Posts Tagged ‘roaming’
Ah, it’s that time of year again. My techy friends are either traveling to Las Vegas or wishing they were. Those who are going grumble about late nights and early mornings, buffet food and back-to-back schedules but we all know there’s nowhere else they’d rather be but CES, otherwise known as the annual Consumer Electronics Show where new ideas and innovations come to life, giving us a peek into what’s to come. I didn’t get to go last year but blogs helped me feel like I was there. Here’s my list of what I hope to see at CES 2015.
The next-level smart home: I used to dream of having a connected home, like something out of the Jetsons. My robot Rosie would greet me at the door. The lights would switch on, music would start to play and the oven would heat up for dinner. Minus Rosie, many of these features are already available with Rogers Smart Home Monitoring [really? The oven will turn on with SHM?]. On top of this, you can control your thermostat, monitor for smoke and carbon monoxide, keep an eye on your family and pets, and more – all from your smartphone or tablet. Other smart ideas for the home were introduced at CES 2014. LG’s HomeChat app let you text with your appliances; bowls started to double as charging stations; and cooktops became more interactive, not only heating your food but letting you access the weather, sports and news. With the smart home taking center stage at CES 2015, we’re bound to see new ideas and more polished versions of old ones.
Innovation beyond the curve: At last year’s CES, curved screens were hot. I jumped on the bandwagon with the world’s first curved smartphone, the LG G Flex. Its curved design attracts so much attention. People ask me about it at the grocery store, Starbucks and most recently the doctor’s office. Watching videos on the curved screen is great – it’s more immersive and the 6” OLED screen delivers rich graphics. I’d love to add a curved TV to my living room but these are still outside of my budget. At CES 2015, will manufacturers push the curve to the next level? I’m hoping to see flexible screens that are both functional and durable come to life.
Next-gen wearables: We’ve seen connected watches but what about smart shoes, pants and jackets? My mind was blown when Lechal introduced smart shoes. Originally designed for the visually impaired, the shoes or insoles connect to Google Maps and buzz when you have to turn. If that isn’t cool enough, you’ll get alerts to your phone letting you know of nearby attractions and they can track calories burned, goals reached and more. Wearable technology will undoubtedly continue to evolve and I can’t wait to see what’s next.
One thing is true. Every year, technology gets better. What may have seemed like a wacky or weird idea in 2014 may be more refined this year. And consumers may be more open-minded about it.
If you’re headed to CES, ROAM LIKE HOME™ from Rogers can help you stay connected. For just $5 per day while roamingyou get access to the data, minutes and text included in your Share Everything™ plan. There’s no catch. Just text travel to 222 to enroll or ensure you have the right plan. You only need to enroll once and then you’re all set for future trips to the U.S. If you’re in Las Vegas, send us your favourite tech finds.
Every November, my best friend and I travel to Florida to shop and enjoy some warm weather before winter officially hits. Traveling to the “Sunshine State” around Black Friday helps us find the deepest discounts on designer handbags and Italian shoes. This year, I wanted to share my tips with you in case you’re planning to shop across the border too, this Black Friday.
Do your research
The internet is a great asset when it comes to shopping. Before you leave, browse the web to compare prices online. Sometimes, online deals are more generous than what’s in-store so you might be better off avoiding the crowds and having your purchase delivered. Some big box stores will beat any competitor’s price so find flyers online, print them off and bring them with you. I also love reading reviews before handing over my cash. It might be a great deal but if the product isn’t up to snuff, then you’re better off to keep looking. Have your smartphone on hand too, to check out reviews on-the-go.
Make a wish list – and stick to it
It’s easy to get carried away when flashy signs are practically screaming “90% off” or “buy one get one free” at you. Stay focused or you might end up buying things you regret. Keep in mind – you won’t be able to return the items once you’re home in Canada so make sure you LOVE what you’re getting. To help organize your list and keep you on-task, I suggest using an app, like ‘Shopping List’ for Android and iPhone users.
Plan your route
You don’t want to waste precious shopping time trying to find your way after getting lost in a new city. Use an app (Route4Me is a good option) to plan your attack route so you know which malls to hit first and how long it will take to get around. This will save you loads of time and give you more confidence navigating through an unknown city. Many U.S. cities also have transit system apps. If you’re not driving check your smartphone’s app store to see what’s available.
