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Shopify launches mobile card reader for Canadian retailers

Shopify Mobile Launch 6

Despite being an Ottawa-based company, Shopify has tended to try new things south of the border first before bringing them back home. Such is the case with the company’s mobile card reader that turns an iPhone into a point-of-sale (PoS) solution — a device that is also given away for free to clients who want to accept payments virtually anywhere.

Shopify showed off the reader and its various other offerings for retailers at an event in Toronto this week, presenting what it thinks is a complete PoS system that gives Canada’s mom-and-pop shops the tools to work as if a much larger company.



Koodo Mobile drops price of the Nexus 5 to $400


The most cost effective way to score a Nexus 5 is via Google Play. However, for those who want to purchase through the carriers you might want to consider heading over to Koodo Mobile. What was once a high $500 has been reduced by a $100 to $400 retail.

Koodo currently stocks the 16GB version and the colour is only available in black. As for specs, a refresher of the Nexus 5 has this pure Android (OS 4.4 KitKat) sporting a 5-inch display, 8MP camera with a 1.3 front facing camera, 2GB RAM and a 2.3GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor.

Check out our review here.

Source: Koodo
(Thanks Yaov!)


Industry Canada outlines its digital strategy, reaffirms commitment to reduce domestic roaming costs


Industry Minister James Moore travelled to OpenText’s headquarters in Waterloo today for the announcement of Digital Canada 150, a strategy for Canada’s strong digital future to honour the country’s 150th anniversary.

Forward-thinking in its approach, Moore outlined the five “key pillars” for a thriving digital Canada: connecting Canadians; protecting Canadians; economic opportunities; digital government; and Canadian content. For wireless consumers, many of the same assertions were made that we’ve heard by the Government in previous months: a commitment to lowering domestic roaming costs for companies like WIND Mobile and Videotron; and the implementation of a “use it or lose it” policy for companies who buy spectrum to sit on it until a better deal comes around.

For wireless customers, Digital 150 is more a summary of previous announcements than the introduction of new policy. Industry Canada is set to implement changes to the policy on cellphone tower installations, taking feedback from land owners and community members. And the Spectrum License Transfer Framework Policy will continue to prevent “undue concentration” of spectrum by the Big Three, the same policy that continues to prevent TELUS from purchasing Mobilicity. (more…)


TomTom brings its two new sports watches to Canada


TomTom, a company once synonymous with mapping and in-car GPS units, is making a play for the Canadian athlete training market with two new sports watches: the TomTom Runner Cardio GPS and TomTom Multi-Sport Cardio GPS.

Fashioned as weather-hardy sports “gear” more than a smartwatch with added sports features, the two devices feature heart rate sensors and a bevy of training modes that appeal more to the hardcore trainers. The screen is covered with thick, scratch-resistant plastic, and movement through the relatively straightforward menu system relies on a clicky directional pad underneath. While the addition of a touchscreen would have been useful, Jocelyn Vigreux, President of TomTom, told me that the decision was made to ensure functionality with sweaty fingers or in inclement weather. (more…)


Microsoft Office for iPad hits 12M App Store downloads in a week


Well, that was fast. Just one week after launching its Office suite of apps for the iPad, Microsoft announced via a tweet yesterday that they have already surpassed 12 million downloads. This number also includes legacy OneNote downloads, and Microsoft didn’t provide numbers on each app’s contribution to the overall total, but the achievement is still very impressive.

Office for iPad is notable in that Microsoft completely rebuilt the apps from the ground up for the iPad rather than porting from Windows. Each app also contains iPad-specific features, as well as cross-platform file fidelity. Taking advantage of these features requires a $99/year Office 365 subscription, however, as only reading and presentation support are offered in the free version.

Have you downloaded Office for iPad? Are you willing to purchase an Office 365 subscription to take full advantage of the app suite? What do you think of the iPad specific features?


Google Opinion Rewards for Android now available to Canadians

Screen Shot 2014-04-03 at 9.47.23 PM

If you’re into giving feedback, this is right up your alley. Google Opinion Rewards for Android is now available for Canadians, giving the chance to offer up a bit of your intelligence via surveys in exchange for some Google Play credits.

Those interested in participating must have an Android device running OS 2.3.3 or higher and Google will “send you surveys around once a week, although it may be more or less frequent. You’ll get a notification on your phone when a short and relevant survey is ready for you, and can receive up to $1.00 USD (or local equivalent) in Play credits for completing it. Questions can range from, ‘Which logo is best?’ and ‘Which promotion is most compelling?’ to ‘When do you plan on traveling next?’”

Pretty simple and might be worth it.


Meet the team behind Google’s Project Ara


Forget Google Glass (sorry, Tom) and self-driving cars: Project Ara may be Google’s most exciting future product. One of two projects under development in the former Motorola ATAP group, Project Ara promises the globe a modular and upgradable smartphone at a base price of $50.

Google has been slowly peeling back the curtain on Project Ara as it ramps up towards the first Ara Developers Conference later this month. The company recently gave an extended technology demo of Project Ara at the LAUNCH Conference in San Francisco. Yesterday, in partnership with Phonebloks, Google shed light on the team behind the project.



Google Search expands app indexing to Canadian Android devices, adds over 20 apps including 500px and Wattpad


Google announced the ability to do “deep linking” from Android search results to apps last year, but the project was only available in the US. Today, that functionality has expanded worldwide, including Canada, and the company has added over 20 new apps to participate in the program.

What is deep linking? It allows developers to insert their apps into web results, which users can then click to directly access that portion of the app. This quickly opens the program to that article or review or show, much like Google allows users to quickly access Google Play downloads from search results.



comScore: Android owns 44% of the Canadian smartphone market, BlackBerry sinks to 15%


A new report from comScore shows a number of new Canadian mobile stats. The annual report, called “2014 Canada Digital Future in Focus,” unsurprisingly reveals smartphone usage is up by 13% compared to last year, now reaching three out of every four mobile users.

Similar to last year, comScore reports conflicting mobile stats to the CRTC. The research firm says, “mobile subscribers grew by 5% in Canada year over year to more than 23 million,” but the CRTC states just over 30 million for 2013. Regardless, usage is up.

Manufacturers are not listed, but the OS standings give a good understanding of where some of the players stand. Google’s Android claimed top spot with 44% of the Canadian smartphone market, up 4% over last year. Apple’s iOS also rose a couple points to 37%. Unfortunately these were at the expense of BlackBerry, once the leader, which felt the struggle and dropped by 5% to 15% of the Canadian share. Microsoft’s Windows Phone OS stayed put at 2% smartphone market share.



Bell to exclusively release the Alcatel OneTouch Pop 7 tablet

Alcatel OneTouch Pop 7 Tablet - mobilesyrup

Bell and Alcatel OneTouch recently formed a partnership that saw the OneTouch Idol X and OneTouch Idol mini launch in Canada. According to an internal doc we received, it seems the two are coming together once again, but this time to release a 7-inch tablet.

This is coming exclusively to Bell and will hit stores on Tuesday, April 15th. The retail price is set at a low $179.95 outright.

(Thanks tipster!)