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Alun Taylor

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Vauxhall Ampera

Vauxhall Ampera hybrid e-car

Only the most ardent electric-vehicle advocate would argue that the current state of battery technology and absence of recharging infrastructure isn’t an impediment to the widespread adoption of the e-car. On paper, the new Vauxhall Ampera – the European version of the Chevrolet Volt – has the perfect answer to this problem: it …
Alun Taylor, 29 May 2012
HTC One V Android smartphone

HTC One V Android smartphone

In the beginning was the Hero and then came the Legend, and now the Legend has sired the One V. Yes, the V is the runt of the One litter but its forebears had a solid following and, as a one-time Hero owner, I’m hoping the bloodline is in good health. HTC One V Android smartphone Another one: HTC's One V With the One V, HTC’s …
Alun Taylor, 25 May 2012
Novatel MiFi 2352

Ten... Mi-Fi HSPA 3G wireless mini-routers

Reg Hardware Mobile Broadband Week If you want cellular data connectivity when you're out and about you can cough up for a laptop or tablet with a Sim card slot, but they are hardly cheap. Or you can tether your phone if your telco lets you. Another alternative is a portable router. These can be bought with data contracts …
Alun Taylor, 23 May 2012
Evernote Android app icon

Evernote

As a long-time user of Catch Notes it was going to take something quite impressive to get me to jump ship to arch-rival Evernote but a recent update and integration with the latest versions of HTC's Sense have persuaded me to do so. The upgrade has brought a new Ice Cream Sandwich-esque design to the app. There’s still an awful …
Alun Taylor, 22 May 2012
White Space networking

UK mobile broadband carriers compared

Reg Hardware Mobile Broadband Week Two years ago, I plugged a selection of 3G dongles into my laptop at various locations to see what the coverage and speed offered by the major mobile networks was like. You can see the results here, but with HSPA being introduced at ever higher upload and download speeds, it's time to …
Alun Taylor, 21 May 2012
IMDb Android app icon

IMDb

If you're a fan of the movies then this app should be right up your aisle. Not only can IMDb tell you just about everything you could ever wish to know about just about every film ever made, but it has all the information you need to plan your movie-going night out too. Film opening dates, show times, the location and contact …
Alun Taylor, 15 May 2012
Hyundai Veloster

Hyundai Veloster coupé

Tradition dictates that cars look the same from the left as the right. Not Hyundai’s new hatchback coupé, though. It has a rear door on the passenger's side but not on the driver’s. Clever idea or gimmick? More to the point, will it lure buyers away from the the obvious alternatives, the VW Scirocco and Vauxhall Astra GTC? From …
Alun Taylor, 14 May 2012
National Rail Enquiries Android app icon

National Rail Enquiries

I should use local trains more often, but there are several reasons why I don’t. One is I’ve no idea where most of my local stations are, let alone the ones dotted further afield around Manchester. Secondly, I can’t be bothered picking up timetables. The new National Rail Enquiries app solves both these problems and could herald …
Alun Taylor, 08 May 2012
Android app Textagram icon

Textgram

Textgram is another app designed to differentiate your digital self from the masses, in this case by letting you send graphically enhanced missives as MMS messages, or as pictures to your social network. Maybe it’s the use of 'gram' in the name, but Textgram has already racked up between 100,000 and 500,000 downloads since its …
Alun Taylor, 01 May 2012
Google Currents Android app icon

Google Currents

When Google’s Currents news and magazine reader was released late last year, I thought it one of the most visually attractive apps ever to come out of Mountain View. Looks aside, though, there was a lot wrong with it, not least the time it took to sync. A recent update claims to have fixed that and added a host of new features …
Alun Taylor, 24 Apr 2012
Navigon 20 Easy satnav

Ten... Satnavs to suit all budgets

The squeeze is on for satnav makers stuck between the rock of smartphone navigation apps and the hard place of the built-in systems that are finding their way into ever cheaper showroom models. Of course, there are still a heck of a lot of cars on the road that don’t have built-in navigation and while using your phone is fine …
Alun Taylor, 21 Apr 2012
HTC One S Android smartphone

