Archive for March, 2011

CityNews goes mobile in Toronto: New iPad and iPhone app now available

CityNews appToronto area residents can now stay up-to-date on local news, weather, sports and traffic with the new CityNews app for iPad and iPhone available for free through the iTunes App Store.

The new app has content from the CityNews website, clips from recent broadcasts, real-time traffic updates from cameras on the highway and up-to-the-second weather forecasts customizable to show weather in your own area.

News from your neighbourhood

Want something more specific? No problem. Since all CityNews stories are “geo-coded,” you can find out exactly what’s happening in a particular neighbourhood by zooming into a map. Imagine you’re heading down to Yonge and Dundas square. Just pinch to zoom on that area and the app will show you all stories in that area.  If you’re about to head out on the Gardiner Expressway, the app will show you traffic cameras in that area which can help you plan your route.

Share your own news

Through the “Your Stories” section of the app, you’ll be able to share stories and breaking news from your own community by uploading videos, photos and news tips. You can then view your content on the app – as well as that from your fellow CityNews viewers. You can also share content from the app using your Twitter or Facebook account

How do I get it?

Just search “CityNews” in Apple’s iTunes App Store or go online here and download the app for free. From BlackBerry or Android devices, you can also view a mobile version of CityNews at http://m.citynews.ca

To see the app in action, check out this clip from CityNews here.

The CityNews app is the third app from Citytv along with The Shorts in the City app for iPhone and iPad which launched in June 2010 and the Citytv Video app for iPad, the first prime time app by a Canadian broadcaster.

Miranda MacDonald is a regular contributor to RedBoard

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PREVIEW: BlackBerry PlayBook

Today, RIM announced that the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet with Wi-Fi will be available in three models (16, 32 and 64 GB) at a manufacturer’s suggested retail price starting at $499. We’re excited to confirm PlayBook will be available at Rogers retail locations.

To whet your appetite even more, my colleague RogersMiranda recently had the opportunity to speak with RIM’s Jeff Gadway who provided her with a demo of the BlackBerry PlayBook:

We wanted to provide this special glimpse into the BlackBerry PlayBook with you as soon as possible, but that also means we can’t share specific details about pricing and availability just yet. Some Rogers media properties are also developing apps that will be optimized for the BlackBerry PlayBook. We’ll be sure to update you here on RedBoard when more details become available.

For a look at some of the business benefits of the BlackBerry PlayBook, check out our post and video on RedBoardBiz.

Are you planning to get a PlayBook?

Duane MacDonald is a regular contributor to RedBoard

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Rogers fuels your passion for mobile games

Sony Ericsson Xperia PLAY from RogersIt’s hard to believe that interactive games have been around for a half of a century. Surprised? Check out this recent article from our friends at Connected Magazine that includes a video covering fifty years of video game history.

The convergence between mobile and gaming has never been more prevalent and that’s why we’re excited to be adding the new Sony Ericsson Xperia PLAY, the world’s first PlayStation Certified smartphone to our lineup this Spring. Adding to our growing lineup of Android smartphones, the Xperia PLAY combines a console-like gaming experience with the very latest Android platform version 2.3 and dedicated game controls.

With Angry Birds now one of the most popular games for the smartphone operating system, we know that the mobile media ecosystem has become a global game changer (pun intended).  Check out these stats from a recent Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) survey.

  • Smartphone users are five times more likely to play games almost every day than non-smartphone users.
  • Most PlayStation gamers would rather give up social networking sites or fantasy sports leagues for a whole year than give up playing video games
  • More than half of PS3 users tout a gaming library of double-digits
  • 1 out of 5 gamers have played a PS3 game for 10+ straight hours.
  • Chips and pizza ranked high as preferred gaming snacks but 1 out of 3 PS3 gamers choose not to snack at all during game play for total concentration
  • 40% of PS3 gamers cannot be in a relationship with a partner who gets in the way of their gaming

To help fuel your passion for games, you can expect the Xperia PLAY to have around fifty games produced by a range of Android publishers at launch including favorites like: Asphalt 6: Adrenaline, Bruce Lee Dragon Warrior, Star Battalion, The Sims 3, Modern Combat 2: Black Pegasus, Air Attack HD, Need for Speed Shift, Dungeon Defender Second Wave, Guitar Hero and Assassins Creed.

Can’t wait for the Xperia PLAY?

Check out our recently launched microsite with more information, device specs, videos and pictures. You can also sign up to get the latest updates via email.

Join our Gamers Club

If you want to stay in the know about the newest and hottest mobile gaming content, you can join the Rogers Gamers Club. Just text CLUBS to 555 and you’ll receive an SMS with a link. Click on the link and select “Opt-In” under the Gamers Club header. Once you’ve opted into the club, you’ll receive free text alerts about the newest game releases, contests and promotions.

What are your favourite mobile games? Will you get the Xperia PLAY this Spring?

