Latest News

Google reportedly frustrated by Samsung’s love of Tizen

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Samsung’s been in the smartwatch game a bit longer than most. The company’s already on its second version of the Galaxy Gear, announced this past spring at MWC, and now has a third Gear running on Google’s Android Wear platform. However, it seems Google is none too pleased that Samsung is spending so much time on its own proprietary system. According to The Information, Google CEO Larry Page met with Samsung last week to voice his frustrations. (more…)

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Moto G successor to allegedly sport 8MP camera

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The Moto G is, despite its strong pedigree, beginning to show its age. The device has been on the market for nearly eight months, and Motorola is unlikely to let the momentum for its top-selling smartphone slow anytime soon.

So it makes sense that the company is readying a successor, one that sports a similarly-sized screen and unchanged internals. This, according to Spanish-language site, Mallandono Android, is what Motorola has planned for its Moto G successor. Dubbed Moto G2, with model number XT1068, the device purportedly has a 720p display, a quad-core ARMv7-based chip (likely the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 SoC), dual-SIM capabilities and an 8MP rear camera sensor. (more…)

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BlackBerry names Marty Beard as COO

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BlackBerry has announced the appointment of Marty Beard as its Chief Operating Officer. Beard  was previously Chairman and CEO of LiveOps, a cloud-based company that specializes in customer service, and has also served as President of Sybase 365 and various roles at Oracle.

As COO of BlackBerry, Beard will be “responsible for cross-functional organizations, including Marketing, BlackBerry 10 Application Development, Customer Care and Quality.” In addition, Beard’s duties will include implementing best practices and processes to make BlackBerry successful in the future.

BlackBerry Executive Chairman and CEO John Chen said, “BlackBerry continues to attract top talent to the company. Marty brings extensive experience in operations, marketing and serving customers through the best technologies and processes available.”

Beard starts immediately and joins John Chen, James Mackey, John Sims, Mark Wilson, James Yersh and Steven Zipperstein on the Executive Team at BlackBerry.

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BlackBerry Q5 reaches its End of Life on Bell

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Almost eleven months ago, the entry-level BlackBerry Q5 was released in Canada. The device resembled a QWERTY BlackBerry Q10, but sported a plastic body with squared-off corners. With the new wave of BlackBerry devices upon us, it seems that Bell is making space on its shelves, giving the Q5 an “End of Life” notice. (more…)

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Parrot’s FreeFlight 3 app now available for iOS and Android just in time for new MiniDrones

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Parrot is on its way to releasing two MiniDrones in Canada over the next few weeks — smaller, cheaper and more acrobatic alternatives to the company’s popular AR.Drone 2.0 quadricopter.

In the run-up to the release of the rolling-flying hybrid Rolling Spider and versatile high-Jumping Sumo, the company has released a new controller app, FreeFlight 3, for iOS and Android. (more…)

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Google Maps for Android update adds elevation data for cyclists, let’s you talk back to Navigation

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Google is pushing out an update for Google Maps for Android that will make things a little bit easier for cyclists planning their journeys. Now, when you go to plan a route, it will show you the elevation for each of your route options. If you don’t like it, you can always switch to another, less mountainous route for your commute.

Google is also adding voice voice actions in navigation mode. This feature will let you ask Google different questions about your route along the way. You might want to know when (or what) the next turn is, or how long until you reach your destination. To find out, you just tap the little microphone icon on the bottom right and ask Google, “How long until I arrive?” Google will respond with the amount of time until your destination, information that was already offered in text form via Navigation. You can also use voice actions to turn certain features on and off, like traffic. (more…)

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BlackBerry Passport aims to be a miniature laptop with a keyboard that doubles as a mouse

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Talking about the BlackBerry Passport — positively or otherwise — is all the rage these days, and for good reason. Think what you will about the device’s massive square screen real estate, its divisive shape is certainly garnering attention. BlackBerry has even consolidated some of that positive consumer sentiment in blog posts.

John Chen thinks that the Passport will be exactly what business users want from a smartphone, and he may have a secret weapon to reinforce his message: a keyboard that doubles as a trackpad, similar to a laptop’s. (more…)

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Sony SmartBand review

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As evidenced by the early arrival of the SmartWatch, Sony is unafraid to dip its toes into new territory.

Announced at CES this year, the SmartBand is the company’s first foray into fitness and health tracking, employing its Core sensor in one of what will eventually be many variations.

But as smart watch platforms from Google, Samsung and Pebble usurp some of the functionality of a dedicated health tracker, is there room for a product like the $99 SmartBand? Let’s find out. (more…)

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Overcast kicks your podcasting experience up a notch with faster playback

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Podcast apps are a dime a dozen, but the vast majority offer a suite of very similar features. Overcast is hoping to offer something a little bit different. To get the full effect, you’ll need to shell out the five bucks to unlock all the features.

The basic version allows you to search for and download podcasts, browse for new podcasts, create playlists, subscribe to your favourite podcasts, and receive push notifications when new episodes are announced. All pretty standard for a podcast app, right? If you’re willing to pony up the $5 for the ‘Unlock Everything’ option, you’ll be able to use Smart Speed to increase the speed of playback. Smart Speed compresses periods of silence, so overly long podcasts will be a little more manageable or easy to listen to. (more…)

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