Archive for 2012

The Rogers Top-12-of-2012

10! 9! 8! 7! The countdown is on! As we wind down another busy year here at Rogers, here’s a look back at some of the important milestones we reached in 2012.

Do you have any to add?

  1. Speed: We put a lot of emphasis on the ever-increasing speed of our networks this year. Have you tried the wild-and-crazy Rogers Speed Experience yet? Santa did! From our LTE network, to increasing our internet speeds to our full range of devices, speed was definitely on everyone’s lips in 2012.
  2. Innovation: We’ve always been an innovative company. Our Rogers Innovation Reports highlight our commitment to innovation through a series of surveys highlighting mobile and Internet usage by Canadians. Did you check out our latest? It highlights 2012 trends and your tech predictions for the years ahead. If all your holiday sugar and eggnog has made you data hungry, you can check out all our Rogers Innovation Reports on Slideshare.
  3. LTE: Innovation and speed came together for us in a big way in 2012 as we built upon our success as the first Canadian wireless company to launch an LTE network, in Ottawa, in 2011, followed by Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. 2012 brought the  opening of additional markets from coast to coast, including cities like Victoria, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Regina, Kingston, Quebec City, Moncton and St. John’s.
  4. Rogers One Number: February blues? Not at Rogers! It was the month we launched Rogers One Number. “RON” as the service is known to its friends, lets you talk, text and send picture messages, and video chat with other Rogers One Number users, all from your computer using your existing phone number. By using Rogers One Number, all calls to Canadian numbers, video chats with other Rogers One Number users and outgoing wireless text messages are free. Did you catch our contest winners’ Rogers One Number chat with Canada’s very own Hedley?
  5. Mobile Payments and Rogers suretap: We teamed up with CIBC to bring mobile payment to Rogers customers earlier this year. Canadian athlete extraordinaire Simon Whitfield was on hand to make Rogers’ first mobile payment. To learn more about how mobile payments and Rogers suretap work, check out our Rogers suretap video on YouTube.
  6. Next is Now … More than Ever: this 2nd in our ongoing video series looks at statistics that speak to how much Canadians value the Internet, smart appliances, the development of the dual-screen experience with TVs and tablets, smartphone usage, digital wallets, and the impact the Internet is having on health, government, education, and shopping. Have you checked it out yet?
  7. Windows 8: How proud were we to be chosen by Microsoft as the preferred Canadian wireless partner for the launch of the highly anticipated Windows 8! We’re bringing the largest selection of Windows 8 devices to the Canadian market, releasing the Nokia 920 back in October. For all the latest details on our Windows 8 offering, visit rogers.com/windows8.
  8. iPhone 5: what would a Rogers year be without an iPhone launch? It sends our sales and marketing teams, our call centres and our clients into an excited frenzy every time. The iPhone 5 brought us a slimmer device with an improved camera and loads of other rich features. Which iPhone 5 feature is your favourite?
  9. BlackBerry 10: Not to be outdone, the upcoming BlackBerry 10 is causing quite a stir. So much so that we’re already taking orders for it! Head over to rogers.com to reserve yours today.
  10. Exclusive devices: Whether it’s the Windows Phone 8X by HTC (8 GB), Nokia Lumia 920, the Samsung ATIV Smart PC and ATIV S Smartphone or the LG Optimus G 2600, 2012 brought Rogers customers access to an exciting range of exclusive smartphones, tablets and apps. Which is your current fave?
  11. Rogers Smart Home Monitoring: Remember the Jetsons? How cool is it that the life George, Jane, Judy and Elroy lived is (almost) here? Ok so maybe we don’t all have our own personal Rosey-the-robot-maid, and we’re not heading off to work in flying cars, but George and Jane would definitely feel at home with Rogers Smart Home Monitoring. From controlling sensors, cameras, thermostats, lights and small appliances remotely through your computer or smartphone, Rogers gives you a taste of the world Hanna Barbara could only imagine when they created the Jetson universe 50 years ago.
  12. Rogers Anyplace TV: Sports on your tablet. What more could a die-hard fan want? Sure, from Vancouver to Toronto to Montreal and everywhere in between we’re mourning our hockey season, but being able to watch the Jays or Raptors or the NBA or Sportsnet on our tablets helps ease the pain. And if sports aren’t your thing, no worries: Rogers Anyplace TV has something for you too. Ring in the New Year with any one of our new releases. Men in Black 3 maybe? Or how about Resident Evil: Retribution? Paranorman? I know! Why not enjoy the perfect merge of sports and Hollywood with Clint Eastwood’s Trouble with the Curve? So many choices! Stop me now or I’ll be recommending movies into 2014!

