NewsBlur is one of the most fully-realized RSS feed consolidators in the wake of Google Reader’s impending shutdown. While the service has been around for a few years it was in March, when Google announced Reader’s death, that people really took notice.
Because it uses a freemium model like Evernote — non-paying users are limited to adding 64 sites to their feed list — there is a good chance NewsBlur will be around for a long, long time. With a $24/year fee for unlimited access and faster access, there is good reason to invest in the service, especially if it will something you’ll use daily. I’ve been using NewsBlur for the past few weeks and it has impressed me. There is a very fast, but simple, Android app, and today’s redesign for iOS cements it as a great alternative to Reeder (which has thrown in support for Feedbin in its latest update).
The iOS app has a bit more newness than just a visual redesign though: there is a new sharing workflow, which allows users to open articles in Instapaper, Pocket and Readability. The story layout is also more spacious, so you’re able to maximize the screen space of the iPhone or iPad. The app looks cleaner, performs faster and comes highly recommended.
Via: The Verge
Rogers, owners of the Toronto Blue Jays, has put together a promo that sees those who purchases a BlackBerry Q10 and BlackBerry Z10 on a 3-year term score a Jays jersey (home or away). The promo starts on Friday and goes until June 12th. Here’s some finer details:
- All consumer talk, text & internet 3 year plans are eligible for the promotion. Additionally, the offer is available with some small biz plans including SmartTeam Select 50 or 65 plans or any SmartTeam Sharing Plan;
- Customers eligible would receive a white or blue jersey in a large size at random. Unfortunately there isn’t choice available for sizing or colour.
In addition, for those interested in meeting Brandon Morrow, Blue Jays pitcher, he’ll be signing autographs this Friday from 12pm – 1pm at 10 Dundas St. East in Toronto.
LG is getting more serious about displays. It was revealed a few weeks ago that the company plans on launching a smartphone with a flexible display sometime in Q4. According to an LG press release they’ll be showing off an “unbreakable and flexible” 5-inch and 7-inch display this week at the SID Display Week 2013 in Vancouver. The 5-inch display will have a “1.0mm bezel allowing production of borderless smartphones,” plus the 7-inch is for tablets and sports an HD resolution “that exceeds 300 pixels per inch (PPI).”
“LG Display will also introduce 5-inch and 7-inch HD LCD panels based on Oxide TFT, seen as the next generation TFT technology as it offers high investment efficiency in producing thin, high transparency, and low power consumption displays. LG Display, which utilized this technology in its large-sized OLED displays for the first time in the world, will expand its expertise to LCD panel development thereby leading the market.
The 5-inch HD panel will feature 1.0mm bezel allowing production of borderless smartphones that are lightweight and emit significantly less heat. The 7-inch HD LCD panel is equipped with touch function-embedded technology enabling superior touch functionality in thin and lightweight mobile products.”
Dr. Sang-Deok Yeo, CTO and Executive Vice President of LG Display, said “With the resulting rapid need for new display advancements, LG Display, at the forefront of these trends, is well positioned to lead the market with its differentiated and cutting-edge technologies.”
No official word on what countries will be first graced with a smartphone with a flexible/unbreakable display.
Opera’s new WebKit-based Android browser has graduated from “beta” status to take over its predecessor in the same slot. Now just known as Opera browser, the new version bares more than a passing resemblance to Chrome for Android.
Though the app is fast and smooth, offering users with modern devices a desktop-like experience, Opera may most benefit users with limited-speed mobile connections or data caps. The new Off-Road feature is quite impressive, using a server-side proxy to compress data, much like the more compact Opera mini. The difference here is that you’ll still be able to load photos and videos, they’ll just be of imperceptibly lower quality than over an uncompressed connection.
There are also a number of new features on board, including a localized Discover pane that shows news from your area in an uncluttered interface. Of course, you still have Opera’s famous Speed Dial home screen, and its Link capabilities synchronizes Speed Dial and bookmarks between devices. The main issue here is that, while Opera is quite popular on mobile, it still holds less than 1% of the desktop market, undermining Link’s usefulness.
Still, Opera is a fantastic alternative to Firefox and Chrome on Android, and deserves to be considered.
Download Opera for Android.
After what seems like a brand-nullifying wait, the once-terrific You Don’t Know Jack has launched on Android. Arriving on iOS in December, with an Android release promised in the coming days or weeks, it has taken six months for the game to be successfully ported. Is the sojourn worth it? In many ways, no.
You Don’t Know Jack was the king of trivia games in the 90′s, a lean-back local multiplayer game where friends hovered their fingers tautly over keyboard keys with the intent of “screwing”, “Dis or Dat”-ing or “Jack Attack”-ing one another in extended battles of irreverent trivia.
The dynamics themselves have not changed much, from the initial Facebook port to iOS and now Android: the questions are still pop culture-infused gems, recited by a fantastic host with a dirty mouth. The key differences revolve around payments: the core game is free to play, but users can only freely play once a day. Scoring high nets a modicum of coins; spamming your friends about the game nets you more. Every game costs 200 coins to play, so you will either have to rise to astronomical heights or, more likely, pay for a set of coins. One thousand coins, the equivalent of five games, costs two dollars. That’s not a terribly high sum considering the amount of fun you have in every eight-minute stretch of gameplay, but it’s still quite steep.
