Archive for January, 2013

Rogers Customers Get a Sneak Peek at the New BlackBerry 10 Devices

Back in December, Rogers customers were the first to be able to reserve the new BlackBerry 10 devices. Today, we’re thrilled to announce that the BlackBerry Z10 will be in stores in 6 days!

Want an inside look at the new BlackBerry 10? Check out the video below:

The wait is almost over

The BlackBerry Z10, a new all-touch device, will run on Rogers’ LTE network. It will be available at Rogers retail and dealer locations across Canada beginning on February 5th, and starting at $149.99 with select  3-year plans.  If you prefer a more traditional QWERTY-keyboard device, the BlackBerry Q10 is the BlackBerry 10 device for you – coming to Rogers in 2013

Why Rogers?

For more than 10 years, Rogers has been selling BlackBerry devices to Canadians. We were the first to launch BlackBerry services worldwide, and have the largest base of BlackBerry users in Canada. We’re happy to continue our tradition of innovation. Being a Rogers BlackBerry 10 customer means:

  • Access to Experts: Our employees are trained and ready to get you started on BlackBerry 10, ensuring your transition is easy and flawless;
  • Exclusive applications: You’ll also have access to exclusive Rogers applications like Rogers Anyplace TV, Rogers One Number, My Account, Sportsnet, and coming soon, Smart Home Monitoring;
  • LTE-powered: Both the BlackBerry Z10 and the BlackBerry Q10 BlackBerry 10 devices run on the Rogers LTE network. Unleash the BlackBerry 10 on Rogers LTE, Canada’s fastest wireless internet*, and you’ll  be able to access files, download documents, stream video content and music at faster speeds. The Rogers LTE network is available in select Canadian cities; visit rogers.com/lte for coverage details.

We’ve got some more news for BlackBerry enthusiasts

As of January 31st, current Rogers customers can beat the line and pre-register for  the Q10, a QWERTY-keyboard BlackBerry10 device, through the Rogers Reservation System.

What new feature excites you most about BlackBerry 10?

Sarah is a regular Redboard contributor.

*Based on tests comparing download speeds on the Rogers LTE network vs. Bell and Telus’ LTE networks within Rogers LTE coverage area. LTE device, LTE SIM and plan required.  Actual experienced speeds may vary based on device, topography and environmental conditions, network congestion and other factors. Rogers LTE network available in select Canadian cities. Visit Rogers.com/LTE for coverage.

 

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Weekend Reading: Couch commerce, tablet publications, and 2013 predictions

Happy weekend everyone! It’s been an icy cold week with no signs of warming up unfortunately – so there’s no better time to grab some cocoa and bunker down with this week’s headlines in our latest edition of Weekend Reading!

Couch Commerce

When I think of tablets, I think of the convenience it provides while on the go with a larger screen than a smartphone. However, Mobile Commerce Daily posed a different perspective this week -

“Tablet devices are now known as “couch devices” because consumers are reaching for them while they are sitting at home.” Read the article for yourself and you’ll see its true!

Many of us use them in place of our laptops as a companion device to our televisions – and televisions host commercials. Commercials with fancy fashions, new products, and limited time offers. All of these factors come into play as reasons why online shopping from a tablet has increased by more than 300 percent in the last year alone! You can read more on their convenience and popularity in the entire article here.

I’m pretty sure I’ll have my tablet alongside my cocoa this weekend when I’m curled up inside because it’s minus 30 outside! How many of you are reading this edition of Weekend Reading on your tablet right now?

Are you reading tablet publications?

Keeping with the tablet theme, according to Tech Vibes, tablet publications are faring better in Canada than other parts of the world. In fact, publication apps account for 15% of all apps in iPad’s top 200 grossing apps! In the same category, they are also the second highest grossing apps next to games.

So who are the top publishers Canadians are reading? Do we prefer magazines to newspapers to newsstands? Find out in Tech Vibes infographic with more telling stats here.

2013 – The year of mobile?

