This was a busy week in mobile. Over the past seven days several a number of new devices were announced, namely the Samsung Galaxy S5, Gear 2, Sony Xperia Z2, Z2 Tablet, BlackBerry Q20 and the Nokia X (not coming to Canada). In addition, Canadian carriers made some shocking news – TELUS removing itself from the CWTA and Rogers finally putting an end to the Chatr advertising claims. Below are the top Canadian mobile stories from the past week and a few articles from around the web. (more…)
Read this: BlackBerry announces the Q20
BlackBerry is having a BBM renaissance. The company’s chat platform has been expanding to new platforms, with another one to come, and has instituted many of the features users have waited years for. Not only is it now easier to find one’s friends, but often-used features like cloud file sharing and location sharing have been added in recent versions.
BlackBerry is now outlining its next update, which will hit BB 10, Android and iOS in the coming weeks. On deck is the ability to share photos with a group, and the maximum size of those files will increase from 6MB to 16MB.
The upcoming release will also slightly increase the size of emoticons, the number of which was recently expanded in the most recent version.
In the computing word, the term “hybrid” is often synonymous with “compromise” or “expense”. In the case of the Asus Transformer Book Trio, neither applies: it is a fully-capable computer with separate hardware for both an Android tablet and a Windows laptop/desktop. At $949, it’s also fairly inexpensive for the hardware you get.
While the device doesn’t fit into MobileSyrup’s usual purview, it was so interesting, we had to find a way to look at it — and we’re glad we did!
In a sea of fitness trackers, PUSH stands out. The first activity wearable to measure strength, PUSH offers more than simple step counting. The sensor-based armband aims to provide reliable data to empower coaches, trainers, athletes and gym-goers — and make them better.
PUSH raised over $130,000 on Indiegogo back in November. The Toronto-based company has completed a working beta version of its wearable device along with a lightweight iOS and Android app and has already begun shipping to beta testers. (more…)
This is an incredibly compelling price for those wanting an affordable BlackBerry. The Q5, it’s current entry-level BlackBerry 10 device in Canada, launched last August for as low as $350. Koodo Mobile has now price dropped the QWERTY/Touch Berry to a low $150 no-term – this is even cheaper than the newly announced Z3.
A refresher of specs, the Q5 has a 3.1-inch display (resolution of 720×720), 1.2GHz dual-core processor, LTE connectivity, 5MP rear-facing camera and a 2MP front-facing camera, 8GB internal storage, 2,100mAh non-removable battery with overall dimensions of 120 x 67 x 73mm and weighs 120 grams.
Apple rumoured to announce ‘iOS in the Car’ next week, auto partners include Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo
In-car systems to-date are somewhat unappealing. BlackBerry’s QNX, Telsa and Ford have all done an impressive job over the past few years to bring more life to the car with touchscreen displays and new features.
More and more automobile makers are stepping up to make the screen in your vehicle another source of information and revenue. Apple is rumoured to jump into the game. A report from the Financial Times states that they will team up with higher-end automobile manufacturers — Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo — to develop the ‘smart car’ or ‘connected car’ of the future by embedding iOS within the vehicle.
The overall design of “iOS in the car” is the same as what the iPhone and iPad currently looks like with iOS 7. The FT notes that “Drivers will be able to use Apple Maps as in-car navigation, as well as listen to music and watch films. Calls can be made through the system, which will tie into the Siri voice recognition platform so that messages can be read to the driver who can respond by dictating a reply.”
Apple declined to comment on the rumour, but the sources note the plans will be unveiled at next week’s Geneva Motor Show.
Users of the Rogers BlackBerry Q10 and Z10 (and, for some, the Z30) and Fido Z10′s and Q5′s can check their phones for a small update to software release 10.2.1.2102.
Depending on the previous version installed on the device, the update looks to be between 15MB and 37MB in size, and is likely to fix only a small number of outstanding bugs from the first 10.2.1 release in January. This brings the OS version to 10.2.1.2141.
No word on when other carriers will begin rolling out the same version — it hit European devices last week — but it shouldn’t be long now.
If you’ve received this update, let us know what’s new.
(Thanks to everyone who sent this in!)
If you’re a smartphone or tablet gamer, you’ll know that the App Store is usually where many of the best titles are released, either exclusively on iOS, or months before their Android counterparts.
This week, Apple has rounded up some of the best “hardcore” titles on the platform, discounting them just in time for the weekend. Some of these are well-known classics, like Infinity Blade III and Badland, while others are smaller, under-the-radar titles like The Room Two, Duet, and Limbo.
Earlier this week Samsung unveiled the Galaxy S5 (check out our breakdown here). As for Canada, this 5.1-inch KitKat-powered device will be heading here sometime in April, probably on April 11th with the rest of the world, and eleven carriers are on board: Bell, Eastlink, Fido, Koodo, MTS, Rogers, SaskTel, TELUS, Videotron, Virgin Mobile and WIND Mobile.
Samsung will be releasing the GS5 in Electric Blue, Copper Gold, Shimmer White, Charcoal Black and it seems that Canada will only see the black and white versions hit carrier shelves. So far we’ve confirmed this to be true with both Rogers and TELUS. Most of them have already gone live with a pre-registration page, but still no word on pricing.
A year ago Apple claimed that they deliver over 2 billion iMessages per day. Today, Apple CEO Tim Cook, declared during their annual shareholder meeting that the company has seen a dramatic increase in adoption with activity surging to “several billion” iMessages per day. FaceTime calls are seeing between 15 to 20 million per day.
Apple’s competitors, namely the recently purchased ($16 billion) WhatsApp by Facebook is delivering 50 billion messages per day, while Waterloo-based BlackBerry’s BBM processes “billions of messages sent each day.” BBM is currently available on iPhone, Android, BlackBerry and coming soon to Windows Phone.
Update: We initially reported that Apple was processing 40 billion iMessages per day. This information was incorrect, and has now been corrected to “several billion,” as per the Apple shareholder meeting.