Everybody’s thinking about the future this week. While Britain goes to the polls to pick its next government, in the world of tech we’ve been looking at the future of Android, of phones, of iOS and of strapping things to faces in the name of entertainment. Not only that, but we’ve got the latest from Nintendo, a new purple patch for the PC and the best snake-related news this side of a giant snake monster eating Nigel Farage.
IO, IO, we’ve already made that joke
We’re just days away from Google IO 2015, which invades San Francisco’s Moscone Center on May 28 and 29. It’s when Google sets out its stall for the coming year, and that means new Android, more Chrome, more Android Wear, Google Glass, self-driving cars and Games in Motion, a new Android Wear initiative that’s designed to make getting fit less gruelling. Most tantalisingly of all, we’re expecting to see some new wearables from the people behind Project Ara, Google’s modular phone initiative. They’re promising "badass and beautiful wearables that we hope will blow your socks off."
Incoming! Android M is imminent
Thanks to a document that was uploaded too early, we know that the next major version of Android, Android M, will be unveiled at Google IO. We don’t know what the M stands for yet – Malteser? Milkshake? Mars Bar? – but we know what we want to see in Android M. Here’s hoping it makes our wish-list happen.
iOS 9′s leaking already
You don’t need to be clairvoyant to predict that Apple will release iOS 9 this year, and we’re expecting to see it for the first time at WWDC in early June. The leaks have started already, and we’re hearing that Siri’s getting a colourful redesign to make it more like the version on the Apple Watch. There’ll also be a host of security improvements and – we hope you’re sitting down – a new wallpaper. The redesigned, Beats Music-incorporating Music app is getting an overhaul too, although Apple is apparently having problems getting all the record company licences it would like.
Oculus Rift won’t be a Christmas gift
The excellent Oculus Rift VR headset keeps getting better, but sadly it appears to be getting further away too: Facebook has dashed hopes of a 2015 release by announcing that the headset will launch in early 2016. It won’t be cheap and it’ll require a hefty PC to power it. Expect lots more details in the coming weeks as Facebook starts to share more of its VR strategy.
Microsoft gathers momentum
What’s that coming over the hill? Is it a monster? No, it’s Windows 10 and Office 2016, both of which are in public preview. The latest Windows build, build 2015, takes us closer to the final release and delivers a whole bunch of improvements, all of which we’ve detailed in our comprehensive guide to Windows 10. As for Office, it’s been rebuilt for the cloud and delivers real-time document co-authoring in Word. You can try both Windows and Office right now for free.
The PC is baaaaaack
Not that it ever went away, but the PC is back! As Jamie Hinks explains: "the initial spurts of a recovery have turned into a full-on rebirth fuelled by Microsoft’s new OS plans, the thirst for PC gaming, and a whole number of other related advantages." Put down your tablet and switch off your smartphone, because these days the PC is where it’s at. Oh yeah.
Nintendo’s back in black
Der! Der der der! Der der der! Dee dee dee dee dee dee! That’s AC/DC there, playing Back in Black for the benefit of Nintendo fans everywhere. That’s because Nintendo is back in (the) black, and to celebrate it’s just signed a deal with Universal Parks & Resorts to create a real-life Nintendo Land. Well, sort of. Universal theme parks will get "spectacular, dedicated experiences based on Nintendo’s wildly popular games, characters and world."
Snake it off
Remember Snake, the Nokia phone game that killed countless hours from the late 90s onwards? It’s back, and it’s coming to a smartphone near you (unless you live in Ireland, which has been a snake-free zone since the days of Saint Patrick. Er, probably). Talent Armando, who brought Snake to Nokias back in 1997, has teamed up with games studio Rumilus Design to bring Snake to iOS, Android and Windows Phone. It’s not the old Snake, though: it’s got new graphics and power-ups, although the original version’s in there too. If you want to party like it’s 1999, you can get the game from next weekend.