That’s what The Mobilists are predicting in their post this week on 2013 Mobile Trends and Predictions, with a wish list that includes converting big data to actionable data, the rise of mobile payments, an increase in mobile shopping, and BYOD (bring your own device) to name a few.

But what do they think about mobile advertising, QR codes, or augmented reality? Check out their thorough article and share your thoughts on their lists in the comments below.

Personally I’m most excited to see developments in mobile use in everyday scenarios – from remote control access to household functions, to deeper control within our cars and even watches (as seen in Tech Zone 360 from this year’s CES.) I’m also eager for mobile payments to advance and become a regular form of payment now with our CIBC agreement for mobile wallets and suretap technology. 2013 is shaping up to be an innovative year already!

Kelly is a regular contributor for RedBoard.

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Rogers Smart Home Monitoring from a mother’s point of view

Mara Shapiro has three kids and two dogs, works in social media, spends a lot of time on Twitter and writes about parenting teens and life in general all over the Internet. Parenting is her way of life and she’s always happy when she finds new solutions to make her life and parenting easier.

So when we invited Mara to try out Rogers Smart Home Monitoring for a year, she jumped at the opportunity. She thought it would help her manage her home better, little did she know it would become another tool in her parenting kit. See how by reading about Mara’s experience:

How is this system different from your previous old-fashioned alarm system?

Rogers Smart Home Monitoring is completely different than what we had before, which was a simple alarm system. The equipment has been completely updated. Before, we had old keypads, door contacts and motion sensors. Now, we can manage our system from our smartphones, the tablet Touchpad, our computer and still use the old keypad. Our old system didn’t integrate our thermostat. It’s so much easier to manage the temperatures in the house now. We didn’t have the cameras either, and those are a fantastic way to see what’s happening at the house. I could go on, from the rules that are so easy to set up using the web portal, to our ability to see when doors were opened. As I said, everything is different, updated, and as state-of-the art as it gets.

What is your favorite feature?

That’s really hard to say. I absolutely love being able to manage my home from my smartphone, see what’s on the cameras, and even control the lamp in my living room. It’s sort of fun to turn the light on and off remotely, and hopefully freak everyone at home out.  So, I guess the flexibility of using Smart Home Monitoring from wherever we are is my favorite feature. However, the cameras are pretty cool too. And, setting the thermostat rules from my smartphone instead of fooling around with the buttons and arrows? Oh, who am I kidding? I love everything!

Did anything surprise you about the system?

How easy it is to use surprised me most. In the past, I was not a fan of alarm systems. I was always afraid I would set it off, or put in the wrong code or something. Rogers Smart Home Monitoring is so easy to use and with the Touchpad and smartphone app, so easy to turn on. Setting the rules with the web portal is really simple as well. Overall, anyone with a bit of tech knowledge or training would really be able to enjoy and manage what would normally be a complicated system.

Do you feel that Smart Home Monitoring simplifies your daily life?

Smart Home Monitoring definitely simplifies my daily life. Using the web portal, I can set up everything, from my thermostat to my lamp, to how often the cameras take pictures. I can see when the kids get home from school and what the dogs are doing downstairs. I like feeling secure, knowing that monitoring the status of my house is just a click away. As long as I have my smartphone with me, I can manage my system. I also like knowing that my kids and dogs are secure when we aren’t home. They are getting to an age where we could leave them alone at home for a few days when we travel, and with this system we can do that comfortably.

How does Smart Home Monitoring help you keep your family in check?

We can see when the kids are coming into the house and when they are leaving. For example, my son is supposed to be home by 1 am when he’s out with the car. We can easily check when the front door was opened. That in itself is worth a lot, because it’s important to let the teenagers know we’re keeping an eye out for them.  We’ve also got sensors on the garage doors, so I anticipate using that to make sure that the kids haven’t left the garage open when they take their bikes. It’s a great way to keep our eye on the kids without nagging them or asking too many questions.

 

Mara illustrates how we designed an easy-to-use system that lets you set “Rules” in a breeze that adapt to your life. You can ask the lights to come up at sunset anytime of the year, and you can automate your sensors, thermostat and lights together so that when you leave the house, the heat goes down and the lights are turned off. This is followed by a quick SMS text alert re-assuring you that it’s all happened.

