Latest News

Pioneer wants to put CarPlay in your car

Pioneer CarPlay

Pioneer Electronics announced today a new aftermarket in-dash multimedia system for consumers that want to pimp their ride with Apple’s recently announced (and QNX powered) CarPlay. CarPlay heavily integrates with Siri to allow iOS 7 iPhone users to make and receive calls, use Maps, listen to music, and access messages with just a word or a touch of their dash. While CarPlay will be rolling out later this year in 2014 models from Ferrari, Honda, Hyundai, and others, Pioneer’s system allows motorists a CarPlay experience without the need to purchase a new vehicle.

Pioneer is offering five different NEX in-dash multimedia receiver options, ranging from $750 to $1500 SRP, which are currently available at authorized Pioneer dealers across Canada. Pioneer will provide CarPlay compatibility to the receivers via a firmware update later this summer.


Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014 Edition) getting KitKat update soon


Users of the excellent Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014 Edition) may not have to wait much longer for their KitKat update. SamMobile reports that South American users have already begun receiving the long-awaited software bump, with more countries slated to receive it in the coming weeks.

There’s no word on when North Americans will get their chance, but the powerful tablet has proven, even on Jelly Bean, to be an incredible performer and a very useful productivity tool.


BlackBerry announces mobile app development award for Canada-Wide Science Fair


BlackBerry and its former co-CEOs have a long history of giving back to young Canadians interested in the sciences. Today, BlackBerry announced a new mobile development award for the Canada-Wide Science Fair 2014.

The Smartphone App Development Award has three age categories: Junior, Intermediate, and Senior. To be eligible, students must build a mobile application using PhoneGap or Appcelerator that meets BlackBerry’s BB10 UI guidelines. The top winners will receive one-on-one mentorship with a BlackBerry mobile developer expert, a BlackBerry 10 smartphone, and cash prizes.

It’s expected that around 500 scientists will compete in the Canada-Wide Science Fair national championship in Windsor, May 10-17, after winning one of the 102 regional sciences fairs happening across the nation now until April 30th. More information for those interested in participating can be found at the source link.


New Personal plan nets you Office for one PC and tablet at $69/year

Office for iPad

While it was clear after one week of availability that many people were interested in downloading Office for iPad, it was also clear from our comments section that few were willing to pay the price for full functionality. To get anything more than read and presentation support, users also must have an Office 365 subscription, which costs $99/year, which provides access for up to 5 tablets and 5 Macs/PCs.

Microsoft has now updated their pricing options with a new Personal Plan. The Personal Office 365 subscription costs $69/year (or $6.99/month) and provides access for only one Mac/PC and one tablet. Subscribers also receive 20 GB of OneDrive online storage and 60 minutes of Skype credit per month.

Let us know if the revised Office 365 pricing is enough to convince you to sign up.


Yahoo releases overhauled Flickr app for Android and iOS


You’d be forgiven for thinking Marissa Mayer hasn’t taken Android as seriously as iOS since becoming CEO of Yahoo. The company has released many crucial updates for its most popular apps in recent months, including the iOS-only News Digest, and Android has often been left by the wayside.

It looks like the situation is beginning to change, if Flickr’s massive overhaul is any indication. The company has released brand new apps for iOS and Android that make navigating the large numbers of Flickr photos more attractive and, for Android at least, taking and managing one’s own photos a breeze. (more…)


Rogers launches 700Mhz service in parts of Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto


They may not be first, but Rogers’ rollout of its new Band 17 700Mhz spectrum promises to be Canada’s largest.

The company announced today that it has flipped the switch on 700Mhz connectivity in parts of Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver, with other regions to quickly follow in the coming months.

Rogers calls its 6+6Mhz Block B radio waves “beachfront spectrum,” with which it will “deliver the ultimate mobile video experience to our customers in even more places where they couldn’t access LTE before.” (more…)


Koodo Mobile has 1 million subscribers


TELUS recently became Canada’s second largest wireless carrier and ended 2013 with 7,807,000 subscribers. This number represents both the TELUS Mobility brand and its sub-brand Koodo Mobile, with the newly acquired Public Mobile omitted from the results, but they have 222,000 subs.

The breakdown of subscribers for each carrier is rarely given, but according to a report from Strategy reveals that Koodo has hit the 1 million customer mark. TELUS launched Koodo Mobile back in 2008 and first came to market with a 1980′s theme with dancers outfitted in neon spandex. The carrier later progressed to the El Tabador wrestler — who’s character was sold to Camillion Corp. to star in a 30-minute sitcom, video games and merchandise. (more…)


TELUS BlackBerry Z10 now available on Prepaid for $200


The BlackBerry Z10 was once the saviour of the Waterloo-based company. When this BlackBerry 10-powered device was released back in February of 2013 it saw “great interest” from its carrier partners. Many moons later, plus a massive “BlackBerry Z10 Inventory Charge” of $934 million, the one-time flagship has been demoted to entry-level status and shifted onto Prepaid shelves.

The latest deal to arrive for the Z10 is reminiscent of the BlackBerry PlayBook fire sale. TELUS and Future Shop are offering the Z10 on Prepaid with a big price cut to $200 no-contract and also includes a $40 activation credit. Almost seems to good to be true.

(Thanks Todd!)


Chrome Remote Desktop app hits Android, coming to iOS later this year

Screenshot 2014-04-16 17.25.46

Google has unleashed its Chrome Remote Desktop app on (un)suspecting Android users today, allowing smartphone and tablet lovers to control those old hunks of metal and plastic called computers. For the few remaining Luddites using laptops or *gasp* desktops, Remote Desktop works with a Chrome extension and subsequent Host app on Windows or OS X to take control of registered computers for work, technical support, or a little fun.

Computers must register with a valid Google account and, for security purposes, enter a PIN for verification. Like other VNC or remote desktop applications, Chrome Remote Desktop lets you left-click and double-tap to your heart’s content, and we found performance to be excellent over both WiFi and LTE.

Google says it is working on an iOS version of the app that will debut later this year.


OnePlus One will debut in Canada for $399 USD


Looking forward to the endlessly-teased OnePlus One smartphone, set to be announced April 23rd? So are we.

The OnePlus One will sport a customized version of CyanogenMOD 11 with Android 4.4.2, which will likely get updated nearly as quickly as the latest Nexus devices. In fact, the OnePlus One is aiming its sights directly on Google’s own Nexus 5 by announcing that when it goes on sale at the end of the month it will have a $399 USD price tag.

The team of former Oppo engineers has been slowly teasing the One’s specs, with the only major tenet left being the design and materials. OnePlus was initially going to release the 5.5-inch 1080p phone with a Snapdragon 800 processor, but recently announced it would upgrade it to the 8974AC variant of the Snapdragon 801, which will inevitably improve performance and battery life. The 2.5Ghz SoC will also have 3GB of RAM to work with, as well as a 3,100mAh battery, a 13MP rear Sony Exmor RS camera sensor, voice wakeup abilities, global LTE and a premium 64GB model.

Users will be able to buy the OnePlus One from the company’s US site for under $400, according to the company’s latest announcement, though it remains to be seen whether shipping and duty charges will vault it above that desirable price point. Of course, with the current exchange rate of $0.91, the device will cost $440 CDN.