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LG G3 home screen leak hints at Concierge service, attractive flat design overhaul

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LG is on the verge of releasing its follow-up to the G2, as that device has reached its End of Life status on Bell. Recent leaks point to a 5.5-inch 2560×1440 pixel resolution display, along with a brand new Android skin that looks much more approachable than last year’s blocky, utilitarian design on the G2.

Digital Trends reportedly received screenshots of the new Android 4.4-based interface, which looks flat and colourful, eschewing the virtual menu button in favour of a more recognizable Android navigation scheme.

There’s also a new widget, which DT calls a “concierge,” purporting to offer context-aware advice about weather and other relevant information. It’s unclear whether this service will be powered by Maluuba like the G2′s Voice Mate service.

Unfortunately, while LG seems to be taking advice on the design front, it doesn’t look to be improving usability: QSlide appears to be taking up just as much room in the notification shade as before, and we’d be willing to bet they’re not removable.

The LG G3 is expected to launch in the coming months, as its predecessor was announced in August of last year.

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TELUS installing charging stations in Toronto, Montreal, Calgary and Vancouver taxis

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Posting late night selfies or pictures of your food to Instagram can be ruined when your battery dies. TELUS could possibly safe your life as they’ve announced plans to install charging stations within select Toronto, Montreal, Calgary and Vancouver taxis.

TELUS partnered up with Play Taxi Media and unveiled the “first-ever fleet of taxis in Canada featuring cell phone and tablet chargers.” The chargers will be located on the backside of the passenger seat headrest and will be free to use. As for the availability, the rollout will start sometime “over the coming months” in 1,000 taxis.

The device chargers will “be available through 2015″ with Blacktop & Checker Cabs in Vancouver, Mayfair Taxi in Calgary, Ambassador Taxis in Toronto and Taxi Union in Montreal. TELUS notes that the program will eventually grow to include more taxi companies. (more…)

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Tab for iPhone takes the Hailo approach to dining out, launches in Toronto

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As we’ve covered more than a few times recently, the mobile payment space is permeable, with startups, loyalty companies, carriers and banks all jostling for users’ attention.

There has yet to be a single app or service that completely does away with the notion of a physical wallet, but Tab, launching today in its home city of Toronto, intends to fill that checkbox for some people, some of the time. And that, in my opinion, is a great place to start.

(more…)

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Apple releases iOS 7.1.1 with Touch ID recognition improvements and bug fixes

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Apple released iOS 7.1.1 today, iterating on the 7.1 release from late March.

While iOS 7.1 was more about ironing out the design and performance issues from the initial release, its successor aims at fixing specific issues outstanding from that expansive update.

According to Apple’s change log, there are “Further improvements to Touch ID fingerprint recognition,” along with a bug fix for a keyboard responsiveness issue.

Other bug fixes and performance improvements are also expected in this release.

To update, head to Settings/General/Software Update on your iPhone 4, 4s, 5, 5c, 5s, iPad 2 or later and iPod touch 5th gen.

SourceApple
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Sony Xperia Z1 and Xperia Z Ultra KitKat update now available to download

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Quick update for Sony Xperia Z1 or Xperia Z Ultra owners out there. TELUS, Rogers and Bell users are reporting that OS 4.4.2 KitKat has finally arrived on your device. Build number is 14.3.A.0.757 and can now be downloaded. Check your Xperia – Touch Applications >> Settings >> About Phone >> Software update.

(Thanks to everyone who sent this in!)

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Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet now up for pre-order, available in Canada on May 5th

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Sony unveiled the Xperia Z2 Tablet back in February and declined to comment on when it’ll arrive on Canadian soil. But it is coming to Canada, and it will be available in-store and online on May 5th, with pre-orders now open. The 16GB version looks to be selling for $529.99 and the 32GB model is a bit higher at $599.99, available in black or white.

As for specs, the Xperia Z2 Tablet run OS 4.4 KitKat and has a 10.1-inch 1920×1200 pixel display with a new image processor called Live Colour LED. Under the hood is a 2.3Ghz quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor, 3GB of RAM, an 8MP rear camera with an Exmor RS sensor, waterproof and dust resistant (IP55 & IP58), a 6000mAh battery, it weighs in at 426 grams and is one of the world’s thinnest tablets at 6.4mm.

Source: Sony

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BlackBerry once again named Canada’s top tech company, followed by the Big Three

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The Branham Group have released their annual report on Canada’s Top Tech Companies. Now in its 21st year, the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) report showcases the top companies in various categories by annual revenue.

According to their findings, the cumulative revenues of the top 250 tech companies accounted for $85 billion in 2013, up 2.4% over last year. Taking top spot once again was BlackBerry, but the results significantly slipped in revenues by a whopping 40% to $11.8 billion. BlackBerry has held onto first place for the past five years. Depending on BlackBerry’s earnings, Branham notes there might be a “very dramatic effect on next years listing… and perhaps may lead to a change in the top spot.” (more…)

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Apple’s Earth Day message: ‘There are some ideas we want every company to copy’

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Today is Earth Day and Apple already unveiled a new video that promotes its environmental initiatives. CEO Tim Cook declared that “We want to leave the world better than we found it. We’re proud of our progress but we know we have much more to do.”

The Cupertino-based company, who’s currently embroiled in a legal battle with Samsung over smartphone designs, has taken out a full page ad in several countries that reads “There are some ideas we want every company to copy.” Similar to the video, Apple highlights how they are making the “environment a priority.” (more…)

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Rogers executive team earned $48,971,630 in 2013

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Rogers has a plethora of business and have their hands in radio, magazines, TV, home security, internet and also own a number of sports teams. From a wireless perspective they are leading the nation with over 9.4 million subscribers across the Rogers Wireless, Fido and Chatr Wireless brands.

Curious what compensation it takes to lead a company like Rogers? Well, Rogers just issued their proxy circular for year-end 2013 and the executive team were paid a total of $48,971,630. This includes base salaries, shares and bonuses. Most of the payout was dedicated to former President and CEO Nadir Mohamed at $26,769,973 (54.7%). New CEO Guy Laurence, who came on board December 2nd, earned $12,699,997 in the form of a base salary, shares and a signing bonus of $750,000. (more…)

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Google Hangouts for Android update merges IMs and SMS, adds widget

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Google Hangouts for Android is receiving a nice new update this week, addressing one of the most vociferous user complaints since SMS functionality was added last year: that the two content branches were separate.

The update merges Hangouts and SMS messages, but unlike iMessages on iPhone, does not do so automatically. Instead, it asks you to choose one or the other before sending the message. This offloads the responsibility to the user, rather than relying on Google’s servers to determine which devices have Hangouts installed. While the convenience factor is lower, this is likely as close to an iMessage-like experience as Google can produce at the moment.

The app is also getting a new homescreen widget, which showcases recent conversations and video/audio calls made. It’s nothing special, but, like the merging of Hangouts and SMS, is a long time coming.

Performance improvements and a simplified contact list round out the relatively concise change log, but Hangouts users will be very happy to see these changes.

The update is rolling out piecemeal throughout the week, so either wait for the update to arrive on Google Play, or head to Android Police for one of their mirrors.

 

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