Until today, AirBnb’s Android app didn’t come close to its iOS equivalent for features, design and stability. With version 2.0, the company has revamped the app’s design, giving it a sliding left-side navigation bar, large HD photos and a lovely photo-centric workflow.
AirBnb is a great resource for travellers to find accommodations outside of the traditional hotel circuit. People offer their apartments for rent in a number of configurations — empty, shared, with the tenant, etc. — at rates considerably cheaper than the average hotel room. Thanks to an extensive set of checks, both on the buyer and seller side, safety, cleanliness and amenities are assured beforehand, and there are recourses to complain to AirBnb if a trip goes awry.
Much of the service’s success has stemmed from the ease at which users can browse and find the right room or house for their particular type of holiday. I’ve used AirBnb several times since its inception, and the San Francisco-based service has grown to a quarter million listings in 30,000 cities and 192 countries. The focus has shifted to mobile booking and administration in the last year, with the company launching a revamped iOS app in 2012.
With this latest Android app, hosts can monitor their listings and pre-approve guests in addition to setting general availability from within the app.
The app is also considerably faster and more stable now, and the company has rectified an issue with push notifications.
Download Airbnb for Android.
Google I/O may not be the product-launching bonanza of previous years, but there are rumours that Google will refresh its main Nexus smartphone, the Nexus 4, with a new colour and LTE connectivity.
The white Nexus 4 was expected to launch alongside its black counterpart in November but never materialized. Google never acknowledged the second colour, so it was thought to be held back due to low demand, simplified marketing messaging or, most likely, manufacturing issues. White cellphones are notorious for being delayed due to the difficulty of creating a white surface that doesn’t discolour or fade. With the Nexus 4 colouring behind glass, that doesn’t quite jibe with traditional thinking, but it’s a good theory.
If Google does re-launch the Nexus 4 at Google I/O with LTE connectivity, it would make sense that it would release the white version, perhaps as a limited-quantity special edition, for users to purchase. We wouldn’t be surprised to see a slightly larger battery inside the phone, too, to offset the higher demands of the LTE chip.
All will be revealed on Wednesday, May 15th at 12PM ET, when the Google I/O 2013 keynote is scheduled to begin.
Sony unveiled the Xperia ZR today, a smaller smartphone version of the 5-inch Xperia Z. The ZR comes in at 4.6-inches (720p, 319ppi) and has “the highest level of water-resistance for filming in Full HD underwater.” Sony states that the ZR is IP55 and IP58 compliant and can repel dust, plus can be submerged in 1.5 meters water for up to 30 minutes. Guess that would be perfect for those summer months at the cottage.
Other notable specs have the LTE-enabled ZR packing a 13MP camera (same as the Xperia Z and ZL), 1.5 GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, 2GB of RAM, NFC and weighs in at 140 grams. As for release dates, nothing yet confirmed for Canada, and the “Xperia ZR will launch in various global markets from Q2 2013 (availability will vary by market).”
When the Samsung Galaxy S4 launched a few weeks ago TELUS noted that they’ll have “additional color options to follow later this year.” There was no indication of what or when the new colours would be made available, but if this leaked doc from DoCoMo in Japan is correct then we could possibly see the “Blue Arctic” GS4 join the Black Mist and White Frost versions. As for targeted availability, the promo materials suggest a release in Japan mid-May… so any day now. Of course, we Canadians would see this much later in the year, but a new colour would certainly be welcomed anytime.
Nokia has been teasing “what’s next” for Lumia a few weeks now. A media event is planned on May 14th in London, England that will most likely see the company officially announce the heavily leaked all-aluminum Lumia “Catwalk.”
Nokia has decided to somewhat put truth to the rumours by airing a 20-second spot that showcases the front and back of a new device, highlighting its cameras (front-facing and rear) and flash – which look identical to the leaked images from April. Nokia suggest it’ll be a PureView camera, noting “more than your eyes can see” and that “the new Nokia Lumia is coming.”
Google isn’t one to be outdone by Apple, and with the emergence of Android as a veritably competitive gaming platform, it comes as no surprise that the company is planning a Game Center competitor.
Play Games is real, and is expected to debut next week at Google I/O. The idea is fairly simple: a portal where you log in with your Google+ account where you’ll be able to see your friends (other Google+ users across Android) and match up with them for multiplayer games. Like Game Center, you can expect Leaderboards on a per-game basis, auto-match play for random games, and invites for your friends.
But perhaps the most intriguing part of the network is the potential for saved game synchronization between devices. Like Rovio’s promise for its own games, Play Games looks to synchronize progress in the cloud, so when you download a game on a tablet or new phone you won’t have to play the same levels over again.
Game developers will be able to create achievements, much like you find on the PlayStation Network or Xbox Live, for users to earn. It appears, based on Android Police’s extensive APK teardown, that not only will Play Games be integrated into Google Services, but it will have its own Play Games app.
It’s all very exciting, since this is a long time coming. Along with Hangouts, Google’s rumoured unified messaging service, and a new version of Android Jelly Bean, Google I/O may just live up to its lofty expectations.