Use your smartphone as a multitasking tool
My smartphone is my favourite shopping buddy (don’t tell my friend). I use it as a GPS; timer; deal finder; calculator; method of payment; alarm clock; and more. My friend and I use our phones to stay in touch when we split up and we love sharing change room selfies to help us decide if an item is worth getting. Each year, we make it a tradition to snap photos of our haul and share it on Instagram with friends as soon as we hit the road back to Toronto.
If you’re using your smartphone to maximize your Black Friday success, Rogers has a great solution for you. ROAM LIKE HOME™ lets you use the data and unlimited talk and text included in your Share Everything plan just like you do at home while you’re in the U.S. It’s super easy to use – for just $5/day you can surf to find deals and stores, text a photo for purchase approval and call home to ask a family member’s sweater size. If you’re in the U.S. for longer, we’ll only charge you a maximum of 10 days of ROAM LIKE HOME on any monthly bill – that’s like getting up to 21 days of roaming at no extra charge (and a maximum charge of $50 for roaming on any given monthly bill). To enroll or see if you’re eligible, text “travel” to 222. Once you’re enrolled, you’re covered on every future trip to the U.S.
What’s the best deal you’ve found on Black Friday?
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With winter just around the corner, many of us may be headed to the U.S. to catch some rays! Did you know in Florida the average temperature in November is 26 degrees? Enough said. To get the most out of your trip as you bask in the sun, or scarf down a deep dish pizza in Chicago, be sure to bring along your smartphone. Here are our tips on how to use your device when you travel the States.
Ensure you’re covered
You never know where you might bring your device – to an evening dance party, a sandy beachfront or an amusement park with wild rides. To prevent damage to your screen, get a translucent screen protector that will shield against scratches and dust. We also recommend protecting your smartphone with a case. Not to mention it can really dress up your phone in a style of your choice. Available in multiple colours, and materials, cases are your ultimate defence against device disaster while travelling.
Your smartphone can really come in handy when you’re traveling. Use it to find directions, stay in touch and upload photos so your friends back home can live vicariously through you. Last week we told you about ROAM LIKE HOME™, a new technology that lets you use your Share Everything plan just like you would at home while you’re in the U.S. For just $5/day when roaming you have access to the data and unlimited talk and text included in your plan. This means you can use your data to Instagram a photo of the Statue of Liberty, call home to say you’ve made it to your resort, or text your parents to say you’re staying a few extra days. Once you’re enrolled, there is nothing more you need to do for future trips to the U.S. If you have not yet enrolled, get the details on how to do so in our blog post.
- Use your device as a travel agent and tour guide:
- Coordinate your days in the U.S. with TripIt – an app that develops a master itinerary for your trip so all your plans are in one place – including dates, times, and confirmation numbers, plus directions, maps, weather, and more.
- Select where you’ll be dining with advice from locals and experts with Foodspotting. Using the app you can browse photos of nearby dishes, to see what’s available in your vacation spot.
- Make sure you know what you’re spending with XE, a conversion app that will let you quickly convert U.S. to Canadian dollars.
- Should you wear sunscreen or carry an umbrella? Get instant weather forecasts with WeatherPro that has seven-day forecasts and reports for U.S. locations, plus over two million other international destinations.
- Document your adventures as you travel, with journal apps such as, Trip Journal and Mobility Trip that integrate your entries, photos and videos with trip distance, times and geography travelled. These apps also let you share (if you want) your journey with friends and family in real-time.
Tell us, how have you used your device while travelling to the U.S.?
The stress related to U.S. roaming has just disappeared. Gone are the days of adding roaming plans, swapping out your SIM card or searching endlessly for Wi-Fi. Today we shared news that will change how you stay connected when you are in the U.S.
Your Share Everything Plan will now cover the U.S. For just $5 per day when roaming in the U.S., you will be able to use the data and unlimited talk and text from your Share Everything Plan in the U.S. just like you would at home. Even calls and texts within the U.S. and back to Canada are included. This means you can text your BFF from Chicago; update your Facebook status while lounging in Miami; get directions when you’re lost in Memphis; call home to check in from Portland; Instagram a picture from the Statue of Liberty and more – all for only $5 per day when roaming. Your mobile phone is now your best travel companion.
