Chrome for Android has been boosted to version 27, coinciding with the recent Chrome Beta releases. In fact, the new release is identical to the current beta release, which should get its own boost to a new WebKit-forked version 28 in the coming days.
The main draw of Chrome 27 for Android revolves around fullscreen browsing: when you begin scrolling down the page, the Omnibox — the combination search and address bar — disappears, leaving the entire display for content.
The other notable improvement is the way Chrome intergrates the Omnibox into search results. Instead of taking you to a separate Google search page with redundant information on the page and in the Omnibox itself, it just gives you more search results.
While Opera, Firefox and many others are vying for the Android browser crown, Chrome has consistently bettered them all, if not in performance then sheer compatibility. It will be interesting to see how Chrome for Android evolves now that Google has forked WebKit, is pushing its own WebP image format, and plans to make its VP9 video codec an integral part of its WebM video container.
Google also plans to update its iOS app with voice search, as was announced in the Google I/O keynote last week.
Download Chrome for Android.
Via: Google Blog
Amazon’s Android Appstore has finally launched in Canada after debuting on the U.S.-only Kindle Fire two years ago. The company announced it would be expanding to over 200 countries in the near future.
While the app selection isn’t as comprehensive as Google’s own Play Store, there is one distinct advantage over the official portal: a free app every day. Today’s free app, 10000000, is one of the better selections, so it’s a good idea to get on the download as soon as possible.
Amazon offers its Appstore as a third-party download, so you’ll need to check “Allow Unknown Sources” in your phone’s or tablet’s Settings/Developers or Settings/App menu to ensure it will install (instructions are on Amazon’s web site).
The main issue with any app’s downloaded from Amazon is that you must have the Appstore itself installed to use the corresponding downloads. Remove the APK and you lose the ability to launch any connected apps. This won’t be an issue for many users, but it may get confusing and/or frustrating for those who tire of the secondary app portal but want to maintain the ability to use those free daily apps.
Amazon has in the past secured some short-term exclusive titles, so it may be a good idea to keep it hanging around on your phone until you need something specific.
Just a quick note: some Canadian users are reporting issues with downloading apps, but we haven’t experienced any of those issues. Make sure that if you have an Amazon.com and Amazon.ca account, you sign into the latter.
Download Amazon Appstore for Android.
Via: Android Police
Foursquare updated its Android and iPhone apps today with a feature that should appease those looking for new places to eat or visit when in a new city or their own.
The company has added a Filter button to the Explore tab, letting users draw down on specific genres or locations. It’s a small but significant change not only to the app itself but to the purpose of Foursquare as a whole. Less focused on check-ins for where you are now, Foursquare wants you to open the app whenever you want to go somewhere new.
Using your previous check-in data they can figure out the types of places you’d be more likely to visit, increasingly the likelihood of returning to that place, and the app, in the future.
Via: Foursquare Blog
BlackBerry will be making BlackBerry Messenger, one of their prized possessions, available on both the iPhone and Android smartphones this Summer. Both Apple and Google still need to approve the popular messaging app in their respected app stores, but there’s no reason to believe that it won’t show up.
Thorsten Heins, BlackBerry’s CEO, declared during BlackBerry Live last week that “I cannot wait for the day when all of our BlackBerry fans can send BBM invites to all their friends on other platforms. They’ve asked us for this for years. The time has come now for everyone to experience what we all know. BBM is simply the best messaging and collaboration platform in mobile today.”
Mike Lazaridis, founder of BlackBerry (RIM), stood behind the move to bring BBM to iOS and Android. In an interview with Bloomberg, Lazaridis said that he’s confident users of other smartphones, specifically iPhone, will embrace BBM, noting that “BBM is by far the most compelling wireless experience and wireless social-networking environment… Not only is BlackBerry back in a big way with BB10, he’s [Heins] also showing he can expand that vision to other platforms.”
BBM for iOS and Android will be free, but limited at launch. BlackBerry will only make messaging and groups available, then will update the app to offer BBM Voice, BBM screen share and BBM Channels “later on.” There’s currently 60 million BBM users across the globe and it’ll be interesting to see how many Apple and Android users jump on board, or how many depart from 3rd party messaging apps like WhatsApp.