HTC One S Android smartphone

Playing Tonto to the One X’s Lone Ranger in HTC’s new model line-up is the One S. I’ll get to Silver, the One V, when it arrives in a few weeks. For now though, we can see if HTC’s much vaunted One series makes sense from a technical, as well as a marketing perspective. HTC One S Android smartphone Tonto's talker: HTC's One S …
Alun Taylor, 19 Apr 2012
Instagram Android app icon

Instagram

At last, the much vaunted iPhone picture blogging app has arrived on Android and, judging by the one million downloads it saw on the day of release, it’s been eagerly awaited. For the uninitiated, Instagram is a Twitter-like affair but with a picture taking the place of the 140 characters. You take a snap, jazz it up with some …
Alun Taylor, 17 Apr 2012
TED Android app icon

TED

TED - or Technology, Entertainment and Design - is a series of conferences run by a private not-for-profit organisation called the Sapling Foundation. In its own words, it was formed to disseminate "ideas worth spreading". So what we have here then is a collection of 1200-odd - with more being added each week - video lectures …
Alun Taylor, 10 Apr 2012
Renualt Twizy

Renault Twizy budget e-car

Some vehicles are more suited to certain geographical locales than others. Case in point: Renault's new two-seater electric runabout may not make much sense in central Manchester on a cold, dark, drizzly December evening. On the other hand, on a sunny afternoon on a Mediterranean island it could be right at home. Lucky, then, …
Alun Taylor, 10 Apr 2012
HTC One X quad-core Android smartphone

HTC One X Android smartphone

HTC messed up in 2011 by releasing too many similar handsets. There was nothing actually wrong with phones likes the Sensation, Sensation XL, Sensation XE or Incredible S but equally none of them had me itching to upgrade my Desire HD ahead of schedule. HTC One X quad-core Android smartphone The X factor: HTC's One X Now HTC …
Alun Taylor, 06 Apr 2012
Runtastic Push Up Android app icon

Runtastic Push Up

Those of you with six-packs, biceps of iron and a physique from a eugenicist’s wet dream can stop reading now. For the rest of us, who have been planning to “get fit” next week, next month or next year, Runtastic’s Push Up app may be just what’s needed to whet our blunted purpose. The idea behind this app - like all the best …
Alun Taylor, 03 Apr 2012
Samsung YP-G70CW Galaxy S WiFi 5.0

Samsung Galaxy S WiFi 5.0 Android media player

I reviewed Samsung’s first Android media player just over a year ago and frankly thought it was awful. I'm sure I wasn't alone. Undaunted, Samsung tried again with a new device packing a larger screen, faster CPU and bigger battery but only costing £40 more. Samsung YP-G70CW Galaxy S WiFi 5.0 Second listen: Samsung's Galaxy S …
Alun Taylor, 03 Apr 2012
Toshiba AT200 16GB 10.1in Android tablet

Toshiba AT200 Excite

At only 7.7mm thick, Toshiba boasts that its new tablet is the slimmest yet and it’s a claim I can’t argue with either. Dubbed the Excite in the US and the rather less exciting AT200 elsewhere, Tosh's slim slab is 0.9mm thinner than the previous title holder, the Samsung Galaxy 10.1. While the Apple iPad 2 seems positively …
Alun Taylor, 02 Apr 2012
Dijit Android app icon

Dijit

It’s two-for-one this week as I take a look at the Dijit remote control app and Griffin Technologies' Beacon accessory, which connects to your phone over Bluetooth and then operates your home entertainment kit. Dijit Android app screenshot   Dijit Android app screenshot Devices get basic layouts, such as this one for a Sky+ box …
Alun Taylor, 27 Mar 2012
N7Player Android app icon