For more information about Rogers Smart Home Monitoring, go to www.Rogers.com/smarthome.

How do you think Rogers Smart Home Monitoring could help you make your life easier?

Elise is a regular Redboard contributor.

 

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Weekend Reading: The Nokia Lumia 920 and future tech trends – mobile shopping, automatic phone silencing, and wearable tech

Only 18 days into 2013 and already there have been some big developments and predictions giving us lots to look forward to! This week we proudly announced that we’re adding additional colours to our Nokia Lumia 920 lineup. Also in this week’s edition of Weekend Reading, we’ll discuss what the future holds for tech when it comes to mobile shopping, phone features, and wearable tech.

In the news: The Nokia Lumia 920

Ever since its release the Nokia Lumia 920 has been one of the most sought after devices worldwide. Customers were eager to share their interest in the device with us, but also expressed a strong desire for a wider range of colours.  So earlier this week we were proud to reveal that in addition to the black one already available, Rogers would be carrying the Nokia Lumia 920 in red, white, and yellow as well! We even added a contest to the mix giving customers a chance to win a new Nokia Lumia 920 in the colour of their choice!

For those of you still wondering what all the hype is about, check out a 3-part review from The IT Nerd, detailing first impressions outside the box in part one, , specs and comparisons in part two, and what he thought of all the main features in part three. If you have any questions about the Nokia Lumia 920 and its capabilities, these detailed posts are sure to cover all that and more! Check out parts 1, 2, and 3 now.

Have mobile devices changed your shopping habits?

Are you one of the people who contributed to $25 billion in sales last year from phones and tablets? In a new study from eMarketer, people are more likely to be in a spending mood while lounging on the couch. Tablets in particular make it easier for online shopping now with larger screens and touch-drag technology that simplifies the experience.

eMarketer goes on to predict that by 2016, mobile will be $87 billion, or a quarter of all e-commerce, which isn’t too hard to imagine when you consider consumers are spending an average of $329 per transaction on tablets and $250 on phones. Read up on the full article here and share your thoughts in the comments.

Microsoft looking to silence your phone for you

In possibly the greatest intro this week, CNET leads into this story as follows: “You’ve just sat down to watch “Les Miserables” and Russell Crowe’s opened his mouth to bark, when the air is filled with the sound of… marimba?”

Moments such as this with a cellphone ringing in a crowded theatre are everyone’s pet peeve, which is why Microsoft has filed a patent that would allow your phone to silence itself in key situations. And that’s not all – it will dim your screen brightness when you get alerts too! Find out how GPS is making this technology possible in the full article from CNET UK’s blog Crave. What do you think of this feature – necessity or luxury?

Trend alert: wearable tech

It seems that wearable tech is becoming the latest fashion commodity. Fewer people are wearing watches that simply tell us time and date, and opting for one that integrates with their smartphone, ‘smartwatches.’ .Then there’s the  augmented reality eye glasses – ‘Project Glass’ – introduced by Google and that graced the runway during Diane Von Furstenberg show in New York.  With the rapid evolution of smartphone capabilities, people are more dependent on their devices than ever, making it something they want to have on them at all time.

Tech Zone 360 thinks a big part of this is attributed to the mobile app “ecosystem,” which has opened up a world of tools at people’s fingertips for health, shopping, socializing, and more on the go. As a result, we’re even more dependent on our tech these days and less likely to leave it at home, or tuck it away in our bags.

Check out their full article for more on the direction the industry is headed in, and anticipated sales forecasts over the next five years.

What do you think? What should be the next tech fashion trend?

Kelly is a regular contributor for RedBoard.

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Rogers is your go-to NHL destination: start off the season with perks and mobile streaming

Hockey is back, woot woot! Who is going to be tuning in when the puck drops tomorrow? There are some great free previews, deals, and ways to stay close to the ice action. Here’s an overview of what hockey fans can expect.

