Features

Here’s how Apple iOS 8 HomeKit works

Here’s how Apple iOS 8 HomeKit works

Apple has set its sights on the smart home, and HomeKit is how it plans to dominate it, promising a more cohesive automation experience by becoming the glue that holds everything together. HomeKit won’t launch officially until iOS 8 arrives on iPhones and iPads later this year, but developers and accessory manufacturers are already being let into the loop so they can get their software and hardware ready. Read on to find out exactly how it works.

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Blurred Lines: Melding Mac and iOS into one Apple life

Blurred Lines: Melding Mac and iOS into one Apple life

There’s more to breaking down the barriers between desktop and mobile than making the UIs on an iPhone and a MacBook look alike, and Apple used its WWDC 2014 opening keynote to hint at how. Continuity came up several times during the presentation, on both the OS X and the iOS sides, explaining how later this year our Macs and iPhones will work together to transfer tasks as you move between them. Yet the potential for Continuity goes far further than just giving you a bigger keyboard to finish your email on.

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ST Octane Academy: Ultimate owner driving experience

ST Octane Academy: Ultimate owner driving experience

Take a compact car, add a meaty engine, and you’ve got a recipe for success, and Ford is aiming to show drivers just how fun its high-performance small cars can be. Held at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah, the ST Octane Academy puts new Focus ST and Fiesta ST owners on the track with racing instructors to make sure they’re getting the best out of their cars. Ford invited me along to try my hand at the wheel.

There’s an art for squeezing the fastest lap times and the most fun out of a fast - but not supercar fast - car. In a supercar you almost certainly fall short of nudging its limits (my time behind the wheel of the Lamborghini Aventador was evidence of that) and can generally count on electronics and power to get you out of most situations.

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iOS 8 round-up: Apple paves the way for hardware

iOS 8 round-up: Apple paves the way for hardware

Apple’s newest version of their mobile operating system, iOS 8, builds on the look and feel of iOS 7. Inside you’ll find a number of feature updates on the surface, but - especially important since it was introduced at a developer conference - you’ll find more underneath the surface than meets the eye. Apple suggests that iOS 8 is "Huge for developers. Massive for everyone else."

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The $4.5m Monster Trucks running gold mines

The $4.5m Monster Trucks running gold mines

I'll confess, my attention wasn't entirely on Ford's top-secret 2015 F-150 prototype when I saw the clandestine trucks in action at the Cortez gold mine. After all, it's hard to concentrate when multistory monster-trucks are roaming a near-Martian landscape. Roughly $4.5m apiece, they're the sort of heavy machinery most of us never come into contact with, so join me on a photo-tour of these big-wheeled behemoths.

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Gold Standard: Inside Ford’s 2015 F-150 secret testing

Gold Standard: Inside Ford’s 2015 F-150 secret testing

At first glance you don’t notice the Ford F-150, not when there’s a vast Liebherr T282B dump truck towering above. Looks can be deceiving, though: this is no ordinary Ford truck, but in fact an experimental prototype of Ford’s new 2015 F-150, potentially worth more than the 2,700HP monster that looms over it. But, I’m getting ahead of myself. First of all I’m wearing steel-toed boots and standing in a gold mine in the middle of Nevada.

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Surface Pro 3 Review

Surface Pro 3 Review

The Surface Pro 3 is something special. Microsoft has refused to give up on its concept of one device that’s both a tablet and ultrabook, and its ramped up the trash-talk, too, calling out the MacBook Air and iPad by name when it launched the third-generation Windows 8.1 machine. Thing is, this may not just be hot air: bigger but lighter, faster but slimmer, the Surface Pro 3 might well be the hybrid Microsoft has been promising all this time. More importantly, it could well convince me - as an unabashed Mac and iPad user - that the Surface Pro 3 is now competitive. Read on for my full review.

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Making VR mainstream: SMI’s eye-tracking magic hands-on

Making VR mainstream: SMI’s eye-tracking magic hands-on

Eye-tracking tech could finally go mainstream with head-mounted displays like Oculus Rift and Sony Project Morpheus, with pupil spotting specialist SMI readying new consumer-level hardware for gaming, VR, and social networking. SensoMotoric Instruments may not be a household name, but it might be one you end up silently thanking if you've ever gotten motion-sick from using a virtual reality headset. I caught up with the company to find out how understanding eyes may be more important - and closer to the market - than you think.

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Apple Beats: The Next Episode

Apple Beats: The Next Episode

The acquisition of Beats by Apple was not about shutting down a rival company, nor was it about grabbing patents. Apple didn’t intent on purchasing Beats because they wanted good designers or because they didn’t already have good enough headphones themselves. Instead, this purchase was the first in Apple’s public transformation into a company that isn’t forced to retain its excellence by strict regulation of hardware and software. Now begins Apple’s diversification.

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