Weekend Reading: LTE to launch in Manitoba, the wallet versus smartphone battle and a live chat about TV viewing habits

Looks like it’s going to be a beautiful sunny weekend across most of Canada folks! We’re celebrating by bringing our LTE Max network to Manitoba this weekend, hosting a live chat about TV viewing on Redboard and trading our wallets for smartphones – all in this week’s edition of Weekend Reading. 

Manitoba welcomes launch of Rogers LTE network

Manitoba was definitely one of the most eager provinces awaiting the Rogers LTE Max network. So we were thrilled to announce that as of this weekend our LTE Max network would be hitting the cities of Winnipeg, Brandon, Victoria Beach and Grand Beach.

The LTE expansion doesn’t stop there – we will continue to expand our offerings in the province through a network sharing agreement with MTS, enabling us to deploy LTE to more than 90 per cent of Manitoba’s population over the next five years, including Selkirk, Steinbach and Ste. Anne this summer!

For more on our LTE offerings and the latest lineup of LTE-enabled devices, visit RedBoard or www.rogers.com/LTE.

What do you value more – your wallet or smartphone?

Though 60 per cent of people still value their wallet, a whopping 40 per cent preferred their smartphone in a recent Ipsos study covered by IT Business. As IT Business points out, though 20 per cent more are still dependent on their wallet, it’s actually a small percentage considering how new mobile payments are to the marketplace.

Just over a year ago, Rogers introduced mobile payments to Canada in partnership with CIBC. In November we expanded to create the mobile app with suretap technology. With mobile payments on the rise, it’s no surprise to us that it’s such a close race between smartphones versus wallets. Our own Innovation Reports have revealed that 65 per cent of people surveyed said they would feel naked without their smartphone and internet access. Combining your wallet and smartphone seems like the perfect fit!

Do you have a preference? Personally I’m all for carrying my slim iPhone over a bulky wallet when I run to Starbucks! The more retailers adopt this, the less I’ll be bringing my wallet for sure!

Love TV and movies? We want to hear from you! 

Canadians love their marathons. TV and movie marathons, that is. More than 80 per cent of Canadians watched three or more TV episodes or two movies back-to-back this year, according to the latest Rogers Innovation Report, released Monday. The longest viewing sessions top out at more than five hours on a weekday and seven hours on a weekend. To learn more about Canadians’ viewing habits, you can check out the full report on SlideShare and find out what kind of TV viewer you are by completing the interactive infographic here.

Do you love marathon watching full seasons of your favourite shows? Do you like to tweet every plot twist and turn? Join our live chat Tuesday at noon (EDT) on RedBoard and Twitter to discuss the findings from the latest Rogers Innovation Report and take part in a trivia contest for your chance to win a great prize.

Kelly is a regular RedBoard contributor. 

Weekend Reading: Your iPhone case personality, more Rogers LTE Max expansions and socially savvy parenting

We’ve got a great mix of articles that stood out to us this week, including what your iPhone case says about you, more Rogers LTE Max updates and  how to be as socially savvy as your kids. Basically we’ve got you covered for light, exciting and educational reading all in one post! So kick back and catch up with this week’s edition of Weekend Reading.

What your iPhone case reveals about you

We thought we’d get things off to a lighter start this week by highlighting a graphic from Mashable on What Your iPhone Case Says About You. Are you a nerd? A diva? Perhaps a klutz? Check out their fun graphic of examples and see how accurate it is for you.

The description of the minimalist definitely fits my personality to a tee – but every now and then a girl needs some sparkle too, which lands me in the Diva category! How about you – are you toting a Rick Moranis heavy duty case or resorting to socks for phone protection? 

More Rogers LTE Max expansions

Just last week we were pleased to announce our agreement with Videotron to bring LTE to even more residents in Quebec and Ottawa. This week we’re happy to let our customers know even MORE LTE Max expansions are underway for cities in Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and British Columbia!

The news was shared on some of our favourite tech sites including CrackBerry, Brief Mobile and iPhone in Canada. Catch up on the latest developments and let us know if you’ve experienced the new LTE Max network yet.

Are you as socially savvy as your children?

Most parents nowadays have a fairly good understanding of the online world. In fact, one of our recent Rogers Innovation reports highlighted how the generation gap was decreasing, with 40 per cent of Canadians ages 18 to 24 using technology as a means to stay in touch with their parents.

