Archive for June, 2012

Weekend Reading: Canada Day Weekend & the Samsung Galaxy SIII

There’s nothing like the Friday before a long weekend. It’s so close you can almost smell the barbecues, see the fireworks, and hear loons on the lake! It’s important to remember why we’re celebrating though – its Canada’s 145th birthday!

Every year on July 1st Canadians gather to celebrate living in this beautiful country.  But how skilled are you on our country’s history? Do you know the year we first officially had the Canadian flag? Can you name our first Prime Minister? If not, brush up on Canada’s history with About.com’s handy checklist – it will give you an even deeper appreciation amidst celebrating with friends and loved ones! If you’re confident in your knowledge, test it with Maclean’s interactive survey and determine “How Canadian Are You?”

This Canada Day, Rogers is celebrating the launch of Citytv in Saskatchewan. Teaming up with SCN, the SCN.ca website also offers full episodes of Citytv programming for online viewing. Now viewers in Saskatchewan can access even more hit TV shows, with programming that includes Cityline, America’s Got Talent, Modern Family, and the upcoming The Bachelor Canada. You’ll also want to watch for upcoming Saskatchewan productions such as The Neighbor’s Dog, 15 Minutes of Fame, and The Edge of War. By the fall, Citytv plans to be in eight provinces and reach nine million homes.

This week we’re also celebrating the release of the Samsung Galaxy SIII on our LTE network in Canada! With features such as ‘Smart Stay’ and ‘S Beam’, it’s no wonder Mobile Syrup called it “the best Android phone on the market,” while the Financial Post debated if it would be “an Apple iPhone killer.”

Check out our Redboard post featuring a new video displaying some of the Samsung Galaxy SIII’s coolest features. If you managed to snag one before the holiday weekend, you’ll definitely want to download the Rogers Anyplace TV Live mobile app to stay in touch with all your fave sports from the cottage as well! This weekend the Toronto Blue Jays take on the LA Angels, and you can watch the games LIVE from the new Samsung Galaxy SIII.

The Samsung Galaxy SIII is available in stores or online now.

Have you purchased the new Samsung Galaxy SIII yet? What features are you most excited to try out over the long weekend?

Kelly is a regular contributor to RedBoard

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Experience live content with the new Samsung Galaxy S III on the Rogers LTE network

Arriving at Rogers locations today, the highly anticipated Samsung Galaxy S III is the latest LTE smartphone to be added to the Rogers lineup. With intuitive and powerful features that make it easy to share your favourite content, this smartphone is bound to be your new best friend.

Most interesting features? Hands down features like ‘Smart Stay’ are at the top of the list. This feature recognizes eye motion to maintain a bright display so if you’re reading on your device the brightness won’t dim while you’re looking at the screen, so your screen is always optimized for the best viewing experience. There’s also ‘S Beam’ that allows you to share large files such as a 1 GB movie file simply by touching another Galaxy S III device. How awesome is that?

It’s not just what’s under the hood that makes the Samsung Galaxy S III so great, it’s also the hardware.  This device has a 4.8” HD Super AMOLED screen capable of displaying 720 p video. Check out this hands-on video with Stephanie, our data girl, showcasing live-streaming of the Toronto Blue Jays on the Rogers Anyplace TV Live mobile app:

The Rogers Anyplace TV Live mobile app is available on Rogers smartphones through iTunes, Google Play and BlackBerry App World. For a monthly subscription of $5 a month, Rogers Anyplace TV Live gives you access to unlimited hours of viewing until October 31st  after which, users can stream 5 hours per month, with $1 per each additional hour. Additional live sports content is also available, kids programming like Treehouse and YTV, and news such as CityNews.

The Samsung Galaxy S III is now available at Rogers retail locations. Check Rogers.com for more details.

What do you think of the Samsung Galaxy SIII? What’s your favourite feature?

Katie is a regular contributor to RedBoard

The information in this post is current at the date of posting and is subject to change without notice.