Free preview of NHL Centre Ice:

  • Rogers customers can enjoy a free preview of NHL Centre Ice from Jan. 19 to Jan. 31
  • Approximately 600 games available for the full season
  • NHL Centre Ice is available as part of the Rogers Super Sports Pak, which also includes OHL Action Pak, NBA League Pass, MLB Extra Innings, a subscription to Sportsnet magazine and more
  • Rogers customers can also purchase NHL Centre Ice à la carte for the reduced cost of $49.99 for a one-time fee for the full season

Get your hockey fix from Sportsnet: Sportsnet will deliver unparalleled NHL coverage across broadcast, radio, digital and print, including Sportsnet’s Hockey Central Tonight, Hockey Central @ Noon, Sportsnet.ca and Sportsnet magazine

TSN HD free preview – Rogers digital TV customers who subscribe to TSN can tune into TSN HD for 3 months (until April 30) at no additional cost

Rogers wireless customers from coast to coast can catch CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada on their smartphones

  • The Rogers Anyplace TV mobile app features live CBC Hockey Night in Canada broadcasts of all national games
  • 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

Follow the puck on your tablet with live streaming in the home with the Rogers Anyplace TV Home Edition app

  • Supplement your TV watching with live streaming of Sportsnet and CBC on your tablet from the comfort of your couch

Where will you be watching the game on Saturday?

UPDATE: January 30 2013, 1:27pm  On your computer (coming soon to tablet) : Rogers digital TV customers in the GTA who subscribe to Sportsnet Ontario and/or Leafs TV can log into RogersAnyplaceTV.com to live stream Toronto Maple Leafs broadcasts. This includes live games aired from Sportsnet Ontario and Leafs TV only .

UPDATE: February 26 2013, 9:24 am: The Sportsnet Leafs Live app is now available on iPad. See url here:  https://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/sportsnet-leafs-live/id600547579?mt=8

Kaili is a regular Redboard contributor

 

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Minigraphics: Technology trends and predictions

Late last year, we surveyed 1040 Canadian smartphone and tablet owners to see how they used technology and what they predicted for the future. We presented the results in our latest Rogers Innovation Report, available through Slideshare. We also pulled together some of the statistics we found most interesting into a Rogers Innovation Report infographic. Now, we’re releasing some of our favourite individual statistics in dynamic minigraphic format.

Where do you stand on the following questions?

Looking back, in 2012…

Did you download a racy novel to a mobile device?

Ah, 2012: the year of E.L. James’ 50 Shades of Grey. Were you among the one-in-ten Canadian smartphone and tablet users who decided to opt for discretion and convenience by buying the electronic version of the novel and others like it through Amazon, iTunes and other online retailers? Hover your mouse over the dynamic minigraphic above to get other e-reader stats from around the world.

 

Have you ever used your smartphone in the bathroom? If so, how often?

An astounding 83% of Canadian smartphone users take the device with them to the washroom. A similar survey conducted in the UK last May concluded that 75% of respondents used their smartphone in the bathroom. We’d consider those people nomophobes – or people who experience stress when they’re unable to use their mobile phone – but I certainly wouldn’t consider them germophobes!

 

Do you agree or disagree with the following statement ‘In the next 5 years babies will be using technology before they can walk or talk.’

Did the 44% of Canadian respondents who answered “yes” to this question have this video in mind? I know I did. Hover your mouse over our interactive baby minigraphic to access other similar precocious tablet baby videos on YouTube.

To get non-interactive versions of our Rogers Innovation Report minigraphics, visit our Pinterest page.

So? Where did you rank? Are you following Canadian trends? Ahead of them maybe? Tell us where you think technology is heading in the comments below or join us on Twitter to discuss the results using the #RIRExplores hashtag.

Michelle is a regular contributor to the Redboard blog.

