Week in Tech: Watch wobbles, HTC M9 whines and sad news from Nintendo


Amazon dominated the tech headlines this week with its Black Friday-esque Prime Day, in which lots of people were offered discounts on things they didn't really want to buy. But while Prime Day shifted stock Apple was uncharacteristically quiet about Apple Watch sales, HTC raised our hopes only to dash them again and a generation of gamers mourned the premature death of a gaming giant.

Is the Apple Watch a flop or not?

Is the Apple Watch a triumph or a turkey? According to number crunchers Slice Intelligence its sales are plummeting, and the lack of any new appearance by Tim Cook's World of Charts suggests that it isn't the barnstormer Apple might have hoped for – although it's already a billion-plus-dollar business, so it's hardly a flop. But that doesn't mean it can't be improved, and Max Slater-Robins has some ideas in that department. The big problem is persuading people why they'd want a wearable: we'd miss our smartwatches if they were ripped from our wrists, but it's hard to explain exactly why.

Hooray hooray, the UK's got Apple Pay

Apple Pay hit the UK this week, and it's quite good – but it probably won't generate quite as much excitement as it did in the US, because while US retailers still think chip and PIN is impossibly futuristic (and possibly communist) we've been using contactless payments for ages. Most of the UK banks are on board, with some stragglers joining the Apple Pay party later this month, and you can use it anywhere you see either the Apple Pay logo or the contactless payment one. Just make sure your phone or watch is charged if you're using it on the Tube: you'll need it to get through the barriers at your destination.

New iPods released, not many dead

Remember iPods, the things we used to listen to music on before we all got smartphones? Well, they're back! And they don't work with Apple Music unless you buy the iPod Touch, which is the only one that can connect to Wi-Fi. The Touch gets a better camera, an A8 processor and an M8 motion co-processor, and all iPods are available in new colours.

HTC One M9 Plus: it's the One that we want

We've got good news and bad news for HTC fans: the superb HTC One M9 Plus is the One you've dreamed of – and it isn't coming to the UK. Europe, yes, but the UK? Nope. That's a shame, because the bigger-screened M9 Plus has a nicer display, a fingerprint scanner and an even speedier processor. Calais here we come.

Flash! A-aaaagh! Firefox tells Flash to eff off

More bad news for Flash, Adobe's beleaguered plugin: Firefox has given it the boot, and it won't let the plugin back into the browser until Adobe fixes its major security flaws. With Flash banned from iOS, often disabled in OS X and unsupported on Android, it's probably time to put Flash out of its misery.

Forget Prime Day: here comes Phone Week

In all the hype about Amazon's Prime Day, you might have missed something much more interesting: Techradar's Phone Week, which happens next week. We'll be unveiling the winner of the 2015 Techradar Phone Awards and offering all kinds of goodies. We hope that includes cake. Mmmm, cake.

I think, therefore I am (a robot)

Here's another one for the Rise of the Robots file: a robot just passed a famous self-awareness test. Duncan Geere explains: "Logical puzzles requiring an element of self-awareness like this are essential in building robots that can understand their role in society. By passing many tests of this type, it's hoped that robots will be able to build up a group of human-like abilities that become useful when combined."

Sayonara, Satoru

Sad news from Nintendo: Satoru Iwata, Nintendo's CEO, has died aged just 55. The "exceptional programmer" was always a gamer at heart, and while he transformed gaming he was also responsible for some wonderfully offbeat moments that we'll remember forever. As Hugh Langley writes: "Iwata's humility, ability to accept responsibility for mistakes, and genuine love for gaming made him one of the greats – not to mention that almost anyone with some interest in gaming will have enjoyed an experience that was at least partly thanks to Iwata." Gaming has lost a giant.

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