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The future of the Internet: from a six year old child’s point of view

When I was six years old, there was no computer, no online shopping… no Internet!  How did I survive?   Today, as I watch my six year old son, I realize how far we’ve come. He has never known life without Internet. His favorite toy since he was 4 has been the iPad. He has watched a handful of TV commercials in his life. He has grown up watching his parents do everyday tasks online.

To my six year old, the Internet is not a place, thing or cool technology, it’s just there!

My son’s future experiences will be supercharged by the Internet. As he starts to grow up, he will start interacting with the world around him more, and as he does, he will find the Internet to be woven into the fabric of his day to day life. The thing is, he won’t actually notice it’s there.   For my son, the online option will be the default option. Print, banks and ATMs, call centers and CDs?  Those will be things his old dad still uses.

Everywhere my son will turn, both at home and wherever he goes, there will be touch screens of different shapes and sizes. They’ll be access points to his online world.  He’ll use his virtual persona (could that be his avatar?) from any of the screens around him.

However, my son will not solely live in a virtual online world. He’ll still visit stores, go to concerts, go out with friends and deal with professionals.   But all these experiences will be augmented by his online interactions.

Stores will know he is coming, and what he likes.  Offers will be presented to his smart phone, as he walks down the street. When he gets to the store, he will be presented with a recommended shopping list of products and services he will like, in the size or color he likes best.  He will even be able to “try on” the outfit on his smartphone if he likes, without getting undressed!

Concerts and sporting events will be enhanced with interactive experiences available at touch of a screen: real-time conversations with friends, back stage views, live playbacks, and clips of the highlights easily shared with friends and family.   And if my son can’t make the event, he’ll be able to access a virtual online version, or experience it through his social connections.

My son will enjoy real time, immediate, intelligent, personal experiences, with the world of possibilities at his fingertips.

To me, that’s phenomenal.

To him that’ll just be the way it is!

What do you think?  Do you see the same future for your children?

Robert Switzman is Rogers Futurist and Senior Director, Convergence. This is his first post on RedBoard. 

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Weekend Reading: device reviews & celebrating St.Jean Baptiste Day

Report: 57% of Mobile Developers Plan To Adopt Windows Phone

This week, Tech Crunch published a study on Windows Phones, which found that 57 per cent of app developers plan to develop for the Windows Phone platform. According to a new report by market analysis and strategy firm VisionMobile, the appeal seems to be the ease of coding and prototyping apps, combined with the low cost of development and a lower learning curve.

Tablet popularity is also on the rise with developers – almost half of the mobile developers surveyed are targeting tablets, while almost 75% of iOS developers do already. Smartphones still have the lead though, dominating with 85% of the market. Check out the full study for more on platforms, territories and revenue in the full article at Tech Crunch.

Latest Device Reviews: HTC One X and the Samsung Galaxy Note

With the Beats Audio Integration, a 4.7” HD 720p screen, 8MP camera, and LTE speeds, it’s no surprise the HTC One X is receiving kudos from some of the industry’s top bloggers.

Our new friends at Cadence Canada took the HTC One X out for a night on the town recently during the NXNE festival in Toronto. Check out some exclusive shots the HTC One X captured from various concerts: Part 1: June 13 at The Crawford and Part 2: June 14 at The Gladstone Hotel Ballroom.

This week, we also posted about a campaign Rogers and HTC have teamed up on that allows you to create your own music track on YouTube with the HTC One X. Check out the “choose-your-own-adventure” video and share your masterpiece on Twitter with #TheStudio hashtag!

And don’t forget about the Samsung Galaxy Note released earlier this year. IT Nerd went all out in a 2 part series review of the device, first analyzing the display and functionality, then testing out the camera and video capabilities at the High Park Zoo. Read up on Part 1 and beautifully shot Part 2 up now!

Happy St. Jean Baptiste Day to our Quebec readers!

This Monday, we honour one of Quebec’s favourite holidays! About.com has a great listing of what’s open on Monday, as well as a summary of some of the best local events to check out. Brush up on some history, visit the Montreal Bonfire, or check out the Ecomuseum Zoo – all great ways to celebrate St. Jean Baptiste Day!