But how confident are you that you really know what your kids are up to online? A new report from All Facebook revealed many parents are still in the dark when it comes to their children’s online activity, with a whopping 80 per cent of parents admitting they have no idea how to monitor their kids’ online behaviour. This may be why 85 per cent of kids aged 10 to 12 already have Facebook profiles even though the minimum age requirement is 13.

Have you had the chat with your kids about online safety? If not, check out our handy Tech Essentials section on online safety and get informed on passwords, social networks and more. As great as technology is for online exploring and connections, it’s important to educate yourself and your family on how to do it responsibly.

Kelly is a regular RedBoard contributor. 

Weekend Reading: Smartphones, lifestyle apps and Videotron and Rogers expand LTE network

How much time do you spend on your smartphone daily? What are your favourite types of apps to use? And if you live in Quebec or Ottawa, we’ve got great news for you! All that and more in this week’s Weekend Reading!

Android vs. iPhone: Which users spend the most time on their devices?

According to a new study from CNET this week, iPhone users are logging the most minutes on their handsets.

iPhone users spend an average of 75 minutes a day on their devices, with 22 per cent of that time spent talking. Android users, however, only spend 49 minutes on their devices, with nearly a third of that time (28 per cent) spent talking.

What surprised me most in this article though were the two least-used features – GPS and device cameras. Having zero sense of direction, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve pulled out my smartphone to get me on track! And I find having a camera on your device makes it so much easier to capture moments, because we tend to always have our smartphones on us. It sounds like I’m not in the majority though – does the same hold true for you? Do you rarely use your GPS or smartphone camera?

Lifestyle apps becoming more popular

Did you know it’s already possible to control your washing machines, refrigerators or lights right from an app on your smartphone?

Lifestyle apps go beyond household electronics though. Take for instance Rogers Smart Home Monitoring service and app, which allow you to monitor, protect and control various parts of your home, including adjusting your thermostat on the go. There are also numerous car apps that can now lock and unlock doors, start your engine remotely and even gauge your battery life.

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) predicts these kinds of apps will be in most households by 2022.

So what’s next for these apps? Making them business friendly. Midsize Insider recently looked at how businesses can use these apps to streamline their business by using them for conference calls and collaboration between employees, customers and partners. This article has some great tips and food for thought if you’re looking to improve your own business processes.

Rogers and Videotron build-out expanded LTE network

This week Rogers was happy to announce an agreement with Videotron to bring LTE to even more residents in Quebec and Ottawa.

The network and spectrum sharing agreement will help bring the blazing fast speeds of the LTE network to both businesses and consumers, and provide better mobile coverage in rural Quebec.

We also continue to roll out our LTE network to even more areas as part of our commitment to expand in 44 new markets this spring, so stay tuned.

Kelly is a regular RedBoard contributor. 

Weekend Reading: App milestones, LTE rollouts, Google Play and coffee with Tim Cook

Happy Victoria Day weekend everyone! We’ve got your cottage reading right here to help you catch up on all the latest tech news, including more LTE rollouts, the price of coffee with Tim Cook, app domination and Google updates. All coming up in this week’s edition of Weekend Reading.

There’s an app for everything

Apple and BlackBerry both released reports on their respective app stores this week, and the figures were pretty mind blowing. In the short time since BlackBerry 10 launched, 120,000 apps have already become available for the platform in the Blackberry World store. There were 70,000 apps available when the Z10 and Q10 launched, so another 50,000 were created in a mere four months. BlackBerry president and CEO Thorsten Heins shared his excitement and future plans with BlackBerry Live here.

Apple also hit a milestone this week, reaching the 50 billionth download mark! The App Store first opened in 2008 with only 500 apps. Now almost five years later, the store is seeing downloads at a rate of 800 apps per second! Apple commemorated the occasion by awarding the 50 billionth downloader a $10,000 App Store gift card. Read more from the official press release from Apple here. I’m personally responsible for hundreds of those downloads myself! What are some of your faves? Let’s compare top picks in the comments below!

Rogers LTE rolls out in more markets this week!

Fantastic news announced today that we couldn’t wait to share with our RedBoard readers – our LTE Max network has launched in a number of new markets, including Brooks, Cochrane and Canmore, Alta. and Sault Ste. Marie and Muskoka, Ont. We also expanded our LTE network to Saint-Georges, Que.; Sydney, N.S.; Bathurst, N.B and expanded our coverage in the Moncton, N.B. area.