N7Player

It’s not often that I come across an application that displaces a default choice on my phone within minutes of me downloading it, but the N7Player music player is just one such. I think it’s brilliant. Before I go on, let me make one thing clear: I’m an obsessive about album cover art. I go to great, some would say unhealthy …
Alun Taylor, 20 Mar 2012
Viewsonic Viewpad 10e Android tablet

Viewsonic Viewpad 10e tablet

‘Budget tablet’ is a phrase that tends to crop up in reviews that only ever reach one conclusion: the product is pretty awful. But the new Viewsonic Viewpad 10e may be the exception that proves the rule, because this £200 Argos-exclusive ain’t half bad. Viewsonic Viewpad 10e Android tablet Viewsonic's Viewpad 10e adopts the …
Alun Taylor, 15 Mar 2012
Panasonic CF-53 Toughbook rugged laptop

Panasonic CF-53 Toughbook 14in rugged laptop

Skinny Ultrabooks may be getting all the press at the moment but what it you want a laptop that will withstand the knocks, drops and tribulations of use on the road and in the great outdoors rather than the board-room? Panasonic’s semi-rugged CF-53 Toughbook may be just the ticket. Panasonic CF-53 Toughbook rugged laptop Ready …
Alun Taylor, 13 Mar 2012
TuneIn Pro Android app icon

TuneIn Radio Pro

I stumbled across TuneIn while reviewing the Archos 35 Home Connect - it’s preinstalled as that device’s main radio portal - and since that chance encounter it has ended up on all my Android devices. TuneIn allegedly offers over 50,000 internet radio stations and 1.2m on-demand programmes. I’m not about to count them to see if …
Alun Taylor, 13 Mar 2012
Gadgets for cars

Ten... in-car gadgets and accessories

Reg Hardware Car Week With so much tech being built into the even the most mundane of motors, writing round-ups of car gadgets isn’t as easy as it used to be. For this list, the brief was even more exacting: only include kit that if you were given one for Christmas it wouldn’t be on eBay come Boxing Day. There’s a lot here to …
Alun Taylor, 10 Mar 2012
Geneva Motor Show visitor

Ten... stars of the Geneva Motor Show

Reg Hardware Car Week The annual automotive get-together on the shores of Lake Geneva is arguably now the premier annual European car show. With auto makers having a better time of the current economic situation than many other manufacturing concerns, there was a definite feeling of optimism about the halls of the 82nd Geneva …
Alun Taylor, 09 Mar 2012
Renault Megane 265 Trophy

Renault Mégane 265 Trophy 2.0 turbo

Reg Hardware Car Week Lap times around the fearsome 13 mile Nürburgring have become a touchstone for performance road cars in recent years. Renault’s new Mégane 265 Trophy has been hustled around in 8m 08s, which is the current lap record for a front-wheel drive car. Renault Megane 265 Trophy Not a subtle car To put that …
Alun Taylor, 08 Mar 2012
Vauxhall Ampera E-Rev e-car

Ten... e-cars and hybrids

Reg Hardware Car Week What started out as a dribble in 2011 is becoming a deluge in 2012 as e-cars in the form of pure electrics, range extenders and plug-in hybrids capabilities start to become ever more common. Until we see a major breakthrough in battery tech, the day will belong to the plug-in hybrids and REs, but that’s …
Alun Taylor, 07 Mar 2012
Peugeot 3008 HYbrid4 diesel electric hybrid

Peugeot 3008 HYbrid4

Reg Hardware Car Week Car company PRs are always a chirpy bunch, but with a practised eye you can tell when they think they are really on to something. That's currently the case with the folk from Peugeot, who are like a dog with two tails to wag when talking about the new 3008 HYbrid4, the world’s first diesel electric …
Alun Taylor, 06 Mar 2012
iOnRoad Augmented Driving app icon

iOnRoad Augmented Driving

Reg Hardware Car Week Possibly the most - only? - useful augmented reality app I’ve come across, iOnRoad Augmented Driving uses your phone to provide a selection of handy driving advisories and warnings not unlike those provided by the latest Ford Focus. The app uses your phone’s rear camera to scan traffic in front of you. …
Alun Taylor, 06 Mar 2012
Toyota Prius plug-in