Kelly is a regular contributor to RedBoard

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Do you love LTE? Tell us & you could win a new LTE device from Rogers

Rogers LTE launch 1 year anniversary contestNext month we will celebrate the one year anniversary of LTE in Canada. In July 2011, Rogers was the first to bring LTE to Canada with the launch of our network in Ottawa. Today, many city launches later, we offer LTE to 12 million Canadians and will cover 60 per cent of the population this year. We introduced even faster LTE speeds as the first to launch LTE devices that work on both the 1700/2100MHz and 2600 spectrum offering typical download speeds of up to 40 Mbps and maximum theoretical download speeds of up to 100 Mbps.* We’ve made exciting progress and the journey continues as we continue to expand our network and launch more LTE devices.

Many of you have told us that you love LTE and that it’s changed your digital lives. We want to hear your stories! In 100 words or less tell us how LTE has made your life better for a chance to win one of the following LTE devices:

Has LTE transformed your gaming experience? Allowed you to live stream sports in a way that was only a dream not that long ago? Made downloading music and movies so fast that it’s freed up time for other things and reduced your stress levels? Has it improved your business or given you flexibility to do more on the go and improve your bottomline? We are looking for specific examples.

We’ll be selecting the top 8 finalists and publishing their entries on RedBoard on June 28th.  From the 8 finalists, we’ll be doing a random draw for 4 winners. For full contest details and rules, go here.

UPDATE (June 28, 2012, 12:24 p.m.): The LTE one year anniversary contest is now over. A HUGE thank you to everyone who participated and shared your stories with us. We got everything from connected grandmas to on-the-go student and you blew us away with your creative entries. We’re going to take some time to review all the eligible entries before announcing the finalists. If you are a finalist, we’ll be contacting you via email. Stay tuned!

Sara is a regular contributor to RedBoard

*Within Rogers LTE network footprint. Based on tests comparing data throughput speeds and on geographic coverage area comparison (in square kilometers) to Bell and Telus’ LTE networks.  See www.rogers.com/coverage for full details on Rogers LTE network coverage.

Contest closes at noon ET on June 28, 2012. Open to residents Canada who are 18 years or older. Limit of one (1) entry per person. Prizes: one Sierra Wireless LTE Hotspot Prize Pack (value of $300), one Samsung Galaxy Note (value of $649.99), one Samsung Galaxy 8.9 LTE tablet (value of$649.99), one Samsung Galaxy SIII 16GB (value of$649.99). Odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries and the quality of the comments. Mathematical skill-testing question to be correctly answered to win. No Purchase Necessary. Full rules here. 

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Release your inner music pro with the HTC One X from Rogers in The Studio

Have you ever wanted to create your own music track? Here’s your chance. We’ve teamed up with HTC to create an interactive choose-your-own-adventure style video on YouTube where you can create your own music track like a pro.

Just like those choose-your-own adventure stories you used to read as a kid, this video will give you the chance to work with a fictional music producer to create your own custom music track.

In video, you’re mistaken for a big-time LA music producer who is asked to step into a music studio and mix a new track. Throughout the video, you get to pick what type of music genre and audio elements you want to include in your song like cowbells or triangle or even things like pygmy grunts or buzz synth. At the end, you get to listen to your masterpiece enclosed within the awesome HTC One X, Canada’s first smartphone with Beats Audio™ and share it with your friends.

How did your music track work out? Did you discover your hidden talent? To find out what other people are saying, follow #TheStudio on Twitter.

Miranda is a regular contributor to RedBoard

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Introducing Anson Liaw: Rogers public gallery artist

Rogers Public Gallery artist Anson Liaw

Anson Liaw poses beside his artwork along with members of the staff of the Rogers store located at 764 Yonge Street in Toronto. From left to right is Diamond Osoteo, Mervin Aleman, Matthew Schmidt, Anson Liaw, Chase Crawford and Raya Dikova

Meet Anson Liaw. This Toronto-based illustrator/artist has been doodling, drawing and painting since he was just 2 years old. After graduating from the Ontario College of Art & Design (OCAD) in 1989, he’s been involved in dozens of projects ranging from magazine and book publications to corporate and advertising communications.

