Today, May 6th, marks the 25th anniversary of regional carrier MTS placing their first wireless call in Manitoba. Kelvin Shepherd, President of MTS, said that “Since the first cell phone call was placed in 1988, MTS’s wireless network has grown to encompass over 200 cell sites that simultaneously support over one million calls, millions of texts, and terabytes of data every day.”
MTS launched their LTE network this year in Winnipeg and Brandon, but declared that they’ll be expanding to Selkirk, Portage la Prairie, Steinbach, Ste. Anne, Grand Beach and Victoria Beach. MTS’ LTE coverage map currently reaches 60% of the population and “over the next five years” they are “poised to become substantially larger and reach even more Manitobans.”
MTS, according to their Q4 2012 results, currently has 497,367 wireless subscribers.
If you’re looking for a good deal on a great tablet, Costco.ca has the 32GB Nexus 7 for $199.99 with shipping included.
While the age of the Tegra 3 version is coming to an end, as Google is expected to launch a successor next week at Google I/O, this deal saves you $60+shipping from the Google Play Store version.
And considering the Nexus 7 will stay up-to-date more so than other Android tablets, it should receive Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, or whatever is announced next week, before any other products.
If you need a refresher, read our Nexus 7 Review from last summer.
Loblaw has just released a new loyalty program called PC Plus. According to their press release the true benefits of the program can only be fully realized by those shopping in Ontario Loblaws stores, but the apps can be downloaded by anyone.
The PC Plus app gives you access to personalized offers, plus allows you earn rewards on the food you purchase. Inside the app you’ll see your list of current offers, plus the total number of points you have accumulated – this can also be tied to your PC Financial account. In addition, based on your food preferences and what you purchase, Loblaws suggests recipes and digs a bit deeper to organize your life by flipping all the ingredients over to a shopping list. Apart from being well designed, the app also gives access to locating the closest Loblaws location.
The PC Plus app is currently available for iOS, Android and BlackBerry 10 users. No word on Windows Phone 8.
More info here from PC Plus
Samsung has launched its latest entry into the highly-lucrative entry-level smartphone space. The Galaxy Core is set to take over the role of a few year-old smartphones, but its specs won’t pique the interest of the average Canadian.
Sporting a 4.3-inch WVGA display, a 1.2Ghz dual-core processor, 1GB RAM, 8GB internal storage and a 5MP rear camera, the device appears to be very similar, internally, to much of the Galaxy S2 line, which is now coming up on two years old.
While it will run Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and be equipped with a few features that GS3 and Note 2 users take for granted, like Smart Stay, Smart Alert and S Voice, there is an unfortunate lack of innovation in this low-end smartphone.
The Galaxy Core will come in two flavours, a dual-SIM model set for a May release and a single-SIM version set for July. No word on whether it is coming to Canada, but we’ll keep you updated.
Google updated its iOS app today with the ability to open links directly in three of its major app assets, YouTube, Google Maps or Chrome.
Previously, when tapping on a link to either of these apps, they would open in mobile Safari, adding an extra layer between bringing all iOS users into Google’s app ecosystem. It’s now possible to stay almost entirely within these apps without even touching Apple Maps, Safari or Mail.app, which is quite an accomplishment.
If you’re a heavy Gmail for iOS user and partake in any of the three aforementioned services, update your Gmail application.
Download Gmail for iOS.
The CWTA (Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association) announced today that Canadians sent a total of 96.5 billion text messages in 2012, up from 78 billion messages in 2011 (increase of about 12%). This number would be well above the 100 billion mark if it included BBM, iMessage, or any of the other messaging services such as WhatsApp.
Specifically in Q4, Canadians sent a total of 25 billion texts, representing an average of over 270 million texts per day. In addition, picture and video messaging (MMS) is also on the rise. In 2012 Canadians sent 637 million messaging, up from 327 million sent in 2011.
theScore, Inc. has secured $16 million in private funding from investors Relay Ventures, Levfam Holdings and Rogers Media. The latter two are existing shareholders but Relay, which is based in both Toronto and Silicon Valley, has purchased 18.4% of the outstanding Class A shares.
The company’s CEO, John Levy, said in a statement today, “This financing allows us to ramp-up the development of some exciting new features for our mobile sports platforms, providing sports fans with an even more immersive experience while accelerating user growth across the United States.”
theScore’s broadcasting outfit, Score Media, was recently sold to Rogers for $167 million, and the incumbent carrier retained a 10% interest in theScore Digital, which now represents the entire publicly-traded company.
With apps available on iOS, Android and BlackBerry 10, theScore has grown to be one of the most popular sports apps in the world, boasting 4.2 million monthly users in January 2013.
Original Samsung Galaxy Note (SGH-I717) owners have been dreaming of the day that they’d receive the upgrade to Jelly Bean. For months this has been delayed, but according to TELUS’ “Android software updates” site reveals that Note users can finally taste Jelly Bean. They state that OS version 4.1.2 is being released “in stages” and “your smartphone will receive a notification when this update becomes available to you.”
Hit up your device (via Samsung Kies) and let us know if you’ve received it.
Rogers “suretap” has expanded beyond BlackBerry and is now available for Android users. The app is also known as the CIBC Mobile Payment app and the description says it currently works for the Samsung Galaxy SIII. However, a few weeks ago Rogers stated the BlackBerry Bold 9790, BlackBerry Z10, LG Optimus G and the Galaxy Note II have all been certified and will be compatible in the coming months.
For those unfamiliar with suretap/CIBC Mobile Payment app, this allows Rogers customers to pay for small ticket items from their smartphone (under $50). There’s a few steps you’ll need to complete before using it, namely be a Rogers customer, have one of the compatible devices (BlackBerry Bold 9900 or Curve 9380, GS III), an NFC-enabled SIM, and a CIBC Visa card.
Source: Google Play
(Thanks Tom, Jay!)
There’s another leaked photo in town, and this one comes courtesy of LG. EVleaks seems to be under the impression this is the next-generation LG Optimus device which, based on some calculations from around the web, has a 5.5-inch display.
It’s not certain whether, like the rumours are intimating, that this device (if it is in fact the G2) has no capacitive buttons or that, even less likely, the buttons are on the back, but it is unique-looking. That lack of a bezel combined with a very interesting looking earpiece lends it a sense of the futuristic.
The Optimus G2 isn’t expected to be unveiled until the fall at the earliest, so this would suggest either a prototype or some other model altogether. And because it’s larger than 5-inches, at least based on the calculations of a few observant readers, it doesn’t jibe with what we’ve heard about the next-gen Optimus G model. It’s also unlikely to be the next-gen Nexus, since it has an LG logo on the front.