The Week in Gadgets

1 Feb 2010

As we plunge into February, gamers get excited again about Grand Theft Auto while the analysts try to tell us why the Apple iPad is the best or worst invention in the history of mankind.

Forget Halo 3: ODST and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, carjacking is where it’s at as Rockstar Games announce that the two hugely popular downloadable episodes for Grand Theft Auto IV – The Lost and Damned and The Ballad of Gay Tony – are coming to both the PlayStation 3 and the PC by the end of March.

Meanwhile, phone geeks will be happy to know that Sony Ericsson’s Vizaz handset, which captures high-definition video and boasts an 8.1-megapixel camera, is also due out within the first quarter of 2010, as is the slick and socially-oriented touchscreen Xperia X10 that goes on sale next week in the UK.

Nokia N97 users are good to go as the v21.0.045 software update is now available. This update includes smoother touchscreen scrolling as well as Ovi Maps, which gives free turn-by-turn navigation, a kick in the teeth to all those paid-for sat-nav device manufacturers.

Palm has also been busy with both its Pre and Pixi smart phones coming in ‘plus size’ flavours on the US mobile network Verizon Wireless, as internal storage is boosted to 16GB, plus they can both turn into mini Wi-Fi hotspots or MiFi devices for internet connectivity for up to six different devices.

And so we come to the iPad – Apple’s wonder device – getting reactions ranging from giant iPod touch to the most important tablet since Moses came down from the mountain. It’s a 9.7-inch touchscreen device that syncs with iTunes and the App Store, runs on a flavour of the iPhone OS and makes digital editions of magazines and newspapers look good.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs thinks it’s a revolutionary device but he has also been busy reportedly telling internal Apple folks that Google is trying to kill the iPhone with its foray into the phone business via the Nexus One but that Apple’s smart phone will fight back and will have a big ‘A+ update’ coming soon.

By Marie Boran

Photo: Apple’s new iPad