The Week in Gadgets
As ever, it was a busy week in the gadget world with the quietly brilliant team at HTC unleashing a slew of new European handsets at a London launch. Meanwhile, over at Nokia World the Finnish giant outlined its vision of the mobile telecommunications based future, with a number of new low- mid- and high-end handsets. We’ll be looking at both the Nokia and HTC releases in detail over the next week.
Twitter gave itself a brisk birdbath and launched a shiny new version of its web interface, modelled very much on the recent proliferation of desktop and phone-based apps – in particular the excellent Twitter for iPad app. Whilst the old Twitter interface was a curiously downbeat and simple affair, the new Twitter has a swanky 2 column layout and has much better photo, link and video sharing options built in. They’ve also attempted to shift the focus of the site to consumption – it’s a fantastic resource for people into news, music, film or comedy to dip into for real time content and the new layout emphasises this, reducing some of the pressure for you to “join in” as it were.
Hot on the heels of Apple’s revamp of its iPod range, Sony have released the s750 WALKMAN. Ultra thin – 7.2 mm to be exact, the s750 manages to squeeze a Digital Noise Cancelling system into the aluminium body. They claim this can cancel up to 98% of background noise and coupled with other Clear Audio technologies, should provide a decent listening experience. DRM-free music and video can be transferred via drag-and-drop and there is also some DoubleTwist-esque software that converts your DIVX and AVCHD files into s750-compatible files. Handy if you miss the video playback stripped from the new iPod nanos. With 50 hours of music playback or 10 hours of video, a built in karaoke mode, a lyrics app and something that automatically generates mood-based playlists, the s750 should be worth checking out when it lands in October.
If you’re learning to drive, you should probably take a gander at the new, feature-packed Theory Test iPhone app from the people behind LowPriceLessons.com. Using geolocation software, the app finds Approved Driving Instructors near you, shows you prices and reviews from other users and allows you to call them, direct from the app. As the name suggests, it also comes with Theory and Hazard Perception tests and even includes a multiplayer-social element where you can compete with friends. Not bad for £1.19 – especially when rival apps such as the £1.79 AA Theory Test application simply have theory tests and lack the instructor booking, multiplayer elements or Hazard Perception tests. Out now in the App store.