Wow! What a year! So … have we forgotten anything? Which one of these great innovations changed your life in 2012? Drop by one of our newly revamped concept stores to tell us all about it! (I just had to slip a 13th in there … we’re on the cusp of 2013 after all!)

Happy new year everyone! All the best to you and yours: health and happiness for 2013, from our family to yours.

Michelle is a regular RedBoard contributor.

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A nation of Nomophobes : 83% of Canadians smartphone users take their devices to the bathroom, 51% to bed

Our annual survey of Canadian technology trends and predictions, is back! We surveyed Canadian smartphone and tablet users like you to find out what you’ve been up to in 2012, and to get a sense of where you think we’re heading in 2013 and beyond. Check out our Rogers Innovation Report infographic below to how you compare to other Canadians when it comes to some of the more common “Day in the life” statistics. From taking your smartphones to bed (51%) and to the bathroom with you (83%), to enjoying your erotica on e-readers and tablets (10%) to streaming Gangnam Style on your devices (43%), 2012 clearly showed that technology has become an integral part of our lives. Why, some might even say we’re a nation of Nomophobes! *

* Nomophobia : noun. A state of stress caused by having no access to or being unable to use one’s mobile phone.

Other interesting stats that emerged from the Rogers Innovation Report:

  • 67% believe that mobile payment will be the payment method of choice within 2 years;
  • 59% predict that within the next 2 years more Canadians will work from home thanks to developments in cloud technology and faster mobile speeds;
  • 82% believe that integrated technology systems that seamlessly connect 2 or more devices will increase in popularity in 2013;
  • 78% believe e-book sales will increase significantly in 2013. In 2011, that stat was 37%.

You can access the complete Rogers Innovation Report on Slideshare at slideshare.net/Rogers.

Join us on Twitter to discuss this year’s results using the #RIRExplores hashtag.

Michelle is a regular RedBoard contributor.

 

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New tablet for Christmas? Top apps for your iPad, Android tablet or Windows tablet

It’s that lovely week in between Christmas and New Year’s where there’s little to do but spend time with loved ones and revel in the goodies from Santa! Hopefully you all had a great holiday and got some cool new gadgets to play with, including this year’s number one in demand gift – tablets!

We figured with the launch of all the Android, Windows and iOS tablets, many of our readers might be looking for the best apps to get started. So we’ve compiled a list of some of our faves that every tablet owner should have.

 

Check them out and let us know if you like them or have other favourites in the comments below.

For the media lovers:

Songza

A personal favourite, this app recently made the iTunes “App Store Best of 2012” list. Stream thousands of original playlists from music experts, select the “Music Concierge” to find the right music for your moments, OR browse curated playlists for activity, genre, decade, or mood. The best part? It’s FREE.

Available for Android and Apple.

Honourable mention: TuneIn Radio on Windows – browse by music, sport, news, comedy, chat, language, country, or even just find a local station with this handy app!

Rogers Anyplace TV Tablet

No time for prime-time? Catch up on your favorite shows with Rogers Anyplace TV Tablet app. Use your tablet to access on demand shows, movies and more anywhere you go. (Some restrictions may apply).

Available for Apple, Android, and Windows.

For the jet-setters:

Flightboard

Winner of the 2012 Webby Award for best travel app, FlightBoard lets you check out the boards of your favorite airports and view all the flight information in real-time!

Available for Android and Apple.

