Latest News

Content Ratings coming to all Android apps

Google posted a note on the Android Developers blog that they will be introducing content ratings for the Android Market. This will start showing up within a few weeks and “will provide users with additional information to help them select the best applications for them”. There will be 4 levels in which developers will categorize their apps: All, Pre-teen, Teen, & Mature.

“To prepare for this launch, starting next week, developers submitting new or updated applications will be required to include a rating for all applications and games uploaded onto Android Market. In addition, developers will have the next several weeks to add a rating to their existing applications and games. Once content rating is visible to users, any applications or games that do not include a rating will be treated as “Mature”.”

Apple did this with their App Store and Android developers will most likely be gunning to be included in the “All” category, but here are some guidelines they’ll have to follow. Apps with “Alcohol, Tobacco, Drugs, Gambling, Profanity, Crude Humor, Sexual and Suggestive Content” should be rated Teen or above. Location-based app should be rated All but has some limitations. Those apps that enable users to publish or share their location should be rated “Teen” or above. Also, Hate speech is not allowed in Android Market.

Source: Android developer blog
Via: IntoMobile


BlackBerry Curve 3G now available at Videotron

As expected the BlackBerry Curve 3G has officially landed at Videotron. This can be yours for $49.95 on their “reduced price” plan or $349.95 no-contract. As for specs, the Curve 3G comes with a QWERTY keyboard, a 2.4 inch display (resolution 320 x 240), BlackBerry OS 5.0, trackpad, WiFi, GPS, Bluetooth 2.1, HTML browser, 2 megapixel camera and holds up to 32 GB with a microSD card.

More here at Videotron
(Thanks Jeremie!)


Videotron offers free month of service*

With all the competition in Quebec we’ve seen offers and promotions come out of every carrier – handset reductions, monthly price plan drops and even the adoption by every carrier with an Unlimited Quebec monthly plan. A new promo by Videotron has arrived and the deal is a first month of free service. It’s a good deal as saving money is always a good thing, especially if you go for the most expensive plan.

However, reading the fine print there are some details for those who can actually get this deal… “This limited-time offer is intended to new residential customers subscribing to Videotron mobile service. Regular rate apply as of the second month. This offer does not apply for Videotron wireless customers who migrate on the 3G+ network”.

So if you’re a residential customer who’s been holding on to your home phone and want to give Videotron a go… now might be the time to do so. However, the key word in the fine print is “intended”… so it’s possible it they have flexibility of who can get the first month free.


LG Optimus Quantum hitting SaskTel soon (Windows Phone 7 device)

Another new device is on its way to SaskTel. This time it’s the newly released Windows Phone 7 powered LG Optimus Quantum. No word on a price points or an official launch date but they stated on Twitter that its “coming soon”. This LG Optimus Quantum has a 1GHz Snapdragon processor, has a full 4-row QWERTY keyboard, 3.5-inch touchscreen (480×800), 5 megapixel camera, LED and records 720p videos, 3.5 mm headset jack, WiFi and is the heaviest WP7 device at 180 grams.


PlayStation phone to be announced December 9th… for $500 no-contract?

An invitation from Sony Ericsson to “the most anticipated presentation of the past 10 years” is scheduled for December 9th – pointing towards the announcement of the PlayStation phone. There has been images surface in the past few weeks about this Android device and no pun intended it’ll be a game changer for gamers.  Rumoured specs have it with Android OS 2.2 but could launch with 2.3 Gingerbread, has a screen size between 3.7 to 4.1 inches, slider that reveals the dedicated gaming controls, a 1GHz Qualcomm MSM8655 processor, 512MB of RAM, 1GB of ROM, a custom Sony Marketplace and comes with an 8GB microSD card.

The invitation was posted by French tech site NowhereElse, but MobileCrunch got tipped by the following info as well: That the invitation is real and the PlayStation phone has a “mind-blowing” display that is on-par with the iPhone 4′s retina display. In addition, they are aiming for a February release around the $500 mark that includes 5 free games. A bit of a downer is that you won’t be able to downloaded PlayStation Portable games as they will be creating a selection of games specifically designed for the phone – somewhere priced below the $10 mark per game.

Source: NowhereElse & MobileCrunch


Image: Samsung Nexus S running Android 2.3 Gingerbread

Yet again some more pics of the yet to be announced Google Nexus S has surfaced… you’d think by now they would at least officially announce the device. This time the Nexus S is shown running the new Android 2.3 Gingerbread! The fine folks over on on XDA Developers forum snapped the pics and have also said some of the specs to be the following: ArmV7 CPU (could be Dual Core), Open GL ES Supported, 512 or 328MB Ram (not confirmed), 1GB or 2GB Internal Memory (not confirmed), 4-inch display with a 800×480, SuperAmoled2 (not confirmed) and can capture 720P HD Videos.