Of course, today we have so many ways to fill our precious time, one daily game may be more than enough to whet the palate. But the game’s constant insistence on spamming your Facebook friends (you must log in through Facebook if you want to play against people you know, otherwise it’s all random) with invites, or posting your scores to your wall, or using coins to listen to fake sponsors… it all gets tiresome quickly.
There is a great game with amazing content inside YDKJ for Android, you just have to wade through the trough to find it. The game also appears to be quite buggy at the moment, and does not work on a number of mainstream devices like the HTC One. Jellyvision says it’s working out the kinks as we speak, though, so stay tuned for updates.
Download You Don’t Know Jack for Android.
We’ve covered the two existing Mophie battery cases for the iPhone 5, the 1500mAh juice pack helium and the 1700mAh juice pack air, and now the company is releasing another version, the 2100mAh juice pack plus.
Slightly larger and denser than the existing versions, the plus retails for $119.95, $20 more than the air. It’s also available as a PRODUCT (RED) version, which contributes to AIDS-related charity, Global Fund.
This plus version also affixes reinforced corners to the case, which is hugely helpful for clumsy people. If you’ll afford me a minute for a small anecdote: I was using my iPhone 5 inside the juice pack air the other week and the phone was knocked out of my hand only to land on concrete face-down. I picked it up with trepidation, expecting a cracked screen and more than a little damage to the body but found the phone intact and working, with only minor scuffs to the corners of the juice pack. If the plus version protects the iPhone as well as the regular one, this is going to be a great case.
In terms of dimensions, the plus is 2.63in x 5.60in x 0.70in compared to the helium’s 2.49in x 5.49in x 0.59in and the air’s 2.60in x 5.54in x 0.63in, so it’s not a small cover. But it’s still pocketable, and doesn’t come close to the massive size of the HTC One version.
Check out all the information at Mophie. We’ll have a review of the juice pack plus for iPhone 5 in the coming weeks.
Last month we wrote about a deal on TELUS’ site that offered up the pre-owned (used/refurbished) BlackBerry Z10 for a cool $500. Now, three weeks later, TELUS has dropped the price by $100 to a respectable $400 outright – that’s a savings of $250 from a brand new one. Also listed and price dropped again is the pre-ownsed Galaxy S III for $300.
If you’re into used devices/saving cash it’s something to think about as TELUS says that all “Certified Pre-Owned phones have been used for a maximum of 30 days.” Plus come with a 14-day money back guarantee and a 12-month warranty.
Flickr has finally updated its long-neglected Android app alongside a revamp of its web page. The announcement coincides with what Yahoo intends to be the “big reveal” of Flickr’s future: an ad-supported model with 1TB of storage for free users; paid users can pay $50/year to remove the ads, or $500/year to double the storage space.
It’s a gutsy move that is seen as necessary against, on the one hand, Google+ and its increasingly photo-centric nature, and on the other hand 500px, which is eating Flickr’s lunch in the amateur and professional photographer realm.
Flickr has been seen as largely neglected in recent years, left to wither while Instagram stole its mobile traffic and Facebook swooped the desktop. The new Flickr is indeed nicer, and the 1TB offering, even for free users, is extremely generous. But there are ads — lots of them — that take away from the experience for the average free user.
To the mobile side, though the iPhone app has been beautiful for some time, the company’s Android app was, to put it bluntly, terrible. This new version improves everything about it, from the interface, which now has a left-side navigation bar, to the photo viewing workflow. Taking photos is still a bit annoying: you have two options for editing, which can be combined or used individually. First is the typical Instagram-like preset filters, many of which are actually quite nice and varied; the issue is that, even on a high-end phone like the HTC One they take over a second to apply. The second editing method incorporates the popular Aviary SDK, which is, while powerful, a cop-out from having to build their own functionality into the app.
Granted, photos look beautiful, and you can finally see all the EXIF data and creator information, much like on the iPhone. But the iPhone version feels like it’s been given more love, despite the fact that there is limited Android tablet support.
With all the attention on Yahoo’s acquisition of Tumblr for $1.1 billion, the Flickr redesign may not seem so important. But the photo-centric portal is still hugely popular, and Android users now have another tool with which to take advantage of their excellent cameras.
Download Flickr for Android.
Rogers Nokia Lumia 920 users have received a firmware update to their device, now at 1314. This reportedly brings speed improvements, various “stability improvements,” improved display brightness settings, plus a fix for those who were experiencing a blank screen during calls.
If you have the Rogers Lumia 920, press Settings/Phone Update and “Check for updates.”
Before I first arrived in San Francisco last week, I had only seen glass on a select number of Google employees, or behind a glass case, preaching the future of computing through its aptly-named pulpit. But for Google I/O this year, it became quickly apparent that any unease I had about seeing this awkwardly-looking construct of glass and metal affixed to peoples’ faces would have to be overcome.
At first, the notion that anyone wearing glass could be photographing or recording me was thoroughly concerning, much like the scuttling of a mouse behind the kitchen cupboard. This wasn’t entirely true, of course: Google had made privacy a primary tenet of Glass’s functionality; any time it is recording video, the eyepiece — the heads-up display through which you view the augmented world — glows a soft yet striking blue. Similarly, it’s not easy to use Glass surreptitiously; you’re constantly looking up and touching the side of your head as if to scratch a spasmodic itch.