Week in Tech: Apple's got the bends, BlackBerry's got square eyes

Week in Tech
And who's winning the VR race?

If you can hear faraway screams, it's probably Apple's quality control department: with headlines already appearing about bendy iPhones, Apple released and then promptly pulled a spectacularly buggy iOS 8 update.

Rivals such as Google and BlackBerry are probably having a good laugh at Apple's expense, but can their next generation handsets beat the bananaphone? Week in Tech has the answers to these questions and many more, including one about ghosts.

Boing Boing

Some call it bendgate, others bananagate. It's the news that the iPhone Plus is much easier to bend than its predecessors, and Gary Marshall is bemused. "it looks like Apple is getting it in the neck for making a phablet that isn't safe to sit on," he says. "Since when was that part of the spec sheet?" Marshall hasn't encountered the problem with his iPhone 6, but then "as a 14-and-a-bit-stone man I try to avoid sitting on any of my consumer electronics".

While bendgate bounced around the web, Apple issued an iOS 8 update to fix some problems. Unfortunately it caused more, severe problems, so Apple pulled it again. "Our bad," Apple more or less said, promising to be "working around the clock" on a fix.

BlackBerry's back! Back! BACK!

It's the phone Spongebob Squarepants has been dreaming of: a square BlackBerry, the brand new BlackBerry Passport. "Is it really hip to be square?" Jeff Parsons asks. "It's just as weird in real life as it looks in the promotional pictures", he says, and while "you won't be reaching for it over an iPhone 6 or HTC One M8" it's a good business device.

Google's new Nexus

We don't know what it's called yet but we've got a pretty good idea of what it'll do: the Nexus 6 has leaked, and it sounds pretty good. There's a 13MP, 4K camera, a 3200 mAh battery, a 498ppi screen and a Snapdragon 805 with 3GB of RAM. Not only that, but we may have spotted the first leaked shot of the handset. Expect to see it in late October.

Who's winning the VR war?

Virtual reality headsets are like buses: you, er, stick them on your head and, er… let's leave that one. Virtual reality! It's nearly here and everybody's at it, but who's going to win the wwar? JT Ripton compares the plans of Google, Samsung, Oculus, Microsoft and Sony to see which firm, if any, has the edge. The Facebook-funded Oculus Rift looks like the leader, but Sony's catching up quickly.

Can Apple make everyone pay?

We mean pay in the good sense: Apple Pay, the NFC-based payment system launched with the iPhone 6, hopes to become the world's favourite wireless payment system. Does it stand a chance? Industry experts Gavin Arrowsmith and Souheil Badran take a detailed look at the system and the challenges it faces. It won't be an overnight hit, but it could well turn out to be one of the biggest things Apple's ever done.

Games for ghosts

Good news for our readers among the undead community: Nintendo's new 3DS can be played by ghosts. That's what we're taking from Nintendo's latest trailer anyway, as it shows the console being played by transparent hands. The new 3DS and 3DS XL are due to launch in Japan by Hallowe'en and in Australia and New Zealand by Christmas, but sadly US and UK customers have to face the spectre of a Christmas without them: they don't launch in those markets until 2015. Boo!

The TechRadar hive mind. The Megazord. The Voltron. When our powers combine, we become 'TECHRADAR STAFF'. You'll usually see this author name when the entire team has collaborated on a project or an article, whether that's a run-down ranking of our favorite Marvel films, or a round-up of all the coolest things we've collectively seen at annual tech shows like CES and MWC. We are one.