Week in Tech: The internet of Google things - and why robots are crap at cupboards


In a week when we discovered that you can caption every single New Yorker cartoon with "I'd like you to join my professional network on LinkedIn" and Samsung was accused of Volkswagen-style cheating in TV lab tests, news needed to be big to stand out – and it doesn't get much bigger than a whole bunch of new products from Google. Not only that but Microsoft accidentally leaked some new Lumias, LG unveiled the new Watch Urbane 2, and we discovered that Terminators are no match for IKEA furniture.

The internet of Google things

Google dominated the tech headlines this week. It launched a new version of its Chromecast TV streamer, Chromecast 2, and an audio-only streamer called the Chromecast Audio; it unveiled the Pixel C, Google's first own-brand tablet and a clear competitor to Microsoft's Surface – and interestingly, an Android M device rather than a ChromeOS one; and two new phone/phablets, the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P.

The $379/£339/AU$659 Nexus 5X is "an unlocked Android 6.0 Marshmallow handset with a 5.2-inch 1080p display and Snapdragon 808 processor. Its cameras are the real kicker: now there's a 5MP snapper on the front and a 12.3MP shooter on the back," Matt Swider reports, and the $499/£449/AU$899 Nexus 6P has "a 5.7-inch WQHD AMOLED display, with a Snapdragon 810 octa-core processor and 3GB of RAM. Like the Nexus 5X, the Nexus 6P rear camera is now 12.3MP, while the front is now bumped to 8MP. Both phones also support USB Type-C connectors and feature a fingerprint sensor on the back."

Not all the Google news was happy, though. This week, Reuters reported that the US FTC is investigating Google's bundling of its own apps with Android, something that may fall foul of anti-trust legislation.

LG: watch this, and this watch

LG is always worth watching, and this week it gave us another reason to pay close attention: the LG V10, an Android phone with a nifty twin-screen design. As Matt Swider explains: "The LG V10 is further proof that the South Korean electronics maker is willing to spearhead bold, new phone designs, even if they seem a little crazy. Its newest Android phone features a second screen full of shortcuts at the top, a dual front-facing camera for wider selfies, and better video-capturing software tricks."

That wasn't all LG had up its sleeve. It also had the LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition, the first Android Wear watch to contain a cellular modem. Matt again: "Compatible with both Android and iPhone, this revision of the first LG Watch Urbane makes and receives calls and data over 4G and 3G as well as the normal Wi-Fi and Bluetooth methods."

Microsoft: don't look at these Lumias

Microsoft made a boo-boo – well, actually two – this week: it accidentally published details of its new Lumia 950 and 950XL before the phones' official unveiling. With an exciting price tag of £XXX.XX for the 950 and £XXX.XX for the XL, the product page clearly needs a bit more work, but it does tell us that the phones will have 5.2-inch and 5.7-inch WQHD displays respectively, 20MP cameras, 32GB of storage and Windows 10.

Vroom with a phew

It's been Car Week on techradar, and that means more car tech than you can shake a gearstick at. We discovered how to turn your car into a Wi-Fi hotspot on wheels, whether flying cars will ever take off and the best apps to use in your car. We took the wraps off the Tesla Model X SUV, shared stacks of fuel-saving hacks and discovered the technologies that you'll be driving in the very near future. It's – ahem – wheely, wheely good.

Apple offers chief thrills

El Capitan – it's Spanish for "The Chief" – is a mountain in Yosemite National Park, and as of this week it's the latest, greatest version of OS X. We haven't just told you how to get El Capitan (spoiler: you'll need a Mac), though. We've collated 52 – 52! – El Capitan top tips that you can use to master The Chief.

Robots don't like Ikea either

Robots and humans: two very different kinds of creature, united by a single thing: hatred of flat-packed IKEA furniture. If you've ever battled with a Billy, punched a Pax, hurled a Hurdal or been bruised by a Brusal, you'll get vicarious joy from watching Singaporean robots try and fail to build a fairly simple IKEA chair. That isn't even the hardest bit of the challenge: that'll come when they've got the chair from the warehouse and need to find their way out of IKEA again.

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.