Posts Tagged ‘blackberry’

Spring gardening: Apps to help you get growing

SpringWinter will end. We promise. And when it does, you’ll be happy you took our advice and downloaded these awesome apps to turn your smartphone into your ultimate gardening assistant.

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..

Now all you’re missing is your gear! Chatelaine will help you choose your  tools wisely while ConnectedRogers has some gadget picks for gardening geeks.

Can you recommend an app to help us grow like pros this spring?

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Ready, set, go: Handy apps for the vacation bound

Smartphones on vacationVacations are great. Getting packed and organized? Not so much. Here are some great apps to help make that process easier.

Before  you go

TripIt (free), available on iOs, Android, BlackBerry and Windows Phone, is really helpful! Forward all your flights, train tickets and car reservation confirmation emails to TripIt and it will create your itinerary. You’ll be able to check it online and share it easily.

Checklists and more checklists

Do you ever get that nagging feeling you’re forgetting something when you pack your suitcase? I know I do. That’s where packing checklist apps come in handy. On Android, Pack the suitcase (free) is a good option with pre-populated lists and Luggage & Suitcase Checklist (free) lets you create different suitcases for every family member. Packing List is available for BlackBerry (free) and Windows Phone (free) users. On iOS, uPacking list (free) does the job as well!

You’re there  

There are plenty of GPS apps out there, starting with Google Maps (free on iOS, Android). Nokia Here (free), available on Windows Phone 8 only, lets you download maps for offline access, and not only can help you if you’re driving, cycling or walking but can also give you transit information and listings for local stores, restaurants and bars.


I am personally a big fan of the new Discovery features from Foursquare (free, available on iOS, Android, BlackBerry) and love getting recommendations from locals who know their neighbourhood, rather than guides that might be outdated by the time they’ve gone to press. In the same spirit, TripAdvisor (free, on iOS, Android and Windows Phone) is always a go-to reference to find accommodation or things to do around me. LocalEats ($0.99 on iOS, $1 on Android) will also suggest restaurants based on your criteria for a good number of U.S. and international cities.


Seated at a restaurant and want to order your steak rare? Make sure you don’t ask for well-done with Google Translate (free, available on iOS and Android). Even better, let your phone do the job with speech recognition apps such as Speak and Translate (free , Android) or SayHi Translate ($0.99 on iOS).


What’s a trip without souvenirs? Convert clothes (free, iOS) will help you figure out clothing sizes, and XE currency conversion apps (free, on iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone) will help keep you on budget.

Staying safe

It’s important to be prepared for emergencies. For health issues, you can consult the American Red Cross First Aid app (free), available for iOS and Android, to get step by step instructions for coping with common issues. Before you leave, make sure you have downloaded the mobile app for your bank and the Rogers My Account app, available on all mobile platforms. Finally, make sure to store a list of your insurance, bank and other important phone numbers somewhere on your phone, either in your Contacts or within an app like EverNote (free, available across all platforms).

Smartphones make travelling so much smoother. Having an international roaming plan so you can access to all your information at all times? That’s the key for peace of mind for the vacation-bound. With our new worry-free roaming internet rate, customers can access to up to 50 MB of data for $7.99 per 24 hour period while in the U.S. For more on your roaming options, check out our tips for choosing between roaming rates and prepaid SIMs.

Now it’s your turn. What’s your favourite app when you’re travelling?

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Toronto Blue Jays’ Brandon Morrow connects with Rogers and BlackBerry fans

Toronto Blue Jays Brandon MorrowToday, we’ll be down at the Rogers store at 10 Dundas St. E. in Toronto, where Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Brandon Morrow will be signing autographs for some eager baseball fans.

Starting today, Rogers customers in Ontario who purchase a BlackBerry Z10 or Q10 on select three-year terms will receive a free Blue Jays jersey. The offer is available for a limited time, for more details visit

We’ll be bringing you coverage from Morrow’s autograph signing and asking him some of your questions from Twitter, live here on our blog beginning at 11:45. So stay tuned!


Check out the big line!

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UPDATE, May 27, 12 pm: If you couldn’t make it on Friday, here’s your chance to win a Blue Jays jersey autographed by Brandon and a BlackBerry Q10! Be sure to read the live blog for the answer to  the question on our contest at

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

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

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

Weekend Reading: Canadians social media score, digital detox camp and summer’s hottest devicesSome weeks provide more interesting digital news than others. This week, amid the BlackBerry Q10 and Samsung Galaxy S4 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.

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BlackBerry Q10 smartphone available today from Rogers

BlackBerry Q10 black and whiteThe BlackBerry Q10 smartphone, with its physical QWERTY keyboard and touchscreen powered by the BlackBerry 10 platform, is available today from Rogers retail locations, starting at $199 with select three year plans.