Simple and affordable
We know not everyone heads to the U.S. for the same reasons – visiting family, shopping, playing tourist, work, etc. – so whether you’re hitting the outlet malls across the border for the weekend or basking in the Florida sun for three months, we’ve got you covered:
- You’ll only pay $5 per day for ROAM LIKE HOME, for a maximum of 10 days on any monthly bill
- This means up to 21 days of ROAM LIKE HOME at no extra charge in that month
- If you’re not using your phone on a particular day when you’re in the U.S., the $5 per day doesn’t apply
- If you happen to use more data than what’s included in your plan, you’ll be charged the same as if you were in Canada. Track your usage using the My Rogers app. You can also switch to a different Share Everything Plan if yours is no longer meeting your needs.
But how do you get it?
If you’re an existing Share Everything customer, you’ll need to enroll first. Starting November 10, simply text “travel” to 222 to get started. All new Share Everything customers as of November 10 will be automatically enrolled so they can immediately start taking advantage of our best roaming rates to the U.S. We listened when Canadians told us roaming wasn’t always easy and affordable. In a recent survey, we found that 49 per cent of Canadians who travel with their mobile device turn roaming off and 66 per cent wait to share photos rather than uploading them in-real time. More than half of people surveyed would rather take a chance on a nearby restaurant instead of using their mobiles to find the top-rated eateries in the area.
That’s why we’ve introduced ROAM LIKE HOME – so you can use your mobile device just like you do at home anywhere you travel to the U.S. Visiting the U.S. is about having fun, not stressing about staying connected. With ROAM LIKE HOME, travelling in the U.S. will never be the same. ROAM LIKE HOME is also coming soon to tablets – stay tuned.
For more information check out Rogers.com.
If you could roam anywhere in the U.S., where would you go?
About the poll Based on a telephone poll conducted by Nielsen on behalf of Rogers between October 9- 18 2014 among 1,115 Canadians aged 18+ who carry a mobile phone or tablet with them while travelling to the U.S. This poll was conducted via a telephone omnibus survey using random digit dialing and has a margin of error of +/- 2.9%, 19 times out of 20.
Summer is in full gear and a vacation is upon us! Even though I tell myself I’m going to unplug when I’m away, I know I’ll still be on my phone for the things that are really important to me like sharing photos, and chatting through Facebook or navigating my way through New England on a little trip to the U.S.
To ensure I’m using my phone smartly when I travel to the States, I always take 5 minutes before crossing the border to visit our Tech Essentials site for great info on how to roam wisely. The site not only gives me info on the basics like different roaming packages, it also walks me through steps to disable apps I don’t need running all the time. There’s even a short how-to video that I watched as I waited for a flight to Chicago last summer. The video showed me how to make small smartphone setting changes that helped me stay well within my data allotment, even though my phone was my tour guide for the weekend.
What I’m loving about the Tech Essentials site this year is that it’s even simpler to find the info I need. With a fresh new look and updated content throughout, it’s easier to use than ever. For example, the data calculator lets me estimate my usage by day, week or month, helping me decide how much data I need for my road trips. The site also clearly explains streaming vs. downloading for all my entertainment on the go.
In addition to roaming insights, the site has further info to help me get the most out of my technology and communications services. For example, it provides best practices for staying safe online, tips to avoid overage fees, tech insights for parents, and more. I’ve got it bookmarked so I can visit periodically throughout the year.
But for now, it’s all about vacation. Tell us, are you roaming in the U.S. this summer?
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Does the thought of travelling without your smartphone induce FOMO (fear of missing out)? If you’re a Rogers customer, don’t fret! We totally understand the importance of staying connected as you travel and our new international travel packs and daily data-only rate let you keep using your smartphone overseas.
Check it out:
These packs, a triple-threat connected experience including voice, data and text, are ideal if you’re travelling for three days or longer. All packs can be purchased by texting “TRAVEL” to 7626 (free in Canada and abroad) or clicking a link in the SMS Rogers will send you once you’ve arrived at your destination.