Fotopedia Heritage

Created in cooperation with the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, Fotopedia Heritage provides a virtual passport to the hundreds of sites that constitute the world’s collective cultural and natural human legacy. This gorgeous app is a must-have for any explorer.

Available for Apple.

Honourable mention: Wikipedia on Windows – “featured pictures” will catch your eye, then clicking on any of these drills down to the relevant article, carefully formatted for better display on mobile devices.

For the news gurus:

Flipboard

Create a personalized magazine out of everything being shared with you. Flip through both your social media newsfeeds and publications in one app. See why Flipboard has been named Apple’s iPad App of the Year, one of TIME’s Top 50 Innovations, the top social app at the 2012 Webby Awards!

Available for Apple and Android.

Pocket

Formerly known as ‘Read it Later,’ Pocket automatically syncs to your phone, tablet, or computer so you can view anything you find online any time, even without an internet connection. A great companion to Flipboard for any online addict!

Available on Android and Apple.

Honourable mention: News Bento on Windows – shows you tiles constantly-updating news photos and headlines from top US sites.

For New Year’s fitness resolutions:

My Fitness Pal

With the largest food database of any calorie counter (over 2 million foods), and amazingly fast food and exercise entry, it’s no wonder PC Magazine made it the Editor’s Choice Selection, and Wired Magazine’s Editor’s Pick for Lifestyle Apps.

Available for Apple, Android, Blackberry, and Windows.

Nike Training Club

Get lean, toned and strong with more than 114 custom-built workouts. Just choose a workout that fits your goal, set it to your music, share your progress, and earn rewards, Finally, your own personal trainer, anytime, anywhere!

Available for Android and Apple.

Which apps are your favourites?

Kelly is a regular contributor to RedBoard

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Keep calm and merry on: holiday essentials guide

keep calm and merry on The big day is a mere week away. The last minute purchases and hectic scheduling of holiday engagements prove that this is one of the most chaotic times of the year. I try to stay peaceful each holiday season by maintaining a handful of my own annual traditions. My top activity is simply being up north and trekking through the snow, and eventually heading inside to linger by the fireplace with a hot chocolate and classic festive flick in hand.

I also recommend these five holiday essentials listed below. They may help you rejoice in the festive spirit of the season, without getting too exhausted before the New Year.

1. Get the Fireplace (channel) burning (channel 204) – Sadly, I don’t have a real fireplace in the city, that being the case, this is the modern equivalent to lighting up that warm glow in your home. Did you know that it actually sounds like a crackling wood log.

2. Establish your musical mood- Galaxie holiday music channels on your TV – I always have music playing in the background and these channels are the perfect excuse to crank up the carols while I’m entertaining or feverishly baking away. Rogers digital TV customers can enjoy the following:

  • Holiday Favourites - channel 710
  • Franco Fêtes – channel 750
  • Smooth Jazz Christmas - channel 744
  • If you’re by your computer, click on the Holiday music video playlist here.

3. Holiday movie marathon mode- The Holiday Cheer collection on Rogers On Demand, channel 100 has the movies you’ve been eagerly waiting to re-watch while you’re snuggled up indoors such as Miracle on 34th Street (classic and remake), National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and one my childhood favourites, All I want for Christmas. This year Ed Burns came into town for the premiere of The Fitzgerald Family Christmas. I absolutely fell in love with this film, which he wrote, directed and stars in. It’s also available on RogersAnyplaceTV.com.

4. Reconnect with loved ones – if you’re a Rogers wireless customer and have friends and family across Canada and around the world, sign up for Rogers One Number to extend your mobile number to your computer and compatible tablets.  Bonus: users have unlimited Canada-wide calling when using the Rogers One Number web phone on their computer or tablet. This way if your cousin abroad can’t make it to dinner or for the unwrapping of gifts, just save a chair for your computer or tablet and have them virtually present (I have yet to do this, but it does seem highly entertaining).

