This week saw the CRTC’s Wireless Code of Conduct officially go into place, plus the new CEO of Rogers started his reign. We also saw a few more device released and various OS upgrades. WIND Mobile came out with their $39 all-in holiday plan and ‘selfie’ and Bieber made news. Below are the top Canadian mobile stories from the last seven days, and notable news from around the web (more…)
Read this: CRTC drops the hammer on telemarketers
We may not yet be able to buy the hoverboard we drooled over in Back to the Future or the gloves that Tom Cruise used in Minority Report, but there are a lot of gadgets on the market today that will still make you feel like a star in a Sci-Fi movie.
We’ve put together a holiday gift list of wearables, robots, 3D printers and other smart things that will make your inner geek squeal, or help you cross that hard-to-impress friend off your list this year.
WOW! Mobile Boutique is a “new wireless retail experience” that will imminently be opening its doors. This will show up in various malls around Canada and sell devices and plans under Rogers, TELUS, Fido, Koodo and Chatr brands.
Match Transact, the company who’ll be bringing this to life, stated in a press release that they “will offer Canadians a unique shopping experience at WOW! mobile boutique kiosks not available with other mall-based wireless retailers.” No direct indication of how this will happen, but note that they’ll provide “unbiased advice and assistance.”
WOW! will bring yet another place for Canadians to purchase a mobile device, but while we patiently wait for them to launch a hint of how the company will brand themselves recently arrived online. Above is apparently the WOW! logo — it’s pink and bubbly — and will appear on all the kiosks.
Based on this image, if this is their go-to-market branding, would you be buy?
It’s well known that the main focus of Apple’s recently released iOS 7 was the elimination of skeuomorphic references in favour of a flatter and more modern design. As much as I love the new aesthetic, a new video by a group of Kingston University animation students demonstrates what may have been lost in a rush toward flat and fluid.
The video, called Skew, recreates the discarded design cues with hand crafted 3D models. While the stated goal of the video was to “turn skeuomorphism on its head” the end result is a charming look at what happens when a modern smartphone is essentially turned into a giant muppet.
The students have also posted a ‘making of’ video, which is a perfect way to run out the clock on your Friday afternoon. Check out both videos after the jump. (more…)
Here’s a unique device that could possibly be yours! Thanks to our friends at BlackBerry we have a Limited Edition BlackBerry Q10 in white and gold to giveaway!
This is a beautifully crafted piece of hardware and basically has the specs as Q10 in black or white, but as you can see by the pics is absolutely stunning. The gold accents encompass the entire device and this Q10 will certainly set you apart from all the others.
A refresher of the specs for the White and Gold Q10: 3.1-inch 720×720 pixel Super AMOLED touch display, full QWERTY keyboard, 1.5Ghz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Plus SoC, runs BlackBerry 10.2, 2GB RAM / 16GB internal storage, 8MP camera that captures 1080p videos, 2MP front-facing camera, supports the 2600Mhz LTE band (Rogers), 2100mAh removable battery and weighs in at 139 grams.
To enter this contest all you have to do is either follow us and re-tweet this contest on Twitter (@mobilesyrup), “Like Us” on Facebook (Facebook.com/MobileSyrup), join us on Google+, or sign up for our e-newsletter. All current Facebook, Twitter and Google+ followers are automatically entered.
Make sure you check out our review here. This contest closes on December 16th (winner will receive this in time for the holidays!).
Good luck to all who enter! (more…)
There’s a new version of the Google Play Store rolling out, and it boasts one important feature and two cool upgrades from the previous one.
Version 4.5.10 — a pretty big jump from 4.4.22 — introduces an in-app purchase (IAP) indicator, notifying users that the free (or, in some cases, paid) app they’re about to download will have further content available for purchase. While it doesn’t go as far as to break down the IAP’s themselves, as Apple’s App Store does, it’s a good start.
The review section has also been revamped, showing Google+ friends’ comments first, and further encouraging you to review often-used apps. As you’ll recall, Google integrated Google+ usernames into the Play Store’s review section earlier this year, and the design is now cleaner, with larger spaces between comments and the ability to edit previously-entered details with one tap.
Finally, there’s a new social activity feed, which can be accessed by tapping on your avatar in the left-side sliding menu. This menu briefly details all the +1s, reviews and recent downloads you’ve taken part in, which is yet another attempt to shoehorn Google+ into the Android ecosystem, whether we like it or not.
The update is rolling out as we speak, but if you want it sooner, Android Police has an APK to sideload.
Rogers announced its suretap Wallet mobile payment system on November 7th, allowing customers with select Android and BlackBerry devices to use “co-branded virtual Rogers Prepaid MasterCard that can be loaded with funds to use at their favourite retailers across Canada.” This is an extension of the company’s suretap initiative and brings the true digital wallet one step closer to reality.
Rogers noted in their press release that the “suretap wallet will be available for download in the coming weeks,” but it seems Rogers and its partners are still testing the service before making the product available to the masses. In an email to us Rogers stated, “We pilot all our programs internally and this often does take time. At this stage they’re working towards launching commercially in the New Year.”
Mobile commerce is not a race to see who’s first, but who can provide the best and most secure experience.
Rogers previously said that future versions of the suretap Wallet will offer “gifting of gift cards, reloading of prepaid cards, the ability to check account balances, view recent transactions and use location services to find contactless payment terminals nearby.”
A popular flashlight app sold millions of Android users’ location data to advertisers and they had no idea
According to a report by the Federal Trade Commission, a popular free flashlight app, Brightest Flashlight Free, has been selling Android users’ location data to advertisers right under our noses.
Despite an option within the app to disable the location sharing feature, which was promised to be anonymized and used only by the developer, Brightest Flashlight was locating users and, paired with a unique device ID, selling that data to advertisers.
The FTC report, which was issued only after the Commission settled the dispute with the developer, “alleges that the company deceived consumers by presenting them with an option to not share their information, even though it was shared automatically rendering the option meaningless.”
Android 4.4 may have already given way to 4.4.1, but the CyanogenMOD team — androids, bots and humans who never sleep — is pushing through Milestone builds of CM11, based on KitKat, for most of the Nexus family of devices.
According to a blog post, “The AOSP-supported Nexus devices should have minimal to no device specific issues (as their hardware code comes mostly from Google).” Not only have the devices been tested thoroughly for any bugs, but the CM team assures users that any bugs should only be from features introduced outside of the core KitKat source code. “By acknowledging them sooner,” the post says, “the entire CM 11 roster will benefit.”
It should be mentioned that the Milestone releases are only for Nexus device that are still supported on AOSP by Google, so only the Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Nexus 7′s and Nexus 10. For Nexus S and Galaxy Nexus users, there are CM11 nightlies to peruse and test, though they’re unlikely to work quite as well.
There are more nightlies, too, mainly for Samsung devices like the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy S2, but expect more of them to pop up in the coming weeks. When CyanogenMOD begins pushing out nightly releases for its devices, it gives thousands of users on older hardware the ability to run the latest Android version.
The Nexus 5 got all the attention yesterday when Android 4.4.1 began rolling out to fix some lingering camera issues, but the same build is now available for Nexus 4 and Nexus 7 (2013) LTE. If you put two and two together, it appears that Google is moving to fix additional baseband issues with devices on the MDM9x15/25 modems, since the Nexus 7 (2012) has a Tegra 3 chip inside it.
Google will still roll out OTA updates to build KOT49E for the remaining Nexus devices, but they’re probably coming next week along with the factory images. In the meantime, you can download the OTA update for the Nexus 4 and LTE Nexus 7 now.