It seems like it was only yesterday that – on some vehicles, at least – the traditional car key was replaced with a Bluetooth fob. Now, Korean startup OneKey is out to replace that fob with its smartphone-controlled Keto system.

Keto actually consists of both an iOS/Android app and a device that stays permanently inside the car. Additionally, it doesn’t entirely do away with the car’s existing fob. Instead, the user removes the “key module” from that fob, and sticks it inside the Keto device.

The latter is then adhered to the top of the dashboard, with a power cord running from it to the vehicle’s AC power socket. That cord continuously charges an integrated lithium-polymer battery.

When the user approaches their car, the Keto device detects both a unique Bluetooth signal and an inaudible audio signal that are automatically transmitted by the phone. This causes the closest door (or the trunk) to unlock. Once the person is subsequently inside the car, the proximity of their phone to the device likewise enables the vehicle’s “start engine” button.

As is the case with many app-controlled house and bicycle locks, Keto users can additionally grant temporary use of their vehicle to other people. This is done through the internet-connected app, and requires the other individuals to be running that same application on their phones. The main user can revoke anyone’s access at any time, or they can restrict that access to certain times of day.

What’s more, if one person has multiple Keto-device-equipped cars, they can use the app to access each vehicle individually.

Should you be interested, the technology is currently the subject of a Kickstarter campaign. Assuming it reaches production, a pledge of US$99 will get you a device, with shipping estimated for December.

Keto lets you unlock and start your car, using your phone [New Atlas]

Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF) recently completed the Robinson Tower, a contemporary and sculptural high-rise in Singapore that was created in collaboration with Associate Architect A61. Designed with a mix of boutique retail and office spaces, the skyscraper champions the firm’s ideas of “sustainable urbanism” by engaging the public streetscape with floor-to-ceiling glazing and publicly accessible green space. To strengthen Singapore’s new slogan as a “City in a Garden,” the building features an abundance of greenery from an enclosed rooftop garden to the open-air garden atop the retail podium.

The integration of greenery into Robinson Tower was in part because of Singapore’s Landscape Replacement Policy, a 2014 law that requires that any greenery lost to development must be replaced with publicly accessible greenery of equal area. Because the V-shaped site was already constrained by Market Street and Robinson Road, KPF decided to embed greenery inside of and on top of the building in addition to providing streetscape landscaping.

The sculptural tower’s crystalline form takes cues from the angular terracotta roof of Lau Pa Sat, a historic building and food market nearby. The tower features 20 boutique office floors stacked atop a retail podium. Between the retail and office spaces is a manicured rooftop garden with mature trees. An enclosed rooftop garden crowns the building and, like the rest of the building, is wrapped in glass to provide marina views.

“Robinson Tower follows in the footsteps of KPF’s work at Marina Bay Financial Centre, which first introduced the mixed-use model to Singapore,” said Robert Whitlock, design principal of KPF. “Even though that project was massive in scale, with a park integrated in its plan, this distinctive tower similarly embodies the integration of context, culture and sustainability with architecture.” Robinson Tower also houses KPF’s Singapore office, which was founded in 2018.

Sculptural, tree-filled tower supports “sustainable urbanism” in Singapore [Inhabitat]

Rhode Island School of Design student Hyunseok An has created a prototype indoor micro-algae farm in a bid to sustainably and beautifully integrate algae into our everyday lives. Dubbed The Coral after its coral pattern, the micro-farm takes on the shape of a four-by-four gridded bioreactor that can be mounted on the wall like artwork. The algae that grows inside each square component is rendered visible through transparent containers so that owners can watch as the algae grows and changes color.

In 1974, the U.N. World Food Conference declared algae “the most ideal food for mankind” for its rich nutritional makeup; however, popular opinion often dismisses the superfood as nothing more than pond scum. Hyunseok An, who is pursuing a master’s degree in industrial design at RISD, wants to change our perception of algae and promote its health and environmental benefits. Algae, which grows quickly with few inputs, is also lauded for its ability to sequester carbon at an absorption rate that’s estimated to be 10 times greater than typical plants.

The Coral comprises 16 cells arranged in a grid pattern with two grams of algae in each culture cell — the recommended daily intake amount. Each cell replenishes its stock on a biweekly cycle so that users will always have access to the sustainable food. As the algae grows and replenishes its stock, the cell changes color from clear to varying shades of green. The coral pattern printed on the transparent cells symbolizes the reversal of “coral bleaching,” a global phenomenon where coral is irritated — the causes can be varied from sea temperature fluctuations or pollution — and expels algae, thus turning the coral completely white.

