Black Friday: $905 million in sales came from smartphones and tablets, iOS led the way

On Black Friday, e-commerce sites saw nearly 80 percent of mobile purchases come from iOS devices, according to a report from online retail analytics company Custora. Online Black Friday sales revenue rose 16.1 percent from the same day last year.

The post Black Friday: $905 million in sales came from smartphones and tablets, iOS led the way appeared first on Digital Trends.

…read more

iPad Pro review – the creative future’s looking good

Apple’s big-screen wonder has the specs to match its looks, with huge potential for gamers and artists

The first impression of the latest entry to Apple’s tablet range – the iPad Pro (from £679, – is of its 5.6 megapixel, 32.8cm (12.9in) screen, which surpasses the size and resolution of anything Apple has previously offered. It looks stunning. Fire up a Pro-optimised game such as The Room Three (£3.99, Fireproof, App Store) and it bursts into life. As well as the obvious aesthetic charms, with a tricksy puzzler like this, the added detail is of real benefit as you prod, poke and drag puzzle boxes around to progress. The scope of the series is expanded in its second sequel, with multiple rooms each becoming part of the puzzle rather than focusing only on the boxes themselves. It’s a satisfying development and showcased best on this new hardware.

Continue reading… …read more

Star Wars Battlefront review – the franchise strikes back

(PS4, Xbox One, PC, Electronic Arts, cert: 16)
Despite its mercenary tendencies, EA’s galactic shooter wins the war for your heart in the end

After a couple of hours with Star Wars Battlefront, it’s possible to feel a slight disturbance in the force. A tingling in the midi-chlorians. The dreaded threat of DLC – downloadable content – hangs in the air. We should have known. The moment you’re invited to purchase a season pass for your new £45 title, upon firing it up feels like a betrayal every bit as great as Greedo shooting first. But then the game takes hold. A multiplayer shooter, it captures the wonder of George Lucas’s universe, wisely focusing on ground and air battles from the original trilogy. It pits you as a Rebel or Empire trooper in up to 20 v 20 skirmishes across a variety of game modes from first- or third-person perspective over four worlds and 13 maps, with more based on the forthcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens to come for free. Scattered through the wide expanse of familiar lands are bonus icons, unlocking access to vehicles such as X-Wings and AT-ATs, and, if you’re lucky, the chance to dive in as one of six of the films’ main characters. Force-choking Rebel scum as Darth Vader has rarely been so satisfying.

Continue reading… …read more

ARM: Britain’s most successful tech company you’ve never heard of

Without ARM, the iPhone and other smartphones wouldn’t work. Hardly anyone knows it – and that’s just how Cambridge’s ‘Silicon Fen’ company likes it

In a loose collection of offices on an underwhelming business park outside of Cambridge sits Britain’s most successful technology company, ARM. You’ve probably never heard of it, but ARM’s designs are at the heart of the iPhone and nearly every other modern smartphone. It has fingers in almost every other area of technology, from fitness trackers to server farms. It records profit margins that analysts have described as “impossible” (in a good way), and goes a long way to helping justify the “Silicon Fen” label sometimes applied to Cambridge’s tech scene. So how did one company get so successful without anyone really noticing? And, more importantly, what does ARM actually do?

Continue reading… …read more

Skoda Superb estate: car review | Martin Love

Snobbery has been replaced by pure envy in Skoda’s new Superb – the greatest car they’ve made yet

Price: from £19,785
Top speed: 129mph
0-62mph: 9.9 seconds
MPG: up to 76.4

“What’s the best car you’ve driven?” It’s a question I am often asked and I know the answer I am supposed to give. Something like: “Oh, that DBS from Casino Royale wasn’t too bad” or “Well, the 1956 Le Mans D-Type, now valued at £3m, was pretty cool…” And yes, these are truly extraordinary cars to drive. But they are not cars you can actually use in the ordinary sense of, you know, a car… So, to stir things up, I like to say: “It’s a Skoda!” I pause for the baffled head shake and then I add: “Actually, it’s the Skoda Superb estate.”

Continue reading… …read more

Boardman SLR Endurance Disc 9.0: bike review | Martin Love

The new range of Boardman bikes has some real gems, and this road bike with disc brakes is one of the stars

Last week Chris Boardman, the former pro cyclist, unveiled his new-look range. There is a refreshed logo and there was much talk of things like Aero Surface Trip technology and improved aerodynamics. But the real news is that, with Halfords backing his range, Chris has been able to give full vent to his passion for precision-engineered racing bicycles that can be afforded (just about) and ridden by us mere mortals.

Boardman bikes have long had a reputation for being great value – perhaps among the best that you could buy on the high street. This new generation lifts that bar still further. The team has also created a new slogan: “Out there with you” – and looking at the range you get a real sense that Boardman and his gang want you to get the most out of every ride.

Continue reading… …read more