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Alcatel OneTouch Idol 2S debuts on Bell to replace aging Idol X

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Bell was the first Canadian carrier to see the disruptive potential of Alcatel OneTouch, the Chinese OEM that purports to offer high-quality products at prices both affordable to carriers and, in turn, consumers.

The Idol X, an admitted experiment, along with the Idol Mini and Pop 7 tablet, for Bell to gauge demand for mid-range products that mimic the look and feel of ones hundreds of dollars more, turned about to be a successful gambit. We loved the bright screen and high-end finish, but felt the MediaTek processor was underpowered and negatively affected performance. (more…)

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BBM for Windows Phone now available to download

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Attention, Windows Phone users. BlackBerry has announced that after a short one-week beta, BBM will be available today from the Windows Phone Store. The overall experience is the same as iOS and Android, but the team has focused on creating a native design on Microsoft’s mobile platform.

BBM for Windows Phone focuses on 3 different screens, Chats, Feeds and Contacts, and allows for instant chats, group chats, picture sharing and voice notes. A future update to BBM for Windows Phone will bring stickers, BBM Voice, BBM Channels and location sharing by Glympse. (more…)

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Nokia Lumia 635 now available at Rogers and Fido, coming to TELUS in August

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Nokia recently announced on Twitter that new Lumia devices will soon be coming to Canada. The Microsoft-owned manufacturer previously hinted on its website that the Lumia 635, a refresh of the Lumia 625, would arrive on both Rogers and TELUS. It now seems the coming soon date is actually here.

Both Rogers and sub-brand Fido have added the entry-level Lumia 635 to its lineup. The no-term price at at both carriers is $200, or $0 with 2-year contract.

As for specs, the LTE-enabled Lumia 635 runs Windows Phone 8.1, has a 4.5-inch display, a 1.2 GHz quad-core processor, a 5MP camera that shoots 720p HD videos, 512MB RAM, and an 1830mAh non-removable battery.

Update: The Nokia Lumia 635 will arrive at TELUS sometime in August.

Source: Fido, Rogers

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Samsung postpones Tizen-powered Samsung Z launch indefinitely

Samsung Z Tizen OS

Samsung’s Tizen woes continue. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the company has placed the Tizen OS-powered Samsung Z smartphone on indefinite hold. The Samsung Z was only officially announced one month ago, and was expected to go on sale in Russia later this year.

Samsung has stated that the reason for the delay was to “further enhance [the] Tizen ecosystem,” which points to the uncertain timeline for actual release. The open source, Linux-based OS has seen no end of setbacks and delays this year, with both NTT DoCoMo and Orange pulling support. While Samsung has been able to successfully release a handful of Tizen smartwatches, it also hasn’t won them any favours with Google.

It’s hard to see how Samsung hopes to enhance the Tizen ecosystem any time soon. Platforms require apps and services to attract customers, but developers require device penetration and marketshare before they’re willing to commit. If Samsung can’t find a way to build Tizen momentum soon, the platform could be the next thing the company has to postpone indefinitely.

SourceWSJ
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HTC hosting a Windows Phone-centric event on August 19th, likely the ‘W8 for Windows’

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HTC is set to unveil a new device on August 19th in New York City, and it’s like the recently-leaked One (W8) for Windows, a version of its popular Android flagship running Windows Phone 8.1.

The last time HTC held a Windows Phone event in New York, it was the Windows Phone 8X and 8S, which proved to be two of the updated platform’s launch devices. Now that Windows Phone has reached a maturity point, both with core OS features and apps, HTC is ready to try its hand again.

(more…)

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Metal-clad Samsung Galaxy Alpha tipped for an August 4th announcement

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The Galaxy Alpha, Samsung’s rumoured smartphone that is mostly metal, has been tipped for an official announcement next week. According to SamMobile, Samsung will reportedly unveil the 4.8-inch Android device on August 4th, hitting various markets shortly after.

The Galaxy Alpha is said to be a scaled down GS5, with a metal chassis that Samsung users have long been hoping for. The Alpha is expected to sport a 4.8-inch 1280×720 pixel AMOLED display, 32GB of storage, LTE-Advanced connectivity and a fingerprint sensor.

Samsung is also tipped to unveil the fourth generation Galaxy Note in September at the IFA conference in Berlin. The 5.7-inch Note 4, according to a Samsung exec, could feature “a three-sided display so messages can be read from an angle.”

Source: SamMobile
Via: Android Central

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Suitelife not so sweet, CRTC fines Woodbridge company $20,000 for violating telemarketing rules

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CRTC is dropping the hammer on companies non-compliant with the Do Not Call laws. The latest to violate the rights of Canadians is Woodbridge, Ontario based Suitelife Vacations Club, which is one of the businesses offering free cruises during dinnertime. “Acting on complaints submitted by Canadians,” the CRTC set the fine at $20,000 for SuiteLife and its third-party telemarketing firms for making unsolicited telemarketing calls to those who registered their number on the DNCL.

Manon Bombardier, CRTC’s Chief Compliance and Enforcement Officer, stated, “We appreciate receiving complaints from Canadians registered on the National Do Not Call List who receive unsolicited calls. This information helps us in our investigations and aids us in our work to protect Canadians. We are pleased to report that Suitelife cooperated with our investigation and changed its telemarketing practices.”

The National Do Not Call List (DNCL) was created by the CRTC in 2008 with a goal for Canadians to register their home phone, wireless, fax or VoIP telephone numbers to prevent telemarketers from calling. To date, over 12 million numbers are registered and the CRTC has ordered those who violate the telecommunications rules to pay over $4 million in penalties.

Source: CRTC
Via: Newswire

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IDC reports global smartphone shipments in Q2 topped a record 295 million units

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Research firm IDC has released its Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone report for Q2 2014, noting smartphone shipments rose 23.1% over last year to a record of 295.3 million units, a 2.6% boost from Q1.

The “ongoing demand for mobile computing and an abundance of low-cost smartphones” helped Samsung keep its lead as top mobile manufacturer. However, everything is not roses for Samsung as the company slipped almost 7% year-over-year to 25.2% market share, distributing 74.3 million devices. Even though it shipped ‘millions’ of Galaxy S5 units, IDC notes that S4 and S3 shipments “remained strong as more affordable alternatives.” Apple also dipped in share this past quarter, sitting at 11.9% with 35.1 million iPhones shipped. (more…)

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Hangouts added to Google Apps for Business, drops Google+ requirement

Google Hangouts for Google Apps for Business

Google is stripping Hangouts of its Google+ heritage as it makes the communications service a core component of its Google Apps for Business package. Starting today, Google Apps customers will no longer require a Google+ account to log in and join or start a Hangout.

However, there are some some restrictions. The lack of a Google+ account will prevent Hangouts apps use, with the notable exceptions of Screenshare or Chat. Google Apps account access also only applies to meetings via desktop or Chromebox, as Google has yet to allow for mobile access (this will be changing soon, likely with a forthcoming app update). (more…)

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