5. Rock out - Electronic dance music fans out West, check out Contact powered by Rogers; Western Canada’s largest EDM festival at BC Place in Vancouver taking place on December 26. Featuring Deadmau5 unhooked, Alesso, Nero and more. Rogers Wireless Box Office ticket holders get in early and Rogers pays the ticket service fees. If you’re shopped out, this is another great way to spend Boxing Day.

Wishing you a very merry next couple weeks!

I’m curious, what’s your favourite holiday film or song?

Kaili is regular contributor to RedBoard

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Away over the holidays? Stay close to home with Rogers Smart Home Monitoring

Rogers Smart Home MonitoringHome Alone is my all-time favourite Christmas movie. Left to his own devices, young Kevin McAllister manages to fend off house burglars Harry and Marv – otherwise known as the Wet Bandits – by setting a complicated series of traps, which they manage to walk into at every turn.

Like the Wet Bandits, many burglars across the country view the holidays as prime break-in season. As many Canadian families take off on vacation, houses are left filled with new gift items like electronics, jewelry and other valuables. That’s why protecting your home has never been more important.

You may already be aware of Rogers Smart Home Monitoring, a home monitoring and automation service that lets  you control sensors, cameras, thermostats, lights and small appliances remotely through your computer or smartphone. So whether you’re visiting the in-laws for a weekend, have taken off to Florida for Christmas break, or you’re skiing with the family this holiday season, you can keep a close watch on your home and be alerted the instant a problem occurs.

Rogers Smart Home Monitoring doesn’t just keep your house safe and secure from outside intruders. It is an ultimate in ‘peace of mind’ technology, monitoring everything from water seepage, carbon monoxide levels, to lighting, and now with a new feature, it allows you to tailor and personalize the system to meet your needs. So if you’re like me and manage to leave your hair straightener on every morning, you can turn it off remotely on your way to work.

And upgrades and enhancements are always being made to the product. Here are just a few new Rogers Smart Home Monitoring features:

  • Outdoor wireless night-vision camera: now stay alerted of activity in your own backyard
  • Appliance switch: remotely turn any appliance or lamp in your home on and off, with no extra outlet required
  • Free Android™, BlackBerry® and iPhone Smart Home Monitoring Apps:  Available to all Rogers Smart Home Monitoring customers, these apps let you securely view and control your system from anywhere, using your smartphone or tablet

We’ll continue to update you on news and new features of Rogers Smart Home Monitoring over the coming months. Not only that, we will keep you informed of how some of our customers are experiencing the system and how they’ve tailored Rogers Smart Home Monitoring to meet their families’ needs.

To find out more about Rogers Smart Home Monitoring, go to www.rogers.com/smart

How do you plan to keep your house safe this holiday season?

Michelle is a regular contributor to RedBoard

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Live basketball coverage from Sportsnet and NBA TV- no matter where you are

Sportsnet You know that feeling when a pivotal game is playing on your TV and the final critical minutes are approaching, and you need to step out the door or even worse you’re rushing home, trying not to miss the intense conclusion? At Rogers, we live and breathe sports, which is why we understand the sense of urgency to catch the court action in real time. With Rogers Anyplace TV, you have basketball at your fingertips; live streaming Sportsnet and NBA TV coverage on both your computer and smartphone.

The Raptors have tipped off the season, and the next Sportsnet broadcast, against the Detroit Pistons is on Wednesday December 19th in Toronto. Fans have been getting ramped up for a dramatic series of games ahead. The team has undergone some considerable changes in the off-season. Additions like Jonas Valanciunas, Kyle Lowry and Raptors rookie Terrence Ross have basketball enthusiasts eager to see how the season will unfold.

Here’s how to stay close to your hoops action:

On your computer: Rogers digital TV customers who subscribe to Sportsnet and Sportsnet ONE can click on Rogers Anyplace TV.com/sports to catch all the live b-ball action at no extra cost. Live stream additional out-of-market games on your computer via NBA TV Canada (over 100 games).

