Posts Tagged ‘apps’
For the gardening newbie
I’m completely new to gardening and need to start with the basics. If you’re also looking for a crash course, Gardenate, available on iOS and Android ($1.99), comes to the rescue. The app gives recommendations based on your climate and time of the year. On BlackBerry? Try the Popular Garden Plants app (free).
Do you have garden envy? Snap a picture of your neighbour’s flower or vegetable garden and search with Google Goggles (free on iOS and Android) to get the plant’s name!
From garden to table
I dream of my kids picking red ripe tomatoes from our garden and using our very own pumpkin for Halloween. How do I start? On most platforms, you’ll find a guide to grow your own food: try Edible Garden Planner (Windows Phone, free), Kitchen Garden (Blackerry, free), and Vegetable Garden on Android and iOS ($1.07)
Of course, I also want mint for ice tea, basil for salads and coriander for fried rice. Start a herb garden with the help of Herb Garden (Android, free), Grow your own organic herbs (iOS, free) and Herbs 101 (Windows Phone, free).
Watch it grow
As smartphone users, we’re addicted to recording, monitoring and tracking. Get the notifications started with Garden Squared (Android, free), MyGarden (iOS, free), Garden 360 (Windows Phone, $2.49) and Gardening Checklist (BlackBerry, $1.99).
Bugs, pests, critters and butterflies
Get to know whether your insect visitors are friend or foe with the Garden Insect Guide, free on iOS and Android. Love butterflies? Use this iOS app ($0.99) to plan your garden to attract butterflies..
Can you recommend an app to help us grow like pros this spring?
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Do you, like Mindy Kaling, worry that everyone is hanging out without you? According to new research, that fear may be the motivation to check your cellphone alerts up to 100 times a day. Plus, smartphone shipments hit a major milestone, Twitter updates its app to include photo sharing and we teach you how to use carrier billing. Learn all about it in this week’s edition of the weekend reading.
FOMO on screen
Fear of missing out (FOMO) means we’re checking our phones nearly 100 times a day, according to research from Mobile Posse and Phoenix Marketing International. The October research found that U.S. smartphone users spend more time (26 per cent of the total) checking alerts on their home and lock screens than with any other mobile activity. More than half of those surveyed said the notifications were the first thing they checked when they picked up their phone – fuelling the researcher’s belief that this was due to their alternative phrase for FOMO, which they called “Fear of missing something” (FOMS). Thirty per cent of smartphone users also looked at their phone immediately after getting an alert – and on average they were signed up for notifications from at least eight categories, including missed calls, text, email, social, news, weather, games and more.
How often do you check your phone’s alerts?
We’re always sharing stats that mobile use is on the rise in Canada, but last year smartphone shipments hit a new record: for the first time one billion smartphones were shipped in a single year. According to IDC, that’s an increase of 38.4 per cent from the 725.3 million devices shipped in 2012. “Only two years ago, we had half a billion units, so it’s a testament to how popular smartphones are and how competitive the market is right now,” Ramon T. Llamas, of IDC, told Mashable. He does expect growth to slow down eventually, predicting that a plateau is likely in the next five or six years.
Did you purchase a new cellphone in 2013? Which model?
Apps made easy
The average smartphone or tablet in Canada is loaded with 25 apps – but I suspect RedBoard readers are carrying even more games, productivity and educational tools in the palm of their hand! To help Android-toting Rogers customers keep up with the latest downloads, all in one convenient bill, we recently started offering carrier billing at the Google Play store. That means instead of charging your app downloads to your credit card bill, you can add them to your monthly Rogers statement, making it easier to track your wireless spending. Check out the step-by-step how to here.
How many apps have you downloaded to your devices?
Tweak your tweets
Twitter continues to roll out new updates to its mobile apps, and the latest change adds a photo editor. Now, users of the microblogging platform on Android can crop and rotate the images that accompany their tweets. Plus, Twitter now prompts you to @mention the friends in the photo. According to Engadget, the changes will soon roll out for iOS users too.