For example, say you’re on your way to Venice to float down the Grand Canal; you can now buy a pack for $60, which includes 40 minutes of talk, 150 texts and 40 MB of data for the month.
Daily data for $9.99
You may already enjoy our $7.99 pay per data-only rate when travelling to the U.S. Now we’ve rolled out a $9.99 data-only rate to help keep you connected as you traipse to international destinations. The amount of data you receive will vary by region and travel zone.
If you’re travelling to England, for example, $9.99/day will give you access to 20 MBs of data. That means you could easily send about 400 emails, visit 80 websites or access 20 maps. If more than 20 MB are used before the 24 hour period is up, another 20 MB will be automatically added to your account at the $9.99 pay per use rate.
For most customers, Rogers will automatically apply the data-only rate to your account upon the first MB of data used while travelling if you don’t buy a travel pack in advance. This will help if you’ve forgotten to plan ahead! Customers in Newfoundland and Quebec will need to opt-in one time only.
Track your data
Rogers will provide you with free text alerts when using both travel packs and the $9.99 data-only rate, letting you know when you’re nearing the end of your available data. Or you can text “USAGE” to 3330 for free to see how many daily data rates have been used or if you’ve been charged overage costs on your travel pack.
While you’re travelling, buying a local pre-paid SIM is an option, but we think travel packs are more convenient.
For more information about our new ways to stay connected as you travel internationally check out rogers.com/roaming.
Tell us, where will you be travelling this spring?
From major NHL and magazine announcements to speedy LTE expansion, travel and tablets, 2013 was a busy year at Rogers! I had the pleasure of joining the RedBoard team in 2013 – but I’m told I’m not allowed to call that a highlight of our year! So, in no particular order, here are 13 highlights of the year that was:
- Hitting high speed: We expanded our LTE network to new cities in Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia and hit our goal of launching in 95 new markets in 2013 (you can see the full list here). Deploying more 2600 Mhz spectrum than any other provider also meant bringing our blazing fast speeds to more Rogers customers in Manitoba, Ontario, B.C. and Quebec. For us on RedBoard, it was a chance to share our favourite speedy apps, a new infographic and quiz people on the street about what, exactly, LTE means.
- Tablet talk: We were all about the portable devices this year. We learned a bunch of fun stats as a result – about one in 10 Canadians currently own a tablet and 33 per cent of all time spent with tablets happens outside the home. Neil Shuart shared how tablets are all about speed, Bob Stein focussed on the content and Duncan Stewart looked forward to hybrid devices. We even polled regular Canadians about how they were using their tablets – watch the video with their answers here.
- Wanderlust: We gave into the travel bug this year, sharing blog posts from San Francisco, California, Buffalo and even Prague. We also shared all things roaming related, from debunking myths, finding out just how many of you want to keep tabs on your pets, and sharing our favourite apps and how to control your data use to explaining our new worry-free $7.99 rate.
- Great gigs: We also celebrated our employees this year, starting a new series featuring Cool Jobs at Rogers – from Shelagh Barrett’s work with the Rogers Youth Fund initiative and Elana Schachter’s role in the digital magazine space to Hitesh Lad’s contributions in customer service. LinkedIn also recognized Rogers employees as among the top five in the world for volunteering – measured by those who added “Volunteer and Causes” information to their profiles on the professional social networking site.
- Office perks: Rogers was also named one of Canada’s top 100 employers for 2014. The Mediacorp list recognized Rogers for great office amenities, the employee bonus program and parental top-up payments, among other things.
- Get inside Rogers retail locations: Google Street View has mapped New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, the White House, France’s Musee D’Orsay, and even Parliament Hill. And, in 2013, we were able to add Rogers retail locations across the country to that list. To check it out, browse on over to your store’s Google + page (click the “See Inside” option) or visit the website for your local Rogers retail location on your computer or mobile device to load the virtual tour.
- Tackling TV: Would you skimp on sleep to catch just one more episode? If the answer is yes, your TV viewing habits are in line with 80 per cent of Canadians, according to our Rogers Innovation Report. We learned the longest viewing sessions average more than five hours on a weekday and almost seven hours on a weekend, and we took the opportunity to create a nifty interactive infographic to help you decode your TV persona, from “Marathon TV Viewer” to “Multiscreen Tasker.”
