Facebook shops, Power Laces rock and all the phone rumours drop

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Week in Tech
Facebook shops, Power Laces rock and all the phone rumours drop

What's the emoji for $19 billion? Whatever it is, the founders of WhatsApp are no doubt using it with gay abandon: this week it went from being a Facebook rival to a part of the Facebook family.

So what's going on? Matt Swider explains that it's all about the developing world, where WhatsApp is huge. Meanwhile, columnist Gary Marshall argues that Facebook's new motto is: if you can't beat 'em, buy 'em. 

Elsewhere in tech, Google decided Glass users needed rules like "Don't be a creep", which Kate Solomon swiftly derided. "Google's not our dad, we don't need it to tell us not to be assholes." MWC 2014 kicks off on Sunday and so the phone rumours have been flowing thick and fast, too - the Samsung Galaxy S5 looks set to lead the charge, while LG jumped the gun by letting the G2 Mini loose early. 

And finally, Nike gave us all a treat by confirming that Marty McFly's Power Laces are coming in 2015 - that's next year, or about five minutes' time if you happen to have a DeLorean and some plutonium handy... 

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In this week
Week in Tech: Facebook buys WhatsApp as the world gears up for MWC 2014
Talking points: Samsung Galaxy S5, One Drive, Galaxy Note 4 and Chromecast 
Competition: Win! A Lytro field camera
The week's best buys: iPad Air, Advent Vega Tegra Note 7, PlayStation 4
Top 10: The world's top 10 tablets
Talking points
One love, OneDrive - Microsoft's data vault goes live
One legal battle and a bunch of mooted names later, Microsoft has flipped the switch on its revamped OneDrive cloud storage service. The data vault formerly known as SkyDrive has new features that put it on a par with Dropbox and Google Drive, like a new Android camera app and real-time co-authoring to boot. Read more
Samsung Galaxy S5 could be the steal of the century
Rumours about Samsung's next flagship have been flying ahead of MWC 2014, and we're very much in favour of this latest leak. Bloomberg's sources tell it that Samsung is under pressure to lower the price of the Galaxy S5. It won't skimp on specs though - we're hearing a sharper 5.2" display, better camera and battery and maybe even a fingerprint scanner. We'll find out for sure next week... Read more
Galaxy Note 4 could let you call mum by writing 'call mum'
You can unlock your Note 3 by scribbling your signature on the lockscreen, but that's not enough. Samsung wants to use your handwriting to launch apps, so the Note 4 may be the first Samsung phone to let you call mum by writing 'call mum'. Read more
Crucial Chromecast update hits Android devices, brings barrage of apps
The app floodgates are open. With the release of Google Play Services 4.2 to devices worldwide, Google has rolled out new Chromecast APIs for casting content to the TV. What does this mean for you? An armada of Chromecast apps hitting the Play Store soon. Read more
WIN! A Lytro Field Camera
The Lytro Field Camera is a unique pocket-sized snapper that uses an 11-Megaray sensor to take incredible "living" pictures that can be refocused long after they've ben taken.
Enter competition
WIN! A Canon EOS 700D with an EF-S 18-55mm lens
Enter competition
Last chance: WIN! Rocksmith 2014 on PS3 and two guitars
Enter competition
Your tweets this week
The week's best buys

Apple iPad Air 

If you want the best tablet on the market then you should get the iPad Air. It's got a stunningly sleek design, powerful innards and a superb suite of apps, many of which are free, and the iOS interface is clean and easy to get to grips with. After years of engineering, Apple reckons it's nailed it - and we agree. The iPad Air is as near to tablet perfection as you're going to get.

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Read review

You might think that decent budget Android tablets start and end with Google's Nexus line, but you'd be wrong. Nvidia has pushed the design brief beyond a typical cheap Android tablet and shown that power, flexibility and a great Android experience can be had for a price that makes it accessible to everyone. With better speakers, more power and a stylus to boot, it's the budget Android tablet to beat.
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Read review

Sony's PlayStation 4 is the most powerful games console in the world. It's fast, attractive and has a streamlined philosophy that puts games front and centre, while still bringing film streaming, media playing cards to the table. All that for a relatively attractive price point? Yes please.  
View offer
Read review
What you said about Facebook buying WhatsApp
@MunfaliKaChilka at first I was sad. I thought they will ruin #WhatsApp. But I guess we have to move on. Will keep using it..
@theglennkelly don't like how Facebook trying to control our lives. 1st its their want for us to use their email, photos & now Instant messaging
@tombik99 it shocked me a bit, but as long as it will be the best messenger on #android I will continue using it
Top  10  tablets in the world
What's the best tablet in the world today? If you've read this newsletter closely, you'll already know - but we're constantly comparing and rating the top dogs so you know what to buy.
View top 10
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 New issue is out now
See the world with the tech travel guide: the gadgets to take, the places to go and the cameras to record it all. Plus Mac Pro review and T3 investigates drones... 

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