His latest project? A giant mural, prominently displayed at our new Rogers store at Yonge and Bloor in Toronto. This piece of art is part of the new Rogers Public Gallery, a community project where we feature the work of local artists on a “public canvas” in three Rogers stores in Toronto and Barrie.

The art is in the form of an oversized picture frame located at the front of the stores. Artists are invited to submit images based on a set of criteria, which changes regularly. If selected, the artist will receive a one-time honorarium and the piece will be displayed in-store for up to 6 months.

For the first image, Anson was asked to submit an image that embodies the core Toronto Blue Jays personality and values such as integrity, passion for winning and teamwork. Anson’s piece, entitled Foundation of Dreams to Reality, is designed to commemorate the commitment of the Jays Care Foundation to communities across Canada . His style is said to have “a graphic, yet painterly style coupled with concept and design thinking.” These qualities, according to Anson, are the key to visually telling a story.

Anson has received loads of recognition and awards for his work including being named one of Luerzer’s ARCHIVE 200 best illustrators. When he’s not designing beautiful artwork for our retail locations, Anson teaches at OCAD. To check out more of Anson’s work, go to www.illoz.com/liaw

Interested in being part of Rogers Public Gallery?

If you are interested in participating in the program, send an email to publicgallery@rci.rogers.com requesting  more information. We’ll send details about criteria and technical requirements.

You can also ask the staff at any of the stores that have the public gallery as part of their store design. The three stores are located at the Toronto Eaton Centre, Yonge and Bloor (764 Yonge Street) and Georgian Mall in Barrie.

Miranda is a regular contributor to RedBoard

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Summer vacation agenda: road trips, travel & Rogers Anyplace TV Live app

The arrival of warmer temperatures also means many families are starting to plan their summer vacations. Whether its road trips or just a day at home, we know that keeping kids entertained all summer long can sometimes be a challenge.

When it comes to travelling with kids this summer, we’ve got just the thing: Treehouse and YTV are now available on Rogers Anyplace TV Live app on your Rogers smartphone. If you’re a busy, always on the go kind of family, this app will come in handy. Whether you’re driving the kids to camp, up north or back and forth to all their summer activities and hobbies, you can keep the kids entertained and occupied with their favourite TV shows.

If you’re an avid sports fan, you’re probably already familiar with our live app for smartphones for live streaming sports. From hockey playoffs andRaptors, to the Blue Jays – you’ve had it all in the palm of your hands.

The app, formerly known as the “Rogers Live Mobile app,” is now referred to as Rogers Anyplace TV Live app.  The Rogers Anyplace TV  brand is the ultimate cross platform experience in Canada: across computer, tablet, smartphone, and Xbox. Entertainment, news, sports on the screen of your choice, anytime you want it.

What you need to know about the Rogers Anyplace TV Live app for smartphones:

  • The app is available on Rogers smartphones through iTunes, Google Play and BlackBerry App World.
  • For $5/month, fans can enjoy unlimited hours of viewing until October 31st, after which, users can stream 5 hours per month, with $1 per each additional hour.
  • The live and on demand smartphone apps for Rogers Anyplace TV are also included in $12.79 and $16.79 value packs

When I reminisce on my rambunctious childhood, specifically times when my little sister and I would belt out the same song over and over on family road trips, I really commend my parents for their patience with us.If this app would have existed during our loud and energetic outbursts, I’m positive my parents would have taken full advantage of it.

With the Rogers Anyplace TV Live app you get live games like the Blue Jays, basketball, hockey, tennis and music concerts, news such as CityNews, and kids programming like YTV and Treehouse. With Rogers Anyplace TV On Demand on your smartphone, you get up to 60 On Demand channels, including Citytv, CBC, W Network, TMN, Teletoon, TVO Kids, HGTV Canada and movie trailers.

We’re curious to hear from you, as we continue to add more content to our Rogers Anyplace TV lineup, what genre of entertainment is your favourite to take on the go, i.e. sports, news, primetime TV, etc.?

