Week in Tech: Glass, Chrome, phones and drones

Week in Tech: Glass, Chrome, phones and drones

What have you missed in this week in tech? Let us tell you: Windows Phone got a massive update, DIY phones took a step closer to reality, LG's G3 leaked all over the shop and Microsoft Office appeared in the form of apps for Google Chrome.

There was even an opportunity for people with too much money to get Google Glass without having to enter a competition or mug someone in San Francisco. Here's the tech news you need to know this week.

Fun with 8.1

Windows Phone 8.1 is here, and it's pretty great. The new Cortana voice search is "superb", the Action Center is "an overdue improvement" and overall it "brings Microsoft's mobile platform to the
modern age".

Does the iPhone have 6 appeal?

The next iPhone could be the most important phone since Apple's original: with the iPhone 5S and 5C relatively minor updates, there's a lot of expectation hanging over the iPhone 6. Inevitably there is also a growing number of leaks, rumours and speculation. A bigger screen is likely - or possibly two; analysts predict a 4.7-inch one and a 5.5-inch one - and it'll be running iOS 8.

Build your own phone

Fancy a DIY smartphone? Google's Project Ara promises just that. It's impressive stuff, says Chris Mills: while a launch before 2015 is unlikely, it's a serious project that could mean your next smartphone never becomes obsolete.

Beamly and brogramming

Zeebox, the TV-focused social service, has been rebranded as Beamly - and it's been made considerably more female-friendly too after the firm realised that 65% of its users were women. Many tech firms have a blind spot when it comes to women, says Sarah Ditum:

"If Beamly found its audience despite being pitched insistently towards a group that was never going to want it, how many more great ideas in technology are being snuffed out because the geek boy groupthink is stopping them from finding the people who actually have a use for them?"

PAX, man

April means PAX East: the convention also known as Penny Arcade Expo is becoming a key date in the gaming calendar. This year, we found out how hardcore gamers really rate the PS4, Xbox One and PC, got our hands on the MSU GS69 Ghost Pro gaming laptop, discovered the launch date for the Steam Controller and even predicted gaming's future.

Quite High Density

HD smartphones are so last week: Taiwanese firm AU Optronics has developed a 5.7-inch QHD AMOLED panel with a whopping 2560x1440 resolution. Never mind QHD, though: we want GHD, which will give you really good hair.

LG G3 goes QHD

How do you follow a successful smartphone such as the LG G2? Easy: make a G3. The LG G3 hasn't been formally announced yet, but we know lots about it already: the phone, expected to launch as early as May, will have a QHD 2560x1440 display, an octo-core processor and an LG-flavoured version of Android KitKat.

Glass for the fast

Google Glass received a big update this week: it's switched to Android KitKat, which promises improved battery life and more reliable performance. Glass went on open sale for 24 hours this week and while the current batch has sold out, Google promises more sales soon.

Office gets Chromed

Microsoft wasn't kidding when it said it wanted its software and services to work on everything: fresh from the launch of Office on iPad, here comes Office Online for Google Chrome. Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote are now available as Chrome Apps alongside Google's own web apps. Is Microsoft trying to deliver coals to Newcastle here?

Drones, clones and no fly zones

Google has bought drone firm Titan Aerospace and it's time to hail our new robot overlords, says Chris Smith - although admittedly he didn't use those exact words. Drones will deliver packages, spray crops, bring internet access to millions and help track down Sarah Connor.

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