Rdio for Android and iOS have both received identical updates today, bringing them to feature and design parity (though, in truth, the iOS version is still slightly nicer).
In addition to a newly-textured left-side navigation bar, subscribers to Rdio can search the database based on user or label. The former lets you more easily find friends and brands that use the music streaming service, while the latter allows you to filter music based on an entire company, a great way to discover new artists or bands.
Rdio has slowly been making inroads into the extremely competitive streaming music market. With Google releasing its own solution, Play Music All Access, and Apple rumoured to launch a similar model this year, is at an advantage thanks to a robust multi-platform strategy, an incredibly versatile API that was recently used in Twitter #music, an amazing design team (seriously, Rdio is gorgeous) and a general free trial period. While you do need a $9.99/month subscription to continue using it on mobile (there are apps for Android, iOS, BlackBerry and Windows Phone), you can listen for free on the web for up to six months. If you haven’t already tried Rdio, I’d encourage you to do so.
Via: Rdio Blog
Mobilicity becoming part of TELUS is one step closer. Mobilicity’s debtholders have voted in favour and approved the $380 million acquisition, which includes their 250,000 subscribers and 150 employees. Stewart Lyons, Mobilicity’s President and CEO, said “This is a significant step towards final approval of the Plan through which the business, combined with the financial strength of TELUS, can be continued in a way that will benefit our customers and employees.”
The next steps for the carrier to be swooped into TELUS is to gain the “required approvals” from both the Competition Bureau and Industry Canada. Mobilicity has a scheduled hearing with the courts on May 28th, but Christian Paradis, Canada’s Industry Minister, communicated last week that “the government will take the time required to review the proposal carefully.” Both Mobilicity and TELUS are aiming for the acquisition to close by June 10th.
TELUS previously said that if the deal goes through they’ll “continue with the Mobility brand, customer rate plans and network.”
HTC One users on Bell and Virgin Mobile are reporting that an update is being pushed to their device. Now up to firmware version 1.29.666.17 (from 1.29.666.17.5) brings “system enhancements and bug fixes.”
We’re hearing that the finer details of the update brings a fix to the capacitive buttons sensitivity issues, plus the One is now more responsive. We’re looking into further specifics of the change log, but if you have the One on either network leave a comment below of what you’re experiencing. Check your One by hitting Settings > About > Software updates.
Update: Looks like this is available for TELUS and Rogers customers also.
(Thanks Vincent & Snowshoer!)
Mailbox, the email app for iPhone that made you wait in line for the privilege of using it, has expanded to iPad today.
Version 1.3 brings the same quick-tap-and-swipe functionality to Apple’s larger screen device and, as you would expect, it’s excellent. The left-side panel works as it always has: swipe to the right to archive; swipe to the left to do it later. It’s a great system for triage, but it may not be enough to unseat Google’s own iOS app, which has great iPad support.
Dropbox announced in March that it was purchasing Mailbox, and the amount was speculated to be between $50 and $100 million. This is the company’s first major release since the acquisition, and no longer asks new users to wait in a long waiting list to register.
If you’re looking for an alternative email to the built-in client, or if you don’t like Google’s own interpretation of Gmail on iOS, give Mailbox a try.
Download Mailbox for iPad.
Quebec-based Videotron released the BlackBerry Z10 last month and promised to launch the QWERTY-Touch Q10. A slight sign of process has occurred for those eagerly awaiting the carrier to release the iconic device. If you’re interested in keeping up-to-date, Videotron has posted a sign up page that shows the BB10 smartphone as ‘coming soon.’ No other details on the availability or pricing, but you can expect it to be inline with other carriers at $199 on contract. Read our full Q10 review here.
Just a day after its Appstore launched in Canada, bringing Android apps and games to phones and tablets, Amazon has announced it is launching its popular Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD tablets in our fair country.
Launching next month, both the 7-inch and 8.9-inch versions will be available, the former starting at $214 for the 16GB 7-inch version and increasing to $314 for the 32GB 8.9-inch version. While these have been available since last year in the United States and a few other countries, Amazon’s latest push brings the Kindle Fire, along with its Android Appstore, book library and more to some 170 countries.