With these new cities launched, we’re still right on track to deliver with our commitment to launch our LTE network in 44 new markets this spring. With the LTE network expansion to cottage country, who’s going to take advantage in Muskoka this long weekend?

Google Play for Education

This week was huge for Google. Among their many announcements came news of an Android app being launched to aid in children’s education. Already piloted in select schools, the app enables teachers to search for educational apps for their subjects and grade levels. Teachers can then add the selected apps to Nexus tablets – all the students need is a Google account to access it.

Be sure to visit the official Google blog to keep up on all their latest developments on Google Play for Education and so much more.

Treat Tim Cook to a cup of Joe … for $610,000

Yes, you read that correctly, there are no typos where the numbers of zeros are concerned. In an auction on CharityBuzz, a bidder paid $610,000 for a 30 to 60 minute coffee break with the Apple CEO. Although it was a hefty price tag for a java jolt, proceeds will be going towards the RFK Center for Justice and Human Rights. 

So what do you think they will talk about over their coffee? I’d love to be a fly on the wall for that conversation!

Kelly is a regular RedBoard contributor.

Weekend Reading: Moms, Canadians and travelers can’t get enough of social media

this year, because we’ve found more proof of their love for everything digital and social. Plus, we take a look at Canadian dependence on social media and how our new U.S. roaming rates can help you stay social across the border. Read all about it in this week’s edition of Weekend Reading.

Mobile tech helps moms be more social

It’s no secret that moms are some of the most digitally savvy people on the internet these days – but what makes them so social? It could be because 28 per cent of them are more likely to use a tablet, while 38 per cent own a smartphone. With such easy access, they are also more likely to follow at least one brand on social media and have made a purchase on their tablet in the past month.

These are just a few of the impressive stats Social Media Today uncovered in their latest blog post, which jibe with eMarketer’s findings. According to their reports, the top reasons moms participate in social media are to connect with other moms and friends and family, share milestones and get advice.

I definitely kept these stats in mind when I did my Mother’s Day shopping this year! Did you?

Canadians need a daily dose of social media

Are you among the one in three Canadians who check their social feeds at least once a day? Being someone who works with social media for a living it’s hard to imagine there are still two others out of those three who DON’T check their feeds! Work aside, I’d still be one of the seven per cent who check Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn daily thanks to their accessibility on mobile devices.

Check out more in a new study from TechVibes this week – I’d be curious to know if there are other social networks people are using more than the three listed in this article. Perhaps YouTube, Pinterest or Google+ occupy more of your time?

New Rogers Roaming Rates

Chances are if you’re addicted to checking your social feeds, you won’t want to travel far without your smartphone. In a recent national survey conducted by Head Research for Rogers, 70 per cent of Canadians say they want to keep using their smartphones across the border because it comes in handy when checking out places to eat, seeing what the weather has in store or keeping tabs on your flight status.

That’s why this week Rogers launched a new worry-free U.S. roaming internet rate. For $7.99 per 24 hour period, you get up to 50 MB of data – enough to load 200 web pages, post 5,000 tweets, or upload 128 photos from your vacation! ! More than 99 per cent of our customers use less than 50 MB of data per day when roaming. For more information, visit rogers.com/usroaming.

Kelly is a regular RedBoard contributor.

Weekend Reading: Canadians social media score, digital detox camp and summer’s hottest devices

releases, what caught my eye were two stories geared towards social media use among Canadians and a camp for digital detox. Catch up on all this and more in this week’s edition of Weekend Reading. 

How active are Canadians with social media?

Being an avid social media user both personally and professionally, I’m always eager to see new stats revealing its popularly, particularly how Canadians compare to the rest of the world.

Maclean’s published an article this week looking at social media usage in Canada, revolving around popular social sites Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Among the 4,001 Anglophone Canadians surveyed, seven out of 10 were regular social media users. What defines regular? About 63 per cent of them admitted to checking updates on these sites every day.

What surprised me most was Twitter’s results – less than one in five users claimed they were on Twitter last month, the second largest social network next to Facebook! Why is this, and how does LinkedIn measure up? Check out the article for a full analysis and trends and let us know where you fit in. Of the three mentioned, I definitely use Facebook the most as well, but I see the benefits of the other networks, too..  What about you?