“Through its use and indoor experience, The Coral aims to change the preconception of algae, suggesting a socially acceptable way of reconnecting with algae and bringing it into our everyday lives,” Hyunseok An explained in a project statement. “By doing so, The Coral can help us take one step forward to a better, more sustainable way of living for us and for our world.”

RISD student designs a micro-algae farm for home use [Inhabitat]

While cafe-worthy espresso machines still lie out of the price range for most people, there are more and more affordable versions hitting the market. Still, many models at all price points either create waste from pods and filters or use a lot of energy — or both. In searching for an option that fulfills our love for coffee without creating waste and consuming a lot of electricity, we found ROK. The ROK espresso maker promises a strong, double shot of espresso with zero-waste and zero-energy needed.

After opening the box, we felt pretty intimidated by the machine. It is made from strong, sturdy steel, and is small enough to carry around, but the instructions weren’t incredibly informative. There is also a metal portafilter, which holds the coffee grounds, as well as a plastic coffee scoop that doubles as a tamper, a splitter to turn the double shot into two single shots and a mysterious additional piece that we still do not know its purpose. (If you know, leave us a comment below!)

Luckily for ROK users, the company has an informative YouTube channel, where we found plenty of tutorials as well as helpful tips and tricks to make the best espresso possible. After familiarizing ourselves with the routine, we decided to give it a go.

We added fine coffee grounds to the portafilter and tamped it firmly, but not too firmly, using the back of the coffee scoop. Inserting the portafilter into the machine is probably the trickiest part; we recommend squatting down and looking to see where the notches line up to avoid missing and dumping the grounds everywhere (speaking from experience here).

After the portafilter is secured in place, make sure your mug is lined up at the bottom under the spout, and add boiling hot water to the black plastic rim at the top of the machine. We found about 100 to 110 mL gave us the perfect amount with enough to pull a thin layer of crema at the top of the cup as well.

Pull the arms of the machine up slowly, then push down. If you feel a lot of resistance, don’t push further! The coffee might be tamped in too much, and forcing the arms down could cause the water to burn you. If the arms are moving with just slight pressure, you are doing it correctly. Push slowly, and the water will run through the portafilter and espresso will pour into your mug.

This zero-waste espresso machine is powered by human strength [Inhabitat]

The new low-light mode seems to be simulated, and it’s based on the lighting conditions in your environment. In other words, it doesn’t really depend on the quality of your phone’s camera – which means that any phone with Duo should be able to use it. Not only that, but as noted in a report by The Verge, the feature doesn’t seem to simply make your screen brighter to illuminate your face, like some phones do for selfie-taking.

Users can toggle low-light mode manually, through a button on the user interface. All users really need to do is tap the button, and the app should brighten up the image to create a clearer video call. Google has a GIF showing the feature in use, and it looks pretty incredible – though we’ll have to wait and see exactly how well it works in real life. Google Duo is also available in Google Chrome, though the new low-light feature seems to be limited to the app for now. Hopefully, it’ll roll out to the web in the near future.

The tech could be an expansion of the Night Sight camera mode in Google Pixel phones, which has been hailed for using artificial intelligence to create brighter, sharper images in low-light environments, without needing to use the flash.

Google Duo is getting a low-light mode to brighten up your video chats [Digital Trends]

The Pixel 4 XL hasn’t been able to stop leaking this week, and now we have yet another set of photos showing off the unannounced, unreleased phone.

Several of the leaks we’ve seen this week have stemmed from a Vietnam-based shop that sells imported phones, called D Store Mobile. D Store declined to share how it acquired an unreleased Pixel 4 XL, but it told The Verge that the phone was not a final unit and was more likely a “test model.” It’s not a fake, though, D Store said. Google hasn’t responded to a request for comment.

D Store also sent over 21 pictures of the Pixel 4 XL that we haven’t seen published before. Given how thoroughly this phone has leaked, there isn’t necessarily new information to make out here, but it offers further confirmation of the phone’s specs and what the white model will look like. The phone is supposed to be announced in October.

If you know any details about the Pixel 4 that I don’t, send me an email: jake@theverge.com.

One detail I noticed in these photos that’s been out there, but that I haven’t seen made a point of yet: if these details are correct, the main rear camera will be getting a slightly faster aperture, moving to f/1.73 on the Pixel 4 from f/1.8 on the Pixel 3. Unfortunately, I’m yet to see specs for the rumored telephoto camera — a previous leak said it’d use a 16 megapixel sensor, but I haven’t seen the a similarly detailed spec readout like we have here for the main camera, which makes me wonder if the telephoto sensor is one of the things that isn’t working on this unit yet.

