Is Siri any good?

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One of the major selling points of Apple’s new iPhone is Siri, the voice activated digital personal assistant. It can read and write messages  for you, play songs at your request, give you directions in the USA and understand not just your words but what you mean as well. But Siri is known on the internet not for its functionality but for its hilarity. To see whether it actually worked and whether the iPhone 4S is a worthy upgrade Henry and I took a trip to the Apple Store. Watch our findings below.

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The Poll: What is the best smartphone at the moment?

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Nokia Lumia: Meet the new king of smartphones

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The Nokia Lumia range was launched on Wednesday morning at the annual Nokia World event in London. Along with the Asha range of budget Series 40 phones for the next billion internet users, Stephen Elop’s company unveiled the Lumia 710 and the flagship 800. This announcement would be the most important event in the history of Nokia. Symbian was seen by many as a disaster (THE FONT!) and MeeGo only appeared on one device before becoming Tizen. For Microsoft it was important as well. Windows Phone 7 has been well received, but has failed to gain traction in the overcrowded (by Android) smartphone market. Together they could rejuvenate both their brands with affordable, premium devices, full support, backing and promotion from networks and a multi-million pound ad campaign everywhere you look.

And that’s exactly what they’ve done.

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WP7 AOTW: Torchbear

Torchbear
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From now on I will be doing (roughly once a week) a post on a good Windows Phone 7 app and what I think about it. For the first post I am going to do a free app called Torchbear.

Torchbear is a ‘social game’ in which the users create a torch which can be passed on from player to player via their phone’s location services. A torch can be passed on to any player within 1.6 km and each player can only carry one torch at a time. Each torch must be given a description of what it is for. The first torch that I created contained a link to this blog but others are created to spread a message, promote a cause or for people to post pictures on the torch on a specific subject.

The only problem that I have with Torchbear is that there are not enough users for passing on a torch to be easy. In order for me to pass one on I have to travel 9 km into Brighton.

Torchbear is a fun app that, if you have a Windows Phone, I recommend you download.

Torchbear, Windows Phone 7, Free

Download on the Marketplace or visit the website

Nokia Lumia first impressions

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The two new Lumia phones both look very good. The Nokia Lumia 800 for a start looks fantastic. With a 3.7 inch AMOLED display, a huge 1.4GHz single core Snapdragon processor and 16GB of internal storage (along with the 25GB of free cloud storage that comes with all WP7 phones via SkyDrive) it can compete with most other smartphones. It also has a 1GB RAM and a wonderful 8 megapixel camera with 720p HD recording and Carl Zeiss optics. The Lumia 800 is looking to be a great phone.

The Lumia 710 is the mid range Nokia WP7 device but in spite of this it still seems to have impressive internal hardware. With the same display as the 800. The camera is a decent 5 megapixel, and it also has the same 1.4 GHz procesor. However from the pictures we have seen the 710 looks quite cheap and tacky compared to the sleek look of the 800. However the idea of the swappable covers is good and the fact that Nokia are making them the same colours as the tiles on the home screen for Windows Phone is pretty good too.

Both Lumia phones look to be successful in my opinion.

Nokia World keynote liveblog

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Tomorrow morning at 9am, the ExCeL centre in London will open its doors and play host to Nokia World. We know from Microsoft’s Andy Lees that Nokia’s long awaited Windows Phone handsets (plural!) will be unveiled. We have seen the teasers showing an N9 body, multicoloured tiles and a Windows soft key. We have seen leaks of the Sea Ray and Sabre. Hell, today we even saw more of these devices with the names Lumia 800 and Lumia 710 and maybe even 900. The Mangoes are coming, and Henry and I am liveblogging here so click past the break to see the fruits of Elop’s labour.

P.S. There might also be some QWERTY Symbian action, so it might not all be good!

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Two Nokia Windows Phones leak AGAIN (Update: A dubious third one)

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Two new Nokia smartphones have been leaked just hours ahead of their expected announcement at Nokia World in London tomorrow. These are the Lumia 800 and the Lumia 710, both appearing to run Windows Phone 7. The recent teasers that have been adorning British TV have clearly been showing the Lumia 800, while the Lumia 710 appeared earlier this week code-named Sabre.

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