UPDATE (April 1, 2011, 1:01 pm): Pricing has been announced and a preorder site is now open. The Sony Ericsson  Xperia PLAY will be available for $99.99 with a three year voice and data package. Starting today, both new and existing customers can preorder this device through the preorder page found at http://www.rogers.com/xperia.

Miranda MacDonald is a regular contributor to RedBoard

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Rogers responds to earthquake in Japan

Canadian red crossFollowing this morning’s 8.9 magnitude earthquake in Japan, our thoughts are with all those affected by this devastating disaster.

Beginning today, Rogers and Fido wireless customers can text ASIA to 30333 to donate $5 to earthquake relief efforts. 100% of all donations will go to the Canadian Red Cross Japan Earthquake/Asia-Pacific Tsunami fund.

To help Canadians stay up-to-date on news and information from Japan, Rogers is making TV Japan available on free preview on Channel 829 to all digital cable customers in Ontario.

Those concerned about Canadian friends or family possibly affected by the earthquake can call the Department of Foreign Affairs and International trade (DFAIT) at 613-943-1055 or 1-800-387-3124. You can also follow Canada’s Foreign Affairs Twitter account for information here.

Donations can also be made online at www.redcross.ca/helpnow, at your local branch office or by calling toll free 1-800-418-1111.

Miranda MacDonald is a regular contributor to RedBoard.

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Game on! Leafs TV and NBA TV Canada now on Rogers on Demand Online

MLSE on Rogers on Demand OnlineYou’re a die-hard Toronto Maple Leafs fan and can’t watch the game because you are traveling on business. Or, there is a must-see basketball game on but your TV is being used for video games or the most-recent episode of The Bachelor. Sound familiar?

Good news: you can put those concerns behind you as we’re now bringing Leafs TV and NBA TV Canada to our popular Rogers On Demand Online (RODO) . You need to be a Digital Cable TV subscriber and have Leafs TV or NBA TV Canada in order to access these channels on RODO.

Leafs fans will now have access to some cool content including:

  • Live streaming of 8 Leafs games (2 on Leafs TV and 6 courtesy of Sportsnet)  for the remainder of the year plus On Demand access after the initial live broadcast
  • Leafs TV produced features including ”Game in an Hour” made available to watch both live and On Demand

And for NBA enthusiasts, you can now watch:

  • Live streaming of 30 NBA games for the remainder of the year plus On Demand access after the initial live broadcast
  • On Demand NBA TV Canada shows and features like ”Raptors Post Up” and  “NBA Game Time”  (coming soon)

Leafs TV and NBA TV Canada are the latest additions to our ever growing RODO programming line-up. Stay tuned for more exciting news in 2011.

Are you a Leafs TV or NBA TV Canada customer? What shows do you watch?

Duane MacDonald is a regular contributor to RedBoard.

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Rogers to offer plans for iPad 2

iPad 2The world is abuzz (and that includes us) with the unveiling of the iPad 2 earlier today.  That’s why we’re thrilled to announce that we will be offering plans for the iPad 2 when it comes to Canada.

Last year, we successfully launched the iPad and we were one of the only carriers in the world certified by Apple to offer an innovative, on-device purchase flow which allowed Rogers customers to activate their 3G iPad service themselves.

This year, we will be extending our innovative data sharing plans to include the iPad 2. In a recent RedBoard post we explained how data sharing is an affordable way to share data across multiple devices.  We will also continue to offer the same two data plan options for the iPad 2 – both of which are available without a term contract and include free unlimited access to all Rogers WiFi Hot Spots:

  • 250 MB for $15
  • 5 GB for $35

Taxes are extra but there are no other charges.

We wanted to confirm our plan options with you as soon as possible, but we won’t have any other details until closer to launch. We will share more information as soon as we can.

Do you plan on getting an iPad 2?

Duane MacDonald is a regular contributor to RedBoard

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Rogers teams up with NBC Universal to bring iVillage to Canada

iVillage CanadaDying to see pictures of Lady Gaga’s latest outfit? Do slow walkers make you angry? How about some tips for sprucing up your bathroom? Ladies, if these topics sound like intriguing reading material, you’ll want to head over to iVillage.ca when it launches this Spring.

Rogers Media and NBC Universal recently announced a long-term partnership to bring iVillage, an online community for women, to Canada this Spring.

According to its website, iVillage is the largest content-driven community for women online reaching more than 30 million unique visitors per month. The site focuses on categories targeted at women including food, health, entertainment, family, beauty and style.

Visitors to the site will be able to check out original articles written by a team of Canadian-based editors as well as content from popular brands such as Chatelaine, sweetspot.ca and Citytv. The site will also feature articles from the US and UK versions of iVillage.

Recently, Leigh Felesky, iVillage Canada’s new general manager and director was on Citytv to talk about the site and what it will bring to Canadian women. You can check out the clip below:

Can’t wait for iVillage Canada to launch? You can keep up to date on what iVillage is up to through its new Twitter and Facebook pages.

What do you think of iVillage? Are you excited for its Canadian debut?

Miranda MacDonald is a regular contributor to RedBoard

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