Late last year, Nokia released a delightful entry-level Lumia that cost $200 outright and offered one of the best cheap Windows Phone 8 experiences. The Lumia 625 debuted on TELUS, but would later come to Fido and Rogers.
Just in time for the long weekend is another distracted driving blitz by the Toronto and York Regional Police. The 6-week initiative kicks off today with a goal to “raise awareness regarding high risk behaviours behind the wheel and to urge drivers to focus on the road.”
The OPP recently reported that distracted driving has slowly become the “#1 Killer on Roads,” overtaking drinking and driving. Individuals using their mobile device while driving — talking, emailing, texting, surfing the web, or holding your device — could face a fine upwards of $280.
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne said that distracted driving is “a real problem, and that’s why we’ll be reintroducing the legislation.” Wynn is expected to propose an increase to raise the maximum fine to $1,000, and also penalize those caught disobeying the law and with three demerit points.
At a Q&A during BlackBerry’s Security Summit in New York today, Enterprise Chief John Sims said that a native redesign is coming down the pipe for BBM on Android and iOS.
As BBM for Windows Phone hit the market, users noted that its design more resembled other Modern UI apps on the platform, while the Android and iOS versions stuck closely to the BlackBerry 10 Cascades visual stylings. Sims noted that, at the time, BlackBerry’s focus was to push Cascades as a brand, but since the company’s priorities have shifted, so too has its insistence on a specific aesthetic. (more…)
CIBC says that over a million eCheques have been deposited using its mobile app for iOS and Android.
It was only just back in late May when it was revealed that a million echeques across all banking institutions in Canada had been deposited. Now it looks like that number has likely grown by three or four times at least, given that CIBC users have hit a million. (more…)
According to The Verge, Microsoft is set to unveil two new Windows Phone 8.1 devices, one of which focuses on high-quality front-facing ‘selfie’ photos, and the other on excellent rear shots using the PureView branding.
Though Nokia has been integrated into Microsoft’s Devices & Services division, Stephen Elop, former CEO of the Finnish company, is still in charge of the devices division within his new (and former) organization. (more…)
One of BlackBerry’s continuing fundamentals is a core focus on security. The company has staked its future on providing secure and encrypted network options. During the BlackBerry Security Summit event today, CEO John Chen announced it has acquired Dusseldorf-based Secusmart GmbH, which is touted as being “a leader in high-security voice and data encryption and anti-eavesdropping solutions for government organizations.”
Chen stated, “The acquisition of Secusmart underscores our focus on addressing growing security costs and threats ranging from individual privacy to national security. This acquisition bolsters our security solutions with leading voice and data encryption and anti-eavesdropping technologies, and furthers BlackBerry’s security leadership in end-to-end mobile solutions.” Secusmart is reportedly used by government officials to monitor smartphone voice tapping to ensure lines are secure.
The terms of the deal was not disclosed and the transaction is subject to the regulatory approvals, but Secusmart has been a BlackBerry partner since 2009.
BlackBerry also said it is committed “to being the first name in enterprise mobile security.” It has decided to drop the hammer today with some impressive stats: its customers currently includes all G7 governments, 16 of the G20 governments, 10 out of 10 of the largest global enterprises in pharmaceutical, legal, automotive, and the five largest oil and gas companies. In addition, BlackBerry has amassed a vast amount of security certifications and is the only mobility solution to receive Full Operational Capability (FOC) approval to run on U.S. Department of Defense networks.
Dr. Hans-Christoph Quelle, Managing Director of Secusmart, said, “This transaction is a fantastic opportunity to accelerate growth in the market for high-end secure communications solutions, driven by the need to combat electronic eavesdropping and data theft.”
BlackBerry is in a stronger position than it was when Chen took over the company last year, and is on track to release new versions of its Enterprise Service solution later this year alongside two new devices, the Passport and Classic.
TELUS has revamped its European roaming offerings, launching three new voice/text/data bundle and a text-only pass that should make it considerably cheaper for travellers.
The passes include travel to practically every country in Europe, including areas in the east that weren’t previously included in the pass.
Microsoft recently announced a beta program for its OneNote app on Android. As with recently projects on Google’s OS, Microsoft it committing itself to make its cross-platform experience uniformly better.
On Google+, where the beta version is being managed, Ayush Rastogi, Software Development Engineer at Microsoft, announced the OneNote for Android Beta is live now. The biggest addition to the app is that it now offers handwritten notes with a fingertip or stylus. Below is the complete change log in this beta version. (more…)
Yelp today updated its iPhone app to allow user-submitted videos, between three and 12 seconds, of a business or restaurant. The San Francisco-based company already allowed users to submit photos and reviews through the mobile app, but the videos “are great for conveying the atmosphere of a business, which helps others anticipate their experience before stopping by.”
The feature, which is coming soon to Android, was teased back in May, but needed some time to build out the feature set. The company says that many times photos can’t convey the full set of experiences of a place: “Imagine scrolling through pics of delicious dishes at a new bistro but not really being able to tell if the ambiance is more ‘date night’ or ‘family friendly.’ Yelp video is here to help.” (more…)
Until now, Facebook Messenger has existed in this weird in-between place, both as a core tenet of the proper Facebook app and as a standalone app with an expanded feature set. Starting this week, Messenger users on iOS, Android and Windows Phone will be pushed to download that standalone version in order to continue using the service.
It’s a move that we’re surprised has taken as long as it has. Facebook has increasingly emphasized Messenger’s importance, both as a platform and revenue generator, and has spent lots of time and money revamping it as a self-sufficient entity within the company’s ecosystem. Indeed, it’s even positioned as an alternative to WhatsApp, which is far more popular outside of North America. (more…)