Do you share photos on Twitter? Will you edit your shots before hitting send?
The recent Rogers Innovation Report found that Canadians had quite the ‘app-etite’ in 2013; their smartphones and tablets included a buffet of twenty-five apps on average. Not surprisingly, Facebook was the most popular app overall, appearing on 74 per cent of Canadian smartphones.
I consider myself a bit of a techie so I have almost 90 apps on my phone and use about a third of them regularly. I’m a fan of keeping things simple, so I have my Google Play purchases billed to my monthly Rogers statement. This way, I see all of my wireless costs in one place.
If you’re an Android user, you too can skip the credit card and charge your Google Play purchases directly to your Rogers account. The purchase will show up on your monthly statement as “Google Play.”
To take advantage of Google Play carrier billing, simply choose “carrier billing” when making a purchase.
If you’ve already linked a credit card to your Google Wallet, you’ll need to remove it before you can see the option for carrier billing:
- Visit wallet.google.com
- Log in
- Go to “Payment Methods” and select the credit card
- Tap “Remove” and tap again to confirm
Next time you’re making a Google Play purchase, select carrier billing and voila, you’re all set!
So tell us: How many apps do you have on your smartphone or tablet?
‘Tis the season to be jolly … Sorry, is that too soon for you? I can’t help it. The winter holidays are my favourite time of the year. The crunch of snow under my feet, the decorations and lights everywhere and the carols all make me feel like a kid again.
So curl up with some warm apple cider and check out these five apps that will definitely get you in the holiday spirit.
1. A Charlie Brown Christmas ($4.99)
Everyone’s favourite Christmas special comes to life in this fun, interactive app. If you can’t wait for A Charlie Brown Christmas to air on TV every year, you’ll love this app. (It’s great to share with your kids, too!) You can even decorate your own Charlie Brown Christmas tree.
2. Mint.com (free)
While a budgeting app might not seem completely in the spirit of the season, Mint is a great way to track your spending. Most of the tracking is automatic, so you won’t need to manually enter the details of every purchase (which makes it so easy to use). Sticking to a budget means no unpleasant surprises come billing season in January.
3. How the Grinch Stole Christmas ($5.23)
Of course, the season’s other holiday classic is this Dr. Seuss tale. This interactive storybook app offers three modes: reading the book yourself, having the book read to you, or a mix of the two.
4. Any.do (free)
This is another app that’s not holiday specific, but definitely will save you from checking your list twice. Any.do is a to-do list app that syncs with your Gmail account and has a Chrome plugin so you can easily add tasks. Tasks can also be shared with others, so you can work together to get all the gifts from everyone’s lists this year.
5. The Nightmare before Christmas ($1.05)
Looking for a bit of a different spin on the holidays? This app allows you to give your device a fun Nightmare Before Christmas theme. You can customize icons, your wallpaper and dock faster than you can say Jack Skellington.
Rogers is the first Canadian provider to offer carrier billing for Google Play purchases. Instead of paying via credit card, Rogers customers can now sign up to have their Google Play purchases billed on their monthly Rogers statement. If you’ve already connected your credit card to your Google Play account, you’ll need to remove it in order to see the option for carrier billing.
Check out Google’s step-by-step instructions on paying for your Google Play purchases with carrier billing.
What apps help fuel your holiday spirit?
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From broadcast news and magazine publishing to smartphones, internet and cable television, there’s always a lot going on at Rogers. All these products and projects also mean our employees have a wide variety of responsibilities – including some pretty cool jobs. So once a month we’re checking in with Rogers employees who love what they do. This month, Elana Schachter, Director of Digital Product Strategy for Rogers Publishing, shares a glimpse inside the world of tablet magazines and apps.
Confession: Until recently, most of my workouts consisted of me sweating to the oldies in my basement using DVDs. As Director of Digital Product Strategy for Rogers Publishing, I knew there had to be a more modern way to stay in shape. I had a vision for an app that allowed you to customize your workout using your iPad. With a little luck (and some sweat of a different kind), earlier this year we made my dream app: the Chatelaine 10-Minute Fitness app.
