really complete the look. Happy to take that bike off your hands for a while.

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