Future car tech

Reg Hardware Car Week You are probably expecting me to start this feature with a hymn of praise to the electric car, but I’m not. The Nissan Leaf has been on sale for the best part of 12 months and all the e-cars on the horizon, from the Renault Zoe to the Tesla Model S, are simply variations on the theme. The electric car is …
Alun Taylor, 05 Mar 2012
Lenovo ThinkPad Android Tablet

Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet

Reg Hardware Mobile Week Lenovo currently fields three Android tablets. The IdeaPad A1 and K1 are aimed at the general consumer while the third model carries the revered ThinkPad moniker and with it expectations of brick outhouse build quality, business-user friendliness and no-nonsense styling. Lenovo ThinkPad Android …
Alun Taylor, 02 Mar 2012
Sprinkle Android game icon

Ten... top Android games

Reg Hardware Mobile Week Traditionally, if you wanted your phone or media player to double up as a gaming platform, you bought an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. But the last 12 months have seen a veritable revolution in the number and quality of games available for Android. Some of the games here had me giggling like a fool, …
Alun Taylor, 28 Feb 2012
AppAware Android app icon

AppAware

Developed mobile ecosystems are all well and good but a marketplace with over a third of a million apps raises one significant problem – how to discover new and worthwhile stuff. AppAware – which underwent a complete redesign late last year – aims to make finding essential and interesting apps more of a pleasure by providing …
Alun Taylor, 21 Feb 2012
Nokia Asha 201

Nokia Asha 201 Qwerty phone

When Nokia announced its three new Asha budget phones in October they didn’t attract much attention alongside the WinPho 7 handsets that were punted by the company at the same time. Nokia Asha 201 Keeping it simple: Nokia's Asha 201 That’s a shame, because the Ashas look like being very good mobile phones, perfect for people …
Alun Taylor, 20 Feb 2012
Archos 35 Home Connect

Archos 35 Home Connect

After having built a DECT home phone around the Android operating system doing the same for the humble bedside clock-radio probably seemed like a logical move for Archos so here we have the 35 Home Connect. Archos 35 Home Connect Beside manner: Archos' 35 Home Connect The basic components are much the same in the Smart Home …
Alun Taylor, 16 Feb 2012
HP Pavilion DM1-4125EA AMD CPU netbook

HP Pavilion dm1-4125ea 11.6in netbook

Now that everyone and their dog has or wants a smartphone or tablet, the recent drop in netbook sales can hardly be a surprise. Yet does this mean there is no space for a small, cheap laptop? Of course not and HP’s recently refreshed Pavilion dm1 is a fine example of why I hope the breed never dies. HP Pavilion DM1-4125EA AMD …
Alun Taylor, 15 Feb 2012
SexInfo 101 Android app icon

SexInfo 101

Reg Hardware Sex Week The Android market is full of apps dedicated to the various positions you and your other half can tie yourselves into, but be warned: many have a terrifyingly long Permissions list. In other words many are nothing more than scams targeting the randy and stupid. SexInfo 101 Android app screenshot 139 …
Alun Taylor, 14 Feb 2012
Avast Mobile Security Android app icon

Avast! Mobile Security

The security or lack thereof of the Android platform - real or imagined - is a common topic of conversation at the moment so it seems like a good time to take a look for a comprehensive security app. My preferred choice is Avast!. Avast! for Android is free and carries no advertising, making it perfect for anyone who is just a …
Alun Taylor, 07 Feb 2012
Orange San Francisco 2 budget Android smartphone

Orange San Francisco 2

The Orange San Francisco was the smartphone bargain of 2011. For £99 you got a solid little handset with a 3.5in 480 x 800 screen, Android 2.1 and a 3.2Mp camera. The fact it was falling-off-a-wet-log easy to root and change ROMs – even I managed it – was the icing on the cake. Orange San Francisco 2 budget Android smartphone …
Alun Taylor, 03 Feb 2012
Kia Rio 1.1 CRDi EcoDynmics diesel car