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You Spoke, We Listened – Rogers is bringing you Red, White and Yellow Nokia Lumia 920s

In October, we were excited to be the first carrier to launch Windows Phone 8 devices, beginning with the exclusive launch of the Nokia Lumia 920. We’ve seen great interest in this device from our customers like you who are enjoying the new Windows Phone 8 experience. You’ve told us you’re now easily able to share content across the Windows ecosystem, that you can use the PureView camera to snap photos and quickly upload them with the Rogers LTE network.

And many of you told us that you wanted us to carry the Nokia Lumia 920 in a range of colours. Here is what you had to say to us on RedBoard:

I want a red lumia 920. At the very least a colored one (red, cyan or yellow) – FrankM

I would love to see Rogers offer the Lumia 920 in White – Dave

I completely agree with Gordon. Please, please, please release the Lumia 920 in Yellow – Jess

So Frank M, Dave and Jess, we’ve listened! We’re excited to announce that we’ll be offering the Nokia Lumia 920 in red, white and yellow. These devices will be available in Rogers stores in the coming weeks and are also available on the Rogers Reservation System now for existing customers to reserve.

To thank you for your patience over the last few months, we want to give you a chance to win one of the new colourful Nokia Lumia 920 devices, including a red, white and yellow device.  To be entered, all you have to do is tell us in the comment section below, before noon on January 31st, what colour are you most excited about and what are you looking forward to do on your new Nokia Lumia 920. We’ll randomly select three winners, one for each colour, immediately after the closing of the contest on January 31st. For full contest details and rules, go here.

Update January 31, 5pm: Thanks to everyone who participated in our Nokia Colours Contest! The contest is now closed, the prizes have been drawn and we’ll be contacting the winners by email soon. Keep an eye on your inbox!

Katie is a regular RedBoard contributor.

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Tech Essentials at your fingertips!

We recently surveyed Canadians like you about their knowledge of technology, curious to find out more about their comfort level.

While 60% of Canadians give themselves a B grade or higher for overall tech savviness, only 4% actually earn that grade. When tested on online security, data usage and roaming, 64% got most of the online safety questions wrong, 60% are stumped by data usage and 47% don’t understand roaming. The good news is that 87% of you are interested in learning more, with  83% of you open to using a website dedicated to helping consumers improve their tech knowledge.

You asked, we delivered. Today we’re launching Tech Essentials, a new program that provides Canadians with a deeper understanding of how to safely and properly use today’s technology. Tech Essentials provides information ranging from how to make smart and safe digital choices to resources for parents managing their child’s online use.

Tech Essentials content can be accessed through your laptop or on your mobile device, and includes how-to videos that you’ll want to check out. Here’s one on Safe wireless habits for kids:

From roaming to billing, to choosing the best device for your needs, Tech Essentials covers the must-know subjects that are relevant to most Canadians. Since online safety is important to us here at Rogers, we’re working with non-profit organizations MediaSmarts and the Canadian Centre for Child Protection to promote safe technology use through this program. We’re also proud that the Tech Essentials site has been accredited by the independent organization Parent Tested Parent Approved.

Why not test your own Tech Essentials knowledge right here and now? Did you know:

… that roaming charges are applied to text messages? Neither did more than one quarter of Canadians (28%)

… that text messages are separate from data allotment. You’re not alone: 82% of Canadians were unaware of this fact

… that your device’s security settings and software determine how safe you are when using Wi-Fi to connect to the Internet? More than two-thirds (68%) of Canadians did not know or believe this fact.

How tech savvy are you? Take our online quiz at www.rogers.com/techessentials to find out!

UPDATE: January 21 2013, 9:40 am. You can access our Tech Essentials Communications Technology Savviness Survey Summary Report on Slideshare, for more information on our survey and its methodology.

Michelle is a regular RedBoard contributor.

 

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Weekend Reading: CES 2013, more cool things you can do with your phone, and capturing people’s tech obsessed moments

It’s been an exciting week for technology with the CES wrapping up today – automatic cars, celebrity guest appearances, and keynote speeches from some of the industry’s biggest executives. We not only point you to the top news destinations for CES, but keep you in the loop on the little things you may have overlooked this week as a result, including more things you can do with your smartphone, and a blogger who finds beauty in people’s tech habits. Catch up in our latest Weekend Reading!