Source: XDA Developers
Via: Gizmodo


Rogers to release a new premium “Data Priority Service”?

Here’s an interesting topic that will certainly garner some comments. We got tipped yesterday from a reader who received a Rogers urVoice survey that shows they are thinking about implementing a “premium” service. It’s called “Data Priority Service” and if Rogers is ever experiencing “network congestion” then those customers who sign up for this premium service would be sent their data before the millions of other customers.

Here’s a summary of the “Data Priority Service”:
“The Data Priority Service is a new premium service that guarantees that in the event of any wireless network congestion, your data will be sent and received first. In other words, the Data Priority Service ensures that during busy network times, a subscriber’s data is always sent first, so if the subscriber to this service is web browsing and/or watching an online video on their mobile device they will be less likely than a non-subscriber to this service to be affected by any network congestion”.

Would you want this service and would you pay for it? Or do you everyone should be on the same playing field and no tiered data services when it comes to delivering your data?
(Thanks Matt!)

Update: It seems that Rogers might be asking $10 for this service

Update #2: We’ve heard back from Rogers and although they cannot comment on rumours but “say is that Rogers always designs products and services with the customer in mind. As a result, we test many concepts and ideas with our customers. Sometimes we’re actually considering launching these ideas, but often we’re just testing concepts. Many of the ideas we test never get launched based on customer feedback.”


NorthernTel flips HSPA+ network on in Timmins

A few weeks back Norma Hughes said that “By 2011, Northern Tel is going to be 100% HSPA active”. Timmins residents got some great news today as the HSPA+ service in the area has been turned on! Coverage is limited but the device selection and pricing is big – and the same as Bell (NortherTel is a division of Bell Aliant). So some of the devices you now have are the iPhone 4, BlackBerry Bold 9780 and Torch 9800, Samsung Galaxy S Vibrant, Windows Phone 7 LG Optimus Quantum, and even the newly released Android 2.2 HTC Desire (for a low $49 on a 3-year). Even better is that the Samsung Galaxy Tab is for sale along with tablet plans for this and the iPad. NorthernTel also have a few promos happening for when you sign up on contract.

Check it out here at NortherTel
(Thanks Jay!)


Rumour: BlackBerry PlayBook go-to market pricing revealed?

Let the rumours continue around the anticipated BlackBerry PlayBook by RIM. This news was just posted on Mobility Insider – these are the same guys who had the first hands on unreleased review of the upcoming Tablet – and they reveal that RIM will launch with 3 models of the PlayBook with the following pricing structure (with all devices having the same specs, just different internal memory): 8GB will retail for $399; 16GB will retail for $499 and a 32GB will be available for $599.

Specs have the PlayBook coming with a 7-inch LCD display, 1GHz Dual Core Symmetrical Multiprocessor with 1GB RAM, Out of the box support for BES, Front and rear cameras, full web experience and WiFi. The article also stated that “There will be no models with built-in WWAN connectivity, so if you don’t have a BlackBerry to tether your data connection for free, you will have to rely on WiFi or a Mobile Hotspot”. This is something that RIM will be possibly including for the next build in 2012.

Source: Mobility Insider
Via: BBSync


Analyst says RIM will sell 3.3 million BlackBerry PlayBooks by February 2012

With tablet wars heating up – to name a few we’ve got the Apple iPad, Samsung Galaxy Tab and the upcoming BlackBerry PlayBook. It’s expected that the PlayBook will be released in the February 2011 for an estimated $500 (USD).

In the first month of sales Apple sold 1 million iPads and Samsung recently announced 600,000 of the Galaxy Tabs have been sold. But what are analysts saying about RIM’s PlayBook? Oppenheimer analyst Ittai Kidron says that RIM will sell 100,000 PlayBook units in the fiscal Q4 ending Feb. 28th. In addition, Kidron estimates that for the fiscal 2012 year RIM will have successfully sold 3.2 million units for a combined total of 3.3 million PlayBooks.

Kidron stated that “If executed properly, the PlayBook could help RIM defend its enterprise leadership against intensifying competition from Apple, Android and WP7. With that said, much uncertainty remains and we’re not convinced RIM has successfully addressed its competitive smartphone gaps.”

3.3 million units multiplied by $500 = $1,650,000,000. I’d be pleased with that number.

Source: ZDNet
Via: BlackBerry Rocks