Ten of the best apps for doing your Christmas shopping

Keep clear of crowded high streets by shopping from your phone, with some of the best smartphone and tablet apps

It’s not that many years since the idea of shopping on your phone – or “m-commerce” as the jargon of the time put it – was laughed at by many experts. Who would actually buy stuff from that little device in their pockets? As it turns out, lots of people.

Smartphones and tablets may never completely replace the

utter hell
visceral thrills of barging your way round crowded high-street stores with 17 bags in hand, but with a bit of planning, your mobile devices can spare you the hard work.

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On the road: Ssangyong Tivoli – car review

‘Passengers, especially young, stupid ones, were constantly asking me to floor it’

This is the new way of things, I start to realise: cars that are cute like Minis or Beetles, but the size of something larger. Such a car – my first encounter was the Fiat 500X, now it’s Korean brand Ssangyong’s Tivoli – may discombobulate you for a while. You think you’re in a city runabout, and you’re not. If you have a very visual imagination, you might crash it a few times. Then one day, you’ll be used to it.

The Tivoli is a relentlessly cheerful car, not only because it is flaming red (their description; not my archaic swearing). Its demeanour is bouncy, despite its square, bossy nose and trad interior. There’s a lot of zing in the middle gears; in third, it holds its speed and responds smartly. It’s always ready with a bit more push than you expect, and sometimes feels a bit like flying. It has neither a wild top speed – 107mph – nor a particularly impressive zero to 62mph – 12 seconds – but it feels like it should have: passengers, especially young, stupid ones, were constantly asking me to floor it. It is more fun in the city than on a motorway; the handling is fine but a bit monotonous, and the ride isn’t completely smooth. That said, acceleration was never any bother and if it was a little bit whiny in sixth, well, aren’t we all?

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Digital images can’t be trusted, says famed war photographer Don McCullin

Best known for moving pictures of Vietnam, McCullin says photography has been hijacked by digital cameras and art world

One of Britain’s most celebrated and respected photographers has lamented the digital domination of his field calling it “a totally lying experience” which “cannot be trusted”.

Don McCullin, known as one of the finest photographers of war and disaster, said the digital revolution meant you could no longer trust the truthfulness of images we see.

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Bill Gates to launch clean energy project on sidelines of Paris climate talks

Microsoft co-founder will announce multi-billion-dollar Initiative Cleantech on opening day of two-week climate summit alongside Barack Obama

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates will launch a multi-billion-dollar clean energy research and development initiative on Monday, the opening day of the United Nations climate change summit in Paris, it was reported on Friday.

Gates and a group of developing and developed countries will agree to double their research and development budgets to boost clean energy deployment and work collaboratively, according to GreenWire, an energy and climate trade publication which cited government and business officials familiar with the agreement.

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JK Rowling recalls ‘amazing’ moment she met her idol Morrissey

Harry Potter author remembers the shock of her encounter with the Smiths singer, in a Guardian interview that touches on Twitter trolls and the joy of being an undiscovered writer again

JK Rowling has said that she wishes she could go back to her 16-year-old self, “who’s lying there in the dark with the joss sticks, listening to Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now”, and tell her that one day she will meet Morrissey – and that the Smiths singer will know who she is.

The novelist, who has sold over 450m copies of her Harry Potter books and whose almost 6m followers on Twitter regularly fall into paroxysms of delight when she responds to them personally, was speaking to Lauren Laverne for Saturday’s Weekend magazine. Rowling told Laverne that she understood why the Harry Potter book “still means so much” to adults in their 20s, “because I know how much it meant to me to meet Morrissey”.

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VW labour boss says fresh emissions crisis has hit new car orders

Works council chief says would-be buyers growing cautious about Volkswagen cars after the carmaker admitted to understating fuel usage and CO2 output

Volkswagen is facing slowing orders for new cars, with consumers shunning the carmaker after it admitted to understating fuel usage and carbon dioxide emissions, VW’s top labour representative said.

“There is caution in buying,” the German company’s works council chief Bernd Osterloh told reporters. “The CO2 issue has triggered a greater crisis of confidence [in VW products] than the nitrogen [emissions] issue.”

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