This year for our annual December bonanza we have a slew of devices up for grabs! We have representation from Motorola, HTC, Samsung, Sony, LG, Nokia, BlackBerry, Google, Rogers, Bell, TELUS and WIND! In total there’s 15 days of goodness coming your way and the celebrations start today!
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BlackBerry issued an open letter to its enterprise customers yesterday, declaring they are “very much alive” and going back to its roots. The Waterloo-based company, now under the leadership of Interim CEO John Chen, aims to focus its efforts on EMM (Enterprise Mobility Management) and security of “all devices.”
To wit, the company has announced a number of enhancements to BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10.2 today. In the press release, BlackBerry said “customers have installed nearly 30,000 BES10 commercial and test servers around the world. Organizations continue to choose BlackBerry because it is the most proven and trusted enterprise mobility management (EMM) solution, supporting iOS, Android and BlackBerry smartphones.”
Some major global business are standing by BlackBerry, namely Morgan Stanley, Boeing, Aneurin Bevan University Health Board and Secusmart — all these are currently testing BES 10.2 in BlackBerry’s Early Adopter and Beta program. BES 10.2 offers new key features such as expanded multi-platform support Android and iOS for email sync, BYOD, and an easier way to securely manage all platforms.
There’s a new launcher in town, and it brings the KitKat aesthetic to any device running Ice Cream Sandwich and higher.
Based on the Android Open Source Project version of the Android 4.4 launcher, KitKat Launcher+ offers what one would expect from a modern Android homescreen, and adds a few extra tweaks for good measure. While Nexus 5 users will miss the “Google Experience” aspect of it, namely the ability to swipe left to reveal Google Now — that feature isn’t part of AOSP — the ability to tweak largely makes up for it.
KitKat Launcher+ lets you hide the Google Search bar, change the number of icons on the screen at once, manually adjust the number of home screens, and, for a small fee, lets you back up and restore your home screen icons when moving to a new device.
While Nova Launcher, Action Launcher Pro and a few others promise to offer KitKat features to older devices, KitKat Launcher+ presents a simple taste of what’s to come.
Another month brings an update to Google’s Android distribution chart. This tracks devices that actively visit Google Play Store and for the first time OS 4.4 KitKat has made an appearance — now confidently on 1.1% of Android devices.
Not too bad considering the OS is fresh and only been available to the masses for a few weeks. Climbing up a few percentage is Jelly Bean (OS 4.1 to 4.3) now comprising 54.5%, up from 52.1% last month. Froyo (OS 2.2) is still clinging on with 1.6%, while OS 2.3 Gingerbread — introduced back in December of 2010 — shows no sign of disappearing anytime soon, representing 24.1% of Android devices.
One of the best third-party camera apps for iPhone, VSCO Cam, is coming to Android tomorrow.
Texting, according to the latest CWTA chart, is declining.
The Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association has once again released some numbers that show texting habits of Canadians. For the three months ending September 2013, Canadians took to their mobile devices to send over 23 billion text messages, which is approximately 250 million messages per day. The number of MMS messages in Q3 was 316 million. (more…)
Bell is taking the enforcement of the Wireless Code of Conduct to introduce a new Travel Data Pass for mobile roaming.
With the new $100 international data roaming caps, and the requirement for WPS’s to inform customers when they’ve hit a certain cost — in the case of Bell’s new Pass, $25.
The Travel Data Pass can be applied, either before or during a trip, from the Bell Self Serve app for iOS, Android and BlackBerry. Customers will get a text message when they’ve reached $25 data usage and when they’ve reached $100, which is the limit.
The announcement today also notes that prices have been dropped in many “Zone 1″ countries, including China, Mexico, Turkey, Australia, UK, France, Italy, and many others. For example, a $30 Travel Data Pass gets 50MB for 30 days; a $100 Data Pass gets 200MB for 30 days. The price was previously $75 for 100MB (compared to $60 now, if you add up two $30 Passes).
It’s still a lot of money, but prices are dropping, which is good. Bell recently dropped roaming prices to the Caribbean and the United States, too, in an effort to close the gap on Rogers and, to a lesser extent, Roam Mobility.
Our annual buffet of smartphone and tablet giveaways has once again returned! Tomorrow we’ll start giving away various devices from various manufacturers and carriers – Motorola, HTC, Samsung, Sony, LG, Nokia, BlackBerry, Google, Rogers, Bell, TELUS and WIND.
Just us spreading the holiday cheer!
WIND Mobile has come to the table with their big discounted monthly plan for the holidays. Similar to previous years, WIND has included all the fixings for $39/month and is a dollar cheaper than their current $40/month plan, plus includes Voicemail+, which is usually $8/month. Here are the finer details: (more…)
Another BlackBerry Open Letter, now to Enterprise customers: ‘We’re going back to our heritage and roots’
John Chen, Interim CEO of BlackBerry, has once again taken the time to write an open letter to loyal users and doubters. He certainly seems to be a man on a mission and very upfront about this new direction.
Putting all the negativity aside, Chen stated that rumours of BlackBerry’s “death are greatly exaggerated,” proudly declaring “our for sale sign has been taken down and we are here to stay.” The Waterloo-based company will be “going back to our heritage and roots” and focus on providing solutions for the enterprise customers, including the ability to “manage all devices.” Chen said that he welcomes all feedback, specifically in EMM (Enterprise Mobility Management), because in the coming weeks they’ll have open conversation to understand how to better service this customer segment.
Read the entire letter below. (more…)