Archive for December, 2011

2011 year in review: top 5 favourite posts

Rogers RedBoard year in reviewWell, that’s a wrap. 2011 is nearly done and we’ve had a great year here on RedBoard! We’ve covered everything from the iPhone 4S launch to the Royal Wedding and welcomed some new writers into the mix. To mark the end of a great year, we’re recapping our top 5 favourite posts of 2011.

  1. My Day as a Rogers Android: Our own @RogersMelanie got to live a childhood dream. On October 26, she dressed as the Android mascot at Android TO, Canada’s largest Android conference, and entertained more than 600 attendees throughout the day. To mark the momentous occasion, we filmed a video of her once-in-a-lifetime experience which generated more than 10,000 views.
  2. Canada’s first LTE network is live: Where were you the day Rogers launched Canada’s first LTE network? I was in Ottawa – the first city in Canada to experience LTE – to show off the capabilities of the latest global wireless technology at a launch event. On that day, we also announced that LTE would be coming to Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal. And on September 28, we officially launched Rogers LTE in those cities.
  3. RedBoard Celebrates one year anniversary: On March 2, our blog turned 1. To mark this milestone, we held our first Tweetup in Toronto and invited RedBoard readers to come out and celebrate with us. For those outside the city, we held a contest to win RedBoard loot bags. We’re looking forward to celebrating our second birthday next year, as well as a first birthday for FilRouge, our new French blog, which launched in September of this year.
  4. Rogers launches new early upgrade offer: On May 6, we announced an early upgrade promotion that allows you to upgrade your device as early as six months into your existing contract term. We know many of our readers here on RedBoard are the kind of people that want the latest gadget as soon as it’s available. We were happy to offer this new option to provide our customers with this added freedom and flexibility.
  5. Rogers Innovation Report: top technology predictions for 2012: Just over a week ago, we launched the first Rogers Innovation Report, a regular report we’ll be doing to get Canadians views on technology. The best part? The infographic. This visual display of our findings revealed interesting statistics like the number of Canadians who sleep with their smartphones or have the urge to take them to the bathroom!

On behalf of the RedBoard team, we’d like to wish you a happy new year, and all the best in 2012. We’re looking forward to another great year.

Are there any topics you’d like to see us cover in 2012?

Miranda is a regular contributor to RedBoard

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year

Have yourself a merry Rogers christmasWith less than 3 days to go until the big day, I’m getting more and more into the holiday spirit. I got all my holiday shopping done early this year thanks to Connected Magazine’s “Holiday Gift Guide,” which included a U.S.S. enterprise Lego kit for my dad (big Trekkie!), and the POP phone for my sister.

Personally, I’m looking forward to relaxing and hosting a few gatherings with close friends and family now that shopping’s out of the way. In the spirit of sharing, here are some ways I’m bringing holiday cheer into my home this season.

  • Rogers On Demand’s Holiday Channel: Here you’ll find the best this holiday season has to offer, including kid’s favourite’s, editor’s picks, and of course classic movies and TV specials for the whole family to enjoy. For more ideas, check out Andrew’s “HoHoHo It’s the Holiday Channel” Redboard post.
  • The Fireplace Channel: Those of us not lucky enough to have a fireplace thrive on this channel this time of year. Now I know, it’s not the real thing – but you still get the warm glow and crackle from the fire. Tune in on channels 204 for SD and 574 for HD.
  • Galaxie Channels on Rogers On Demand: This is another great one to have going in the background if you already have a fireplace. Right now on Galaxie we’ve got 9 holiday stations to suit everyone’s needs! Listen online and through select tablets and smartphones – free for all Rogers digital customers!
  • RogersurMusic: If you’re conflicted between the Fireplace Channel or Galaxie holiday music channels, fear not – you can have both! I like to entertain with the Fireplace channel going on my TV, and my special holiday mix playing in the background. urMusic has TONS of holiday tracks to download this season – everything from The Muppets to Bing Crosby!