Another quirk: leaks of the upcoming camera app suggest that the phone will shoot in 16:9 by default so that photos can take up the entire camera screen, despite the sensor remaining 4:3. The effect is similar to what Apple is doing on the iPhone 11 models, which take advantage of the phones’ extra wide-angle lens to fill the screen. But it seems like an odd move on the Pixel to take cropped images just to benefit a UI effect.

The app above attempts to detect hardware components and display all the details about them. It’s not clear whether it’s exactly right, but the details largely line up with the rumors and with existing Pixel hardware. The telephoto lens doesn’t appear in the photos we were sent and seems to be undetected.

More spec screens from the Device Info HW app:

There are similar results from the diagnostics tool AIDA64:

Finally, a couple pictures of the security screen, showing this phone is running the latest public build of Android 10:

In Arthur C. Clarke’s classic Space Odyssey Sci-fi series a recurring theme is the presence of a large back monolith built by an ancient civilization. The monolith has transformational powers that alter the trajectory of humanity, starting with our ancient cave-dwelling ancestors and then following our evolution through the modern day and into the future. …
Find the Root Cause In August 1854, there was a deadly outbreak of cholera in the Soho district of central London. Cholera leads to diarrhoea, vomiting, dehydration, and in many cases to death. Thousands of people fell ill and over 600 died. At that time, medical authorities believed that cholera was caused by ‘miasma’ – …
Malls are closing. Retail stores are fighting to stay afloat. Analysts expect that more than 6,000 stores will close in 2019. More than 40,000 employees are expected to be laid off. The blame is often cast on the new digital retail experience. Yes, the way a consumer shops is radically different than even just a …
The Theranos story continues to unfold in the headlines and will likely be the stuff of Harvard Business School cases for years to come. Here is a brief history of Theranos. and where they find themselves now. According to the WSJ, Theranos Inc. said it will shut down its blood-testing facilities and shrink its workforce by more than …
Sometimes we get caught up in the details when we should be working on the foundation. Here’s a rule: If the underlying foundation is not secure, don’t bother working on anything else. If you’re working on a couple new technologies, but the overall business model won’t be profitable, don’t work on the new technologies. Instead, …
All eyes were on AT&T this week after the activist Wall Street investment firm Elliott Management trashed the company for a litany of things—including its track record in wireless—but the Communications Workers of America (CWA) called out the billionaire founder and CEO Paul Singer for targeting American jobs.

The 18th edition of the FIBA Basketball World Cup was blown wide open after the USA were defeated by France in the round of eight. But that now feels like a distant memory as Spain and Argentina prepare to battle it out for the trophy and the title. And you’re in the right place to discover how to get a Basketball World Cup live stream from your corner of the Earth.

The 2019 edition is taking place in China across eight different venues. While usually held every four years, there’s been a bit of a longer wait for Basketball fans this time out, with the tournament delayed by a year, meaning it now falls out of sync with the FIFA World Cup for the first time. There’s also a new expanded format, with 32 teams now taking part, up from the previous 24.

Two-time defending champions USA went into the tournament as clear favorites, but they suffered a shock (yet comprehensive) defeat at the hands of France. Having qualified for the 2010 Olympics, they’ll be expecting much more success there with the likes of Stephen Curry, LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, Kyrie Irving, Paul George and Anthony Davis all likely to throw their hats into the ring.

And to be fair, the chasing pack this time out has looked stronger than ever. Spain were tipped by many at the start to be genuine contenders and have safely made it through to final. While Argentina took out France in the other semi-final on Friday.

Beyond the tournament itself there’s more at stake – the  FIBA World Cup will this year act as qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics, with seven of the twelve spots up for grabs (the top two finishers from both Europe and the Americas, along with the top one from each of Africa, Asia and Oceania).

If you want to know where you’ll be able to watch all the action – it’s ESPN+ if you’re in the US – we’ll tell you exactly where you can catch it online with our 2019 Basketball World Cup live stream guide below.

How to watch the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 from outside your country

Below we have a full rundown of your viewing options for the 2019 Basketball World Cup in different countries – check out how to watch in the US (where ESPN+ will be streaming the tournament in its entirety), the UK, Canada and Australia.

The problems start when you try to watch your domestic coverage online while out of the country. Give it a go and you’ll quickly find your stream in geo-blocked.