In March 2012, TELUS launched a partnership with Vox Mobile to supply Managed Mobility Services for the enterprise, an all-encompassing solution for companies looking to administer a large number of smartphones over the operator’s business network.
Today, TELUS and Apperian are launching a partnership to supply Mobile Application Management (MAM), allowing BYOD (bring your own device) users to have corporate applications securely pushed, backed-up and updated to their devices. Apperian’s EASE platform installs on any iOS, Android or BlackBerry device and allows a user’s company to bifurcate personal apps and their data from corporate.
Samsung recently announced KNOX, a similar corporate offering with a larger scope than just MAM, that will operate on the Galaxy S4 and future devices, while BlackBerry offers Balance, a similar MAM solution for BB10 users.
According to a press release issued today, Apperian’s EASE platform allows “Canadian enterprises [to] manage all aspects of deploying apps in the enterprise in one secure location.” The idea is that, because users are familiar with the idea of an app store, they will feel comfortable entering a branded corporate store to oversee their corporate apps.
Canadian network operators are increasingly getting involved in the lucrative enterprise market, as BYOD is stemming the number of second devices companies are buying for their employees.
Samsung has paid nearly $48 million USD for a 10% stake in one of its competitors, Pantech Corp. The third-largest handset maker in South Korea behind Samsung and LG, Pantech is mainly known in North America for its low-cost carrier-branded feature- and smartphones.
Because Samsung is as self-reliant as possible for its own components, the investment is meant to further “bilateral cooperation” between it and Pantech, which itself is a fairly large manufacturer of internal smartphone components. Indeed, its single largest shareholder is Qualcomm at just under 12%.
So as Apple relinquishes some of its reliance on Samsung’s chips, the Korean company is furthering its own interests in ensuring future self-reliance.
Just in time for holiday season is Rogers with a slight refresh of their monthly international roaming passes. The prices are all the same, but they’ve included additional data. Rogers, like other carriers, have included real-time text alerts so you won’t get those “bill shock” charges.
Below is a list of the changes, plus you can check them out here at Rogers.
The BlackBerry Q10 went on sale a few weeks ago on various Canadian carriers. Some users who purchased the QWERTY/Touch BB10 device might have received OS 10.1.0.1483 when they first turned it on, but Rogers, Bell and TELUS users are now reporting an update to 10.1.0.1720 is available (127MB). Apparently there’s nothing different between the software versions, but it’s always a good idea to keep up with the latest OS. No word on if SaskTel customers have received this update.
Nokia has updated its HERE Maps service for Windows Phone 8 users with a new augmented reality feature. LiveSight integrates into the core Maps app in a similar way to CityLens, another part of the company’s Lumia suite.
LiveSight overlays a list of memorable locations around you by using the camera lens on your Windows Phone device, along with its GPS sensor. The technology is not just integrated into Nokia apps, though: the new Foursquare for WP8 uses LiveSight to facilitate its context-based check-ins.
The feature also works offline, which is a bonus when you are in a foreign city with little access to data. Once you’ve downloaded that city’s map information, LiveSight will just work.
Download HERE Maps for Windows Phone 8.
When Sony’s latest high-end was announced earlier this year it was given a Q2 billing, with the expectation that it would debut sometime in the spring. Well, spring is here and the company has pushed back its original May 22nd ship date to June 3rd, despite the tablet shipping this week in the US.
Sony previously boasted about having the largest pre-order sales of any tablet in the company’s history, but without numbers there is very little substantive information to work with. We do know that the Z-series is easily Sony’s most accomplished line-up of smartphones and tablets to date, and will undoubtedly prove to be its most successful. We liked the Xperia ZL, though we had issues with its camera and battery life, and enjoyed using the waterproof Tablet Z earlier this year. It has a 1.5Ghz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro SoC, 2GB RAM, an 8MP rear camera, a 1920×1200 pixel LCD display and is dustproof in addition to being waterproof.
While it’s disappointing to see the tablet pushed back, it will be here shortly. Did you pre-order a Tablet Z? Does it help that Sony is building a stock version of its software from AOSP?
The Xperia Tablet Z will be available for $499/$599 for the 16GB and 32GB versions respectively.