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Hangouts added to Google Apps for Business, drops Google+ requirement

Google Hangouts for Google Apps for Business

Google is stripping Hangouts of its Google+ heritage as it makes the communications service a core component of its Google Apps for Business package. Starting today, Google Apps customers will no longer require a Google+ account to log in and join or start a Hangout.

However, there are some some restrictions. The lack of a Google+ account will prevent Hangouts apps use, with the notable exceptions of Screenshare or Chat. Google Apps account access also only applies to meetings via desktop or Chromebox, as Google has yet to allow for mobile access (this will be changing soon, likely with a forthcoming app update). (more…)

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Sony Canada to bring Xperia T3 to Bell, Virgin and SaskTel

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Sony is set to bring its 5.3-inch mid-range behemoth to Bell, Virgin and SaskTel this August. The device was announced back in June as “the slimmest 5.3″ device” on the market at 7mm, and will arrive with Android 4.4.2 in tow.

The device sports a 5.3-inch Triluminos 720p IPS display, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage (which is expandable using microSD), a 1.4Ghz quad-core Snapdragon 400 (Cortex A7-based) SoC with Adreno 305 GPU, an 8MP rear camera and a 1.1MP front camera. Along with a 2,500mAh battery, it comes with all the connectivity fixin’s, including Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, Miracast and LTE connectivity.

The device launches in black, white and purple colour variants, and while pricing is not known at this point, it will also be sold unlocked at Sony Stores and online.

SourceSony
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Video demo of the BlackBerry Passport’s touch-enabled keyboard: ‘The entire keyboard is a trackpad’

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During BlackBerry’s Security Summit in New York yesterday, the company announced the acquisition of security leader Secusmart and announced a redesign of BBM for Android and iOS.

Probably the most exciting news was that the BlackBerry Passport was shown in a video demo of the touch-enabled keyboard. We’ve seen this before on a leaked video, and then BlackBerry detailed the finer elements of the 3-row QWERTY/touch device on a blog post. The video demos shows how the Passport has similar features to previous BlackBerry 10 devices with the predictive text that allows users to simply flick up the suggested word. In addition, the entire keyboard is a trackpad, according to the company, giving users the flexibility to use either the screen or display to scroll.

The Passport has a 4.5-inch 1440×1440 display, a quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor, 3GB RAM, a 13MP camera, 2MP front-facing camera, a non-removable 3450 mAh battery, and will come pre-loaded with the Amazon Appstore. (more…)

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Roam Mobility gets cutthroat with new unlimited U.S. plans

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Roaming is for suckers, according to Roam Mobility. The Canadian company has staked its reputation on providing better service and significantly cheaper rates for customers travelling to the United States, and today is announcing a new range of plans, bundles and add-ons to undercut Canadian carriers even further.

Earlier this month, we told you about Roam’s new LTE network, which uses T-Mobile’s growing footprint in most big cities. The company asks existing customers to pay a one-time upgrade fee of $1.95, and is using these new plans as incentive to do so. (more…)

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Microsoft bringing Cortana to Canada in next Windows Phone Developer Preview

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Well, it wasn’t exactly as promised, but Microsoft is making good on its word to bring Cortana to Canada.

Windows Phone 8.1 GDR1 will be released as a Developer Preview next week, and along with a number of improvements to the core OS, an alpha version of Cortana will be made available to Canadians. Note that it is not localized to Canada just yet, hence the ‘alpha’ moniker, but will offer either US or UK content depending on user preference.

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Thalmic Labs begins shipping Myo Developer Kit, says pre-orders topped 40,000 units

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Thalmic Labs has followed through on its commitment to begin shipping Myo, its gesture control armband. According to the CBC, Thalmic has received over 40,000 pre-orders for the wearable device at $149 each. Though the units shipping out now are Myo Developer Kits, intended for software developers, the consumer version of the Myo will begin shipping in September.

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LG G3 to offer additional colours this August, including Moon Violet and Burgundy Red

LG is set to reveal new colours for its G3 flagship this August. Though the phone was announced back in May in black, white and gold hues, the company hinted at two more varieties for various markets.

We now know that these colours will be Moon Violet and Burgundy Red, though it’s unclear whether either of them will be offered in Canada. Indeed, black is the only colour available at launch from Rogers, Bell, MTS, Sasktel and Videotron, according to LG Canada, though the company hinted that new options may be available down the road. (more…)

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LG G3 review

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I don’t envy the decisions made inside the walls of manufacturers like LG. After proving deft at creating high-end smartphones that excel in practically every area, further improvement is to be found in the nooks of refinement, not the broad strokes that we saw in years past.

With the G3, LG has fashioned a beautiful smartphone that proves customer consideration is the highest form of flattery. By revising the shape of the divisive G2, its successor adds a removable battery and expandable storage, as well as a larger, higher-resolution screen, with few obvious sacrifices. But drawing down on the device in more detail, we discover that LG might have been a little too ambitious in some areas. Is it enough to bring down the whole package? Let’s find out.

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Link Bubble gets first big update in months, but it was worth the wait

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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Link Bubble is a brilliant concept. It allows Android users, many of whom are voracious consumers of content, to load up web pages in a resizable “bubble” that overlays on top of the existing application. While it works great in many situations, Link Bubble is especially useful on social networks like Facebook and Twitter, which are increasingly focussed on loading external content in a browser window.

(more…)

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