That’s super annoying, but not unavoidable. We’ve found that using a Virtual Private Network – or VPN – to be a handy solution. You select a server in your home country and then watch as if you were sat back at home on your couch.

FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 fixtures

Semi-finals

Spain vs Australia – Friday, September 13 – Times TBD

Argentina vs France – Friday, September 13 – Times TBD

Final

SF1 vs SF2 – Sunday, September 13 – 8pm local time (8am ET, 5am PT, 10pm AEST)

How to watch the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019: US live stream 

– Discover our pick of all the US’s best sports streaming sites

How to live stream the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 in Australia 

How to watch FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 in Canada for free

How to stream the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 live in the UK 

More than 60,000 attendees and over 250 exhibitors and speakers from more than 90 countries are expected to take part in the Oracle OpenWorld 2019 event.

The four-day event, with over 2,200 educational sessions, will take place from September 16 to 19, at Moscone Centre in San Francisco, California, US.

This year, Oracle is bringing a more human-centred focus to its products and solutions with a focus on digital transformation, led by demos and hands-on labs.

The main absence from the event will be its co-Chief Executive Mark Hurd, who is taking a leave of absence from the company for health reasons, and his duties will be shared by co-CEO Safra Catz and Oracle co-founder and Chief Technology Officer Larry Ellison.

The year looks better for the cloud industry due to the global economic instability as organisations are moving to the cloud to cut costs and improve operational efficiency by using artificial intelligence and cognitive technologies.

According to research firm Gartner, worldwide IT spending is forecast to reach $3.74 trillion in 2019, an increase of 0.6% from 2018 while the enterprise software market will experience the strongest growth in 2019, reaching $457 billion, up 9% from $419 billion in 2018 and another 10.9% in 2020 to total $507 billion.

The worldwide public cloud services market is projected to grow 17.5% in 2019 to total $214.3 billion, up from $182.4b in 2018,

While SaaS represents a $95 billion market in 2019 compared to $80b in 2018, the biggest out of the cloud spending, it will grow to $143.7b in 2022.

Autonomy gains traction

Oracle’s cloud-related success mostly lies with SaaS [software as a service] applications, so Oracle, a services company rather than a product company, will focus on IaaS [infrastructure as a service] and next-generation autonomous cloud database at the event.

An autonomous database is a cloud database that eliminates complexity, human error and manual management associated with database tuning, security, backups and updates; tasks traditionally performed by the database administrators (DBAs).

According to research firm International Data Corporation’s Public Cloud Services Tracker in April, Oracle gained the most market share globally out of all enterprise applications SaaS vendors for three years in a row.

In fiscal 2018, the company’s revenue from applications totalled $11 billion and its co-CEO Hurd said that it could be doubled to $22 billion by migrating its existing on-premises business to SaaS platform.

With a focus on autonomous database, Oracle will unveil updates to Oracle Database 19c, which runs both on-premises and in the cloud and reveal more details about its partnership with Microsoft in a bid to improve interoperability between Azure and Oracle’s IaaS, known as Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.

“Autonomy is the defining attribute of a Generation 2 Cloud,” said Ellison.

“The autonomous database is the most successful new product in Oracle’s history. We added more than 500 new autonomous database cloud customers in the first quarter and expect to more than double that in the second quarter. We now have over 2,000 customers, paying customers, for the autonomous database.”

Next growth phase

The US software giant, with decades of database software and technologies and having a strong penetration in the enterprise space, is gearing up for the next growth phase in cloud services.

 “Oracle’s response to autonomous is a critical element for dealing with enterprise-wide security as it gives a greater level of agility for organisations to differentiate and optimise their business, well beyond the competition,” Richard Smith, senior vice-president, UKII, ECEMEA and South Clusters for Technology at Oracle.

Oracle’s competitors offer the ability to automate scaling and backups but what Oracle is offering is intelligent and self-managing database by eliminating human administrative access with the power of artificial intelligence and machine learning in a bid to bring a high degree of automation to routine administrative tasks.

Oracle offers two types of autonomous databases – Autonomous Data Warehouse (ADW) and Autonomous Transaction Processing (ATP).

 “Autonomous Data Warehouse is a capability that we are seeing now in the cloud. ATP, which will be launched soon, will allow customers to deal with autonomous capabilities and also deploy in a very scalable environment to allow customers to scale up or down, with their computing requirements around transaction processing,” he said.

Based on deep machine learning and artificial intelligence, he said that autonomous capabilities are built on every component of the portfolio.