As I type this post in front of the Fireplace Channel with eggnog in hand, and Nat King Cole’s “Merry Christmas to You” in the background, I’d like to wish all our readers a happy holiday on behalf of Rogers!

Kelly is a regular contributor to RedBoard

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Smartphones in bed

Rogers Innovation Report reveals that four in 10 (39%) Canadians say they sleep with their devices within arm’s reach – either beside them on the nightstand or in their beds.I’ll admit it. I’m promiscuous when it comes to my wireless devices. I switch back and forth between my BlackBerry Torch and my iPhone. And I use an Android tablet.

I couldn’t live without my gadgets and I’m not alone.

According to research we released yesterday in the first Rogers Innovation Report, Canadians love their cell phones.The vast majority of Canadian smartphone and tablet owners (85%) say they’re attached to their devices.

How attached? Well, one in 10 (11%) say they wouldn’t want to live without them. And four in 10 (39%) Canadians say they sleep with their devices within arm’s reach – either beside them on the nightstand or in their beds.

Younger Canadians are even more attached to their devices. Among Canadians aged 18 to 24, three-quarters (76%) sleep with their phones within arm’s reach and one in four (23%) snuggle up with their devices in bed.

And we want to use them everywhere. One in four Canadians (23%) want to use their devices in the bathroom, with a minority (3%) even wanting to use their devices while taking a bath or shower.

Canadian smartphone and tablet users are also optimistic that new wireless technologies will keep making their lives better. Some 68% of Canadians surveyed said voice interaction with devices, such as Apple’s Siri, will make their lives better, while 61% feel using their devices for purchases will do the same.

What about you? How attached are you to your device? What’s the most unusual place you’ve ever used your cell?

Keith McArthur is Vice President of Social Media at Rogers

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Rogers Innovation Report: top technology predictions for 2012

Canadians have high expectations for technology in 2012. Faster network speeds, smaller laptops and more purchases over wireless devices are just some of the predictions for the year ahead.

These predictions come from the first Rogers Innovation Report, a regular report we’ll be doing to get Canadians views on technology.

As the year comes to a close, we focused our first edition of the Rogers Innovation Report on technology predictions for 2012. We asked Canadian smartphone and tablet users if technology makes their lives better and easier and their views on advancements for the next few years. Check it out:

Rogers Innovation Report looks at technology trends for 2012


What do you think of the first Innovation Report? Did any of the numbers surprise you?

Miranda is a regular contributor to RedBoard

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Top 10 apps for a stress-free season

Every time I imagine the holidays, I tend to envision them as much more serene. The visual I produce in my mind includes me sipping hot cider by a fireplace, re-watching Home Alone and indulging in freshly baked gingerbread cookies.  The reality is that the holidays can become a tad frantic and typically never end up being what you expect… Home Alone’s Kevin McAllister knows all about this.

Whether you have a BlackBerry, Android or Apple device, there are endless apps to assist with your gift giving, hosting, recipes and figuring out your holiday budget. My new motto for the season is ‘the more I app, the more I get to nap’.

Here are 10 ways your smartphone can create a stress-free season:

