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ICYMI: the week's 8 biggest tech stories, from Google I/O 2024 to the 1,000th Wordle

 ICYMI graphic.
ICYMI graphic.

There's been no let up in the tech news this week, but we've managed to (just about) keep up with everything that's happened: from AI innovations to Apple laptops, from Android 15 to a new Porsche, there's been a lot to process.

With that in mind, we can forgive you for having missed one or two of the biggest breaking stories of the week – which is where this 'in case you missed it' round-up comes in. You can get yourself back in the loop in just a few minutes.

We'll see you same place, same time next week for another ICYMI. The tech news might have slowed down a little by then... but we doubt it.

8. TCL showed off its super-bright next-gen mini-LED TV

A graphical image of TCL X11H
A graphical image of TCL X11H

The newly unveiled TCL X11H has certainly caught our attention – perhaps due to the incredible 6,500-nit maximum brightness level that it offers, as well as sizes of up to 98 inches and as many as 14,112 mini-LED dimming zones.

It's an absolute monster of a television set, and despite all of that extra brightness, it's actually more energy efficient than TVs using a regular mini-LED backlight. It's also surprisingly thin, considering the tech packed into it.

For now, this TV is only available in China, so we don't have any details on wider pricing or availability. However, expect to pay a substantial amount for the TCL X11H – and you'll need a lot of wall space for it as well.

7. We learned about a key M3 MacBook Air upgrade

New MacBook Air 13-inch with M3 being used in a cafe
New MacBook Air 13-inch with M3 being used in a cafe

One of the disappointments around the base model of M2 MacBook Air was the (relatively) sluggish SSD drive that came with it – but this seems to be an issue that Apple has fixed with the introduction of the M3 edition.

Based on some detailed benchmarks, it looks as though the SSD speeds are back up to where they should be on the entry-level M3 MacBook Air (the one with 256GB of storage). Perhaps unsurprisingly, Apple hasn't mentioned the change.

We've been hugely impressed with everything that the M3 MacBook Air has to offer, and this just confirms our thinking that this is the best laptop upgrade for the majority of people right now. Read our full MacBook Air 13-inch M3 review for more.

6. We saw Keurig's new plastic-free K-Rounds coffee pods

Keurig K-Rounds
Keurig K-Rounds

Single-serve coffee systems are distinctly unfriendly towards the environment – think of all those plastic throwaway K-cups – but Keurig is now ready to present the sustainable future of the industry with the introduction of K-Rounds.

These plastic and aluminum-free coffee pods are basically just coffee – held together with an ultra-thin layer of alginate, a plant-based material. All that's left at the end is a squished coffee ground husk that can be composted.

We've seen the new K-Round coffee pods in action, as well as the Alta Brewer: a new machine custom-built to process the new bods. The hope is we can start making a dent in the half a billion metric tons of coffee capsule waste produced each year.

5. The Porsche Taycan Turbo GT was unveiled, with Apple's help

An image of the Apple Vision Pro used with the Porsche Taycan
An image of the Apple Vision Pro used with the Porsche Taycan

The Porsche Taycan Turbo GT is the most dynamic car in the series to date, and the Weissach version of the vehicle was shown breaking lap records to prove its credentials as a super-powered speedster.

There was something else of note in the promotional video that Porsche released: Porsche CEO Oliver Blume watching the Taycan Turbo GT in action in augmented reality, with the help of the Apple Vision Pro headset.

Cue lots of nice words from Porsche about Apple, and vice versa. It's one of the best demonstrations of the cutting-edge tech in the Vision Pro that we've seen to date – and the car isn't bad, either.

4. Another intriguing Rabbit R1 demo surfaced

Rabbit r1 device
Rabbit r1 device

The AI-powered Rabbit R1 is undoubtedly one of the gadgets of the year so far: it hasn't actually shipped to customers yet, but it offers an intriguing AI twist on the idea of what a pocket-sized portable computer can be.

As we wait for preorders to ship, Rabbit founder and CEO Jesse Lyu has posted a video on social media, showing the R1 in action as it takes notes. Once the recording is done, you can get a full transcription and an AI-powered summary of what's been said.

It looks as though there are still some rough edges to smooth out with the Rabbit R1, but even this short demo shows what the little orange box is capable of. We're looking forward to giving it a try ourselves.

3. Wordle celebrated its 1,000th puzzle

A Wordle logo with the text below it readng 1000th Wordle, on a grey background
A Wordle logo with the text below it readng 1000th Wordle, on a grey background

The world's favorite five-letter word game reached a landmark this week, when Wordle celebrated its 1,000th edition. The New York Times, which owns Wordle, marked the occasion by lighting up the Empire State Building in the game's green, yellow and white colors, while millions of players around the world paid tribute by, um, completing the puzzle. (And if you need help on that front, check out our daily Wordle today hints page.)

Will it still be going strong at 2,000? We wouldn't bet against it. For a game that launched with exactly zero fanfare in June 2021, Wordle's journey has been little short of incredible, and we'll certainly be playing for a long time yet.

2. Marvel reportedly abandoned three movie sequels

The cast of Marvel's Eternals movie including Richard Madden, Salma Hayek and Gemma Chan
The cast of Marvel's Eternals movie including Richard Madden, Salma Hayek and Gemma Chan

It can't be a whole lot of fun being a Marvel executive right now, as the once-lucrative business of superhero movies continues to dwindle. Perhaps most of us are just ready for something else to take over our screens, both small and large.

A new report this week suggests that sequels to Ant-Man, Captain Marvel, and Eternals have all been canned – which is perhaps not surprising, considering how poorly the most recent releases under those titles performed at the box office.

None of this is confirmed yet, but there's been some disappointment expressed online by fans who were keen to see where these stories would go next – and how Harry Styles would get on as Eros in Eternals 2.

1. We found out when Google I/O 2024 will take place

Google I/O 2024
Google I/O 2024

Google I/O is always one of the biggest events of the tech calendar, and this year's instalment will get underway on May 14 – that's the day we'll hear the keynote speeches about all the Google hardware and software heading our way through the rest of 2024.

It's a certainty that we're going to hear more about what's in store with Android 15, while rumors (and past history) suggest we might also get a grand unveiling for the Pixel 8a, Google's next mid-range Android handset.

Apart from that, expect AI – lots and lots of AI. Google isn't going to want to fall behind its competitors in this area, so it's likely that there will be plenty of announcements about new AI features and integrations. We'll find out more in a couple of months.