ICYMI: the week's 7 biggest tech stories, from Spotify Wrapped to the best apps of 2023

Three phones on an orange background showing Spotify Wrapped 2023, YouTube Music Recap 2023 and the AllTrails app
(Image credit: Future)

If you're understandably behind on the tech news after emerging from the frantic Cyber Monday sales, don't worry – we're here to fill you in on everything you missed over the seven days. And surprisingly, there's a lot to tell you about.

As we rattle towards the end of 2023, there are inevitable end-of-year roundups, some of which are very useful ways to discover some fresh entertainment in time for the holidays. This week we saw Spotify Wrapped, Apple Music Replay, and the YouTube 2023 Recap all land to stir up debate among music fans.

Apple and Google also crowned their favorite apps of 2023, both of which are very useful roundups whether you're on iOS or Android. But this week wasn't just about awards – IKEA debuted some new smart home sensors, Google Drive frantically tried to fix a serious storage issue, and the Tesla Cybertruck finally rolled into town with a slightly bigger price tag than expected.

For a five-minute rundown of all of the above and more, check out our ICYMI roundup for the last week – starting with those surprise IKEA smart home treats...

7. IKEA’s smart sensors landed to prevent domestic disasters

IKEA Trio of new smart home sensors

(Image credit: IKEA)

IKEA might bring to mind flatpack furniture nightmares, but this week the homeware giant promised to alert us about other domestic disasters with its trio of cheap and cheerful smart home sensors.

The Parasoll, Vallhorn and, er, Badring (no offense, Ring doorbells) are all designed to detect motion and can even notice issues like water leaks. So whether it's burglars or burst pipes you're worried about, the sensors could be a wise investment when they go on sale in 2024. 

6. The Apple Vision Pro gave us a peek at its virtual worlds

A view of Yosemite mountains in the snow on Apple Vision Pro

(Image credit: @M1Astra)

The Apple Vision Pro is still a complete enigma, but the 'spatial computing' headset is slowly revealing its secrets as it barrels towards its long-awaited full launch in 2024. This week, a short video revealed what it'll be like to wander into one of its virtual 'environments'.

Looking a bit like an immersive, virtual screensaver, the Yosemite 'environment' looks like a very peaceful place to get your work done, as you're surrounded by snow drifts, mountains and (hopefully) no bears.

5. Prime Video’s Bosch hinted at a new spin-off series

Watch Bosch online

(Image credit: Amazon)

There have been plenty of big streaming stories this week – and lots more are likely on the way, too, thanks to CCXP taking place in Brazil this weekend (keep an eye out for House of the Dragon season 2 news, Westeros fans). Few have been as big, though, as the revelation that Prime Video is expanding its Bosch TV universe with another spin-off project.

Well, we say ‘another’ – it’s only had one so far. Still, considering Bosch doesn’t have a spot on our best Prime Video shows list, it’s clearly popular enough among those subscribed to Amazon’s primary streaming service to warrant more as-yet-untold tales. Maybe we should rectify our glaring error and find a place for Bosch and its side projects in said guide.

4. Google Drive hit the rocks – then got a facelift


(Image credit: Google)

If your Google Drive looks different soon, don't panic – Google is rolling out a redesigned homepage for its cloud storage service, which was also hit by an issue this week that may have led to lost files for some users

In better news, that redesign will use AI to provide useful filters and recommendations based on your Drive activity. The new 'Home' landing page will be available to some users soon, with a wider rollout planned for early January 2024. 

Don't worry if you like the current 'My Drive' homepage, though; you can easily swap back. In addition, iPhone and iPad owners are finally getting a useful Drive feature that Android users have had for ages: the document scanner, which can convert photos from your device camera into scan-style PDFs. The Android version of the feature was recently given a makeover, and now iOS users can enjoy it, too.

3. The Tesla Cybertruck was finally unleashed – to a mixed reception

Tesla Cybertruck

(Image credit: Tesla)

Tesla’s most controversial EV yet was finally unleashed on the world this week, with the first customers driving away in the wedge-shaped Cybertruck. We’ve known about the electric pickup for years, of course: it was announced – and pre-orders were accepted – way back in 2019. But actually getting it to market has been a tricky business, and there was still much we didn’t know about it until now.

So, what did Elon Musk reveal at the Cybertruck’s delivery event? Well, it will be expensive, with the cheapest model costing $60,990 (around £48,200 / AU$92,160) and the priciest setting you back (sharp intake of breath) $99,900 (around £79,000 / AU$150,915). Ouch! 

We also discovered that it will have a relatively modest range of between 250 and 340 miles, but also that there will be an optional range-extending battery pack for certain models that can add around 130 miles. And of course, we learned that it's fast. Like, really fast. To be exact, 0-60mph-in-2.6-seconds fast, in the case of the top-spec model. Only time will tell whether it will be a Model 3-style success, but it’s certainly made an impression already.

2. Apple and Google crowned the best apps of 2023

The App Store logo on a blue background

(Image credit: Apple)

We all have our favorite apps but most of us struggle with what to install next. There are countless choices across every category. That’s why this time of year is such a boon for all of us smartphone owners (in other words, everyone) because we get best app lists from Apple and Google that supply us with their picks for of the best apps on their respective platforms across a wide swath of categories.

Google’s Android list was a mix of old and new. It included Spotify and Bumble but also slotted in the 2023 AI frenemy ChatGPT (this kind of intelligence in your pocket is pretty cool).

In its list, Apple identified AI as a major app trend but did not award a single AI-only app. Still, the list of great apps, which includes games like Hello Kitty: Island Adventure, and Pret-a-Make-Up certainly have some features that are at least AI-powered. Apple also added a Cultural Impact category that highlighted a big TechRadar favorite: Too Good To Go, which helps you find a place for excess restaurant, supermarket, and bakery food.

1. Spotify Wrapped 2023 stirred up musical debates and controversy

A phone and desktop computer showing the Spotify Wrapped 2023 card and banner

(Image credit: Spotify)

It’s only been around since 2016, but Spotify Wrapped has already worked its way into the hearts of music fans around the world to become a sort of digital rite-of-passage; go to Glastonbury, visit Graceland, share your Wrapped on Instagram. 

This year's installment arrived with much fanfare, but also a few hiccups, on Wednesday. The initial problem was that not everyone could find it. Some people needed to update their Spotify app to the latest version, others found that even then it wasn't showing unless they searched for it. We also heard a few reports (from within the TechRadar office) that people were seeing songs on their most-played list that they'd not actually listed to – although we suspect that may just be their way of trying to excuse the fact that they'd listened to a 12-minute jazz saxophone epic 127 times in 2023.

Anyway, the important thing is that it got people talking about, and listening to, music – which is never a bad thing in our book. Well, unless it involves 12-minute jazz saxophone epics.

Mark Wilson
Senior news editor

Mark is TechRadar's Senior news editor. Having worked in tech journalism for a ludicrous 17 years, Mark is now attempting to break the world record for the number of camera bags hoarded by one person. He was previously Cameras Editor at both TechRadar and Trusted Reviews, Acting editor on Stuff.tv, as well as Features editor and Reviews editor on Stuff magazine. As a freelancer, he's contributed to titles including The Sunday Times, FourFourTwo and Arena. And in a former life, he also won The Daily Telegraph's Young Sportswriter of the Year. But that was before he discovered the strange joys of getting up at 4am for a photo shoot in London's Square Mile. 

With contributions from