On your smartphone: From coast to coast, Rogers wireless customers with iOS, AndroidWindows and BlackBerry smartphones can download the Rogers Anyplace TV Live app. You can live stream additional out of market games via Sportsnet on your phone.  For $5/month, the app provides 5 hours of viewing with overage charges of $1 per additional hour. Until April 30, 2013 overage charges are waived providing unlimited viewing.

In your opinion, what’s the one sport you absolutely need to watch live?

Kaili is a regular contributor to RedBoard

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Weekend Reading: The Year in Review

Well folks, 2012 has been a blast and I hope you’ve enjoyed our Weekend Reading series as much as I’ve enjoyed sharing them. With the holidays upon us, we’ve decided to take a short break – this is our final edition for 2012! Don’t worry Weekend Reading will resume January 4, 2013 bringing you trends, hot topics and stories from around the globe.

Since this is the last Weekend Reading of the year, we thought it might be appropriate to take a look back on some of the top stories that were shared online in 2012. Facebook, Twitter and Google all came out with reports this week on what was being shared, tweeted and Googled worldwide, while Time Magazine and Mobile Mag both expressed their opinions on the top gadgets and innovations of 2012 respectively.

So sit back with some cocoa or eggnog by the fireplace, and review the past 12 months with us – Happy Holidays everyone, see you in the New Year! 

2012 online year in review

With only 2 weeks left in 2012, some of the biggest names synonymous with social started releasing their year-end reports on some of the hottest trends this year.

On Wednesday, Facebook posted a look back at the people, moments and things that created the most buzz in 2012. Categories included events, songs, movies, check-ins, public figures, books, tech, politics, TV, sports, and memes – now that was a mouthful! Check out the comprehensive list here and see how many you posted about.  Interestingly, you can also create your own “Year in Review” to see your own 20 biggest moments you shared with your network.

Twitter also posted their “Year on Twitter” where people can check out Golden Tweets, Pulse of the Planet, Only on Twitter, Trends, and New Voices. Unsurprising, a lot of the topics mirrored Facebook’s results as well – but who could have guessed #throwbackthursday would be such a hit, coming in at #9 in Conversation Starters! You can also check out your personal year on Twitter at Visify.

Mobile Mag also devised their own Top Mobile Technology Innovations of 2012 revealing what they thought were the most innovative mobile technologies making their way into the “mainstream” this year. Wireless technology and NFC technology made the cut in Mobile Mag, while in a similar report, Time Magazine ranked the iPhone 5 as its Gadget of the Year.

But what was Canada in particular interested in this year? According to Google’s Zeitgeist 2012, Toronto is the most searched city in Google Maps, bacon is the most searched Canadian food, and teacher is the most searched career/job. More quirky stats in the full report here.

What stood out for you in 2012? Any surprises?

Kelly is a regular contributor for RedBoard

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Bringing to life all that’s fast with Rogers this holiday season

Rogers has placed their bets on superfast speeds this holiday season.

We are offering you the latest, blazing fast tech gear on the fastest network and internet speeds available. In fact, Rogers is offering our fastest LTE speeds in Toronto, Ottawa, Vancouver and Montreal, and has introduced its fastest internet yet – the new Rogers Ultimate internet has doubled top-download speeds from up to 75 Mbps to up to 150 Mbps. So whether you need to do some last minute online shopping with your smartphone, or download holiday music on your computer for the family, you can rest assured all your last minute tasks will get crossed off your to-do list.

We also have a great holiday lineup of superfast devices and gift ideas for the whole family. Going with the theme of speed, we sought the help of Guinness World Record holding fast talker, John Moschitta Jr. to give us a superfast run-down of this season’s lineup, including Canada’s fastest smartphone and Rogers exclusive, the LG Optimus G 2600:

And we’re giving Canadians the chance to have the ultimate Rogers Speed Experience. What is the Rogers Speed Experience you might ask? Participants enter what feels almost like a wind tunnel or roller-coaster ride, and are invited to upload their ‘speed face’ video on to their own Facebook page.

Here’s your chance: The Rogers Speed Experience will be touring in Montreal and Toronto throughout December, so you too can experience revolutionary speed. Check out upcoming locations on our Facebook page. 