- Connected in the community: In June, Rogers announced a new initiative to help provide broadband Internet for youth and low-income Canadian families. Connected for Success, which launched with Toronto Community Housing, offers broadband internet for $9.99 a month, plus the option to purchase a computer loaded with software for $150, thanks to Microsoft Canada and Compugen. We also spoke with educator Neil Price about the importance of digital literacy and what the program could mean for students.
- Magazine buffet: Rogers launched the all-you-can-read digital magazine Next Issue Canada in October. Offering unlimited access to more than 100 Canadian and U.S. titles, we were excited to take it for a test-drive and chat with Next Issue Canada President Ken Whyte about what it means for readers and publishers.
- Rogers Youth Education Day: We took to Twitter and Facebook in September to ask you to share your #BrighterFuture stories about how education made a difference in your life. As part of Rogers Youth Education Day, we were able to donate mobile tech units to each of our 52 non-profit partners across the country – a $250,000 commitment! Thanks for joining the conversation and helping us give back!
- Digital shopping: Bulky wallets, be gone? In November, Rogers announced the launch of the suretap wallet, which lets shoppers make payments with a simple tap of their smartphone. Using the secure SIM card inside an NFC-enabled smartphone, suretap can be used at contactless payment terminals – the same kind that let you tap to pay with your credit card. For even more smartphone shopping power, we also launched Rogers Alerts, which, if you opt in, sends you location-based mobile offers via SMS.
- Tube talk: We hosted parenting expert Kathy Buckworth for a Twitter chat about how she manages screen time at home. She shared her top tips, and love of popcorn, in a noon-time chat that trended in Canada! It was also a chance to share details of the new Rogers Kids Zone, a secure children’s entertainment destination where families can enjoy kid’s TV shows and movies at home, on channel 200, or on the go with RogersAnyplaceTV.com/KidsZone on computers, and on the Rogers Anyplace TV application for smartphones, tablets, Xbox 360 gaming systems and LG Smart TVs.
- He shoots, he scores! We do love hockey at Rogers, and one of the most exciting bits of news we shared this year on RedBoard was announcing the NHL broadcast deal. The 12-year agreement, which starts with the 2014/15 season, includes national rights in all languages across TV broadcasts, internet and mobile streaming, as well as all linear and digital highlights including condensed games and video archives. The deal also includes a partnership with CBC for Hockey Night in Canada broadcasts and TVA for French-language coverage. We also started sponsoring the Edmonton Oilers and are excited to start construction on their new home, Rogers Place!
Happy New Year! What will you remember from 2013?
Today, Sara Graham, editor of TheTravelPresse.com, shares some highlights from her recent travels. The soon-to-be Prague-based travel writer has also written for various print and online publications including The Huffington Post. Follow her on Twitter @thetravelpresse.
Usually when I travel, it means taking photos with my camera, and waiting to upload them to social media until I get back to my computer.
Life just got so much simpler (and the photos so much better) for this traveler. Here’s how:
- Take your shot easily in low-light or nighttime: For low-light landscape photos, and night scenes, I easily made the shot by tapping on the screen to select the focal point. Presto … what was dark became light!
- Getting the perfect shot with HTC Zoe. The HTC One mini comes with an exclusive feature called HTC Zoe, which allowed me to take three-second living pictures (think Harry Potter). Afterwards, I was able to pick stills out of each Zoe. Brilliant!
- Share instantly: Good photos should be seen in the moment. Thanks to my Rogers data pack, I was able to keep my Instagram, Twitter and Facebook accounts alive with images every day. And by selecting a roaming pack before I left, I was able to stay on budget.
- Stay on track: Prague is a cobbled maze of streets, so GPS and long battery life is practically a lifeline. The HTC One mini helped me find addresses and get to appointments on time. Heck, I was even early for once!
After using the HTC One mini on my trip, I don’t think I’ll be returning to lugging my laptop or camera around on my travels again.
How do you use your smartphone when you’re travelling?
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