  1. Cooking & Baking - Need help in the kitchen? Try a Festive Holiday baking app (iPhone/iPad) or an app for Christmas Recipes (Android). Over indulging? Get a calorie counter (BlackBerry) app to stay on track.
  2. Budgeting – Stay on top of spending with Christmas Gift List (iPhone/iPad) or Christmas List Pro (Android).
  3. To- do lists & family calendar - Keep everyone organized with Cozi. Available on most devices, Cozi helps keep you organized with family calendars, shopping lists, to-do lists and a family journal.
  4. Weather Eye – Follow those flurries with this trusty app to keep you connected to daily, weekly and hourly weather forecasts. Available on most devices.
  5. GPS- Google Maps with Navigation (Android), BlackBerry Maps, or Maps and Compass (iPhone).  In snowy conditions, you don’t want to get lost.
  6. Mobile Deals Mobile Offers (most devices), Clip Mobile (most devices) are great options to find the best shopping deals right from your phone
  7. Holiday cocktails- Time to eat, drink and be merry! Check out Martha Stewart Cocktails (iPhone/iPad), Holiday Cocktail Bar (Android) or Easy Bartender (BlackBerry).
  8. Send money by mobile – When in doubt, cash always makes a great gift. With Zoompass  and Western union you can send cash quickly to loved one.
  9. Digital greeting cards - For those times when you failed to mail out a card on time, check out Just Wink (iPhone/Android). It’s great for sending out custom greeting cards on the fly.
  10. Stay on top of the news - Don’t be out of the loop when people bring up current events at your next function with the Maclean’s app (iPhone/iPad and BlackBerry). For people in Toronto, check out the CityNews App (iPhone/iPad).

Now just sit back, relax and app it up and you’ll be counting down to 2012 before you know it. Happy Holidays!

Kaili is a regular contributor to RedBoard

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Globe Trotting Mama talks travel and roaming tips

Heather Greenwood-Davis We recently caught up with Heather Greenwood-Davis, who is currently on a year-long worldwide adventure with her husband and two sons.  She is the Globe Trotting Mama – a freelance journalist whose work appears in the Toronto Star, Dabble Magazine, Urbanmoms.ca, Canadian Family Magazine and more.

She is constantly on the move, from one adventure to the next. We were curious to know how a jet setting family like hers spends the holidays. With so many Canadians planning trips abroad over the holidays and 80% of them planning to use technology to stay in touch with friends and family, we wanted to ask Heather how she incorporates her mobile phone into her travels. A recent survey found that almost half (48%) of Canadians will use their mobile phones while travelling during the holidays, so we wanted to know what kind of  roaming advice she has for fellow Canadians in the same boat. We’ve equipped her with Rogers wireless services to keep her organized and connected. With her iPhone powered by Rogers along for the ride, she’s been taking work on the road and keeping in touch with loved ones.

Where are you are right now as we speak (Dec. 9)?

I’m currently in Cape Town with my family. Cape Town is a stunning destination with an incredible history and we’ve been able to spend time at amazing places like the One&Only Cape Town resort where we were fortunate to try out everything from the Kids Club to the Spa.

Keeping in touch is important for Canadians while abroad. More than three-quarters (77%) of those Canadians who plan to use their mobile phones while travelling during the holidays said they would be connecting with family and loved ones. How has it been for you in terms of working on the road and staying in touch with loved ones?

It’s hard enough to find the time to write a postcard when you take a week’s vacation, on a year-long trip it’s that much harder. Being able to stay in touch with family and friends and colleagues while I’m on the road has been incredible. Having my iPhone along for the ride has not only made it convenient to stay in touch but has also allowed me to access to sites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. It has made keeping our blog up-to-date that much easier. Without the phone? We’d be out of luck.

How and where will you be celebrating the holidays with your family?

We’ll be in Namibia over Christmas. I’m looking forward to taking the kids on their first safari and exploring the people and cultures in the country. A lot of our travel in Namibia will be self-driven and it’s a real comfort to know that even in its most remote areas we’ll have the ability to connect with the world through our phone.

 Besides your iPhone, what other technology did you bring with you?

We’re travelling with two laptops and a tablet. It seems like a lot but because we’re also teaching the kids as we travel and we opted not to bring a ton of books along, they need to have an instrument they can use to access the web for learning and the tablet is easy enough and rugged enough to withstand their rough play. I need a laptop for my writing and my husband uses the other to help edit photos, update our website  or check sports scores from back home. We are all skype users as well and having the laptops and tablet along with us mean we can chat with family and friends back home easily. It also makes long train rides a little easier on everyone.

Have you been using any travel applications on your iPhone, if so which ones?

