Rdio is once again using its considerable API flexibility to team up with another company, this time Shazam, in an effort to drive more traffic to the streaming service’s mobile app.
As of today, if you “automagically” discover a song within Shazam you’ll be given the option to “Listen Free on Rdio.” This applies to both the free and Encore versions of Shazam, which boasts music discovery prowess to over 300 million people, adding 2 million more each week. The user will be given the option of directly opening the Rdio app from within Shazam, and if he or she is already a subscriber, listening to the song in its entirety. New users without a subscription can hear a 30-second clip, which is still quite impressive.
This integration is live today in Canada, U.S. Australia, Brazil, U.K., and Mexico, and applies to Shazam and Rdio on both Android and iOS. This is amazing exposure for Rdio, which is growing quickly but competing against stalwart services like Slacker Radio in Canada and, more importantly, Spotify and Pandora in the U.S.
To help entice more users, Rdio is also announcing it has hit 20 million songs in its library, 2 million more than the last time they counted their coins. From my perspective, most albums get simultaneously released in Canada and the U.S. these days, whereas in the past Rdio may not have gone that extra mile to secure the rights to such material.
If you haven’t signed up for a free trial, Rdio provides new users with 7 days of unlimited streaming, on- and offline.
Mobile payments in Canada are slowly increasing in popularity and will gain even more traction this summer. Rogers recently teamed up with CIBC to launch ‘suretap’, and Bell announced a partnership with RBC this morning.
The new mobile payment solution will only be available for RBC customers who download the RBC mobile banking app, plus have a compatible Bell smartphone. The mobile payment option will be included into the current RBC Mobile banking app, not a standalone app, and will appear on the homescreen menu. The app will allow users to purchase small ticket items (debit or credit) from their smartphone. As for compatible devices, Bell notes that the app will be available for BlackBerry and Android devices, specifically the Z10, Q10, Bold 9900, Bold 9790, Curve 9360, “and a range of Android devices from manufacturers such as Samsung, Sony, HTC, LG.”
The service will be available “By the end of this year” and merchant and customer testing will begin this summer.
Bell has just announced their Q1 2013 results of $1,409 million, up 6.3% from a year ago ($1,326 million). According to the filing the reason for the large jump was due to the adoption of smartphones, data usage and Mobile TV subscribers, and an “increased proportion of postpaid subscribers from Western Canada.”
The number of subscribers also increased over last year, up 3.6% and now sitting at 7,672,075 – if you include Bell Aliant into the mix the total subs reach 7,815,475. Smartphone usage on Bell’s postpaid side has dramatically increased over the past 12 months by 16% to represent 68% of their subscribers. APRU (Average Revenue Per User) increased 3.9% to $55.92/month.
TELUS reports the Q1 2013 numbers today and it’ll be interesting to see if Bell holds onto the title as being Canada’s second largest wireless carrier.
Mobilicity is currently in the process of restructuring their business, plus desperately seeking a buyer to keep them alive. It was revealed a few weeks ago that rival carrier TELUS may be interested in snatching up their subscriber base and valuable spectrum, but nothing to-date has been finalized.
According to the Globe and Mail, new court documents about Mobilicity have them heavily bleeding money and scurrying to close a deal. Mobilicity has apparently embarked on “extensive marketing efforts” that has seen them reach out to “more than 30” potential buyers that range from competing carriers (Big 3 and other new entrant WIND Mobile) to international carriers, and U.S. private-equity firms, but nobody is biting.
William Aziz, President of Blue Tree Advisors II Inc., has been appointed as Mobilicity’s chief restructuring officer, and he states that “given its current financial circumstances, the Mobilicity Group needs to either reach agreement with a willing buyer for its business who can finance the operations going forward, or it needs to restructure its capital and secure additional funding in order to advance its business.” This is not too shocking and there’s a scheduled meeting with the debt holders May 21st that will decide its restructuring plan and direction.
Probably the most revealing is a peek into their financials. Apparently “for the quarter ended December 31, 2012, the cost of maintaining the Mobilicity Group’s network, paying distributors and other service partners exceeded revenue and financing proceeds by approximately $12-million prior to financing costs, or $30-million in total.”
