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Happy Friday, readers. In this week’s Weekend Reading we’re exploring reviews from our friend the IT Nerd, sharing how Rogers First Rewards can put you right in the game and learning about iOS and Android Chrome updates.
IT Nerd continues to geek out with Rogers
As we noted a few weeks ago, IT Nerd, one of my favourite bloggers, is now a Rogers customer. While he has previously reviewed countless Rogers mobile devices, we’re delighted that he is beginning to explore his experiences with Rogers Internet, Next Box 3.0 and Rogers Internet. Within his posts the IT Nerd provides his positive feedback, along with key tips on how to improve our product features.
We look forward to even more posts from IT Nerd, and encourage all customers to share your experiences, reviews and tips with us and fellow Rogers customers. That’s what our community forums and Idea Box are for!
Do you have Rogers experiences or product tips you’d care to share?
Use your Rogers First Rewards points to get in the game
Good news, sports fans – if you’re a Rogers First Rewards member, we’ve got two new rewards in our catalogue that will have you cheering. Right now, you can use your Rogers First Rewards points to redeem for Rogers Cup tickets and Toronto FC VIP experience tickets.
For Rogers Cup, we’re offering members two tickets to watch the action on opening night in Toronto (August 4). Toronto FC devotees have two games to choose for their VIP experience (July 26 against Sporting Kansas City and August 23 against Chicago Fire), including seats for you and a friend in the Rogers Red Zone, watching the warm up at field level, meeting a Toronto FC personality and other great perks.
Visit rogersfirstrewards.com for more details. Will you be attending the Rogers Cup?
Bugs be gone with new Chrome
Good news Chrome users; this week Google released its latest versions of Chrome for Android and iOS. As reported by Mobile Syrup, Chrome 36 for Android Now is available from Google Play, and includes performance improvements, bug fixes, the return of Google doodles and non-mobile pages look better across all screen sizes and resolutions.
Fear not iOS users, the new and improved Chrome for iOS, available through the App Store received small, but significant updates as well. In addition to bug fixes, the new Chrome for iOS allows mobile sites that have added Cast support to work with your Cast-enabled device, which helps to support a number of video sites like YouTube.
Do you have a preferred mobile web browser?
World leaders hashtag too
While you may think of Twitter as a platform used mostly by consumers and brands, PR firm Burson Marsteller’s annual study ‘Twiplomacy’ revealed that international leaders and governments are jumping on the Twitter bandwagon.
Call me nerdy but I think this is pretty cool! The study showed that more than 83 per cent of all United Nations governments have a Twitter presence. More than 3,100 international embassies and ambassadors are now active on Twitter, with a 28 per cent rise in accounts this year among government users.
The survey placed Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Twitter account in 44th spot among 50 world leaders. But fear not – the survey also revealed Ottawa is getting digitized! As reported by the Toronto Star, Canada was actually identified as one of a small group of countries that have Twitter accounts for most embassies and missions.
What world leader are you following or would like to follow? I bet you’ll be able to find them in the Twittersphere!
Welcome IT Nerd!
We are excited to welcome our friend the IT Nerd to the Rogers family. In a recent blog post, he wrote about customer recommendations that led him to switch to Rogers. He said that since switching, his life has become “much, much better.” He shared his positive installation experience, painless migration and gave kudos to our customer service – music to our ears!
IT Nerd: Thanks for choosing Rogers for your Internet, phone and cable services. We welcome you with open arms and fast internet speeds, and wish you the happiest of surfing, chatting, and PVRing!
New messaging app ‘Slingshots’ its way into Canada
As of Wednesday, Facebook’s new messaging app, Slingshot is ready for Canadians to download – so… shoot away! Available for Android and iOS devices, Slingshot lets you send photos and videos that self-destruct. As explained by the Financial Post, photos and videos on Slingshot disappear shortly after people swipe them away. Viewed messages which can only be seen once by each member of the conversation, are wiped from servers in a week, and messages that are never opened are deleted within 30 days.
As explored by Mashable, users are required to respond with an image or video in order to unlock the messages they receive. While some may see this as a ‘catch’, I think it adds a little more excitement to opening up a new message.
Do you think you’ll be ‘Slingshotting’ any time soon?
A golden device
The HTC One (M8) in the stunning shade of amber gold is now available in Rogers retail locations and online at Rogers.com. This fashion-forward colour is exclusive to Rogers and complements the device’s innovative, sleek and award-winning design. Check out our previous posts to learn more about the HTC One (M8)’s specs and user-friendly features.
Do you think smartphones are becoming the latest fashion accessory?
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This week, we learned how to see only our favourite channels on our PVR guides and discovered why one Toronto YouTuber loves the Samsung Gear 2 Neo. Plus, MobileSyrup shared the latest smartphone stats.
