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December 7, 2009
Lumia highlights – Shazam, Metro and Xmas Calendar Touch

MetroGLOBAL – Another week, another bunch of new Ovi Store apps to peruse on As ever we’ve selected three favourites to tuck into, but as we’ve had a particularly fine crop of daily treats this week, narrowing it down to just three highlights has been no easy task.

But we’ve managed it anyway, so let’s take a look at the trio of apps that have made the biggest impression on us over the past seven days. And don’t forget – MyDailyApp reveals another great new app every day, so head that way for your daily fix of the great and the good from the Ovi Store.

First up is Shazam, a clever little app that can identify music you’re listening to by sampling it through your Nokia’s microphone and comparing it against a huge online database.

All you have to do is hold your phone near the speaker playing the music and press the “Tag Now” button – it really is that simple. Touchscreen devices such as the Nokia N97 can tap the Tag Now button on screen, but older phones are catered for too with a physical button alternative.

The information returned includes the name of the song and artist, and cover art where applicable. There’s even a direct link through to Nokia Music Store should you want to buy the track you’re listening to there and then.

Sound intriguing? Then have a look at this demo video:

And the best part of all? Shazam is completely free, and can be downloaded for a broad range of Nokia S40 and S60 devices.

And sticking with the free information theme, our second app this week is a digital form of the free Metro newspaper. Available in eight countries – Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, Mexico, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United States, the Metro widget delivers an abbreviated version of the daily paper straight to touchscreen Symbian Nokias.

Stories appear in list form on the Metro app front page, and you can either select stories from here or drill down to specific category pages, such as news, sport and business. A search box helps you to isolate content on a specific subject, and you can share anything you like via email, Facebook and Twitter.

It’s a great way to keep up to speed on the way into work without adding to the paper waste generated each day by newspapers. Being the Metro, of course, the download couldn’t really be anything other than free, could it?

Our third choice this week is Offscreen’s Xmas Calendar Touch, a free mobile Advent calendar for Nokia S60 5th Edition handsets. Fire it up and your Nokia’s screen will be taken over by a festive green Christmas tree complete with 24 shiny numbered baubles. Each day one of these baubles will transform into a colourful decorated ornament, but it’s when you tap on it that the Christmas cheer really descends, for each one contains a link to a free Offscreen app download from Ovi Store.

Crucially, you can’t spoil the fun by jumping ahead and opening boxes in advance like with real-life Advent calendars (not that we’ve ever done that ourselves, of course). In the end, Xmas Calendar Touch is free to download, fun to use and spreads a little bit of Christmas cheer. And there’s nothing wrong with that.