 “Data is the new battleground but businesses are struggling to keep up with tight IT budgets and the volume of data growing exponentially”, Smith said and added that Oracle is built on data applications portfolio more than four decades ago.

According to KuppingerCole, Oracle has been named as this year’s overall leader in database and big data security.

So, are you rrrrrrready to rrrrrrumble. We’re willing to bet that Tyson Fury is, as he prepares to put his undefeated streak on the line against Swedish heavyweight Otto Wallin today. The showdown is all set for the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and you can live stream Fury vs Wallin as it happens – and no matter where you are – by following this guide.

The Gypsy King is back in the ring with his career back on track. You don’t need us to tell you that his unorthodox boxing style and showmanship means that any Fury fight is going to be just about unmissable.

It’s been just three months since the Gypsy King’s last fight on US soil, following his impressive, quick-fire win over Tom Schwarz back in June.

Fury will ultimately see today’s showdown with Otto Wallin as another stepping stone towards a much wanted rematch against Deontay Wilder following his controversial split-decision defeat against the WBC World Champion back in December. The 31-year-old English fighter has his own WBO Inter-Continental heavyweight title on the line against Wallin, but will be rightly expecting a quick dispatch of his Swedish opponent.

For his part, Wallin will be looking to become the first Swedish world champion since 1959. With an equally unblemished record of 13 knockouts in a 20-fight career, the 31-year-old will be hoping to overcome a five inch height difference and limited top-rank fighting experience to pull off a shock that would rival Andy Ruiz’s win over Anthony Joshua earlier in the year.

You can live stream Tyson Fury vs Otto Wallin anywhere in the world using the guide below – check out your options for a fight you won’t want to miss. The cost varies quite a lot over the world, with the UK hosting an expensive PPV that’s undercut massively in the US by ESPN+.

Live stream Tyson Fury vs Otto Wallin from outside your country

If you’ve been looking forward to this fight and already know where to watch, your plans may be scuppered if you’re away from your home country now. That’s because broadcasters geo-block their coverage if you try to watch from abroad.

But there’s a clever workaround for this, which is perfectly legal (assuming the broadcaster’s Ts&Cs allow it) and it involves using a piece of software called a VPN – better that than trying to get some dodgy stream from Reddit.

How watch the Tyson Fury fight in the UK

Live stream Tyson Fury vs Otto Wallin in the US

How to watch Fury vs Wallin: Australia stream

At the time of writing, we can’t see any evidence that the Tyson Fury vs Otto Wallin fight will be shown at all. As a last resort, we suppose you could try downloading a VPN service and then signing up for an option from another country. We’ll be sure to update this section if we hear anything differently.

Rumors and patent leaks related to Microsoft’s still fabled foldable, dual-screen Surface device have been swirling around since 2018, with one even hinting at a 2020 release of a foldable Microsoft Surface with Android app compatibility. And yet such an actual device still has to be announced or revealed.

With Microsoft’s October 2 event mere weeks away, however, during which the Redmond behemoth is anticipated to release new Surface hardware as well as some Surface accessories, it’s unsurprising that a slew of fresh leaks has, well, surfaced. 

German online publication, WindowsUnited, for one, has recently spotted a new patent, which shows that Microsoft could utilize liquid-powered hinges on their rumored foldable Surface devices.

Fluid-filled hinge for Surface devices

Patent for liquid-powered hinges

Published this month on WIPO, this patent reveals that the company is working on a hinged device with a flexible OLED display and a hinge that can be filled with a semi-viscous fluid. This fluid, according to The Verge, should help Microsoft’s foldable Surface devices to bend and move into different positions easily, as well as reduce stress on their displays.

Unlike earlier leaks, this patent actually describes this liquid-powered hinged device in great detail, paying close attention to the hinge itself and complete with illustrations that showcase Microsoft’s conceptual structural designs.

In addition, the patent reveals that it’s been filed by “Microsoft Technology Licensing, LLC.” This could mean that Microsoft’s partners and other PC manufacturers would be able to license this liquid-powered hinge design. This will potentially give mainstream consumers a wide range of options, if they ever want to get their hands on such a device.

Whether or not this liquid-powered hinge will be utilized in the Surface Centaurus dual-screen laptop, which is rumored to launch later in 2019, has yet to be determined. We might not actually see it implemented on foldable devices until 2020, considering the timing.

Still, if Microsoft decides to combine it with its nifty multi-function buttons, which were patented in July 2019, alongside other innovative designs, it just might be worth the wait.

