Blekko is a search engine that has been around since late 2010 and purports to offer a viable alternative to Google’s often advertising-heavy and arguably content-farmed results.
The company is diversifying its mobile portfolio today with Izik, which was previously only available for iPad, launching new apps for Android phones and tablets, as well as the iPhone.
The app is clean, focusing on dividing results into categories. When you search for something, say “iOS 7,” the results are divided into horizontally-scrollable tables. Not only is the format mobile-friendly but it cuts down on wasted content, as only the best results float to the top.
There’s also a “What’s Nearby” feature that draws down results like Bars, Restaurants, Shops, Movies and Gas Stations, arrayed on a Google Map with appropriate touch points. It may not unseat Google, especially on Android 4.1+, as the go-to search app, but it’s a great choice for iPhone users looking for something different.
Over the past few weeks, I have been testing a product that has changed my life. I first saw the Fitbit Flex at CES, but struggled to get a good view thanks to a teeming crowd looking for a chance to try the fitness and wellness tracker.
Fitbit is a US-based company that has gained prominence in recent years for releasing inexpensive, easy-to-use wearable technology — until now, clips and small baubles — that connect to an iOS or Android device to ascertain whether you’re walking, eating and sleeping properly.
The new Fitbit Flex band is similar to its high-end One clip, but wraps around the wrist for a much more solid fit. It connects wirelessly to a Bluetooth 4.0-enabled device like the Galaxy S4 or iPhone 4S/5, and tracks your steps and how well you’re sleeping (review coming soon).
After a very successful crowd-funding campaign on Indigogo, specifically raising 874% above their original goal, Toronto-based Whirlscape will officially release a beta version of their simplified keyboard called ‘Minuum.’ This Android beta is reserved for those who backed the project a couple months ago, but they do note that “iOS developers and everyone looking forward to our wearable development kit can expect access to our software later in 2013.”
In an email to the 10,000 supporters yesterday, Whirlscape stated “you will be invited to a Google Group for Minuum beta users. Once you join the group, you’ll be able to download the Minuum beta for Android through the Google Play Store. Only members of our Google Group for Minuum beta users will be able to download the beta trough the Play Store.”
Pretty exciting stuff for the Canadian company. Let us know when you’ve received the download link and how you’re liking Minuum.
A recent document called a UIPref was gleaned from a working model of HTC’s upcoming second-in-command and confirmed what was speculated: the One mini will be called exactly that (with a lowercase “m”) and come with a 4.3-inch 720p screen and Android 4.2.2.
Recently, HTC came under fire for ostensibly delaying the launch of Android 4.2 for its flagship One device, and it’s believed that they will wait until the launch of its smaller kin to make the update available.
Huawei announced today its many-times-leaked and ultrathin Ascend P6, the new metallic prize in its smartphone collection.
The 4.7-inch device comes in at a staggering 6.18mm thin and weighs a slight 120g, with a 1280×720 in-cell display that has MagicTouch abilities, another term for being responsive while wearing gloves. There’s a 1.5Ghz quad-core processor behind the scenes, along with what appears to be 1.5-2GB RAM (it’s not specified at the moment) and a 2000mAh battery.
Huawei is also promoting its sealed 2000mAh battery as providing up to 30% better uptime than the equivalent cell size from another manufacturer, and the 8MP rear camera boasts macro views of 4cm. The front-facing camera is also noteworthy, as its absurdly high 5MP resolution may be approaching overkill.
Lastly, Huawei has dropped Android 4.2.2 into the Ascend P6′s lap, covered by the company’s bright and colourful Emotion UI, which has received a few tweaks since the last iteration.
No word on a North American launch; Huawei is sending the P6 to China this month, and Western Europe sometime in July.
Samsung has announced several new devices over the past few weeks, such as the Galaxy S4 Active, Galaxy S4 mini and the Galaxy S4 Zoom. These will all be on stage during their upcoming ‘Premiere 2013′ media event on Thursday, as will new ATIV products. If you’re unable to make it to London for the big show, then perhaps you’re interested in watching the experience unfold on YouTube. Samsung has announced that the Premier event will be streamed live starting at 4PM EST (9PM BST).
Rogers unleashed their LTE Max network in Manitoba yesterday – the speeds were pretty impressive (see here). In addition to this expanded coverage, Rogers also extended LTE Max – which uses dual frequency 2100 MHz and 2600 MHz bands – in various regions of Quebec and Alberta:
- Baie-Comeau, QC
- Hull Expansion, QC
- Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, QC
- Grand Prairie, AB (LTE, not LTE Max)
- Medicine Hat, AB
These locations join over 20 other spots in Canada that the Rogers LTE Max network is live, mostly in Ontario, Alberta, Nova Scotia and Quebec.
BlackBerry will be reporting their first quarter fiscal 2014 results on June 28th and the numbers might be better than one expects. A few analysts chimed in last week and estimated that BlackBerry could declare quarterly BlackBerry 10 sales of 5 million units. This potential increase was spurred on by the introduction of the BlackBerry Z10 and BlackBerry Q10 in the United States and other countries. Canada had a jump start and saw the Z10 launch in February, then the Q10 in May.
Another indication of improved sales is coming from tracking service StatCounter. SeekingAlpha pulled a report dated June 16th that showed BlackBerry having a mobile OS market share in Canada close to 30%, beating out Google’s Android OS (21%). The only stat that we can compare this to was from May when research firm Raymond James claimed BlackBerry’s market share was a measly 13.5%.
Of course we’ll to wait a couple weeks until the real numbers come out. Perhaps Mike Lazaridis, founder of BlackBerry (RIM), was correct when he stated BlackBerry is “back in a big way with BB10.”
Digg is looking to resurrect their past and become a popular resource for news once again. Version 1 of “Digg Reader” will be released to everyone “by June 26th.” Digg noted that they’ll “doing the launch in phases because, as you might have guessed, RSS aggregation is a hard thing to do at scale, and we want to make sure the experience is as fast and reliable as possible.” However, the ‘freemium’ service promises to have a clean design with “key actions like subscribing, sharing, saving and organizing.” In addition, probably most important for users, is that people will be able to import info over from Google Reader.
Digg said they’ll have “useful mobile apps that sync with the web experience.” On a blog post Digg showed a glimpse of Digg Reader running on an iPhone, but declared they’ll release an Android app “60 days following launch.” No word on BlackBerry or Windows Phone 8 apps.
Apple showed off iOS 7 to the world last week and promised its release to consumers sometime ‘this fall.’ The developer community have been busy working through the many changes, but Apple only made it available on the iPhone and iPod Touch, missing is an optimized version for the iPad.
However, if you’re on of the millions who are wondering exactly how iOS 7 will look on your iPad then these leaked screenshot will give you an indication. These images are from an iOS 7 emulator and carried over to iPad, but a notable change brings a full screen Notification Center to the forefront. Overall it seems that Apple is still working things out as important features like the Control Center and calendar aren’t in sync with how the iOS 7 beta looks on the iPhone.
Work in progress… check them out below.