Latest News

WIND sort of launches service in Ottawa

Shortly after going live with the Edmonton launch, Wind Mobile has partly kicked open the doors in our nations capital Ottawa. They announced on their site that they are doing “some final tweaks on the network” and this allowed for a “Technical launch”.

Good news for current subscribers as this extends your Home Zone reach and can make calls between Wind to Wind customers. In regards to the where in Ottawa the service reaches, Wind states the “Ottawa network extends from Orleans in the east to Kanata in the west. It also crosses the river to the Gatineau Hills and all the way to Buckingham”. However those looking to get your hands on an actual device will have to wait a bit longer as they’re not actually selling devices yet. CEO Ken Campbell states on the company blog that “the next few sites will really bolster the offering and allow us to be in stores with a more extensive and reliable network very soon.”

So Wind is now in Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa and next up is Vancouver. We hear new devices will be launched within a couple months – entry level and smartphones. In addition to this news, Wind announced their first offer with a $150 credit to all customers who port over to their service.

How is everyone liking Wind so far?

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Rogers LG Pop Video Review


Taking a look at the LG Pop you wouldn’t think it would be able to handle as much as it can. There is so much that is packed into this little device that it certainly is worth the $19.99 on a 3-year, even the $174.99 prepaid price tag.

So what does the Pop look like? The design is pleasing because it’s simple. All plastic makes up the device with overall dimensions of 95.3 x 49.6 x 11.2 mm and weighs a light 89 grams. There are minimal buttons: call/end, power/lock, volume rocker, camera/multi-tasking key. The Pop has a 3-inch touchscreen that has a resolution of 240×300 and when looking at pics/videos they comes up a bit pixelated. This could also be the fact that it comes loaded with a 3 megapixel camera (can take video). The combination is decent and again good for quick capture to send to friends.

The actual touchscreen is responsive. Using the 3 home screens makes the Pop fun. You have your widgets, LiveSquare and quick contacts screen. Flipping between these can be done by swiping across the touchscreen with your fingers. The new LG S-class has been put in and is a nice experience with all your apps and programs organized into either: Communication, Entertainment, Utilities and Settings.

Using the QWERTY keypad will take some getting used to. Since the device is incredibly small, so is the keyboard. You’ll see in the video it takes some time to effectively get used to the keys… after a while you’ll be flying by each letter but the initial learning curve will be bit. Using the keyboard was a bit frustrating during our test to send a text message, surfing the web with the toolbar. When it comes to the sound quality of the Pop, at full blast the sound is a bit muffled but if you take it down a few notches it comes in perfectly clear. The good news about the Pop is that it can pack in up to 16GB with a microSD card – more than enough space for all your pics/vids.

Other quick goodness about the Pop is that it has an FM Radio, Bluetooth, speakerphone.

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Palm updates webOS to 1.4, Canada gets shunned

There are many reasons for Palm owners who have the Pre in Canada to get excited. The main reason is the anticipated update to webOS 1.4 that includes the very much missing ability to record video. On a great device like the Pre it’s very odd that a standard feature these days on a phone like recording video was left out. Back in January at at CES Palm said we could expect an upgrade to webOS 1.4 by the end of February.

Yesterday Palm pushed out the upgrade to 1.4 to “customers on the Sprint network in the US and on the O2 UK, O2 DE, O2 Ireland, and Movistar networks in Europe”. That’s right, us Canadians were left out of the bunch. All Palm stated for the other countries is that “the update is expected to be available for Palm webOS phones on other networks soon.” (more…)

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Virgin releases entry-level CDMA Samsung r100 Stunt

Virgin was on a roll over the past few weeks with launching some stellar HSPA devices: BlackBerry Bold 9700 and the Apple iPhone 3GS. How about a trip sort of backwards to good old (still very reliable) CDMA technology? Today Virgin introduces to their members the Samsung r100 Stunt and state that “this baby packs a whole bunch of goodies into one nifty little package”.

This little beast of an entry device can be yours for $0.00 on a 2-year plan or $49.99 on Prepaid… certainly priced right! The Stunt has a 1.77-inch LCD display (resolution of 128×160), Bluetooth 2.1, can hold up to 500 contacts and has overall dimensions of 107 x 43 x 14 mm with a weight of 2.6 ounces.

More here at Virgin
(Thanks Xavier!)