Camp Grounded – a digital detox summer camp for adults

Obviously, Canadians depend on social media, but have you ever wanted to just turn it all off for a few days? Surprisingly, many of you have – enough to warrant the creation of a camp designed to help people disconnect from the digital world for four whole days!

Mashable recently uncovered the retreat in California, which has over 200 participants already signed up and eager for a “digital detox.” While at Camp Grounded, there is no technology use or talk whatsoever. Campers get to participate in old-school activities such as archery, capture the flag, arts and crafts workshops, pillow fights and yoga.

The first session, taking place in June, is already sold out, so if you’re interested in giving it a try, you’d better sign up for the waiting list now! It definitely sounds like a cool experience that I could handle … for a day … or maybe an hour. Forget it, I miss my iPhone and apps already!

Summer’s hottest devices are here!

If you’re thinking Camp Grounded looks like a walk in the park, then you haven’t seen what you’d be missing with the new BlackBerry Q10 and Samsung Galaxy S4, which both launched this week.

Those of you reluctant to take on a touchscreen will appreciate the Blackberry Q10. Designed with the BlackBerry keyboard fans have come to know and love, the Q10 also features touch screen capabilities, time shift mode and the BlackBerry 10 interface. The BlackBerry Q10 is available now in black, and exclusive to Rogers, white models. See why Mobile Syrup has hailed it the “best BlackBerry ever” and Crackberry calls it the “BlackBerry you’ve been waiting for.” Let us know if you’ve got your hands on one yet!

If Android is more your style, Samsung fans will be delighted to know the Galaxy S4 was also released this week with some fantastic offers. For a limited time, you can get a free Kindle Paperwhite when you activate a new smartphone (including both the Samsung Galaxy S4 AND the Blackberry Q10) on select three-year plans. If e-readers aren’t your thing, check out our $35 Google Play voucher available with select three-year plans when you activate a Samsung Galaxy S4 between now and June 30, 2013.

These offers are exclusive to Rogers, and of course, both are compatible on our newly branded LTE Max network.

Kelly is a regular RedBoard contributor.

Weekend Reading: Smartphone user dating habits, coding for kids and LTE in seven new markets this week

Ever wonder what your smartphone reveals about dating frequency? Or what apps are available to teach your kids about coding? We cover these plus unveil more exciting LTE news – all in this week’s edition of Weekend Reading.

Who has more first dates? iPhone, Android, Blackberry or Windows users?

If you’re single and wondering which device will score you better odds of a first date, Mashable has the answer in a survey uncovered by Match.com this week.

Of 5,000 people surveyed in the U.S., 49 per cent of single iPhone users went on at least one date in 2012. In a close second was Windows with 46 per cent, then Android at 44 per cent and Blackberry at 42 per cent.

So what does this say about smartphone owners and their dating styles? Check out the full article and survey on Mashable here. Has your smartphone affected your dating life? If so, how?

Coding apps for kids

When I was in school, elective courses included things like music and art. While these are still considered optional, much of today’s curriculum is changing to reflect the needs of our current economy. Coding may not be a widely offered course yet, but you can give your kid a head start on learning one of the most in-demand skills for today’s job market.

This week, Read Write Web highlighted some great apps to teach your kids coding for programming. The six apps are designed for a variety of ages, starting as young as 5 years old. As Read Write Web points out, if you start them off young enough, you could end up raising the next Mark Zuckerberg!

Rogers LTE lights up in seven new markets this week

On Monday, Rogers was proud to announce that only four months into 2013, we have launched LTE in an additional seven markets. As part of our commitment to roll out LTE in 44 new markets this spring, Monday’s new markets include:

  • Airdrie, Alberta
  • Langley, B.C
  • Keswick, Ont.
  • Hamilton, including Grimsby, Ont.
  • Orillia, Ont.
  • Stratford, Ont.
  • Ottawa, including Kanata, Nepean, Gloucester, Stittsville and Cumberland, Ont.

Bonus: both the upcoming Blackberry Q10 and Samsung Galaxy S4 are compatible on the LTE network! Learn more about the LTE network and what devices are currently on the market here.

For more details on our latest LTE expansion, check out some great coverage from our friends at The Cellular Guru, iPhone in Canada, Android Central, Android in Canada, IT Nerd, and Brief Mobile.

Kelly is a regular RedBoard contributor.