Get the scoop in this week’s edition of the Weekend Reading.
It’s time to master your NextBox. Our Community Forums users taught us how to customize our Interactive Program Guide to skip unsubscribed channels – giving us only our favourite content. Even better, it’s easy! Get the step by step guide here.
Do you have questions about your Rogers products and services? Browse thousands of threads answering common questions, or post your own for an answer from one of the 260,000 members and nine expert “Super Users.” Check it out.
Last month, I got a chance to take the Samsung Gear 2 Neo for a spin. As an avid runner, I geeked out over the stat tracking and the heart rate monitor. This week, Toronto-based YouTuber Karl Conrad shared his review of the device, calling it “the best smartwatch that you can currently get from Samsung.” Check out his full review here. Karl also notes that it’s a great conversation-starter, with people asking him “what’s that thing on your wrist” at the gym and on the street. And I agree – people love to check out the fitness band’s features!
Do you do a double-take when you see a wearable in the wild?
I ditched my slider phone years ago. And last year I scaled down my two operating system smartphone habit to a single Android device. So I can’t help but look twice when I see a flip or feature phone in use out on the street. That reaction is backed up by the latest IDC research, as reported by MobileSyrup, with 70 per cent of Canadians owning a smartphone.
As for what kinds of smartphones Canadians are toting, IDC provided a breakdown by OS: Android is expected to own 80 per cent of the market by the end of this year, with Apple coming in second, then Windows.
What’s your operating system of choice? Why?
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Connected shares how to use two cool features that showcase the massive curved screen of the LG G Flex Android device.
QuickTheater gives you instant access to your pictures and videos, as well as YouTube, whenever you’d like. Here’s how to access this LG G Flex-only feature.
1. On the LG G Flex lock screen, turn the device into landscape mode.
2. With your thumbs in the middle of the screen, slide them apart (like a theatre curtain opening) to access QuickTheater.
3. Tap Videos or Photos, and swipe to the left to choose what you’d like to see in a beautiful panoramic view.
4. Tap any item to view.
With screen space to spare, the LG G Flex lets you split the screen and stack apps one atop the other in a two-panel multitasking mode called Dual Window.
How to use Dual Window mode:
1. Tap and hold the Back key for a second to launch Dual Window.
2. Tap any app and drag it to the bottom of the screen to open.
3. Grab any other app and drag it to the top of the screen.
With two apps open, you can…
1. Tap the leftmost icon in the middle bar to access settings.
2. Tap the blue downward arrow and drag to resize the app windows.
3. Tap the rightmost two-arrows icon to have the apps swap places.
Tip: If you rotate the LG G Flex into landscape mode, Dual Window apps will appear side-by-side instead of stacked one atop the other.
Check out more quick tips and tutorials from Connected.
What would you do with a six-inch screen?
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This week, well, everything is awesome because you can now watch THE LEGO® MOVIE on Rogers on Demand. Plus, we learn to use the Samsung GALAXY GS5 Download Booster feature and try out the latest LinkedIn update. Get all the details in your Weekend Reading.
Awesome news: It’s time to bring all your favourite minifigs home. Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett, Morgan Freeman, Liam Neeson, Will Ferrell and more of your favourite celebrities star in THE LEGO MOVIE, which is now available to order on Rogers on Demand! You can also order THE LEGO MOVIE Pack today to get the DVD delivered to your home when it’s released on June 17, plus own the movie on Channel 100 so you can watch it over and over again – even before it’s released on DVD. Order your THE LEGO MOVIE Pack on Channel 100.
What’s your favourite family film?
Around T-minus five minutes to hitting the road, I’m always inspired to download a new album or movie to my smartphone. Of course, completing that massive download normally either delays departure or distracts me from my navigational duties. The new Samsung GALAXY GS5 can fix that problem with its Download Booster feature, which lets you use both your Wi-Fi and Rogers LTE network connections at the same time to download files larger than 30MB even faster. Already have a GS5? Learn how to turn on Download Booster here. Still on the fence? Check out the review on CBC.ca.
What large files do you download on your mobile?
Compare your profile
For me, the most addictive part of LinkedIn is seeing who’s been looking at my profile, as well as how they got there. Was it a search for my name? A shared connection? The possibilities are endless, and my curiosity is always piqued. This week, the professional social network announced a new feature that lets you see how you compare to your network. You’ll find it by navigating to “profile,” then “Who’s viewed your profile” and selecting the “How you rank for profile views” tab. The feature ranks your connections by profile views and also offers customized tips for how you can boost your own page. For me, this meant updating my summary description, joining a few new groups and adding some new keywords.
How do you optimize your LinkedIn profile?
