Gadgets of the month: WWDC, tech for the World Cup and a mobile market shake-up

31 May 2014

Image via joingate/Shutterstock

We take a look back at some of the biggest gadget news from May and also check out some new gadgets hitting the market.

This month…

Waiting for WWDC

As we inch closer and closer to Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), speculation on what the icon-making company will reveal has been amped up.

We’re quite confident that iOS 8 will be unveiled on Monday during Apple’s keynote, which could give iPad users the ability to multitask and may even turn Apple’s mobile devices into remote controls for ‘smart’ home appliances.

At the very least, iOS 8 will need to come with some bug fixes. For starters, Apple has promised a fix for its iMessage protocol, which was causing users who switched to different platforms to lose messages, but there have also been reports from the UK and Australia involving hackers hijacking the Find My iPhone feature and using it to hold devices to ransom.

Another possibility from WWDC is a large-screen iPhone 6 with a 1,704 x 960 resolution display – triple the base resolution of the current crop of iPhone 5 devices – which is tipped for release on 19 September.

World Cup watch

We still have 12 days to go, but the excitement ahead of the FIFA World Cup 2014 is steadily rising to fever pitch. Amid the build up, we’ve been looking at the tech behind the global tournament, which has been credited with boosting shipments of Ultra-HD TV panels past the 1m mark in March.

Viewers on the ground in Rio de Janeiro can spare themselves the investment, though, and watch games on giant 65-inch 4K screens that will be set up in the Jardim Botânico neighbourhood of the city.

Adidas MiCoach Smart Ball

Sports tech isn’t just about the viewing football games in supremely high resolution, though, and this month Adidas revealed the most high-tech football ever known. The MiCoach Smart Ball is jam-packed with sensors that can record exactly where it was kicked, why it travelled the way it did and how players can improve their strikes.

This €299 ball of technology is not just available to World Cup competitors, either, and can be purchased by even an armchair football fan via the Adidas website.

New gadgets…

The new names in mobile

This month our focus shifted from the typical tech titans to the new mobile device makers putting big brands under pressure in Europe.

Fast-growing Chinese electronics-maker Xiaomi introduced an affordable 7.9-inch tablet (as well as a 49-inch 4K TV), while its fellow countrymen over at Huawei revealed their latest contender in the smartphone market, the Ascend P7.

It’s time to get to know brands like Huawei and Xiaomi, as well as French phone developer Wiko as they are shaking up the market with products for consumers seeking low-cost alternatives.

The latest devices from Microsoft

Also announcing new releases this month was Microsoft, whose latest Surface Pro 3 weighs less than Apple’s MacBook Air. Microsoft is holding fast to the hybrid ideal and this 12-inch tablet and laptop in one is expected for release in Ireland come the end of August.

Microsoft Surface Pro 3

Microsoft also announced its first Lumia Windows 8.1 smartphones since it acquired Nokia’s mobile devices division, and the Lumia 630 mono and dual-SIM devices will hit Europe and the US next week.

Main gadgets image via Shutterstock

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.