Rogers is the first Canadian carrier to bring its customers the BlackBerry Q10 device with support for the blazing fast 2600 MHz LTE spectrum band.

In honour of the new smartphone, we caught up with Trevor from Herrle’s Market, a family owned and operated farm near Waterloo, Ont., to learn how his BlackBerry on the Rogers network helps him grow beautifully red and plump strawberries.

When did you start using BlackBerry devices on the farm?

Personally, I have been the “AgNerd” of the family.  My first BlackBerry device was the 6210.  Back then, being able to see the weather in the field was a luxury.  Being able to respond to an email on a tractor was almost unheard of.

How has BlackBerry 10 changed things on the farm?

Beyond coordinating activities using calendar invites and BBM, I also take pictures, track weather patterns, and engage with the community using Twitter from my BlackBerry on a regular basis (yes, even from my tractor – but not while driving it, of course!). I have leveraged social media in particular as a method to connect urban consumers to the farm, gathering feedback on new product ideas and reaching out to them in a variety of ways.

Read the full interview on RedBoardBiz.

The BlackBerry Q10 smartphone is now available at Rogers retail locations across Canada, starting at $199.99 with select three year plans.

Elise is a regular contributor to RedBoard.


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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 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.

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Weekend reading: Sweet thoughts of passwords, holidays and BlackBerry Q10 news

Could daydreaming about your vacation double as your password? Researchers have found a way to use brainwaves to authenticate your identity, and all you need to make it work is a $100 headset. Meanwhile, three-quarters of high income travellers are taking their smartphones on vacation, teens are coveting the iPhone and the new BlackBerry Q10 smartphone (yes, the one with the keyboard) will be rolling out from Rogers in the coming weeks.

Secure thoughts

One uppercase letter. One symbol. Don’t forget the number! Typing passwords could be on the way out, we learned this week from TechCrunch. Researchers at UC Berkeley School of Information have developed a way to think your password, using a $100 headset and brainwaves to authenticate users. Researchers say the so-called “pass-thoughts” could work by simply concentrating on breathing.

Other pass-thoughts included imagining moving a finger up and down, focusing on a dot on a piece of paper in response to a sound, imagining a repetitive motion from a sport, imagining singing a song, counting (silently) objects or focussing on a single thought for 10 seconds.

All these pass-thoughts worked to identify users, and researchers say the brainwave-based passwords could end up being an accessible, cheap and secure alternative to the pricier biometrics, such as fingerprint and retina scans, that are also being tested.

Would you try protecting your email with a “pass-thought?”

Staying connected on holiday

When I’m travelling, my suitcase is always a tangle of cords. I rely on smartphones, cameras and tablets to keep me on track (and from getting lost!) on holiday, while ensuring that all the fun is documented in photos, tweets and more. Not to mention how handy it is to check my flight status, look up restaurant reviews and make sure I’m not missing too much at home. Turns out, I share my travel habits with some high rollers. According to a recent study from Mediapost, 77 per cent of “affluents” – people with annual household incomes above $100,000 –  vacationed with their smartphone last year, while 47 per cent toted tablets and laptops.

These high-income earners are logging on to read (40 per cent), make plans, check the weather (72 per cent) and get directions (66 per cent). Three-quarters use their devices to send personal emails, while nearly 40 per cent are posting updates to social media. And more than a third, 38 per cent, stay connected to their office by checking their work email.

Do you rely on your devices while on vacation?

American teens love their iPhones

Apple continues to win the hearts of American teenagers in the iOS vs. Android battle, according to Piper Jaffray’s 25th bi-annual teen survey. The report – which used classroom visits and electronic surveys to poll 1,600 teens from high-income families and 3,600 teens from average income families — found that nearly half (48 per cent) of teens own an iPhone, up from 40 per cent in the fall. And 62 per cent of teens plan to buy an iPhone for their next mobile device. Less than a quarter, 23 per cent, planned to buy an Android phone. That was a one per cent increase from the fall.

Teens are also choosing Apple when it comes to tablets, with 68 per cent planning to buy an iPad. The survey also found that more than half, 51 per cent, of teens owned a tablet and 17 per cent planned to buy one in the next six months.

What will your next device be? Apple, Android, BlackBerry or Windows?

Coming soon: The BlackBerry Q10 smartphone

Keyboard fans, rejoice! The BlackBerry Q10 smartphone, with its physical QWERTY keyboard and touch screen, will be arriving at Rogers retail locations across Canada in the coming weeks.  It’s now available on the Rogers Reservation System and for new customers on Rogers is the first Canadian carrier to bring its customers the device with support for the blazing fast 2600 MHz LTE spectrum band. Rogers customers will also be the first to get the BlackBerry Q10 smartphone in white. The device is also available in black.