Kaili is a regular contributor to RedBoard

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Weekend Reading: summer gear guide, teens & tech

Weekend Reading from Rogers RedBoardTeens and tech

How young is too young to have a Facebook account? This question has been hotly debated for the last week after the Wall Street Journal  recently reported that Facebook is developing tools that might enable it to extend membership to children under 13. The Globe and Mail published an article summarizing some of the security and privacy issues this change could cause while also acknowledging that many preteens are already on Facebook. On RedBoard, we actually had similar discussion this week with @KatiaMillar and @GingerMommy where we talked about technology and families. One of the questions we posed to both moms was around advice for parents who are considering giving their children a cellphone. Check out what they had to say here and if you’re a parent, feel free to join the discussion in the comments section.

Father’s Day

Speaking of families, you know its Father’s Day on Sunday, right? Forgot about a gift? Well, why not treat dear old Dad to a movie night? Connected Magazine published a great article on The Best Superhero flicks that might spark some ideas. From men of steel to caped crusaders, these superhero movies could be exactly what you need for a night-in with Dad. Still thinking about a last minute gift? Check out TIME magazine’s last minute Father’s Day shopping guide on what not to buy this year.

Engadget’s summer gear guide

Recently, Engadget compiled a great list of the hottest summer devices. With vacations looming on the not-too-distant horizon, a great new smartphone can help be a huge help. Not only can you stay connected to family and friends, but with the right device, looking up directions, finding that perfect spot to eat or checking into flights is a piece of cake. Some devices high on their list are the HTC One X, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and the Nokia Lumia 900. Check out their full buyer’s guide here.

Miranda is a regular contributor to RedBoard

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APPealing apps for Father’s Day

fathers day apps from Rogers RedBoardLast month we honoured moms everywhere for Mother’s Day by dedicating a post to showcase 5 essential apps for tech-savvy moms. So with Father’s Day around the corner, we had to pay equal tribute to all the great tech-savvy dads out there too!

For starters, what’s Dad hoping for this year? We found an infographic on Silicon Republic for dads with equally revealing stats that may surprise you – for instance, according to Tech Bargains, 65% of dad’s would rather receive NO gift at all than a tie! Tech ranked high with moms in May, and it looks like dads are no different –48% want tech gadgets, but only 23% will get them. For those lucky 23% we’ve picked 5 more essential apps to deck out dad’s gadgets with – for the other 48% there’s still time,so get shopping!

iHandy Carpenter – $1.99

This app is a staple for any how-to dad for house repairs or remodeling projects. The app includes a surface level, a bubble level bar, a protractor and a ruler for all his measurement needs. For $2, you give dad a 5-in-1 surprise that won’t burn a hole in your wallet.

Available on iPhone, iPod Touch, orAndroid

Live sports on your smartphone for only $5/month

We’ve got dad covered this year with our Rogers Anyplace TV Live app for smartphones. Bonus: with this app, your dad can stream unlimited hours until October 31st! Watch live games on the go– your dad’s ticket to every Blue Jays game of the season no matter where he is! Plus we’ll be serving up the Rogers Cup soon, Canada’s premiere tennis event! For more info on this app, check out our post here.

Available on iPhone, Android, or BlackBerry.

Bonus – get the MLB Full Count app for iPhone or iPad

The Home Depot – Free

With over 100,000 products to browse and purchase, the app offers essentially everything the brick and mortar stores do right at your fingertips! Once dad finds an item he likes, he can even check his store’s inventory and scan UPC codes.

Available on iPhone, Android and Windows

Grill-It! XL – $1.99

Summer is many things, but to most men – it’s BBQ season! Featured in Maxim magazine,Grill-It has new recipes added every week. From burgers to steaks to sausages, this app is sure to satisfy dad’s primal instincts.

Available on iPad

Garage Buddy – $0.99

This app is the most basic necessity for any enthusiastic motorist. Providing users with all the tools needed to calculate, measure or convert, your dad will be ready to build cars for sport, or take on basic repairs.

Available on iPhone and iPad

If you insist on getting dad a tie this year, at least show him how to use it with this handy How To Tie a Tie app! Happy Father’s Day everyone!

Kelly is a regular contributor to RedBoard

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