I’ve got a ton of favourites and I’m finding new ones all the time.  I like the XE Currency App which helps us figure out new currencies as we go. I like that I can keep a list of currencies showing at the same time which means that even if my head is still in Argentinian Pesos, I can also see how many of those are in my South African Rand.  The kids like to find new language apps as we travel: They liked Busuu for Spanish and Babelingo for Mandarin. We have Expedia and TripAdvisor on our phone as well which means we can find hotels and get reviews to help us make a decision. And then there are also things like the Maps app which (when coupled with roaming) allows me to make sure the cab is taking us where he says he is; and the iTorch4 app which gives us a great flashlight for searching in the dark in shared hotel rooms. And there are so many more that we’re starting to check out – especially given that we are home-schooling the boys this year.

Many Canadians like you will be abroad over the holidays, with their phone in hand, what kind of advice do you have for them?

I love that Rogers new roaming passes means you know how much you’re spending up front. I’ve had the data roaming situation in the past where you think you’re managing your phone well but come home to an astronomical bill. The roaming options work much better at allowing me to stay in control of how much we consume. I’d also remind travellers to make sure they keep an eye on apps that might be running behind the scenes without their knowledge. The simplest way to be sure is to turn off your apps when they’re not in use. That way you can be certain any data that is being consumed by your phone is being done on purpose.

 Thanks Heather. We wish you a happy holiday and look forward to hearing more from you.

Heather will be continuing to travel the world, while connected with Rogers, until July of 2012. We will keep you updated on her journey.

Kaili is a regular contributor to RedBoard

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Take TV into your own hands with Rogers Live TV beta app

Rogers Live TV appIf you’ve ever wished you could have a TV in every room of your house, you’re in luck. Introducing the Rogers Live TV app, currently in beta, that lets you stream live TV on your iPad. The latest in TV innovations, and a first in Canada, this new app gives you the freedom to watch  shows from anywhere in the home.

At launch, customers will be able to stream 20  channels through their iPad, with more channels coming soon. And there is no additional cost to Rogers Live TV.

We’re anticipating a full launch of Rogers Live TV app in early 2012.  A version for Android tablets will be available soon.

How it works:

Step 1: Check eligibility – The Rogers Live TV app is available via WiFi to Rogers digital television customers in Ontario who subscribe to Rogers Hi-Speed Internet with a MyRogers account.

Step 2: Set up your MyRogers profile – If you’re already registered for a MyRogers profile, move on to Step 3. If not, just go here to create your profile. Next, associate your Rogers digital television and Hi-Speed Internet accounts to your MyRogers ID. (You will need the account number found on your invoice).

Step 3: Download the app –Just download the free app from the iTunes app store, log in using your MyRogers profile and start streaming.

Step 4: Start streaming! – You’ll now have a selection of great content to watch on your iPad. Not all channels you subscribe to will be available on the app, but we’ll be expanding the list of channels in the future. Like any WiFi usage, Internet datawill count towards your monthly internet bandwidth allotment.

For more info on Rogers Live TV go to www.rogers.com/livetv or check out the FAQ.

Which rooms in your house will you start streaming in?

UPDATE (December 20, 2011, 11:46 am): The Rogers Live TV app is now available for Samsung Galaxy 10.1 tablets. Download it for free here.

Sharon is a regular contributor to RedBoard

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Super fast speeds coming your way: Rogers LTE network now live in more cities around Toronto and Vancouver

Rogers LTE Mississauga, Brampton, Delta and Surrey… the future of fast is here! Today, Canada’s largest and fastest LTE network is now available in more cities in the Greater Toronto Area and surrounding Vancouver, giving more than eight million Canadians access to Rogers LTE network.

The Rogers LTE network offers mobile speeds similar to broadband connections and is now live in more cities in the Greater Toronto Area. Rogers is first to offer an  LTE network to residents in Brampton, Vaughan, Richmond Hill, and Markham. Surrounding Vancouver, Rogers is the first to offer access to an LTE network to the communities of West Vancouver, North Vancouver, Port Coquitlam, Delta, Langley, Surrey and Maple Ridge.