Kia Rio 1.1 CRDi EcoDynamics

A Kia? Reviewed by Reg Hardware? No, we’ve not taken leave of our senses, because the new Rio EcoDynamics is being pitched as the most fuel-efficient and least-polluting car - when it comes to CO2, anyway - you can buy without an electric motor poking its nose into the drive train. Kia Rio 1.1 CRDi EcoDynmics diesel car Not a …
Alun Taylor, 01 Feb 2012
AirDroid Android app icon

AirDroid

If you've ever wanted to manage your Android phone from your computer's desktop then AirDroid is the answer to your prayers. Installation and use are blindingly simple. Point a web browser to the handset's IP address of your local network - it's provided by the app - then type in the supplied password and you're in. You can …
Alun Taylor, 31 Jan 2012
Archos 35 Smart Home Phone DECT Android handset

Archos 35 Smart Home Phone

The last Android-based home phone that landed on my desk came from iDect – that’s Binatone to the rest of us. Frankly, I was less than impressed by it's lack of integration with Gmail contacts. Now, Archos is out to crack the same nut with its 35 Smart Home Phone which adds quite a few refinements. Archos 35 Smart Home Phone …
Alun Taylor, 26 Jan 2012
FilmOn Android app icon

FilmOn

IPTV Week logo Android owners are not well served for UK TV content. We now have a version of the BBC iPlayer after a long wait, and while ITV has released its ITV Player for the Googlephone OS, it's not very good. Other channels don't offer player apps. Morally, we ought to accept the situation gracefully. Given the dross …
Alun Taylor, 24 Jan 2012
Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime TF201 Android tablet and dock

Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime Android Tablet

It’s only been a little over six months since the original Eee Pad Transformer landed but Asus has already launched a new model that advances the breed to such an extent that the original model appears obsolete and with it every other 10in Tegra 2 Android tablet on the market. Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime TF201 Android tablet …
Alun Taylor, 19 Jan 2012
WikiHow Android app icon

WikiHow

All you techies, spare a thought for the dumb-as-a-bag-of-spanners portion of humanity who don’t know how to use, maintain or get the most from the gadgets they already own. To the rescue of the benighted masses comes WikiHow, a compendium of 'how to...' guides ranging from cleaning the screen of your telly or smartphone, …
Alun Taylor, 17 Jan 2012
Motorola Xoom 2 Media Edition Android tablet

Motorola Xoom 2 Media Edition Android tablet

Like Goldilocks with porridge, I’ve yet to find a tablet size that I think is just right. Seven inch models are too small, 10.1 inchers too big. The iPad with its 9.7in screen should do the trick but it’s just too square for me – physically and metaphorically. Motorola Xoom 2 Media Edition Android tablet Cut down to size: …
Alun Taylor, 17 Jan 2012
Toyota Prius 2015 concept

Toyota teases next-gen Prius styling

CES 2012 Week Toyota has offered a glimpse of its next-generation Prius at the North American International Motor Show in the form of the NS4 plug-in hybrid concept. Toyota Prius 2015 concept Altogether more bold - not to mention larger - than the current Prius, the NS4 is only intended to offer a taste of the design …
Honda next-gen NSX

Honda NSX reborn as a hybrid

CES 2012 Week Don't let the Acura badges fool you, what you are looking at here is the new Honda NSX, the long overdue replacement for what many people regard as the finest handling road car ever made. Honda next-gen NSX Under the striking bodywork sits a mid-mounted V-6 VTEC engine and what Honda is calling a Sport Hybrid …
Vauxhall Ampera E-Rev e-car

Vauxhall prices up Ampera e-car for Blighty

CES 2012 Week Vauxhall has priced up the Ampera, the e-car it'll be putting in showrooms later this year. The Ampera will set punters back £29,995, though that's after knocking off the government's £5000 e-car grant contribution. The car is the European version of the Chevrolet Volt already on sale in States. Vauxhall Ampera …