Hottest new tech in January revealed
Nintendo Switch, Apple’s AirPod earphones and the BBC’s big plans for iPlayer. Our edit of the gadgets we currently love…
Nintendo Switch pre-orders sell out ahead of launch
The new Nintendo Switch console has created quite a stir. Pre-orders have sold out in the UK and the US ahead of its release on March 3rd.
Switch has enjoyed some rave hands-on reviews too. The Daily Mirror says there are 9 reasons you need Nintendo Switch in your life
So what’s it all about? It’s a hybrid that covers both console and handheld gaming in one device – and it’s got a new Zelda game at launch! The console looks a bit like a tablet. You can play handheld GameBoy-style, or to play through your TV, the Switch sits in a dock. But the clever bits are the incredible JoyCon controllers - when playing as console they’re like normal controllers, but when playing handheld, part of the controller slides onto the sides of the console
Whether playing handheld or big-screen, you only need one version of a game. And what a game the first one is.
Zelda: Breath of the Wild launches alongside the console – it’s one of the most anticipated games of recent years. Super Mario Odyssey and FIFA 17 are also expected later in the year.
Apple made headlines with its wireless AirPod headphones when they were unveiled alongside the iPhone 7 in September.
Now they’re in-store – and we think they’re pretty good. It’s not just us either. They’ve received glowing reviews from the likes of CNET and the Telegraph.
What’s the story? The AirPod wireless earphones were designed primarily for the iPhone 7 which doesn’t have a headphone socket.
Reviewers have praised the ‘reliable wireless connection’ and ‘open, airy sound’ quality. You can also pair them with your iPhone, iPad, Mac or Apple Watch thanks to Apple’s new Bluetooth chip.
Our favourite features:
- Automatically pairs with your nearby Apple devices
- Plays music once in your ears thanks to clever sensors
- And pauses when you take them out
- Super-lightweight design stays secure in your ears
- Set up voice assistant Siri by double-tapping the AirPods to change music and take calls
Get the AirPods
BBC iPlayer wants to be bigger than Netflix
The iPlayer has transformed how we watch TV in the past 10 years – particularly since the iPad and Smart TV arrived. Now the BBC has announced plans to reinvent the iPlayer to make it the top online TV service in the UK by 2020.
The aim comes as the iPlayer celebrated its best ever week, with 69.3 million requests between Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.
To become the biggest and the best, the BBC must:
- Double the number of people iPlayer currently reaches
- Quadruple the amount of time people spend on it each week
The competition is stiff. Netflix is fresh from success at the Golden Globes, where its royal epic ‘The Crown’ was named best TV drama and Claire Foy won best actress as the Queen.
How will the BBC do it?
At the moment, iPlayer is a destination for catch-up TV – home to programmes once they’ve been broadcast on the various BBC channels but BBC Director General Tony Hall has suggested broadening their remit. Expect more series be released in their entirety on iPlayer in the same way it works on Netflix.
Of course that’s just one idea.