Week in Tech: Twitter's 'MySpace problem' and the revenge of PC gaming

Week in Tech
Valve's revealing its sources

What's white and invisible? The iPhone 7! We're not just resurrecting our favourite joke: as we discovered this week, future smartphones could actually be invisible thanks to some seriously cool technology. Come with us as we discover the power of PC gaming, why romance is powering the instant messaging boom, how you'll charge the Moto 360 and what exciting new gadgets are on the horizon.

Holy headcrabs! The PC is BAAAACK!

Amid rumours that the Xbox One is getting another price cut, James Rivington knows what's wrong with the current crop of state-of-the-art consoles: they're not PCs - or rather, when it comes to gaming consoles are not as good as PCs.

We're already in a golden age of PC gaming and that's before Oculus Rift ships, Rivington says, and to prove him right it seems that Valve has just sneakily launched the next generation of its Source engine. It's time to get the Half-Life 3 Rumour Tractor out of the shed again…

Feel the Shield!

PCs may be great for gaming, but they're hardly portable - and even the tiniest laptop is bulkier than a tablet. Hurrah, then, for the new Nvidia Shield gaming tablet. Jimmy Thang likes it a lot: it's "pretty dang cool", he says.

Attack of the invisible iPhones

Find My Phone is about to get a whole lot more useful if James Rivington has his way: he wants to see (or rather not see) invisible iPhones. "Imagine a smartphone that remains 'cloaked' until its owner whispers a pass phrase," he says, describing the tech that could well make future phones invisible. We've got our passphrase already. It's: "Where's my damn phone?"

Moto in toto

There's more Moto 360 news than you can shake a stick at, including the first look at its rather groovy wireless charger. Matt Swider has all the facts, including the awkward one that the reliance on wireless charging means you'll have to lug the charger around with you when you're travelling instead of just blagging a spare micro USB charger.

Note 4 Note

If you're excited about the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, you don't have long to wait: it's going to be launched on September 3 at IFA 2014. We're also expecting to see LG's Note rival, the LG G3 Stylus, also due for an IFA reveal, as the phablet market becomes increasingly crowded.

Apple's planning a September phablet showcase too, with a larger iPhone 6 expected to debut on September 6. Rumours suggest that a second, even bigger iPhone won't launch until later.

Everyone's getting the (instant) messaging

Instant messaging is booming, and it's all because of romance: a new study reckons that love-struck youngsters will use apps such as WhatApp, Facebook Messenger and Snapchat to send some 300 billion messages by the end of 2014 in the UK alone. According to Deloitte Technology, Media and Telecoms Research Chief Paul Lee, "A constant among humans is courting and they use different tools to do it. It used to be hanging on the phone, now it's instant messaging."

The same mistakes as MySpace

Social networks! Huh! What are they good for? Spamming, says our resident grump Gary Marshall. "Twitter's latest idea is to let you see posts from people that you don't follow, but your followees do," he explains.

"You can see the problem on Facebook already, where it tells you that people you know 'Like' sports you aren't interested in, political views you find absolutely abhorrent, hoaxes that were debunked before you were born, celebs you don't care about, and all kinds of made-up crystal-chomping new-age nonsense."

The danger of such promotions is that they can swamp the very conversations people signed up to see in the first place. "MySpace did it, Facebook appears to be doing it and Twitter is at least thinking about it," he says.

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