iPhone and Android users have been able to hail cabs from their smartphones for the last four years. Windows Phone users haven’t been so lucky. Up until now, anyone using a device running Microsoft’s mobile OS has been forced to use Uber’s mobile site because there was no dedicated app for Windows Phone, and there never has been (bar one month in 2013, but that app so bad it was removed). (more…)
Foursquare is putting the finishing touches on its local discovery-focused relaunch, teasing photos of the soon to be released app along with a new logo. The new logo draws inspiration from a map pin and superhero emblem, and eliminates the last vestiges of the social game that was a source of inspiration for the original app.
Those social elements are all being transferred to Swarm (more on upcoming features here), which tomorrow will receive all legacy Foursquare check-in data. Starting tomorrow, Foursquare holdouts will also have to use Swarm to get their check-in fix.
Foursquare users have been vocal about the changes to the app, but some back-of-the-napkin math indicates that they might be a vocal minority. Foursquare says that 75% of Foursquare users who check in have moved to Swarm; a recent Verge feature revealed that only 5% of Foursquare’s user base was using the app for both social and discovery, meaning the company created a new app for little over 2 million of its (admittedly, highly dedicated) users. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem as though anyone is joining them, but perhaps it’s enough to keep the location data fresh.
Nvidia officially introduced us to its newest Shield device yesterday and the company is keen to talk about all of the games that have been optimized for this new gaming tablet.
The Shield Tablet changes things up a bit in terms of form factor but the objective remains the same: bring serious gaming to a portable system. Based on Nvidia’s Tegra K1 SoC, the Shield Tablet can stream games from your PC, from a server, or to your TV. It can, of course, play any Android game, but the company has worked hard with devs to create a portfolio that are best played on Shield. (more…)
LG has committed to updating its malleable Rogers-exclusive LG G Flex to Android 4.4.2 KitKat by the end of July.
The device launched in early April with Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, and while the rest of the world has been using it with KitKat for some time, the Rogers variant has taken an awfully long time to see the same benefits.
The update won’t magically make the G Flex look like the G3 — the G2 still maintained many of the same skeumorphic qualities of its launch design when it got KitKat — but it should improve performance and clean up the UI in a number of ways.
An LG representative said the update is “slated” for the end of July, but is of course subject to delays due to certification from Rogers.
Update: Turns out that Rogers has already begun pushing the update to select LG G Flex devices. We’ve confirmed that the rollout will be completed by the end of July, so if you’re using a G Flex, see if the update is waiting for you in Settings/About/Software Update.
Nokia might be ditching the whole budget Android idea but its still committed to providing low cost or entry-level Windows Phone devices. The company’s Lumia 530 leaked in Asia yesterday and Microsoft followed that up with an official announcement this morning.
The Lumia 530 is Microsoft’s new flagship budget phone and it runs Windows 8.1, which Microsoft announced earlier this year at Build 2014 and started rolling out in late June. Windows Phone 8.1 brings Cortana, as well as Action Center, Word Flow, and personalised backgrounds, to the masses. (more…)
WIND Mobile has announced the launch of new account management applications for iOS, Android, Windows Phone and BlackBerry. The carrier pushed the apps live last week but didn’t announce them officially until today.
The WIND My Account app allows customers to manage their WIND account right from their device, something that previously required you to log in via the WIND website, which didn’t offer a great mobile experience. Now you can check your account balance and view your billing and payment history as well as make payments via credit or debit cards, apply top up codes, and set up preauthorized payments. The app is free to download and WIND says customers won’t be charged for data used while accessing their account. (more…)
Amazon announced its first foray into the smartphone market last month with the Fire phone. The device runs Fire OS 3.5, which is a customized version of Android, and sports a 4.7 IPS LCD HD display, 2.2GHz quad-core processor with Adreno 330 graphics processor, 2GB of RAM, and a 13MP shooter.
Most of the uniqueness comes from within the Fire Phone, namely the 3D feature Amazon calls ‘Dynamic Perspective,’ which allows you to view objects on the display from multiple angles just by tilting the phone. In addition, FireFly is embedded within every Fire Phone and brings the ability to simply scan various products via the camera lens and purchase it directly from Amazon.
The Fire Phone will ship this week and for now is an AT&T exclusive in the United States for $199.99 on a two-year agreement, or at $649 (32GB) or $749 (64GB) off contract. There is no immediate plans for Amazon to bring the Fire Phone to Canada, but are we missing out? The early review say nay. Here’s a roundup of what various tech sites have to say about Amazon’s first smartphone: (more…)
Chitika has once again compiled tablet usage (different from market share because it takes actual usage patterns into account), and shows that while Apple still dominates the market, Samsung and Amazon are slowly eating into its share. (more…)
The CRTC has announced a pro-consumer initiative that’s takes aim at both telecom and broadcast companies and how they sometimes charge customers an additional fee for receiving a paper bill.
The CRTC today declared today that it will start meeting with various Canadian organizations to discuss the practice of charging customers an additional fee if they opt in to receive paper billing versus an electronic bill. The CRTC notes that “there is a wide variation in how companies approach paper bill fees.” Most Canadian wireless carriers note on their site that “If you choose to receive a paper invoice, a $2 fee (per invoice) will apply.” However, some carriers have opted to discount the fee based on the number of additional services you bundle in.
As of November 2013, 36 companies stated they don’t charge fees for a paper bill, while 27 revealed they do. “There is no consistent practice across the industry,” said the CRTC, and its approach is not taken into account the specific circumstances of some Canadians.” The Canadian regulatory body said they are challenging the “communications industry to come up with a clear and predictable approach” to address this consumer issue. The paper bill fee reportedly ranges between $0.99 to $5.95 per month for paper bills.
Jean-Pierre Blais, CRTC Chairman, said, “We are concerned that not all Canadians have a reasonable choice when it comes to paper bill fees for communications services. We are challenging telecommunications and broadcasting distribution companies to come up with a comprehensive approach that will enable Canadians to make informed decisions. We are prepared to explore regulatory options if the industry fails to find an appropriate approach.”
As leaked last week, Google has begun rolling out what a company representative calls the “first rollout phase” of the new Play Store. One of the first self-proclaimed Material Design apps, Play Store 4.9.13 works essentially the same as its predecessors, but sports a brand new content view.
The first thing one will notice is the showcase YouTube video is front and centre, right above the title. Strangely, friends who have previously downloaded the app are right below the title, while the Description and Changelog have been combined into a single area; the latter is prominent on apps that aren’t downloaded and the former on apps that are local.
All elements of the app have been overhauled, including the Music, Movies, Newsstand and Books.