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.
Want another life companion for your Galaxy S4, one without the take-it-or-leave-it TouchWIZ UI? Because the Canadian carriers didn’t mess with the device’s bootloader (thank you!) it’s fairly easy to flash a recovery and install custom ROMs like CyanogenMOD.
Cyanogen himself, Steve Kondik, no longer working for Samsung, has released an early version of CyanogenMOD 10.1 for the T-Mobile Galaxy S4 which has been translated to work with the Canadian variant, SGH-i337M.
While there are a few outstanding issues — NFC doesn’t work, nor does mounting an external microSD card — all the basic features of the phone work. If you’re adept at hacking your Android phone, and want to risk voiding the warranty on your brand new Galaxy S4 (don’t say we didn’t warn you!), take CM10.1 for a spin.
Head to Get.cm for all the details.
BlackBerry R10, the entry-level physical QWERTY BlackBerry 10 smartphone, has leaked online once again. We first saw this in white, then red and now it’s making an appearance in black. All the colours have a glossy finish to them similar to how the Curve devices looked.
According to DGtle, the site who posted the pics, they note that the R10 will come with a 3.1-inch display (720 x 720 resolution), 5MP rear camera, 2GB RAM, 8GB internal storage, 1800 mAh non-removable battery and will run BlackBerry 10.1 OS. Previous reports indicated that the R10 will launch sometime in Q3 and have a price point between $300 – $400 outright.
Yet another busy week for wireless in Canada. BlackBerry launched their long-anticipated physical QWERTY/Touch BlackBerry Q10 and Samsung released their flagship Galaxy S4 smartphone. In addition, a few device leaks made their way online – namely the HTC M4 and BlackBerry R10. Below are the top Canadian mobile stories from the past 7 days, plus notable news from around the web.
- Nokia Canada announcing “the next chapter of music discovery” on May 15th [Read here]
- Rogers receives the “Letters Patent of Incorporation” for “Rogers Bank” [Read here]
- Android version numbers as of May 1st [Read here]
- Galaxy S4 now available in Canada! [Read here]
- Rogers makes changes to monthly plans in Quebec, lowers prices [Read here]
- Apple on the cusp of reaching 50 billion App Store downloads [Read here]
- BlackBerry Q10 is now available in Canada! [Read here]
- Koodo to release the Nokia Lumia 520 for $150 outright [Read here]
- Sony Xperia Tablet Z goes up for pre-order [Read here]
- HTC M4 leaks online [Read here]
- Rogers rebrands parts of its network to LTE Max with emphasis on 2600Mhz [Read here]
- QWERTY BlackBerry R10 leaks online, now in red [Read here]
- Rumour: LG to produce the next Google Nexus smartphone [Read here]
- WIND Mobile’s Chief Legal Officer departs for TELUS [Read here]
- Nova Scotia’s new cellphone policies go into place [Read here]
- Samsung Galaxy S4 Review (Video) [Read here]
- Contest: Win a BlackBerry Z10 [Enter here]
- Contest: Win a TELUS BlackBerry Q10! [Enter here]
- Contest: Win a Bell Samsung Galaxy S4 [Enter here]
Around the web:
- Nokia Lumia 928 billboard can’t wait for official announcement [MyNokiaBlog]
- Samsung Knox gets official DoD approval for government use [Engadget]
- In 2013, the keys to Android are still held by the carriers [TheVerge]
- World’s First Gold and Rose Gold BlackBerry Q10 [BerryReview]
- Is Google ‘Babel’ really named ‘Hangout’? [AndroidAuthority]