I’ve been with Rogers for many years and have been fortunate to have held a multitude of roles across Rogers Communications and Media. What I love best about my current role is the ability to consider what consumers are looking for and having resources to deliver that vision, while further expanding our brands into the mobile space.
My role also allows for constant learning. My friends like to joke I have a new smartphone every time they see me – they are kind of right. Plus I get to work with some of the most exciting companies in the mobile space - Apple, Google and Samsung – on a daily basis.
Early on, Rogers Publishing saw success with the development of our iPad magazine replicas for Maclean’s in December 2010. The first Canadian magazine title to be available on the digital newsstand, it can often be found in the top 10 most popular titles in the country. We quickly realized we needed to add iPhone to the mix and have since launched iPhone magazine editions for Maclean’s, Canadian Business and Hello! Canada. Hello! Canada has remained in the #1 spot since launch at the end of May – impressive, right?
Now all of our consumer magazines are available across multiple digital newsstands including Blackberry, Apple and Google Play. We recently reached a new milestone, with more than 1 million app downloads across all of our titles.
Maclean’s also launched our first eBook on the Shafia Honour Killing Trial in March 2012, and it continues to be one of our top sellers. In July of 2012, we grew our team to better support the development of eBooks. We have since published 69 eBooks on a variety of topics.
Our team has also been experimenting with custom iPad apps for iTunes. We have launched 13 to date, including Chatelaine Recipe Box, Châtelaine Guide Pleine Forme, Canadian Business Retire Happy and Maclean’s Universities Guidebook. (Click to view our full collection of Rogers Publishing apps on iTunes).
But the most successful stand-alone app to date has been Chatelaine’s 10-Minute Fitness app. I’d been fantasizing about an app that would let you mix and match to build custom workouts that you could play on your TV using Apple’s AirPlay. Given Chatelaine’s amazing health and wellness content, it was a natural fit. The app contains 14 custom workouts which means we had to produce videos for more than 100 moves! It was a lot of work but totally worth it. The app launched at the end of May and within its first month reached #14 on the overall iPad charts, ahead of some of the world’s most popular games and social networking apps. It’s since been downloaded 100,000 times and ranked #1 in the Health & Fitness category in 49 countries around the world! The app is free to download and includes Chatelaine’s All-Star Workout and a detox diet plan.
Not only did this app deliver on my workout needs but it is also helping drive revenue for the company. Our team is hard at work on creating more apps every day. Keep checking your favourite magazines’ print, digital and website editions for details.
Did you know?
Rogers recently launched a new Career Zone. Check it out today at jobs.rogers.com to explore how you can build an exciting, rewarding career at Rogers!
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From broadcast news and magazine publishing to smartphones, internet and cable television, there’s always a lot going on at Rogers. All these products and projects also mean our employees have a wide variety of responsibilities – including some pretty cool jobs. As part of a new monthly series, we’re checking in with Rogers employees who love what they do. This week, we chatted with Brian Coleman, Manager, Mobile Development. Brian, who is based in Toronto, joined the Rogers team in July 2012.
What inspired you to join the Rogers team?
Rogers is one of the most recognized brands in Canada. I saw that they develop some of the best Canadian apps in the Apple App Store including City Video. I wanted to work with an experienced team that had released some top apps. What interested me about Digital Media was their diversity of work across broadcast, radio and publishing. There is nothing more rewarding as a developer than to work with top brands and have thousands of users see your work.
What do you do at Rogers?
During this last year with Rogers I have worked as an iOS Developer for the publishing team. We released more than six #1 apps to the Apple App Store including the new Chatelaine 10-Minute Fitness. I developed and enhanced the publishing framework to support over twenty replica magazines as well as iPhone versions of Macleans, Canadian Business and Hello! Canada. Just recently I was promoted to Manager, Mobile Development. This was an exciting move because now I get to be a part of every project my team is working on.