Mobilicity has been offering their low-cost wireless service to Canadians in Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa, Edmonton and Calgary since 2010. The company is currently valued between $350 – $400 million.
The CyanogenMOD team has been feverishly improving and perfecting its Android 4.2.2 version, CM10.1, for months now, and finally feels it has reached a point of stability to deserve the Release Candidate moniker. Considering the next version of Android is expected to be announced next week at Google I/O, this should come as no surprise, but it’s great to see software with stability you can take to the bank.
Compatible devices range from the Nexus 4, Nexus 7, Galaxy Nexus and Nexus S to the various North American builds of the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note. There are a few tablets and some uncommon devices thrown in there — you’ll have to dig through the database to find whether your device is compatible based on code name — but most of the devices are at least six months old at this point.
If you’re running a custom ROM like CyanogenMOD 10.1, you’ll likely know you have to hit up get.cm for more details. So get on it!
Similar to TELUS customers yesterday, Bell and Rogers users are now reporting the upgrade to Jelly Bean is finally available for the original Samsung Galaxy Note (SGH-I717). This should be available when you connect your device to Samsung Kies. Let us know if you’ve received it!
According to OnSwipe, a company that uses HTML5 to create responsive tablet-optimized web pages, an increasing number of iPhone and iPad users are access the web with iOS 7.
In the past week, OnSwipe saw an uptick in iPhone and iPad-sourced web traffic around Cupertino and San Francisco, based on geolocated IP address, running on iOS 7, meaning that the latest builds of Apple’s upcoming mobile OS are being tested outside the company’s campus.
On May 2nd, for example, 23% of OnSwipe-enabled web page visits located in Cupertino were running iOS 7. Apple will unveil the new mobile OS in mid-June at its annual Worldwide Developer Conference, and a first beta is expected to made available to developers on the same day. Apple tends to release the first public builds of iOS at WWDC and slowly improves on it until the final version is released in Autumn, right around the same time as a new iPhone or iPad is announced.
Those looking forward to iOS 7 can expect a flatter design and better integration with the company’s cloud services.
If you’re on MTS and use an iPhone, you can now access Visual Voicemail as long as you’re paying for the privilege.
The mobile operator rolled out this feature quietly in the last few days, allowing users to listen to messages with a single tap, quickly call back their recipients and avoid calling into the increasingly cumbersome voicemail portal.
Visual Voicemail is compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S and iPhone 5.
Sony hasn’t had a tremendous amount of success with its independent PlayStation Mobile store, wherein developers can submit games to be bought and played on certified Android devices and PS Vita. The appeal is “buy once, play everywhere,” but at this point that “everywhere” is limited to Sony and HTC devices in North America plus Sony’s own portable gaming device.
The main issue is the paucity of great content on PlayStation Mobile; there are few must-play titles, and many of the better ones are available for less on Google Play. Moreover, Sony has until now charged an annual fee for the privilege of submitting apps to PS Mobile, potentially keeping some indie developers from submitting content entirely.
Now the company is trying to build some good press for itself, and introduce the market to more developers, by eliminating that $99 annual fee. Whether that will engender a surge in quality game submissions remains to be seen, but Sony would do well to expand its handset compatibility list first. It also needs to support the HTC One sooner than later.
And maybe, with the impending launch of the PS4, Sony could hitch a ride on its own success.
If you’re rocking a new Samsung Galaxy S4 device, you should look forward to your first over-the-air update pushed to your phone in the next day or so.
According to SamMobile, build I337MVLUAMDJ has been pushed to the Samsung Kies server, which is the first step towards network operators pushing it to their provisioning servers. While this is a small update, mostly to fix initial performance and stability issues, it’s relevant because the full ROM is now available for users to reload their software in case something goes awry down the line. This should also pave the way for better custom ROMs in the future.
SamMobile has all the carriers’ ROMs — Rogers, Bell, TELUS, SaskTel and others — available on its site, but you should be able to go to Settings/Software Update and install it when the build becomes available in the next few days. If you don’t want to wait that long, load Kies on your Windows or OS X and check for the new software that way.
Have you received the update yet on your phone? Let us know in the comments.