Techslice: Some random thoughts about Siri

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Techslice is a column by Ali Wilson. Views expressed are not necessarily those of Digixav.

Siri is truly excellent voice recognition software that Apple introduced with the iPhone 4S and probably the new iPhone I spoke about last week. Siri is useful in many ways, as you can simply tell Siri to do what you want and it will do it almost instantly. It is also very entertaining, as I found out when trying it out on my friend’s iPhone 4S. If you ask something it cannot answer, Siri strives to give you a witty and entertaining response.

Siri is also easily accessible, with two extremely simple ways to activate it. The first is by pressing and holding the home button and waiting for the Siri toolbar to appear. The second is able to be turned off and on, and all you have to do is raise the phone to your ear, wait for the beep, and then say your command. This is very useful as it would be nonsensical if you had to go searching for Siri when you could just as easily have found what you were looking for in a shorter time without your voice.

There is only one minor flaw that I can see from my extensive tests, and that is that you must speak very clearly. If you don’t speak clearly enough, Siri has trouble recognising what you say and will normally answer with the wrong thing. This is time consuming and is a regular occurrence if you try and speak in a normal voice. This was proved by Henry and Xavier when they tested it in October.

Overall, I found Siri excellent and it is by far the best voice recognition programme that I have ever used. However, I don’t see why Apple has made Siri exclusive to the iPhone. As the owner of an iPad 2, I am strongly disappointed by this and am living in hope that soon, Apple will add Siri to the iPad. Not to finish on a bad note though – as I said above, Siri is excellent in almost every way and definitely top dog among mobile voice recognition platforms.

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Techslice: The new iPhone rumour mill

iPhone 4S
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Techslice is a column by Ali Wilson. Views expressed are not necessarily those of Digixav.

In October 2011, Apple released their latest iPhone: the iPhone 4S. A lot of people were disappointed with the result that came 18 months after the 4 and were expecting something a bit more, well, new. By sight, the iPhone 4S is the same as its predecessor, the iPhone 4. The only major differences for a year of development were a dual-core A5 processor from the iPad 2, Siri and 3 additional megapixels in the camera.

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So with so few differences in the last upgrade, we are expecting great things from the iPhone 5/iPhone 4G/iPhone 6/new iPhone. There has been a concept design released and, as you can see, it does look very different to the previous model.

iPhone 5

Straight away, the first thing we notice is potential design overhaul of the new iPhone. Apple may reverted towards their old curved design from the original models. The shape is a lot less square and is much more rounded, a lot like the new Samsung Galaxy S III. The screen size may increase from the current 3.5″, with rumours circling that Apple may enlarge it to a whopping 4.8″, although Steve Jobs would turn in his grave. He was in staunch opposition to larger screens as he (rightly) thought that they made the iPhone resemble an Android phone.

The sixth installment to the iPhone series is said to be being released just over a year after its older brother. It was thought that if it was released earlier, then the new iPad’s sales would not be as high. Apple have therefore left a six-month gap between the iPad and the iPhone’s release. It is rumoured for early October 2012.

So, if you’re thinking of investing in an iPhone 4S, think again. It should be worth the wait of (potentially) just six months, because Apple could change everything. Again.

Techslice: Why Prezi is the new PowerPoint

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Techslice is a column by Ali Wilson. Views expressed are not necessarily those of Digixav.

Two weeks ago, I came across some new web-based presentation software. Prezi uses one simple factor that makes it simply fantastic – it uses 100% zoom transition. No flicking between multiple slides with petty little animations. No, as Prezi uses only one slide that you can fit just about anything on. It then zooms in and out of your different pieces of information to give you the ultimate presentation.

It is also completely free if you have an educational e-mail address to sign up with. This is normally your school e-mail address. So, instead of paying over £100 for Microsoft PowerPoint, you can use something better for free. And it has an iPad app. It really doesn’t take much time to learn to use either, as it is really very easy and is explained in simple detail on the websites excellent tutorials.

If you want to see an example of Prezi in action then visit this Prezi I threw together in about 2 minutes. If the link comes up with “No search results for…” then simply press the search button again.

All in all, I think that Prezi is a much better resource than PowerPoint, being generally better in any thinkable way, and it is therefore going to the top of the Techslice Top 10 of Internet Things – of one thing.

Techslice Top 10 of Internet Things

  1. Prezi
  2. Coming soon
  3. Coming soon
  4. Coming soon
  5. Coming soon
  6. Coming soon
  7. Coming soon
  8. Coming soon
  9. Coming soon
  10. Coming soon