What’s challenging and exciting about your job?
The challenging part about my job is to keep up to date with the latest and greatest technology. Mobile is changing so fast and there are so many more devices now. In the past I only focused on iOS but now I need to know all about Android, BlackBerry and Windows operating systems.
The most exciting part of my job is the process of taking an idea and growing it to a full functioning app that people enjoy. The surprise and delight of seeing someone use our app for the first time and getting their thoughts about what they liked and what they would do to improve it. Software is such an iterative process; we are always updating our apps based on the feedback we receive.
Tell us about an inspiring moment as a Mobile Development Manager at Rogers:
I think the most inspiring moments I’ve had recently is during interviews with iOS and Android developers. I get to talk with a lot of very passionate people. Developers love what they do, they live and breathe their language of choice. It’s fun to debate different topics, and during this I get to learn a lot about how other companies they have worked at operate, why they developed something the way they did and what they learned from their past experiences.
What advice would you give to someone who wants a job like yours?
- You need to have a great sense of passion for mobile and the software development process; this passion will rub off on your team.
- Learn as much as you can by developing many different apps. In development you learn by doing, making mistakes and learning how to fix them. This is invaluable to pass on to your team because those experiences help them progress as developers.
- Work on your “people skills”, managing resources is a big part of the job. Many developers are pretty introverted so you need to be able to make them feel comfortable to come to you when they get stuck or have questions.
Did you know?
Last week, Rogers launched a new Career Zone through SuccessFactors that will help:
- You to see and apply for roles across Rogers that match your skills and interests;
- Managers to hire the best through a simplified, streamlined hiring process; and
- Recruiters to attract and engage the right people for the right roles within the organization.
Check it out today at jobs.rogers.com to explore how you can build an exciting, rewarding career at Rogers!
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This week we’re cycling with the pros in the Tour de France, celebrating a download milestone and recognizing moms as the most socially engaged group. We’re also buzzing about Instagram video, which can now be embedded in posts! All that and more in this week’s edition of the Weekend Reading.
Pedal the Tour de France
My Facebook stream is filled with friends posting finish line selfies and Endomodo bike commute updates, so I feel it’s pretty safe to say that fitness and technology go hand in hand. And now Google has made the Tour de France accessible to armchair athletes. In honour of the 100th edition of the race, the search engine giant has launched a tool called Your Tour, which lets you “cycle” through the course by scrolling with your mouse or trackpad. Race stages are added as the pack arrives, and include video from a bike and a map of the course.
While I may be a weekend warrior, I’m far from Tour-worthy, so I loved getting a peek into this world that could previously only be experienced by elite athletes.
This week, Rogers magazine titles celebrated one million tablet app downloads, a milestone recognized by Masthead and the Canadian Magazines blog. We’re proud to be the first major magazine publisher to offer readers tablet versions of every one of our consumer publications, including Chatelaine, Sportsnet and HELLO! Canada. Rogers Media currently offers 22 publications on iPad, Android and BlackBerry devices. Starting with the launch of the Maclean’s app in 2010, our “replica apps” offer enhanced versions of the print editions, adding photo galleries, audio tips, behind the scenes videos and more.
We should note that our one-million mark doesn’t include the more than 60 ebooks we’ve published or our standalone apps, like Chatelaine’s 10-Minute Fitness App for iPad, which reached the top spot in the health and fitness category in 31 countries.
Do you read magazines on your tablet?
Moms mad about social media
There’s tonnes of online buzz around the tech-savvy millennial generation, but according to a new eMarketer report, moms are actually the most socially engaged demographic in Canada. Overall, in March 2013, moms spent 18 per cent more time on social media – that’s more than 10 hours a month – than the average Canadian female social media user. A full 86 per cent of internet-using mothers go online every single day, with visiting social networking sites the most common activity. Other top daily online habits include commenting on social networking activities, profile updates, reading forums or discussion groups and watching videos. Moms also dedicate more time to the internet than to watching television. And be sure to check out Clare Kumar’s tips on how technology can help moms.
