Archive for the ‘Gadget review’ Category


January 12, 2007

Four days after ‘the biggest product launch in history’, I still keep walking past creative’s desks and notice them drooling over the iPhone demo.


‘For all us poor suckers that can’t wait’, have a iPhone ReadyMech – a ‘free, flatpack toys for you to print and build’.

Here’s my friend Mark Smith of the eponymously-named-with-a-twist Marksmith ‘using’ his. The poor deluded man:




A couple of iPhone questions I have:

  • Which mobile network will launch it in the UK? As far as I know, only Orange have a WiFi strategy in place, although I presume Virgin will have one soon. Plus, I imagine it will take some kind of network upgrade to support the visual voicemail. Who will be willing to make that kind of investment?
  • Will it actually be called iPhone in June? I think Steve could just be exploiting Cisco’s challenge for publicity, or fun. And the iPhone name kind of does the device a dis-service. After all the iPod isn’t called the iMusic. And you thought they might have learned their lesson on over-specific naming with iTunes – now with video.



Two big frustrations with the Nokia N70 on Orange

February 13, 2006


I am trying to be a good little early adopter, using Nokia’s new N70 phone. I mean ‘personal multimedia computer’, or ‘wand’ as Bruce Sterling calls them. Basically it’s a computer with a phone-like form factor, and where one of its applications is to make phone calls on a mobile network.

What you’d hope though is that it is pretty good at running that most important of applications. Unfortunately Orange have ‘improved’ the device, adding a homescreen that attempts but fails to improve usability over the Nokia original UI. It also seems to be a badly written bit of code, as it slows the whole OS down unacceptably. Sometimes it takes 8 or 10 seconds to open my contacts or a text message. And it’s not just me; people in forums are getting pretty agitated about it too. An acquaintance of an acquaintance who works in the product team at Orange tells us:

…they have now added in the ability to turn off the Homescreen and revert back to the original Nokia UI. This will be available on on future handsets as part of Homescreen v1.9 onwards. The next two Nseries Nokia handsets which we’re launching in the UK… will not have the Homescreen present at all.

So, good if you want one but haven’t got one yet. Very bad if you were a keen upgrader, like me.

But Nokia don’t escape without ire either. They’ve changed the charger for the N Series, but do a good thing by bundling an adaptor with the device, so you can still use your old chargers. However, according to the nice lady at the MPC, they won’t let shops order any adaptors. You can get them through their website, but that doesn’t help if you forget to charge your device and forget to carry your charger – as I did today. So I’ve just had to drop £20 on a new charger.