10 cool things you can do with your smartphone

In last week’s Weekend Reading, we posted about Mashable uncovering 9 things you can do online. This week they took it a step further and explored 10 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Do With Your Smartphone. If you enjoyed learning about cool things to do online last week, you’ll dig these finds for your smartphone if you don’t know about them already!

For instance, did you know your smartphone can act as a level for home renovations? Or be used as a remote starter for your car on those cold winter mornings? How about finding an app to monitor your heart rate and keep you on track with your New Year’s fitness resolution? Your phone can do all these things and much more – but check out the other 7 in Mashable’s full post here.

The Consumer Electronics Show 2013 (CES)

The International CES is the world’s largest tradeshow for consumer technology with over 4 decades of successful events. Every year more than 2,500 exhibitors travel to Vegas to show off their latest innovations in 15 product categories.

This year saw keynotes from Panasonic, Samsung, and Salesforce to name a few, with a surprise visit even from a former US president! The official website gives all those who couldn’t attend fantastic access to everything you missed, including news feeds, videos, trends, and updates. However, CNET has been covering the top stories as well with some great roundups for readers, including Top Tech at CES 2013, Big Booths of CES 2013, and their “Best Of” awards. Check out their full coverage here and share which story grabbed your attention in our comments below.

We never look up…

Admit it – you’ve been known to text and walk at the same time on occasion. But did you ever think someone would use this moment for art inspiration? That someone would find beauty in our tech-obsessed habits?

Mashable shone the spotlight this week on a blog that actually captures these moments and creates beautiful photography from them. “We Never Look Up” is a blog dedicated to documenting people and the “tech obsessed” phenomenon. Black and white photos occupy the blog, full of people on the move while gazing down at their devices. It’s a unique concept, but one any tech lover can appreciate. Check it out and see if you’ve become an unsuspecting muse to the collection!

Kelly is a regular contributor for RedBoard

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Weekend Reading: Holiday news roundup, AppHero, and discovering new things to do online

Happy New Year! Welcome to our first Weekend Reading edition of 2013. 

We thought we’d kick 2013 off with a blog post that will get you caught up with everything that happened online while you were distracted by the holidays, help you find the perfect apps for your new iOS device, and show you 9 cool things you can do online. Get up to speed with this week’s stories below. 

What you missed in tech news over the holidays

First things first, let’s get caught up with some of the biggest stories to emerge last week courtesy of The Next Web. In their roundup you can top tech stories you may have missed, including how many devices were activated on Christmas Day, what China made mandatory for all internet users, and Foursquare’s new privacy policy

As an added bonus, they’ve also included their picks for “Good Reads,” “Useful Guides,” and “Interesting Reads from Elsewhere.” 

Find the perfect apps for your new iOS device with AppHero

iPhone and iPads were undoubtedly one of the most in demand gifts this holiday season, and if you were lucky enough to get one, you’re probably wondering where to begin. 

One of the best things about Apple is their App Store – but with over 750,000 apps it can be a daunting task to figure out which ones you’d like to try. Our friends at The Cellular Guru found just the app to help with that though, aptly called “App Hero.” By linking this free app with your Facebook and Twitter accounts, it pulls in info about your interests and gives you a customized list of apps that might interest you. Bonus: download the apps directly from the app instead of being taken to the App Store. Try it out on iTunes now and let us know if you found it handy too. 

Betcha didn’t know you could do these 9 things online

Most of us have the hang of the internet these days – it’s become such a standard commodity we’ve even coined the phrase “Google it!” Yet Mashable still uncovered ways it can surprise us with some unlikely discoveries through their own “Googling.” 

Planning on popping the big question this year? Did you know you can figure out your girlfriend’s ring size online? Fancy yourself a bit of a sleuth? Create your own police sketches thanks to another online tool. Always wished you’d gotten into MIT? The university offers free online physics courses. Check out what else Mashable found and share it with friends – were you already aware of some of these? 

Kelly is a regular contributor for RedBoard

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