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The Guardian’s Android beta app is beautiful, fast and free

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UK-based The Guardian is a newspaper transforming into a digital content powerhouse. Though it’s kept its best content in front of a paywall until now, the company has experimented with a number of apps, mostly for iOS, including the photography-focused Guardian Eyewitness for iPad.

Today, The Guardian is debuting a brand new beta app for Android, and while the previous version was attractive and usable, this one shows some of the nicest attention to detail I’ve seen in an Android news app. (more…)

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Photos of Amazon’s 4.7-inch smartphone reveal four front infrared cameras and a 3D interface

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We’ve heard through the grapevine that Amazon would be releasing a smartphone this year, and details are emerging to fill in the gaps. Last week, the Wall Street Journal posited that the device would be launched in June and go on sale some time in the fall, though it would, at first, be restricted to US users only.

Then there was the rumour that Amazon would be implementing a number of cameras — up to six — to facilitate a sort of glasses-free 3D parallax effect throughout the Android-based user interface.

Today, BGR obtained the first images of the 4.7-inch device, though the actual design is hidden behind what appears to be a thick casing. In other words, this is not what the phone will look like, but should provide enough insight to prove it exists. (more…)

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BlackBerry confirms desktop video chat coming to its eBBM Suite of products

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BlackBerry currently has over 85 million BBM (BlackBerry Messenger) users across its platforms. The app is available on BlackBerry, iPhone, Android and coming soon to Windows Phone. Rumours have always pointed towards the Waterloo-based company bringing its popular messaging service to the desktop and this looks to be true.

In an interview with PC Mag, John Sims, President of Enterprise at BlackBerry, stated that desktop video chat will be coming to the enterprise version of BlackBerry Messenger. There is no indication of when the desktop version of BBM will be available, nor at what cost. (more…)

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BillGuard’s money tracking and fraud protection app comes to Android, and expands to Canada

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BillGuard is a new player in town for those who want to track money spending habits and protect against credit card fraud.

The company has recently expanded into two areas of interest: Android on the platform side; and Canada on the geography side. And both suit us just fine.

Unlike Mint, which lathers you with numbers and trends, BillGuard tends to keep things simple, and does a good job at showing you only the data you need to know. It supports all the major Canadian banks’ debit and credit cards (though you’ll have to enter them as separate accounts for some reason), and once added you can monitor transactions by swiping to approve the ones that come through your credit card accounts.

It’s a relatively easy and free-as-in-beer way to track money spending habits, and the Android app is nicely polished for an early version.

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Google uses Google+ for Android to make it easy to add photos to Gmail on the web

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Sometimes, the minor tweaks are the most powerful. Such is true of the latest addition to Gmail on the web, rolling out today, that takes advantage of the millions of Android users automatically uploading their photos to Google+.

Google is adding an “Insert Photo” icon to Gmail’s Compose window, allowing users to add photos or entire albums from Google+ archives. Since I use both features, I can imagine this will be very useful.

The company is going one step further, too, by allowing users to resize photos within the Compose window. Very cool.

Check it out at Google’s Official Gmail Blog.

SourceGoogle
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Bell releases the Alcatel OneTouch Pop 7 tablet

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Bell has added another tablet to their arsenal today. As expected, the Alcatel OneTouch Pop 7 tablet is available for a low $179.95 no-term, or $29.95 on a 2-year contract. This is the third Alcatel device Bell has released in the past of - the others were the OneTouch Idol X and OneTouch Idol mini smartphones.

As for specs, the OneTouch Pop 7 (picture above via Cnet) runs Android OS 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, has a 7-inch display with a resolution of 1024×600, a 1.3 GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 8GB internal storage, WiFi and HSPA+ connectivity (up to 21 Mbps), 3240mAh battery. Overall dimensions are 192 x 113 x 8.9mm with a weight of 285 grams.

Check it out here via Bell.

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Montreal subway currently testing underground wireless service, will go live ‘as soon as the tests are successful’

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Late last year the Société de transport de Montreal (STM), Bell, Rogers, TELUS and Videotron announced that they’d come together to bring cell service to the subway system (3G, 4G and LTE). The initiative would cost around $50 million and be “divided into five phases that should be completed within a period of five to seven years.”

The first phase and testing has already started at Place-des-Arts and Saint-Laurent stations. According to a report in the Le Journal de Montréal the progress is ‘well advanced’ and the STM has tightened its deadlines. Over 900,000 people ride the STM on a daily basis and cell service will give them the option to use their device underground to talk, text, email, surf the web, stream movies, etc…

Amélie Regis, spokesman of the Société de transport de Montreal (STM), said “We are also currently in test phase for these two stations… if it is impossible to specify the date of system function in these stations, it will be “as soon as the tests are successful.”

This is certainly a great step forward and the project seems to moving fast. By the end of 2014 there will be a total of 14 stations equipped with connectivity. The larger goal is to bring cell coverage to 68 stations within 7-years.

(Thanks Alexandre!)

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HTC One (M7) slated to receive Sense 6.0 upgrade ‘by end of May’

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HTC recently unveiled Sense 6.0 with the new HTC One M8. During the official launch, Jason Mackenzie, president of HTC North America, said the HTC One and HTC One Mini will receive an update to Android 4.4.2 with Sense 6.0 sometime “this spring,” and also promised both devices will be upgraded to the latest version of Android for at least another year.

Mackenzie took to Twitter today with a reminder that will please many HTC One users, stating that “Sense 6 will push to current HTC One users by end of May.” This will be coming to both the United States and Canada.

There is no word on whether the complete features of Sense 6.0 will be included or if parts will be omitted. While the changes from Sense 5.5 are minor, mainly focused on the camera feature set, the update will be welcome to current M7 owners looking to take advantage of that Ultrapixel camera which, unlike the M8, comes with optical image stabilization. However, when additional details arrive HTC will post the full feature list for Canada on their software update site.

Source: Twitter
Via: Android & Me, Engadget

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Did you buy a Samsung Galaxy S5 or HTC One M8?

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According to Samsung’s Korean PR team, initial sales of the Galaxy S5 have eclipsed the already-high first weekend sales of its predecessor, which went on to sell over 40 million units.

Though the device may not have the immediate appeal of the completely-overhauled Galaxy S3, nor the marketing checkbox fascination of the Galaxy S4, the GS5 has a number of small yet substantive improvements that add up to a pretty nice smartphone.

But there’s another device, widely available in Canada tomorrow but already on sale in some carrier stores, that means to avert as much attention from Samsung’s flagship as possible. The HTC One M8, a metal masterpiece, is the follow-up to last year’s M7, and while it also sports smallish improvements, the sum is meatier than the parts.

(more…)

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How to enable Cortana on Windows Phone 8.1 (but there’s a catch)

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You’re Canadian, and therefore a nice person. You also lose out on a lot of great features from new products like Windows Phone 8.1.

If you’re taken the plunge and installed the Windows Phone 8.1 Developer Preview, you may have noticed that, while Action Center is ready to go, and a bunch of other changes are noticeable, the one thing that has remained the same, sadly, is the Search interface.

But it’s not difficult to get Cortana working. In fact, it’s a simple switch in the Settings. Head to Settings/Region and change it from Canada to United States, and reboot your phone. Simple.

(more…)

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