Still looking for Rogers LTE to arrive in your city?  The Rogers LTE network will expand to more than 30 per cent of the population by the end of 2011. You can learn more about Rogers’ LTE network, coverageand device pricing by visiting www.rogers.com/lte. To find out when LTE is coming to your area, sign up for updates at www.IwantmyLTE.ca. Which Rogers LTE device is on your holiday wish list?

Rogers is also the first carrier to offer Canadians the new LTE Rocket mobile hotspot (Sierra Wireless AirCard® 754S). The Rocket mobile hotspot allows you to connect up to five laptops, game systems, music players and more at LTE speeds. Also available, the Rogers exclusive Samsung Galaxy S II LTE smartphone, the HTC Raider smartphone, the Rogers exclusive HTC Jetstream LTE tablet and the Rogers LTE Rocket stick (Sierra Wireless AirCard 313U).

UPDATE (January 20, 2012, 4:18 pm): If you want to read a customer review of Rogers LTE network, check out this post from Howard Forums.

Marina is a regular contributor to RedBoard

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Feelin’ festive: gift giving ideas from Rogers

It’s not always easy finding that perfect gift. Finding a parking spot at the mall can be frustrating and recurring nightmares about a gift giving faux-pas can leave you confused and panicked. Don’t fret. We can help.

I’ve got a few challenging people to buy for on my list this year so recently, I sat down with Stephanie, one of our Data Girls, to talk about some gift giving ideas from Rogers. We talked about ideas for that hard-to-buy for technology junkie, the gamer brother or boyfriend and a foodie relative. Check out this video for a few ideas, or if nothing else, to admire my festive holiday outfit:

Do you have any great gift ideas? What’s been the best (or worst!) gift you’ve ever received?

Miranda is a regular contributor to RedBoard

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Coming to an Xbox near you: Rogers on Demand

I’m a huge Xbox fan, and have been for a very long time; I was at one of the launch parties for the first console way back in 2001! It’s the most important part of my home entertainment experience: from blockbuster releases and independent games to custom portals and behind the scenes videos, the console is the centerpiece of my home video experience. As such, I am really thrilled to be involved in one of our most anticipated new projects.

Here at Rogers, we’re always exploring opportunities to bring you the content you love in new and exciting ways. With that in mind, we are excited to announce that Rogers On Demand will be coming to the Xbox 360 in time for the holidays!

Features and Programming

Our application will be a great way to enjoy Rogers On Demand content from anywhere via your Xbox 360, and will integrate seamlessly with the new Xbox dashboard experience. Features will include:

  • A diverse assortment of TV shows like Mad Men, movies, trailers and curated channels such as the Kids & Family Collection
  • Kinect integration including voice and gesture based commands to browse and load content
  • Predictive search to quickly locate the content you’re looking for

Rogers postpaid wireless, home phone and Internet customers can catch-up on shows from Citytv, CBC and CBC News Network, watch movie trailers and more. Rogers cable TV customers have access to premium channel programming that they subscribe to through their existing cable package.

We are constantly working to add new features and content!  Stay tuned as we add more shows and movies to our ever growing library. Let us know in the comments below if there are features that you would like to see on the Rogers On Demand on Xbox 360 experience.

Availability

The application will be available to all Rogers customers who have an Xbox LIVE Gold membership and a Rogers On Demand Online account. If you are already registered at Rogersondemand.com, you will be good to go! If you haven’t registered yet, be sure to set up a free account for access to a selection of great content on the Xbox 360, select Android devices, iPhone and iPad as well as on your computer.

At Rogers, we’re always working hard to provide new experiences on new platforms. Be sure to let us know what you think in the comments section below. You can also connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

To see the Rogers on Demand application on Xbox in action, check out this short video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FE23cgxOQOc

Are you excited about the Rogers On Demand experience on Xbox 360?

Edward is a regular contributor to RedBoard

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