Source: Android Police
For a long time, Mophie made its name from iPhone accessories. The juice pack and its subsequent variations have become essential tools for many smartphone users looking to extend the uptime of their devices. This is especially true when speaking of devices that do not have removable batteries.
The HTC One resembles the iPhone in many ways: it is crafted from a single piece of aluminum; it has a non-removable cell; and, at least for now, it stands alone at the top of the pyramid as the company’s flagship device. Its high-profile release across multiple carriers has ensured that accessory manufacturers like Mophie worked quickly to create versions of their own most popular add-ons.
Mophie’s juice pack for the HTC One is similar to the recently-released iPhone 5 version, but it’s much, much bigger. Not only does the battery itself have a much higher capacity, at 2500mAh, but the sheer size difference between the One and iPhone 5 necessitates a larger structure around the phone.
Below are the top Canadian mobile stories from the past 7 days. In addition, we’ve compiled a list of notable news from around the web.
- Canadians sent 96.5 billion text messages in 2012 [Read here]
- Rogers launches $7.99 / 50MB roaming package for travel to the United States [Read here]
- Mobilicity reportedly can’t find a buyer [Read here]
- Bell and RBC strike deal to launch a mobile payment service [Read here]
- MTS celebrates 25 years of wireless service in Manitoba [Read here]
- Bell planning to launch 3 rugged Sonim push-to-talk devices this year [Read here]
- Nokia Lumia 520 now available on Koodo, TELUS May 17th [Read here]
- Bell Samsung Galaxy SII HD LTE receives Jelly Bean update [Read here]
- TELUS Q1 2013 results: subscriber base jumps to 7.7 million [Read here]
- Bell reports Q1 2013 results: subscriber base jumps 3.6% to 7,672,075 [Read here]
Rogers, Bell and Rogers Galaxy Note finally receives Jelly Bean upgrade [Read here]
- WIND launching the Galaxy S4 on May 14th [Read here]
- J.D. Power says Koodo & SaskTel have the highest Customer Satisfaction [Read here]
- Nokia Music official launch in Canada imminent [Read here]
- WIND Mobile having massive ‘lightly loved’ sale [Read here]
- Contest: Win a TELUS Galaxy S4 [Enter here]
- Contest: Win a TELUS BlackBerry Q10! [Enter here]
- Contest: Win a Bell Samsung Galaxy S4 [Enter here]
- Happy Mother’s Day!
Around the web:
- Motorola XT1058 for AT&T hits the FCC, could be XFON related [Engadget]
- Nokia announces the Lumia 928 [Engadget]
- BBC Watchdog to investigate Samsung Galaxy S 4 internal storage claims [Android & Me]
- Unannounced BlackBerry R10 Gets Leaked Gesture Tutorial Video [BerryReview]
The “Next Big Thing” is right here. This beauty – the TELUS Samsung Galaxy S4 – can be yours! Up for grabs is the White Frost GS4. This device is an update from the Galaxy S III as it packs a slimmer design, better processor, bigger screen and more features, namely Group Play, S Health, Dual Shot, Watch On, Air View, Air Gestures and Smart Scroll.
A refresher of specs has the Galaxy S4 packing Android OS Jelly Bean, 5-inch display (1920 x 1080), 1.9GHz Snapdragon quad-core processor, LTE-enabled, 13MP camera that shoots 1080p HD video, 2MP front-facing camera and a 2600 mAh battery.
TELUS reps can help you through the new features with their in-store Learning Centres, or via their video streams on Google+ or YouTube. In addition, you can check out our in-depth review of the GS4 right here.
This contest is easy to enter. All you have to do is either follow us and re-tweet this contest on Twitter (@mobilesyrup), “Like Us” on Facebook (Facebook.com/MobileSyrup), or join us on Google+. All current Facebook, Twitter and Google+ followers are automatically entered. This contest closes on May 26th and we’ll announce a winner shortly after!
Yes, the winner will also receive that stuffed tiger.
Good luck to all who enter!
Intrepid phone hackers, pay attention. The HTC One was released just a few weeks ago, but developers are already getting their hands dirty trying to eke the latest Android version out of the hardware.
CyanogenMOD 10.1 nighty builds have just been released for the HTC One and are ready to download and flash. Of course, because the device launched with a Sense build running Android 4.1.2, HTC hasn’t released a kernel source for Android 4.2.2, so there are a few aspects of the device that aren’t quite perfect. The camera, for instance, is still hit-or-miss, and crashes when taking photos with a resolution of higher than 2MP. Outgoing calls are also inconsistent; sometimes the recipient can hear you, sometimes they can’t.
But these are early days yet, and the outstanding issues should transform into outstanding performance sooner than later.
If you’re interested in checking out what the HTC One has to offer, head to XDA-Developers and read up on how to unlock your bootloader, flash a custom recovery, backup your Sense ROM and, finally, install CM10.1.
A note before you continue: though the builds are slated for the international HTC One (M7), this build will work with the North American version. Unlike the Galaxy S4, both the NA and international HTC One are identical in terms of hardware; they only differ in what radio bands they support.