You might have noticed that Apple released a few new smartphones recently – including the iPhone 11 Pro, and while the Cupertino company gushed about its latest handsets, it became ever more apparent that it seems almost completely uninterested in its Macs and MacBooks.

I can sort of understand why. Smartphones are still thought of as exciting and modern, and they are a reliable way of getting people to fork out their hard-earned money every few years.

Laptops like the MacBook, however, are seen more as everyday workhorses that are there to do a job, but aren’t the status symbols they once were. They’ve lost their cool. While Apple once was a computer company, it’s now essentially a phone manufacturer.

A phone manufacturer that actually wants to be a camera maker. Surely the reason why Apple stuck three ugly lenses on the iPhone Pro, and spent most of its launch event talking about the photo and video capabilities of its new phones, was because it desperately wants to be Canon or Nikon – not Nokia. I can’t actually remember Apple talking about phone calls or 5G or anything that you’d use to make phone calls with. Using a phone to call people? Why, that’s almost as boring as a laptop!

iPhone 11 Pro in Midnight Green

Admit it Apple – you just want to make a camera

But taking photos? That’s what all the cool kids are doing, so let’s make a camera that can also make a few phone calls.

So I get it, I do. But, for anyone who still thinks of Apple as a computer company, for anyone who uses MacBooks and Macs, Apple’s neglect of that side of things is beginning to frustrate.

Falling out of love

So, what do I mean when I say Apple is neglecting its PC side of the business? After all, Apple has recently released new versions of its MacBook Air and MacBook Pro laptops. Surely, that means it still has an interest in its laptops?

In fact, I’d argue that Apple’s latest refreshes of its MacBooks is a clear sign of how disinterested Apple is in its laptops.

After all, there were no big new features, nor any changes to the designs of the laptops. Apple even stuck with the hated Butterfly switch keyboard, despite widespread reports of the keyboards failing. If Apple really cared, surely it would have at least changed the keyboard, rather than tinkering around the edges.

Instead, the only upgrades this year’s models have is slightly improved specs – certainly nothing to get excited about.

Imagine if Apple treated the iPhone like it does its MacBooks – only a slight specs upgrade every year – there’d be rioting in the streets. OK, maybe not. But the lines outside the Apple Stores on their launch days would certainly be shorter.

MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2019)

That bloody keyboard remains

New MacBooks coming?

Now, there have been rumors that a more revolutionary MacBook Pro refresh is coming at some point – with hints of a MacBook Pro 16-inch device launching with a (praise Tim Cook) new keyboard.

However, there wasn’t even a hint of that at Apple’s latest event. But if Apple is planning a major redesign, and had released the existing 2019 MacBooks as simply devices aimed at tiding people over until the new – more exciting – MacBook is announced, then this is a risky strategy.

Not only will it annoy anyone who bought a 2019 MacBook, only to find a few months later that it’s been completely superseded, but it has allowed Apple’s laptop competitors to catch up – and in some cases overtake them.

Apple used to be the go-to laptop maker if you wanted a thin, light and powerful device. However, many Windows PCs now offer premium designs that are just as impressive. Known as ‘Ultrabooks’, these Intel-powered Windows laptops offer stunning designs and performance that in many cases blows MacBooks out of the water. Apple took its eye off the ball, and companies like Asus, Dell and even Microsoft have been keen to step up.

Not only that, but while Apple is stubbornly sticking to the same tried and tested form factor, other laptop makers are trying out new and innovative designs. Sure, not all of them are successes (we weren’t convinced by the dual-screen Asus ZenBook Pro Duo, for instance) but at least they are doing something different.

At least companies like Asus are innovating with laptops

A victim of its own success

In many ways, I think Apple’s neglect of MacBooks is because they do what they do so well. Apple arguably nailed the design years ago, so even without a major overhaul in the looks department, MacBooks remain some of the thinnest and best looking laptops in the world.

The solid build quality (keyboard issues aside) also means MacBooks can last years without their owners feeling like they need to upgrade. Sadly, I don’t think Apple is that interested in the type of customer that buys one of their devices once every five or six years. 

With the iPhone and Apple Watch (and to a certain extent, iPad), Apple has convinced a heck of a lot of people that they need to buy the latest version every year. That’s a money tree it’s keen to keep harvesting from, even if it leads to leaving other aspects of its business to lie fallow.

Perhaps Apple will release an exciting new MacBook. Maybe it will find its passion for laptops once again. But, there are now so many alternatives that do just as good a job – if not better – that Apple might find it’s left it too late.