Are you a social-savvy mom? How often are you online?
Ready, set, filter
A few weeks ago, Instagram announced it would be adding video capabilities to its photo-sharing social network. Users uploaded 5 million 15 second-videos, complete with carefully chosen filters, in the 24 hours following the app upgrade. Celebs are also hopping on board with the service, as James Franco used an Instagram video this week to announce he’ll be the lucky recipient of a Comedy Central roast.
Not even a month old, the service is already rolling out some changes, announcing this week that content would now be embeddable. And, if you want to share your photos in a more tangible way, be sure to check out these 10 gifts from your Instagram pics from Mashable.
What have you captured with Instagram video?
Jennifer is a regular RedBoard contributor.
Did you ever stop to think just how many minutes you spend answering messages each day? According to a new survey, the average person spends nearly a full day each week connecting online! Plus, we learned that app downloads are expected to double by 2017 and an independent study confirmed that Rogers is consistently delivering high internet speeds to our customers. All in this week’s edition of the weekend reading!
I shudder to think of the number of hours each week I spend keeping up with email, social networks and text messages. I’m pretty sure I’m more connected than the average person, and a recent eMarketer survey found the average American spends a full 23 hours per week online and texting. That’s almost an entire day! Which means I’m probably approaching at least 40 hours a week. Minimum.
The survey focused on American web users who used at least two platforms to connect with others. For example, it found that 87 per cent of people were logging on to Facebook and email weekly, while 30 per cent tuned in to YouTube and Twitter. And these people weren’t just logging in – they were actively engaging. Email topped out at almost eight hours a week, while Facebook used an average of almost seven hours a week. That’s a lot of status updates.
How much time do you spend online connecting with friends and family each week? Which platforms top your list?
Apps help us track our runs, prepare our meals, stay organized and connect with friends. They’ve become so integrated in our lives that no one was that surprised when Apple’s App Store hit its 50 billionth download back in May. New research in a report called Future App Stores: Discovery, Monetisation & Ecosystem Analysis 2013 – 2018 predicts global app downloads are just going to continue to soar, doubling from the 80 billion expected in 2013 to 160 billion by 2017. According to MediaBistro, this growth is fuelled by consumers in developing markets upgrading to smartphones. Games are expected to continue their domination of the download charts, at an estimated 40 per cent share. That said, the report predicts that by 2017 only 5 per cent of apps will be paid to download, a drop from 6.1 per cent this year.
I easily download one new app a month – I love trying out the latest chart toppers! My current obsession is the upgraded Instagram with video.
What new apps are topping your downloads?
This week, Rogers was all about speed. We rolled out our blazing fast LTE network in six new regions, including Truro, N.S., Fort Saskatchewan, Alta., Chilliwack, B.C., Joliette, Que. Lennoxville, Que., and Spruce Grove/Stony Plain, Alta. We also expanded our coverage in the Greater Montreal Area.
While we’re hitting high speeds on our smartphones – with the addition of 44 new LTE markets this spring – we want to make sure our customers are getting fast internet, too. This week, an independent study from SamKnows found that Rogers Hi-Speed Internet customers regularly get speeds as fast or faster than advertised – helping you stream music and video quickly, even at peak times. If you do find your internet connection is feeling a little bit laggy, check out these trouble shooting tips.
Hitting the road
Summer is full of things I love: friends, family, ice cream, road trips and all the latest gadgets. Last week, we focussed on two of my favourite things, bringing you travel apps to help with your summer trips and a Google+ Hangout on Air highlighting some of the great new functions of the Samsung Galaxy S4. This week, we’re making it even better: Rogers customers can get a week of free roaming internet with up to 350 MB to use on their next trip to the U.S. when they buy any Samsung smartphone with select two or three-year plans. That’s a lot of photos, tweets and maps! For more details, click here.
Where will your summer holidays take you this year?