HTC has been having some success with their newest flagship smartphone – the HTC One. Amidst falling revenues and several key executives departing, an unknown HTC exec spoke to the Wall Street Journal and calmed the naysayers, declaring they’ve see sales of the all-aluminum Android hit “around 5 million” since launching a month ago.
The HTC rep noted that sales would have been higher if there wasn’t supply issues, namely the camera components. “Orders are pretty good so far and are still more than what we can supply. This is partly due to the shortage of components. When the issue is resolved next month, we will have a better idea if it’s doing really well or not.”
The HTC One is going head-to-head with other popular smarptphones, such as the Samsung Galaxy S4 (just passed 10 million in sales in one month), Nokia Lumia 925, Apple iPhone 5, Sony Xperia ZL, LG Optimus G and the Nexus 4.
In Canada, the HTC One is available at TELUS, Bell, Rogers, Virgin and SaskTel. Check out out hands-on the HTC One here.
Kobo for Android has typically lagged behind its iOS counterpart for features and general polish, but that chain is slowly being chipped away at with a series of rapid iterative updates.
The latest version, 4.10, improves comic book reading with faster page turns and a smoother zooming experience. This should help tablet users take advantage of their devices’ maximum screen real estate, as comic books are becoming increasingly prevalent on mobile devices.
Also added, at least for Honeycomb users and above, is a real-time page curl animation that mimics that of a real book. Its absence was what was keeping me from using Kobo on Android full time, at least on a phone (yes, a small thing); the app still has a long way to go to rivalling Play Books on tablets.
Kobo’s Canadian-friendly store, alongside its excellent e-readers, was what attracted Japan’s largest e-retailer, Rakuten, to purchase the company in 2011. Kobo recently released its latest e-reader, Aura HD, which has a 6-inch high-res display and a faster processor. It also offers a competitively-priced Android tablet, Arc, which launched in November.
Download Kobo for Android.
Samsung has sold over 10 million Galaxy S4 devices in its first month. The new flagship – your life’s companion – was officially released on April 27th, but for Canadians it landed on almost every carrier early-May. According to a report in the Yonhap News, the GS4 reached the 10 million mark 20 days faster than the Galaxy SIII, which also makes it the fastest selling Android smartphone ever. Apparently this time period chalked up four GS4 sales per second.
Samsung isn’t resting and aims to make the GS4 available at 327 carriers in 155 countries by the end of June. In addition, the next level of estimations have the company selling upward of 22 million Galaxy S4 device by the end of Q2.
For a refresher, check out our in-depth review of the GS4 here.
Google has updated the mobile website for its Google+ social network on select WebKit-based devices. This brings a much cleaner, more photo-centric appearance, and closer to the native app versions available on iOS and Android.
As you can see above, the new site features a left-side navigation bar for easier access to various areas of the site like Circles, Profile and Photos. At the top right of the screen is a dedicated spot to check recent notifications. Touch targets are now bigger, too, and you can see users’ profile photos when you click on their names.
The site also runs much better on BlackBerry 10, which was limited to the basic HTML version of Google+ by default. With this update, the Z10 and Q10 can enjoy the same web-based experience as the iPhone or Android, though it doesn’t quite compare to the feature-filled smoothness of their native equivalents. Also limited is the option to join Hangouts, one of the best features from the native apps.
Google recently overhauled Google+ for the web, and added several photo-centric features to its Android app.
If you’re a fan of Google+ and don’t have access to either the native iOS or Android version, check out the new mobile site.
TELUS announced plans to acquire Mobilicity’s 250,000 subscribers and 150 employees for $380 million. The deal is still pending “required approvals” from the Competition Bureau, Industry Canada, and Mobilicity’s debtholders, but that hasn’t stopped rival wireless carrier WIND Mobile offering a way to save Mobi customers from their inevitable future.
On Twitter, WIND stated “Mobilicity clients, don’t sweat the future of your plans & services. Switch to WIND & receive up to $365 in savings.” The company is offering up a port-in credit of 1-month free service, amongst other freebies like a SIM card. The promo ends on June 10th, which is the final day the TELUS/Mobilicity acquisition is targeting to close.
Some Mobilcity users have expressed concern over their low-cost plan and if it would be grandfathered when/if TELUS acquires them. TELUS noted on their company blog that Mobilicity’s “wireless service would continue without the risk of disruption. Moblicity’s customers would also join Canada’s most satisfied and loyal customers at TELUS and Koodo.” In addition, in an email to us, TELUS stated that Mobilicity “will continue with the Mobility brand, customer rate plans and network.”
Update: Seems like there is a mini wireless war happening. Steward Lyons, Mobilicity’s CEO, has taken to Twitter and jabbed WIND right back to their comment about the future of Mobilicity, stating “Really? Did you forget to mention your company is for sale?”
Chrome for Android has been boosted to version 27, coinciding with the recent Chrome Beta releases. In fact, the new release is identical to the current beta release, which should get its own boost to a new WebKit-forked version 28 in the coming days.
