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How to enable Cortana on Windows Phone 8.1 (but there’s a catch)


You’re Canadian, and therefore a nice person. You also lose out on a lot of great features from new products like Windows Phone 8.1.

If you’re taken the plunge and installed the Windows Phone 8.1 Developer Preview, you may have noticed that, while Action Center is ready to go, and a bunch of other changes are noticeable, the one thing that has remained the same, sadly, is the Search interface.

But it’s not difficult to get Cortana working. In fact, it’s a simple switch in the Settings. Head to Settings/Region and change it from Canada to United States, and reboot your phone. Simple.



Motorola’s upcoming Moto X+1 to have 25 backplate options


Motorola is rumoured to be coming out with a refresh of the Moto X with the “Moto X +1.” The branding appeared online last week and if true we will most likely this flagship come to Canada.

Some additional details have popped up and it seems it’ll follow a similar path of being highly customized. According to reputable device leaker @evleaks, Motorola will offer up 25 backplate options from Moto Maker from 5 categories including Cool, Neutral, Warm, Wood and Leather. (more…)


Nexus 5 Android 4.4.3 update scheduled to be released this week, says Sprint


US carrier Sprint has announced that Android 4.4.3 for the Nexus 5 will be released today, with a wider rollout coming this week. The new build, KTU48F, will not be a major release, but rather a minor one focused on bug fixes.

We’ve heard rumours that Android 4.4.3 would be coming soon, fixing a number of battery- and productivity-killing bugs present in many of the current Nexus products, but Sprint’s announcement seems to firm up the matter. Though its change log refers to the addition of Spark LTE support, we have it on good authority that Android 4.4.3 will fix wider issues with the Android camera staying awake in the background after closing the app.

Android is unlikely to get any major feature additions until Google I/O at the end of June, so Android 4.4.3 may be the last iteration of this extremely polished OS release.


Android 4.1.1 is likely the only major version vulnerable to Heartbleed, but here’s an app to check anyway


By now, you’ve heard of Heartbleed. You’ve heard that this bug can be exploited to allow hackers to gain sensitive information from well-known services, many of which are still in the process of being patched. Just this morning, after days of outages, the Canadian Revenue Agency said that it has been subject to data theft from Heartbleed, likely between the time the bug was made public and the time the government decided to shut down its databases.

Bluebox, a security company, has done considerable work auditing Android versions from Ice Cream Sandwich and later (the OpenSSL bug that causes Heartbleed was only implemented after the release of Android 4.0, so Gingerbread and older are actually safe). They found that Android 4.1.1 is the only version inherently exposed to the SSL bug, as it implements both the insecure OpenSSL and heartbeats, which are disabled in subsequent releases.



Handybook’s iOS-based home cleaning service expands to Toronto


A new startup has hit Toronto, and it’s going to be a boon for consumers and professionals alike.

Handybook, a New York-based startup that has raised just over $12 million to date, runs an iOS-based cleaning service that allows customers to book home cleanings, electrical and plumbing appointments, and a number of other fix-it verticals, quickly and easily.

The company is expanding beyond the US today, making Toronto its first city in an expansion that will hopefully take it across the entire country. (more…)


Samsung to announce Galaxy S5 Zoom at Singapore event on April 29th


Samsung is set to announce the second in its Galaxy S5 line, if an invitation to an event in Singapore is to be believed.

The company invited a select set of journalists to an event in Singapore on April 29th, detailing the tagline, “Kapture the moment.” It appears that the Galaxy S5 Zoom is on the docket, though in Asian regions it may be called the Galaxy K (or Galaxy SK? JK).

We recently got a good first look at the upcoming Galaxy S5 Zoom, which will reportedly have a larger sensor and higher-resolution display than its predecessor. The Galaxy S4 Zoom never made it to Canada officially, but many of the device’s internals could be seen in the Galaxy Camera.


MTS launches ‘My Trade-In Program’


Regional carrier MTS has finally offered their customers a device trade-in program. Most Canadian carriers have had this for years and now MTS has officially introduced “My Trade-In.”

The service is actually made possible by US-based Phobio and gives the option for MTS customers to trade-in their old and unused device for a credit towards a new smartphone. Similar to other trade-in programs, customers can use the online tool or visit a store and see how much their device is worth. MTS notes that the max you’ll be able to receive is $250. For example, if you’re interested in trading in your old 16GB iPhone 5 the credit you’ll receive is “up to $164.45.”

Source: MTS


Windows Phone 8.1 now available to developers, but you can download it, too


Windows Phone 8.1 is here, and if you’re a developer — or at least pretend to be — you can download it right now.

This is one of the most important software updates Microsoft has ever released, on both PC and mobile, as it jumps over a few important hurdles to reach feature parity with iOS and Android. While consumers will appreciate Cortana, the sassy voice assistant, and Action Center, there are a number of business-focused updates, including Enterprise VPN and S/MIME support, that will make the OS more attractive to corporations.

To download the update on any Windows Phone 8-based device is fairly straightforward, though you cannot return to your previous installed version once it’s complete. It will, however, upgrade to the carrier-released version of Windows Phone 8.1 — if and when it arrives — later this year. (more…)


“BlackBerry Experience” registration now open for Toronto and Montreal


During the turmoil of 2013, BlackBerry announced it would not be holding its annual BlackBerry Live conference in 2014, instead opting “to continue with an engaging lineup of smaller, targeted events taking place all around the world.”

The Waterloo-based company has already been on the road in Paris and most recently in New York with its “BlackBerry Experience” events. Good news for those who want to back BlackBerry on their home turf as they have announced a couple dates hitting Canada. BlackBerry Experience will arrive in Montreal on May 6th, then in Toronto on May 8th. Here are the complete details of what to expect, with the link to register below:

  • BlackBerry’s Vision: John Sims, President, Global Enterprise Services
  • The Evolution of EMM: Sepharim Group, Bob Egan
  • Learn about BlackBerry’s end-to-end, Enterprise Solutions for today and tomorrow:
  • BlackBerry® Enterprise Service 10
  • BlackBerry World Class Technical Support
  • Multi-platform Enterprise Mobility Management
  • Communication & Collaboration
  • A look at our roadmap to BlackBerry Enterprise Service 12
  • Enterprise Applications (apps for BlackBerry, cross platform, customized apps)
  • Closing Remarks

Source: BlackBerry