Firefox has updated its web and mobile browsers today with new beta versions. Now up to version 22, Firefox for Android has benefited from some fantastic WebGL-based speed updates and some improvements to CSS3.
Most notably in this release is a full tablet UI for devices between 7- and 10-inches. Previously the spread-out interface was limited just to larger tablets, but now devices like the Nexus 7 can take part, too.
While Chrome is still the most popular choice for Android users running ICS and above, Firefox is a great choice for those stuck on Gingerbread or Froyo. The new release is fast, renders pages accurately, and supports add-ons. The next release will implement WebRTC, an open standard that allows browsers to communicate with one another without installing any plugins. This has already been activated on the Firefox beta for desktops and the latest version of Chrome, so it’s only a matter of time before it comes to mobile.
Download Firefox beta for Android.
After struggling through last year, taking many hits, BlackBerry is slowly gaining its Canadian market share back. The one-time smartphone leader had sunk to a low 6% market share and new a report by research firm Raymond James shows that BlackBerry has more than doubled to grab 13.5% of the Canadian market. Of course, both Apple and Samsung account for the lion’s share of Canada. Apple has 40.1% (down from 44% in Q4 2012) and Samsung has approximately 31%, also down from 35% in Q2 2012.
The spurt of success has been the introduction of the BlackBerry Z10 and the BlackBerry Q10. Many Canadian organizations, namely Canadian Tire, BMO, Torys LLP – have outwardly declared that the new BlackBerry 10 platform is their OS of choice. Missing are specific Canadian sales numbers, but carriers have reported that there has been a “very positive response” to the new BlackBerry devices.
A report earlier this week suggested that Samsung was going to achieve Galaxy S4 sales of 10 million units. It’s true. JK Shin, Samsung’s co-CEO, stated “We are confident that we will pass more than 10 million sales of the S4 next week. It is selling much faster than the previous model S3. Samsung spent 50 days to pass the 10 million sales mark for the S3. The S4 will be Samsung’s first ’10 million seller’ device less than a month after its official debut.”
Clearly, this flagship Android is a massive success and Samsung continues their foray into Android and smartphone dominance. The Galaxy S4 is available on the following Canadian carriers: Rogers, Bell, TELUS, Fido, Virgin, Koodo, WIND, Mobilicity, Videotron, SaskTel, Eastlink and MTS.
Shin also reportedly said that the Galaxy Note 3 will be unveiled at IFA in Berlin this September and come with a 5.9-inch OLED display.
We’ve seen the Nexus 4 in White magically surface in pictures and videos, but not yet for sale via Google Play or any retailers. According to Android and Me, who managed to score a White Nexus at Google I/O, has pegged this desired pure Google smartphone to hit the hands of eager Android enthusiasts on Monday, June 10th, plus come with an upgrade to OS version 4.3 Jelly Bean. No official details on what 4.3 will bring, but it’s expected “to be a rather minor update.”
Source: Android and Me
The CWTA (Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association) has put out a notice that some 3rd party VoIP (Voice over IP) Android apps, such as Skype and Viber, might have difficulty dialing 9-1-1.
The industry driven association wants to ensure that all Canadians are prepared for any emergency situation and are requesting Android users who have VoIP apps installed to enable the native dialer that originally came on the device (remove the default dialer settings in the respected apps in the Settings menu).
Most Canadian carriers have sent out messages to their customers informing them of the issue, plus the CWTA stated that “We are working with our partners (Google) to reach out to these app developers to fix this issue.”
Earlier today it was revealed that TELUS has agreed to acquire Mobilicity, legally known as Data & Audio-Visual Enterprises Holdings Inc., for $380 million. The deal is expected to close by June 10th, 2013 and TELUS would integrate Mobilicity’s 250,000 subscribers and 150 employees into its organization.
The agreement still needs to be approved by all regulatory bodies — the Competition Bureau and Industry Canada — and Mobilicity’s debtholders. Industry Minister Christian Paradis acknowledged the potential transaction, but stated “The government will take the time required to review the proposal carefully.”
Jeff Fan, analyst from Scotiabank, communicated a note to his clients that several situations might occur, such as the government delaying the upcoming 700 MHz spectrum auction. However, his clear message was that, “in our opinion, the situation is getting messier for the government. The bottom line is this makes it less likely that a strategic investor will step up to consolidate the new entrants and participate in the auction to create a stronger fourth operator.”
I/O is a place not just for Google to show off its newest wares but for partner companies to engage in dialogue with developers, press and fans. One of the most intriguing examples of this intersection is Nvidia’s upcoming Shield gaming thing. Not quite a portable video game system, not quite an Android media device, Shield is more like a developer demo machine with a gamepad affixed to it.
It’s also extremely intriguing, both from a consumer perspective and, here at I/O, a developer one. There are so many reasons to be excited about Android gaming, and with the Tegra 4 it appears that Nvidia is taking the prospect as seriously as it can.
The updated YouTube app for Windows Phone turned out to be too nice for its own good. Google just issued a cease and desist order to Microsoft over the new app’s contravention of the YouTube API terms of service.
At issue at hand is the lack of pre-roll ad support, which is required for all official and third-party YouTube apps. The Windows Phone app also allows users to download videos, another restricted feature of the copyright-friendly YouTube service. Third, the app allows all Windows Phone users to watch any video, regardless of whether it has been restricted by Google’s partners from being watched on mobile.
Google rolled out quite a few updates to its core apps yesterday, one of which positively affected Jelly Bean users running Google Now. The predictive and, in many ways, magical feature has been improved with location- and time-based reminders, public transit information and information about upcoming books, albums, television shows and video games.
Search was a big part of Google’s keynote address yesterday, and along with improvements to the Knowledge Graph on both mobile and the web, information is now much easier to obtain, and it’s displayed more navigably. Having the ability to speak or type reminders into the phone is a fantastic step in making Google Now a productivity tool that you interact with, not just one that talks at you based on previously-searched material.
The public transit information should be available in most major Canadian cities today, and will be rolling out to others in the coming weeks.
Download Google Search for Android.
Rogers has quietly restructured their monthly rate plans again. Similar to the recent changes they implemented in Quebec, below are the price changes, mostly decreasing, and also giving customers some additional gigs of data. Apparently these rates are a promo until June 30th for new customers or existing customers making changes to their plan.