When you’re on a tight timeline, the download progress bar can’t move fast enough. But the new Samsung GALAXY S5 has a solution: the Download Booster feature.
Download Booster means you can download large files – over 30MB – faster using your Wi-Fi and Rogers LTE networks at the same time.
Here’s how to get started:
- Select “Apps” on your home screen.
- Choose “Settings”
- Touch “Download Booster”
- Drag the “Download Booster” switch to the right, then select “OK” in the popup window.
- If you don’t want to see the data transfer speed via popup window, check the box that says “Do not show speed info.”
Ready to download?
- Make sure your phone’s Wi-Fi and Mobile Data are both turned on
- Pull down the status bar from the top of your screen
- Choose the “Download Booster” icon
- Press “OK”
- Start your download
When it’s in use, the Download Booster icon – a lightning bolt – will appear in your device’s status bar.
This feature is one of many that take the Samsung GALAXY S5 beyond the basics, using integrated technology and the Rogers LTE network to improve your life and make every day better.
I download music, apps and TV shows directly to my mobile to keep me entertained on long flights or commutes. I also download reports to review on my morning subway ride to help me prepare for my work day. What large files do you use on your mobile?
A little Friday news: we’re excited to offer the Samsung GALAXY GS5 in two new hues! And to prepare for that extra day off this weekend, we’ve found five ways to make your tablet your sous-chef and rounded up our favourite apps to help you enjoy the wilderness. Plus, the Pew Research Center teaches us about the future of the Internet of Things.
Enjoy your Weekend Reading.
Feeling blue? Or maybe good as gold? Samsung announced today that the Samsung GALAXY S5 will soon be available in these hot new hues. Rogers customers can get their hands on these bold shades shortly. It’s not just about the colour: this device is also dust and water resistant and has a 16MP camera, heart rate sensor and chic design! Stay tuned for more details.
Which colour would you choose? Why?
My knife skills aren’t quite pro-level, but I’m no slouch in the kitchen either. That’s partly thanks to my reliance on my device to fill in any gaps in knowledge (pro-tip: next time, look up how to shuck an oyster before your guests arrive). So whether you’re planning a long weekend barbeque or a formal dinner party, start your prep early with five ways your tablet can help you get cooking.
I’ve pulled up technique videos, used search engines for substitutions and conversions and even called for outside help while preparing meals. How has your phone or tablet come to the rescue in the kitchen?
Thanks to a brief stint at Conservation Camp as a kid, I can passably read a compass and pitch a tent. But it never hurts to have a quick refresher, especially since we’re now headed into what’s typically the first cold and rainy camping weekend of the year. From the Canadian Red Cross First Aid app for any misadventures to the Parks Canada back-to-basics apps with park-specific tips and camping lists, download these must-haves before you set off with your camp stove and tent poles this weekend.
Do you pack your devices when you head out to the cottage or park?
I love to imagine a future where, Jetsons-style, I’ll have a robotic housekeeper that handles all of my daily chores. The Pew Research Center Internet Project, along with Elon University, has taken a more scientific approach to imagining the future, polling more than 1,600 experts about what the Internet of Things will look like by 2025 – and the actual definition of “Internet of Things.” Which is basically a large, invisible network of devices working together. The report is lengthy, but The Guardian offers a top 10 things list that provides a good overview. The expectation is that by 2025 we’ll talk to devices the same way we talk to other people and “we will all have cyberservants.” In addition to my clean home fantasy, the experts also predict that we’ll quantify even more of our lives and be able to monitor our health through wearables.
What do you think technology will be capable of in 2025?
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Sleeping bag. Dehydrated snacks. Smartphone? Whether your idea of camping involves a drive-in spot with a barbeque or a few days of trekking through the wilderness, an internet connection probably isn’t on top of your packing list. But your mobile device can be a valuable camping tool. Here are a few apps that will help me pitch a tent like a pro this summer and (hopefully) keep me from getting lost in the wilderness.
Parks Canada has a Learn to Camp app, free for iOS, Android and BlackBerry. It’s great for newbies as it highlights camping basics like packing checklists and how to set up a tent, but more experienced outdoorsy-types may also enjoy features like recipes and tips on specific national parks.
Help in a pinch
Hopefully your camping trips go down without a single stubbed toe or bug bite. But my brief stint as a Girl Guide taught me to always be prepared. So before you leave, download the Canadian Red Cross First Aid app (free, iOS and Android) for step-by-step instructions for first aid scenarios. The content is pre-loaded in the app, meaning that you can access all the videos and tips even when you don’t have any reception or internet connection. It also includes safety tips to help you prepare for emergencies like hurricanes.