The main draw of Chrome 27 for Android revolves around fullscreen browsing: when you begin scrolling down the page, the Omnibox — the combination search and address bar — disappears, leaving the entire display for content.
The other notable improvement is the way Chrome intergrates the Omnibox into search results. Instead of taking you to a separate Google search page with redundant information on the page and in the Omnibox itself, it just gives you more search results.
While Opera, Firefox and many others are vying for the Android browser crown, Chrome has consistently bettered them all, if not in performance then sheer compatibility. It will be interesting to see how Chrome for Android evolves now that Google has forked WebKit, is pushing its own WebP image format, and plans to make its VP9 video codec an integral part of its WebM video container.
Google also plans to update its iOS app with voice search, as was announced in the Google I/O keynote last week.
Download Chrome for Android.
Via: Google Blog
Amazon’s Android Appstore has finally launched in Canada after debuting on the U.S.-only Kindle Fire two years ago. The company announced it would be expanding to over 200 countries in the near future.
While the app selection isn’t as comprehensive as Google’s own Play Store, there is one distinct advantage over the official portal: a free app every day. Today’s free app, 10000000, is one of the better selections, so it’s a good idea to get on the download as soon as possible.
Amazon offers its Appstore as a third-party download, so you’ll need to check “Allow Unknown Sources” in your phone’s or tablet’s Settings/Developers or Settings/App menu to ensure it will install (instructions are on Amazon’s web site).
The main issue with any app’s downloaded from Amazon is that you must have the Appstore itself installed to use the corresponding downloads. Remove the APK and you lose the ability to launch any connected apps. This won’t be an issue for many users, but it may get confusing and/or frustrating for those who tire of the secondary app portal but want to maintain the ability to use those free daily apps.
Amazon has in the past secured some short-term exclusive titles, so it may be a good idea to keep it hanging around on your phone until you need something specific.
Just a quick note: some Canadian users are reporting issues with downloading apps, but we haven’t experienced any of those issues. Make sure that if you have an Amazon.com and Amazon.ca account, you sign into the latter.
Download Amazon Appstore for Android.
Via: Android Police
Foursquare updated its Android and iPhone apps today with a feature that should appease those looking for new places to eat or visit when in a new city or their own.
The company has added a Filter button to the Explore tab, letting users draw down on specific genres or locations. It’s a small but significant change not only to the app itself but to the purpose of Foursquare as a whole. Less focused on check-ins for where you are now, Foursquare wants you to open the app whenever you want to go somewhere new.
Using your previous check-in data they can figure out the types of places you’d be more likely to visit, increasingly the likelihood of returning to that place, and the app, in the future.
Via: Foursquare Blog
BlackBerry will be making BlackBerry Messenger, one of their prized possessions, available on both the iPhone and Android smartphones this Summer. Both Apple and Google still need to approve the popular messaging app in their respected app stores, but there’s no reason to believe that it won’t show up.
Thorsten Heins, BlackBerry’s CEO, declared during BlackBerry Live last week that “I cannot wait for the day when all of our BlackBerry fans can send BBM invites to all their friends on other platforms. They’ve asked us for this for years. The time has come now for everyone to experience what we all know. BBM is simply the best messaging and collaboration platform in mobile today.”
Mike Lazaridis, founder of BlackBerry (RIM), stood behind the move to bring BBM to iOS and Android. In an interview with Bloomberg, Lazaridis said that he’s confident users of other smartphones, specifically iPhone, will embrace BBM, noting that “BBM is by far the most compelling wireless experience and wireless social-networking environment… Not only is BlackBerry back in a big way with BB10, he’s [Heins] also showing he can expand that vision to other platforms.”
BBM for iOS and Android will be free, but limited at launch. BlackBerry will only make messaging and groups available, then will update the app to offer BBM Voice, BBM screen share and BBM Channels “later on.” There’s currently 60 million BBM users across the globe and it’ll be interesting to see how many Apple and Android users jump on board, or how many depart from 3rd party messaging apps like WhatsApp.
In March 2012, TELUS launched a partnership with Vox Mobile to supply Managed Mobility Services for the enterprise, an all-encompassing solution for companies looking to administer a large number of smartphones over the operator’s business network.
Today, TELUS and Apperian are launching a partnership to supply Mobile Application Management (MAM), allowing BYOD (bring your own device) users to have corporate applications securely pushed, backed-up and updated to their devices. Apperian’s EASE platform installs on any iOS, Android or BlackBerry device and allows a user’s company to bifurcate personal apps and their data from corporate.
Samsung recently announced KNOX, a similar corporate offering with a larger scope than just MAM, that will operate on the Galaxy S4 and future devices, while BlackBerry offers Balance, a similar MAM solution for BB10 users.
According to a press release issued today, Apperian’s EASE platform allows “Canadian enterprises [to] manage all aspects of deploying apps in the enterprise in one secure location.” The idea is that, because users are familiar with the idea of an app store, they will feel comfortable entering a branded corporate store to oversee their corporate apps.
Canadian network operators are increasingly getting involved in the lucrative enterprise market, as BYOD is stemming the number of second devices companies are buying for their employees.