Our weekly roundup of the top news stories in the world of tech for the week beginning January 11th, 2016.
The rumoured 4-inch iPhone might be called the ‘iPhone 5e’
Word of a new smaller-screened iPhone has been circulating since Apple made the jump to 4.7 and 5.5-inches with 2014’s iPhone 6 brothers, but a user on Chinese social media site, Weibo now has a name and some numbers to add to the hearsay.
Contrary to other speculation suggesting such a device might be named the iPhone 6c or 7c, Weibo user Braum claims that the 4-inch model will be called the iPhone 5e, with the ‘e’ standing for ‘enhanced’. Such enhancements would include NFC, Apple Pay and VoLTE functionality, whilst specs would receive a slight bump from the iPhone 5s, like Apple’s A8 chip (in place of the 5s’s A7) and iOS 9.3 out the box.
If any of this were true, then the operating system version would suggest that the 5e isn’t far from launch, as iOS 9.3 is already seeding to developers right now. Find out more here.
Heavy emoji use suggests you think about (and have) sex more often
Match.com recently published its latest study, showing that from a pool of 5600 singles in the US, those who drop more emojis in their messages think about sex more often and have sex more often than those who don’t.
The winking face emoji is one of the most heavily used and flirtatious, whilst men or more likely whip out the kissing face or heart eyes emojis and women, the traditional smiley or lips. Find out more here.
BBC Two is bringing back Robot Wars
Kim Shillinglaw, controller for BBC Two and BBC Four has commissioned a new six-episode run of robotic carnage that’ll see some old faces – namely house robots including the unkillable Sir Killalot, reappear back on our TV screens.
After a six season run on the BBC until 2003 (and an additional season on Channel 5), Robot Wars will be returning, although it’s unclear as to whether the original hosts – Craig Charles, Philippa Forrester and commentator Jonathan Pearce will be tied to the reboot. Shillinglaw has however promised that this newest incarnation of the show will be more of an “immersive experience.” What that exactly means however, is unclear. Find out more here.
The Sony Xperia Z5 is tickled pink
After supposed leaked imagery showing a pink variant of Sony’s standard Xperia Z5 flagship Android smartphone emerged online and the company teased the world from its Instagram feed, we were fairly certain that such a phone was going to make an appearance soon and earlier this week, Sony made it official.
The pink Sony Xperia Z5 is a little subtler than the shade adopted by the smaller Z5 Compact, one that Sony describes as warm and sophisticated, with an approximate arrival time of February. Find out more here.
Archos smartphone sales continue to rise
Whilst most people pack an iPhone or a Samsung Galaxy handset nowadays, you can’t dispute the numbers that French smartphone-maker Archos has just pushed out, making steady progress up the ranks.
The company just published new figures highlighting a 20 per cent increase in sales since the same time last year, having pushed to become the seventh largest smartphone seller in Europe as of 2015 – impressive as it only entered into the smartphone space two years prior.
Volvo’s XC90 is the safest car of 2015
With 2015 all wrapped up, independant car safety assessment organisation, Euro NCAP could say without question that the Volvo XC90 was the safest car of last year. Volvo’s established SUV scored consistently highly throughout testing, with a 97 per cent for adult occupant protection, 100 per cent for its safety assist technologies and 87 per cent for its child occupant protection.
Other high-scoring entrants include the Mercedes-Benz GLC, which won the best small off-road category, the Jaguar XE and Toyota Avensis, which tied for best large family car and the Mazda MX5, which achieved a four star rating, placing it above any other roadster tested. Find out more here.
iOS 9.3 will be easier on your eyes at night
Apple’s iOS 9.3 update has already hit developers and should be arriving on compatible iPhones in the coming weeks. One of the most notable new features for users is called Night Shift and hopes to make using your iPhone in dark environments easier on the eyes.
Night Shift works by shifting the colour temperature of the display on your iOS device to the warmer end of the spectrum in the later hours of the day. By filtering out blue light, there’s a reduced chance of late-night iPhone usage disturbing your circadian rhythms and as such, your natural sleep patterns. Find out more here.