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TELUS’ MiKe Network launches “So you think you’ve had a tough day” Contest

A new contest has hit the web and looks pretty simple. TELUS’ MiKe Network recently launched the Motorola Brute i680 and why buy one when you could win one? Looking at the website the rules seem simple: Sumbit in a 100 words or less why you’ve had a “Tough Day” and you’ll be entered to win a Brute. They’re giving one Brute away until the contest ends on April 18th, 2010. (more…)

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Zoompass app gets permanent place on TELUS BlackBerry devices

Over the past several months we’ve spoken about Zoompass a number of times, this is the joint venture between Rogers, Bell and TELUS that is Canada’s first mobile payment service and allows customers to send, receive and request money, check account balance, review transactions all by using your mobile device. There is no cost to register but you’ll have to pay to use the service… $0.50 charge send money and withdraw funds to a bank account and a $10 will be charged for any insufficient funds.

If you’re a TELUS client you might have noticed a “Zoompass” icon on your BlackBerry device, if not it’ll appear over the next few days. According to the company blog: “We’ve been working hard with our carrier partners over the last few months on the next evolution of Zoompass: bringing it to consumers across Canada. TELUS BlackBerry users will be able to link to download the application by clicking on the Zoompass icon on their homescreen.” (more…)

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WIND gives $150 credit to those who port over

Wind Mobile launched in Edmonton yesterday and now joins Calgary and Toronto (soon Ottawa and Vancouver). Today they’ve announced that for those looking to port their number over and “join the conversation” can rest easy about the early cancellation fees (ECF) charged other carriers. Chris Robbins, CCO at Wind, states that “My preference would be that the whole concept of ECF in the market would be eliminated by the government or the industry as being patently unfair to customers.”

So what are they doing to please current and potential customers? Well – one of their first real offers has been announced that will see a “$150 in credit on your account to help offset the sting”. This offer is good until March 31st and you see five $30 monthly installments starting April 1st. Even if you are a current Wind customer you are still able to get the $150 credit.

Good deal… you like?
(More here at WIND)

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Bell & Best Buy offers chance to meet NHL players… and not so good BlackBerry deals

If you’re hardcore NHL hockey fan you will love this opportunity that Bell and Best Buy have put together. In March in a yet-to-be-named NHL star will visit a best Buy location on select dates in the following cities: Calgary (March 4th), Edmonton (March 5th), Ottawa (March 7th), Montreal (March 14th) and Vancouver (March 21st).

The promotion is not only NHL focused as it promotes a BlackBerry offer. Best Buy states “Aside from meeting an NHL player throughout the event you can take advantage of great savings and promotions when you activate a BlackBerry with Bell, including: A free $50 Best Buy gift card with any 36 month activation; Free Unlimited NHL with a 3-year activation of a Bell BlackBerry! and The first 5 people who activate a BlackBerry with Bell the day of the event will receive an exclusive Stanley Cup NHL jersey.” (more…)

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Possible BlackBerry Slider image leaks online?

Details are really scarce and the image you’re looking at is rumoured to be a BlackBerry slider device. Boy Genius has scooped up an image and early specs are that it’s going to be a portrait-oriented slider that will run BlackBerry OS 6.0, support Wi-Fi 802.11n, screen resolution will be 360×480. No word on when it’s coming out, rumoured to be a Verizon exclusive (for now) and that it might/might not have a touchscreen. The image looks to be a cross between a Storm2 and a Tour/Bold keyboard.

A touchscreen slider is rumoured to come out this year. Back in November of 2009 Analyst Shaw Wu reported that a slider device was in the prototype stage and likely to ship in 2010 and that contacts in the industry and parts suppliers who say the touchscreen slider phone is in development and resembles a cross between the Storm2 and one of RIM’s non-touch QWERTY devices.”

Kinda looks like a heftier Palm Pre… what do you think?

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Google “hopes to make an announcement next week” about Android Market paid apps

With the adoption of Google’s Android platform in Canada there are many reasons to jump on board. First is the simplicity for consumers to use the OS, and developers benefit from its open source aspect. There has been many manufactures to release devices such as the HTC Magic, Dream and HTC Hero, LG Eve, Samsung Galaxy and recently the Motorola Milestone.

One of the hot topics is the Android Market. This is where users can download apps and truly customize their device. In the Android Market there are well over 30,000 apps available to download, 60% of these are free and 40% are paid. However in Canada we are unfortunately shut out when it comes to paid apps… which is basically limiting us from getting the full Android experience.

A very small glimmer of light comes today when it comes to paid apps in Canada. According to Google Canada spokesperson Wendy Rozeluk states “There are many factors that come into play to make sure the selling and purchasing processes run smoothly. It takes time to bring support to more countries, which is something we are working hard to do”. The Montreal Gazzette has stated that Google is “working on the problem and hopes to make an announcement next week.”

As I said, a very small glimmer of light… but worth holding out for. Paid apps will treat everyone well. Consumers will purchase them and make their device better. Developers will jump on board and develop great Canadian apps that people will want to purchase.

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