Mother’s Day, head-to-head, market cap, city block, smart speaker, April Mac games

Mother’s Day 2017 Gift Guide: The best tech gifts your mom will love — With Mother’s Day less than a week away, we’re rounding up the best gifts for the Apple-loving mom, including smart kitchen gadgets, iOS devices, W1 headphones and more. [Not all these things will be available in, or ship to, New Zealand but you might get some ideas.]

Surface Laptop vs. MacBook Air vs. Dell XPS 13 vs. HP Spectre x360 13t: A specs comparison — It’s a thin-and-light spec fight! Here’s how the Surface Laptop compares to the competition, at least on paper. TechConnect’s Gordan Mac Ung decided to see just what you get out of the Surface Laptop and comparable Apple, Dell and HP laptops at the four popular price points of US$1000, $1300, $1500 and $2000. [The MacBook Air is bound to be slow by comparison – its anaemic chip is already two generations old. Apple REALLY needs to sort this out. Need a loan, Apple, to tide you over?]

Apple’s market cap soars past $800 billion as shares march higher on ‘iPhone 8’ hype — Investors have largely moved past Apple’s latest results and are focused on an anticipated iPhone redesign, as the company’s stock continues to achieve new milestones, crossing the $800 billion market capitalisation threshold on Monday.

Apple may buy half a city block in Reno, Nevada — Apple could purchase half of a city block in downtown Reno, Nevada for a 30,000 square-foot facility, according to MyNews 4. The Reno City Council has listed an agenda item for its Wednesday meeting to allow Apple to buy property at 6th Street and Evans Avenue.

Smart speaker market to boom, so bring on that Siri-based speaker system — The rumour mill says Apple is working on a Siri-based competitor to the Amazon Echo “smart speaker,” which could debut at next month’s Worldwide Developer Conference. If so, the company could have perfect timing: according to Parks Associates, the market for smart speakers with voice assistants will grow 60% from 2016 to 2017. The research firm also estimates that in 2020, annual sales in this product category will exceed 50 million units.

April was a good month for Mac games — Nothing comes close to this past April in terms of quality Mac games released. In fact, April 2017 may have been the most exciting month for Mac gaming ever.
There were three highly anticipated AAA games, two remasters of beloved classics and a few indies that first killed it on Kickstarter and now are killing with great reviews.