Touch screen or physical keyboard: which do you prefer for typing? Why?

Jennifer is a regular RedBoard contributor.

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Coming soon: Rogers LTE brings fastest BlackBerry Q10 experience to Canadians

BlackBerry Q10 Smartphone Exciting news BlackBerry® 10 fans! When the new smartphone launches this spring, Rogers will be the first Canadian carrier to bring its customers the BlackBerry Q10 device that supports the blazing fast  2600 MHz LTE spectrum band. The BlackBerry Q10 smartphone will be available in both black and white, but Rogers customers will be the first to have access to the white model.

The BlackBerry Q10 smartphone includes the physical QWERTY keyboard and a touch screen combined with the power of the BlackBerry 10 platform – perfect for people who love to communicate and collaborate on-the-go.

What makes this BlackBerry so fast? 

The BlackBerry Q10 smartphone is built to run on the 2600 MHz LTE spectrum band with Rogers LTE, Canada’s fastest wireless internet. Rogers has more 2600 MHz spectrum band deployed than any other carrier in Canada, so if you’re looking for speed, this is the place to get your device.

With the BlackBerry Q10 smartphone on the Rogers LTE network, you’ll be able to do more with your device, such as live stream HD sports with no buffering, download large files quickly and stream music at faster speeds. And we announced last month we will expand our 2600 MHz LTE spectrum  to 44 new markets this spring.

Want your smartphone in white?

Device colour can be very important, maybe to add a little personality or match your handbag. Whatever the reason, Rogers customers will be the first to get the BlackBerry Q10 smartphone in white.

How do I get one?

The BlackBerry Q10 smartphone will be arriving at Rogers retail locations across Canada in the coming weeks starting at $199.99 with select three year plans. Current Rogers wireless customers can reserve this device now on the Rogers Reservation System and pre-orders for new customers are now available at

Update, April 23, 2 p.m.: We’re happy to announce the BlackBerry Q10 will be available in-store at Rogers retail locations on May 1.

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Weekend Reading: A suretap update and all things digital

Digital, digital, digital! It’s the word of the week for sure with news headlines focused on digital behaviour between generations, what happens in a digital minute and how much floor space you can save with a digital lifestyle. Plus, we fill you in on some updates to our suretap mobile payments solution. All in this week’s edition of Weekend Reading.

Suretap expands to Android and BlackBerry 10

Last year, we were excited to announce our partnership with CIBC to bring mobile payments to Canada. Since then, we have partnered with suretap to essentially turn your smartphone into a digital wallet. This week, we expanded suretap’s services to work on even more devices, including the Samsung Galaxy S3 and Note II for Android, plus the new Blackberry Z10.

Check out what’s being said online in some great posts this week from Tech Vibes, NFC News, IT NerdThe Cellular Guru, Mobile Syrup and IT Business. Have you made a purchase with suretap yet? What developments are you looking forward to in 2013? 

Digital habits differ between millennials, Gen Xers and boomers

Last week, we told you what millennials (ages 18 to 34) value at work, and the week before that we learned they value their smartphones over their vehicles. This week, eMarketer dug a little deeper to learn how they’re spending their time online.

While watching digital videos ranks highest amongst Gen Xers, millennials consume more social media than the other generations, with more than half of them Tweeting. Don’t count out the baby boomers though – almost 60 million were regular internet users in 2012, but they’re spending more time with video than social media.

These insights into millennials certainly ring true personally! Social media by far uses most of my time every month. Does the same hold true for you? Or are you into other smartphone features entirely?

A digital minute

By the time you finish reading this section, 277,000 people will have logged into Facebook, 204 million emails will have been sent and six new Wikipedia articles will have been published.

It’s absolutely staggering to see consumption by the minute and realize just how much is happening on the internet in a mere minute, let alone a day, month or year! Can you imagine what it will be like two years from now? ReadWriteWeb breaks it down in their infographic featuring how much internet data we go through in a minute, plus where we’re headed by 2015.

Are you surprised by any of these figures? Can you believe more than 320 Twitter accounts were just created?!

Smartphones free up your floor space

Living in a condo approximately 500 square feet by myself, space has been a constant sore point in an otherwise lovely dwelling. So when I saw Mashable’s headline Your Phone Can Replace 62 Cubic Feet of Furniture, I knew it was a must-read!

One of the main conveniences of mobile devices has become the cloud, and its ability to store tangible items virtually. But how many people stop to think of the space they could be saving in their home as a result? By transferring music and books to online libraries you can eliminate furniture such as bookcases, shelving and CD racks. Mashable actually demonstrates the space you could save by transferring storage in a fun graphic.

Is this the way of the future? How will this affect home decor? Guess I know how I’ll be spending my weekend – transferring everything online!

Kelly is a regular RedBoard contributor.

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