Holiday Speed Showcase Event

We wanted to bring all of our superfast devices and services together for media and bloggers to experience, so last week, Rogers hosted a speed showcase event. It was a speedy-themed affair where guests were invited to experience our product lineup, take part in a speed talking challenge, hosted by John Moschitta Jr., and enjoy the Rogers Speed Experience for themselves.

Here are a few highlights from the day’s events

Rogers Holiday Speed Showcase

Picture 1 of 4

David Lo, Manager of Product Strategy at Rogers, demonstrates the Windows 8 ecosystem

Michelle is a regular contributor to RedBoard

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Friends of Simon and the Rogers Youth Fund: when a tutoring session is so much more…

Sometimes, a tutoring session is just a tutoring session. Sometimes, it’s much more. More is what happens at Friends of Simon (as in Simon Fraser University!) one of the many community organisations that benefit from Rogers Youth Fund. Created about six years ago by Paul Shaker, Professor emeritus and then SFU Dean of Education, Friends of Simon offers not only after-school tutoring, but emotional support to hundreds of young immigrants, including refugees, who have settled in BC’s Lower Mainland. At the same time, Friends of Simon provides a work program for university students who are matched with students aged 8-15 to ensure educational success.

We sat down with Professor Shaker, and two people working hard on the ground for Friends of Simon, Angela Flumerfelt, project coordinator, and one of her tutors, Joanne Miyaoka, to talk about the important work done by Friends of Simon. Here’s what they had to say:

Q: Why start a program like Friends of Simon?

Professor Shaker: As Dean of Education, I was looking for a community engagement project for our faculty. I also realized that our university students had a lot to share. I’d been inspired by a similar initiative out of Fresno, California, and was fortunate enough to find others who believed in the importance of this initiative as well. Our mission at the time was to help young immigrants, aged 8-12, settle into their new lives here in Canada. That meant success in school and the sense that they were part of a new community. Friends of Simon brings them not only scholastic, but moral support. With the help of Rogers Youth Fund, we’re now extending Friends of Simon to youth up to 15 years of age.

Q: What impact does Friends of Simon have?

Joanne Miyaoka: I see it every day, working with a young boy from the Karen tribe who spent years of his young life hiding in the jungle and living in refugee camps. He told me he’s been afraid to sleep. Now, he smiles, because he feels safe for the first time in his life. When he came to us, his English was at a level 1. Now, he’s at Level 4, which means that he’s caught up to all the other ESL students. That’s great progress in just a couple of years. Friends of Simon has helped some kids cope with bullying, and others escape from gangs. I realize now why our group is called Friends of Simon. We don’t just tutor these children. We become their friends and mentors. I’m really proud to be associated with Friends of Simon and I know my experiences here will be with me for the rest of my life.

Q: Is a Friends of Simon tutor just a tutor?

Angela Flumerfelt: They’re much much more than just tutors to the young people in our program. Just take the example of “Amira”, a student whose family emigrated from the Middle East. Amira has physical and learning disabilities. Friends of Simon was there for her when she first came to Canada and provided a safe haven for her. She became very attached to the university-aged women who tutor her. Now, Amira towers over us, but she still travels across town to participate in our after-school program as it’s not currently offered at the high school she’s attending. For me, the academic part of the Friends of Simon program is a by-product of the really critical piece, which is the relationship building. Our tutors build relationships and become role-models to our young students, and that’s fundamental. In many cases our students don’t already have university-level role models in their lives. Friends of Simon shows them that anything is possible, and young people like Amira will choose to continue to work with us to make sure that happens. I’d love nothing more than to see one of our students, like Amira, return to us one day as a tutor.

We’re proud to help support Friends of Simon, who are making a positive impact on the community they serve, through the Rogers Youth Fund.

Were you lucky enough to have a mentor like the tutors at Friends of Simon when you were young? Tell us about it in the comments section below. We’d love to hear your story.

Michelle is a regular contributor to Redboard

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