Talking technology

Post date: 
Sunday, 13 January 2019
iPhone with Apple logo

From telephones to a talking microwave, Steven Scott, Sean Price and Tim Schwartz, review the latest gadgets.

iPhone Xs

First reviewed by the panel back in Sept 2018, Steven Scott was struggling with it, but has anything changed since then?

The problem back then

Steven says: "The thing that’s annoyed me was the swiping gesture from the bottom to get to the home screen or to get to your apps. I find it a bit fiddly and I’m not there with it yet.

"This is essentially how this all works, you swipe halfway to get you back to the home screen and you’ve got to swipe almost three quarters of the way to get you to the apps, which I have to say is very hit and miss.

"I get a strange thing on my lock screen that keeps saying heading not found, I’ve no idea what that is and that’s only on the lock screen. I think there are a few voice over bugs in it at the moment and that will no doubt be resolved over time.

"I feel in a way it’s a bit over the top for what I need because it’s a lovely phone, but it’s got a stunningly good screen, it’s got a beautiful camera, I don’t feel like I really benefit from a lot of that, so do I really need it, truthfully? I miss the home button already."

A few months later…

Steven is getting on better with his phone. He says: “I’m getting on much better with it now. One thing that really appealed to me about the iPhone Xs was the dual sim. This lets me have my own phone number as well as my work phone in the same device and it’s absolutely fantastic. The only problem is that it is only available on certain networks in the UK, such as EE and Vodafone, but hopefully this will roll out to other networks.

"Alexa, cook me a jacket potato"

The 700 watt AmazonBasics Microwave aims to bring the simplicity and convenience of voice to a compact microwave.

According to Amazon, the thinking behind the microwave is that customers only use a fraction of the features available on a standard microwave. So the microwave includes dozens of quick-cook voice presets, so you can cook just by asking Alexa. It comes with a built-in Ask Alexa button, that you need to press, so you can give it a command like: “two minutes and 30 seconds on medium” to start cooking.

But you will need an Echo device nearby in order to make it work. The microwave is currently available in the USA, but experts predict it will launch in the UK.

More tech talk…

Listen to what our panel thought about the Apple Watch when you listen to the audio version of Connect Magazine.

Join the discussion

Contact Tech Talk programme by emailing [email protected] and don’t forget to tune in on Tuesdays at 1pm, Thursdays at 9pm and Saturdays at 5pm on Connect Radio or you can listen to the podcast at your leisure through Audioboom, iTunes or your regular podcast app.

This article originally appeared in the Winter 2019 edition of Connect Magazine.