Explore the night sky
As a city dweller, it’s a treat to escape the light pollution and watch the sky for shooting stars. I’m no expert astronomer, but apps like Google Sky Map (free, Android) or The Night Sky ($0.99, iOS) can help you go beyond the little dipper to identify constellations like Orion and Hercules.
Find your way
In addition to trail maps and your phone’s GPS, a compass is a pretty standard item on your camping packing list. But it’s also just one more thing to carry. Find north – and your way back to your camp site – with a compass app, like Smart Compass (free, Android) or Compass (free, iOS).
To round out your packing list (be sure to check out our music festival tips and our summer survival guide, too), make sure your devices are ready with sufficient wireless internet for your campfire song lyric searches, rainy day videos and more. Calculate how much you need at Roge.rs/calculator.
What apps would you include in your camping survival kit?
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Scouring “top 10 gifts for Mom” lists? Your search is over: it’s the HTC One M8. If mom is a foodie, gardener, yogi, techy, traveller or just straight up busy, this phone will work for her. I’m all of the above — and this is why I love my phone so much.
The Android OS (operating system) along with Google cards is next level when it comes to notifications, and the real reason that I love my phone. I was once eating in a restaurant with karaoke scheduled for later. My phone buzzed when it was time to leave to get to karaoke on time! Another time I made a dinner reservation on Open Table while waiting for my kids at piano lessons. Again, my phone told me when it was time to leave piano to make it to dinner. I didn’t even add the reso to my calendar!
When I have a flight coming up, my phone reminds me a day in advance. By providing the flight number in the notification, online check-in is even easier. Using an electronic boarding pass? That will also come through a notification.
I take a lot of photos. I like to take pictures of my family and selfies at events. My kids ask me to take pictures for them (of birds and trees), and my kids like to take my phone to shoot their own pictures. Do I worry about losing photos? Nope. I connected my Drop Box account so my photos are automatically backed up for me.
My every day apps
I have a few every day apps that keep my life on track and organized.
Epicurious – recipes and shopping lists help me plan meals for the busy week ahead
Facebook – helps me keep up with friends and family
Pinterest –the Pinterest app experience is even better than desktop, I use it to save decorating, party planning, and gardening ideas
Kindle – for days when my bag is too heavy I use the app instead of carrying my Kindle
Starbucks – this was the first app I added to my phone. I have my loyalty card connected to pay for drinks and collect rewards
BBM for Android – added it as soon as it was released and I use it every day to IM with my BBM friends
Want to get an HTC One for mom? From May 5 until May 9, tweet a photo of you and your mom using the hashtag #HTCMom for a chance to win the new HTC One M8 in Amber Gold, available exclusively at Rogers. And if you’re not the lucky winner, you can still reserve the device using the online Rogers Reservation System.
Imagine: You wake up and the weather report is ready, complete with real-time info to help you avoid the traffic jam that’s developed on your usual route. Likewise, your stocks and last night’s sports scores are waiting for you. Later, you’ll receive a reminder about your lunch date, complete with directions on how to get there.
Sound appealing? Then you need to check out Google Now. This free app for Android (for OS version 4.1 Jelly Bean and up), iOS and Chrome lets you customize the type of information you want to receive. Working in the background, the app organizes the information onto simple cards that pop up as they’re needed. It’s like your own personal news feed.
Customizing your Google Now cards on your Android device is easy. Before getting started, make sure you’ve got the latest version of the Android operating system downloaded onto your device.
1. Access Google Now by touching the home button at the bottom of your device’s screen, and then swipe up to the Google circle. Alternatively, you can open Google Now by clicking Apps and then choosing Widgets.
2. Next, you’ll see cards at the bottom of the Google Now screen. By default, you’ll see an automatically updated weather card for your current location. To view a full list of cards, tap Show sample cards at the bottom of the screen.
3. Tap Settings to customize a card. For example, the Traffic card can be customized to only show public-transit information, or to only pop up before commuting home, and so on. You can also disable any cards you don’t want to pop up, or control when a card appears. Likewise, click on the Weather card, and you can check or uncheck boxes for “at home,” “at work,” “at current location” and “for upcoming trips.”
4. Part of the genius of Google Now is it tries to learn your behaviour, and so it will add and modify cards based on what you search for. But if you find the app is giving you cards that you don’t want cluttering up your device, simply swipe to turn off.
5. Disable specific notifications by clicking on the three dots on the bottom right of your Android’s screen, and then clicking Settings. Click on Google Now at the top of the screen to see the list of cards. For each one you don’t want, simply switch the toggle to Off.
For me, Google Now earned its keep with flight tracking on a recent trip – the card updates that my plane was delayed was so much nicer than constantly refreshing the tracking site, or, worse, cooling my heels at the airport! Check out more quick tips and tutorials from Connected.
What daily tasks would Google Now tackle for you?
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