Week in Tech: hands-on with Apple's Watch, Sony kills PlayStation Mobile, Google opens a shop

Week in Tech

It's either the beginning of a new kind of computing or the beginning for the end for Apple. Yep, we're talking about the Apple Watch, which the internet says will either make Apple sales boom or send it to its doom. But that's not all, because Apple also unveiled a revolutionary new MacBook, and Google opened a shop. Time to catch up on this week in tech!

At last, it's the Apple Watch

It's been months since Apple unveiled its potential game changer, the Apple Watch, but this week we learned when the wearable will be available, and got our hands on it (again). The hands in question belong to Gareth Beavis, who reckons it's "probably one of the best smartwatches on the market" – but it's "still not enough to convince us this is a real category." It might be an idea to see how the market develops before dropping eight grand on the gold Edition.

Apple Watch: good news for Google

The launch of the Apple Watch is great news for Google's rival smartwatch system, Android Wear. That's what Hugh Langley reckons, anyway: "If Apple does turn the smartwatch into a must-have, can't-live-without device, Google and others will share the spoils," he says. "Android Wear has got too comfortable; now that Apple is in the picture, it can only encourage others to up their game." The biggest threat to Android Wear isn't Apple, it's "the fragmentation going on within its own camp."

Google nobbles a Nexus, crafts a new Chromebook

We knew it was coming and now it's official: the Nexus 5 is no more. The former flagship has disappeared from the Play Store and from Google's new store too – although a new one might be coming later this year. But while Google taketh away, Google also giveth – and this week it gave the world a new Chromebook Pixel laptop with twin USB-C ports, the latest Broadwell i5 processor (and a faster i7) and fast charging.

New MacBook: thin is in

Remember when Apple binned the floppy disk, or when it killed off DVD drives? Now it's turned its attention to the humble port, and binned that too. The new, incredibly thin MacBook is smartphone-skinny, and that means there's no room for Ethernet or even USB. Instead there's a single do-everything USB-C port, a fanless logic board, a super-thin new keyboard design and a redesigned trackpad with haptic feedback. It's an astonishing piece of engineering and we expect it to be ripped off widely in the coming months and years.

PlayStation Mobile hits the skids

After just three years, Sony has pulled the rug out from underneath PlayStation Mobile. It isn't a huge surprise – support for Android devices was put on the back burner back in August when Lollipop launched – but it's bound to leave a few sad faces among gamers. Sony hasn't said why it's shutting the service down, but the smart money says it's because it simply didn't attract a big enough audience. As David Nield says, "Sony has also been making noises about streamlining its operations over the next few years, a strategy that this closure fits into."

Make your own Moto 360

Wouldn't it be great if you could customise smartwatches as well as smartphones? Motorola certainly seems to think so, because it's just expanded its excellent Moto Maker service to include the Moto 360 smartwatch. You can choose between three case finishes, nine different bands and a whole bunch of watch faces, and you can buy bands separately if you fancy changing your watch's look from time to time. As Michael Rougeau points out, the launch – just 24 hours after the Apple Watch event – "is as much a coincidence as the secret service showing up everywhere Obama goes."

Google opens a shop

Google has opened a shop in London's Tottenham Court Road where you can pop along and buy people's personal data. Only kidding: it sells hardware and shows off some of Google's services. The shop, tucked away in a corner of a Curry's PC World, looks like an experiment: as James Peckham says, "The space Google has created is nothing revolutionary and we expect it's more of a proof of concept for Google to begin rolling out its own flash dash branded stores à la Samsung's highstreet move last year." Google has also tidied up its online retailing, with a new Google Store for "the latest products made with Google."

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