Amazon’s Kindle Fire will be fairly limited in its functionality when it comes to Canada on June 13th, though. Not only will it carry a price premium of $15 on top of the U.S. version but it won’t support the company’s popular streaming video service through Amazon Prime, nor will it offer MP3s through its relatively inexpensive music store. You’ll have access to books, apps and magazines, somewhat negating the tablets’ advantage over the competition.
HTC has been having some success with their newest flagship smartphone – the HTC One. Amidst falling revenues and several key executives departing, an unknown HTC exec spoke to the Wall Street Journal and calmed the naysayers, declaring they’ve see sales of the all-aluminum Android hit “around 5 million” since launching a month ago.
The HTC rep noted that sales would have been higher if there wasn’t supply issues, namely the camera components. “Orders are pretty good so far and are still more than what we can supply. This is partly due to the shortage of components. When the issue is resolved next month, we will have a better idea if it’s doing really well or not.”
The HTC One is going head-to-head with other popular smarptphones, such as the Samsung Galaxy S4 (just passed 10 million in sales in one month), Nokia Lumia 925, Apple iPhone 5, Sony Xperia ZL, LG Optimus G and the Nexus 4.
In Canada, the HTC One is available at TELUS, Bell, Rogers, Virgin and SaskTel. Check out out hands-on the HTC One here.
Kobo for Android has typically lagged behind its iOS counterpart for features and general polish, but that chain is slowly being chipped away at with a series of rapid iterative updates.
The latest version, 4.10, improves comic book reading with faster page turns and a smoother zooming experience. This should help tablet users take advantage of their devices’ maximum screen real estate, as comic books are becoming increasingly prevalent on mobile devices.
Also added, at least for Honeycomb users and above, is a real-time page curl animation that mimics that of a real book. Its absence was what was keeping me from using Kobo on Android full time, at least on a phone (yes, a small thing); the app still has a long way to go to rivalling Play Books on tablets.
Kobo’s Canadian-friendly store, alongside its excellent e-readers, was what attracted Japan’s largest e-retailer, Rakuten, to purchase the company in 2011. Kobo recently released its latest e-reader, Aura HD, which has a 6-inch high-res display and a faster processor. It also offers a competitively-priced Android tablet, Arc, which launched in November.
Download Kobo for Android.
Samsung has sold over 10 million Galaxy S4 devices in its first month. The new flagship – your life’s companion – was officially released on April 27th, but for Canadians it landed on almost every carrier early-May. According to a report in the Yonhap News, the GS4 reached the 10 million mark 20 days faster than the Galaxy SIII, which also makes it the fastest selling Android smartphone ever. Apparently this time period chalked up four GS4 sales per second.
Samsung isn’t resting and aims to make the GS4 available at 327 carriers in 155 countries by the end of June. In addition, the next level of estimations have the company selling upward of 22 million Galaxy S4 device by the end of Q2.
For a refresher, check out our in-depth review of the GS4 here.
Google has updated the mobile website for its Google+ social network on select WebKit-based devices. This brings a much cleaner, more photo-centric appearance, and closer to the native app versions available on iOS and Android.
As you can see above, the new site features a left-side navigation bar for easier access to various areas of the site like Circles, Profile and Photos. At the top right of the screen is a dedicated spot to check recent notifications. Touch targets are now bigger, too, and you can see users’ profile photos when you click on their names.
The site also runs much better on BlackBerry 10, which was limited to the basic HTML version of Google+ by default. With this update, the Z10 and Q10 can enjoy the same web-based experience as the iPhone or Android, though it doesn’t quite compare to the feature-filled smoothness of their native equivalents. Also limited is the option to join Hangouts, one of the best features from the native apps.
Google recently overhauled Google+ for the web, and added several photo-centric features to its Android app.
If you’re a fan of Google+ and don’t have access to either the native iOS or Android version, check out the new mobile site.