Posts Tagged ‘smartphone’

How to customize texting on Android

Android textingConnected Rogers shares how to add some flare to your texting interface with customized fonts and background styles and more.

Remember when people used to ask, “Do you text?” That question seems so antiquated now; of course you text! Texting is one of the most basic, essential functions of a smartphone. But while texting is nearly ubiquitous at this point, some of us don’t realize you can customize your texting experience on your Android device.

How to customize appearance:

1. Click the Messaging icon on the bottom of the device, then press the bottom-left soft key and choose Settings.

2. Scroll down to Display, and browse through the choices. If you go with Bubble style, for example, you can choose the colour of the bubbles, the shape and so on. Or, go with Background style and add an image to appear behind your texts – such as a photo on your Android, or a basic dark or light background wallpaper.

How to customize incoming and outgoing text settings:

1. Click or unclick Auto-receive, under Settings, if you want/don’t want your device to automatically retrieve new text messages. For example, if you’re on vacation, you might not want to receive texts while away.

2. Request “delivery” and/or “read” reports by clicking or unclicking these boxes under Settings. By clicking on Read reports, for example, you will receive notification when the person to whom you’ve sent a text opens the message.

TIP: Android lets you customize many more aspects of texting. Scroll through the options within Settings, and select whichever features suit you best.

Apple iPhone user? No need to feel left out – check out these four great tips for using iMessage.

Have you customized your texting experience?

Check out more great tech tips at Connected Rogers.

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Samsung Gear 2 Neo aces my fitness challenge

Samsung Galaxy Gear 2 NeoI’ve become obsessed with checking my heart rate. At rest, it’s normally about 65 beats per minute. On the subway, it spikes to the 80s, higher when we hit a delay. When boxing and running, it hits the 140s.

No, I haven’t become a quantified lifer. But I have been test-driving the new Samsung Gear 2 Neo and the GALAXY S5, Android devices which let you check your heart rate with the touch of a button.

I’ve been wearing fitness bands for about a year and a half, tracking my steps and activity and taking notes. I’m a runner with dreams of a sub-four marathon this spring, but the biggest value for me in a wearable has always been the sweat-proof clock and the ability to compete with myself.

The Gear 2 Neo takes it to the next level. For starters, it’s the first band I’ve tried that actually adjusted small enough to fit my teeny tiny wrists (though that’s more the fault of genetics than the manufacturers). Plus, I’ve never liked needing to pull out my smartphone on a run. Feeling the phone vibrating in my pocket without knowing who’s calling or messaging, and whether it’s urgent, always puts me on edge until I hit the next stoplight and can justify checking my notifications. With the Gear 2 Neo, I can just flick my wrist mid-activity and easily judge whether it’s actually important without interrupting my stride.

To test out its fitness moxie, I took the wearable – which integrates with Samsung’s S Health 3.0 app – to the gym for a cardio, strength and boxing session and then on an 11K run. While the heart rate function totally inspired me to work harder, I was really impressed by the step and distance data. My previous experience with wearables made me wary of estimated distances and paces, but the Gear 2 Neo came within .2KM of what I had mapped out to run, plus matched my data on duration and pace exactly! And all that data is stored in a log, and synced to my phone, so I can compare workouts and track my progress.

When I wasn’t wearing my runners, I still dug the wearable experience. In addition to tracking my steps, pedometer style, I could also sneakily screen my messages during meetings and use other apps to check the weather and my calendar.

Plus, the Gear 2 Neo has its own music player to pump your personal soundtrack when you’re on the go – whether that’s in transit or at the gym. You can get yours today, exclusively from Rogers for $219.99, or, if you’re also upgrading to the Samsung GALAXY S5 on select two-year plans, ask about the Gear 2 Neo for $49.99. It’s available only for a limited time.

What other wearables have you tried?

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Mobile Payments 101: The suretap wallet has arrived

SuretapIf you’re anything like me – or George Costanza – you’re carrying too much in your wallet, and frankly, it could use a little spring cleaning. 

To help you lighten that load, today we launched the suretap wallet, a mobile payments app that offers a simple and convenient alternative to carrying around your bulky leather wallet. The suretap wallet will allow you to store payment and gift cards on one app and make mobile payments at tens of thousands of retailers across Canada simply by holding your smartphone against a contactless payment terminal.

To learn more about the suretap wallet and how you can start making mobile payments today, check out this video with Rogers Data Girl Qaizra and RedBoard’s Jen Wilson:

To download the wallet today, simply visit the Google Play Store or BlackBerry World on your smartphone. For full details, visit www.rogers.com/suretap

How do you slim down your wallet?

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Rogers new 700MHz spectrum will bring more NHL action to customers

Canadians’ use of wireless data is exploding. A recent study by Ooyala found that the amount of video watched on smartphones and tablets has grown by more than 700 per cent since 2011.

We know that more and more sports fans are catching the latest game or highlights from the day’s action on their smartphones or tablets. During the recent Olympic games we saw a 50 per cent spike in wireless traffic during the men’s hockey final as customers tuned in to catch the action. Our own research shows that more than half of all consumers expect to have their entire TV experience replicated on a smartphone in the next five years.

That’s why we went into the 700 MHz auction with a clear plan to win the best spectrum for our customers. We know you want the ultimate video experience and the spectrum we won will be a big part of how we bring the NHL to you.

Over the coming months we’ll announce more about our plans to bring you more NHL action than ever before!

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Weekend reading: Smartphones, smartphones and more smartphones

Weekend readingWhether it’s sequins or an unscuffed screen, I can’t help but be drawn to shiny new things. And this week, between announcing the launch date for the LG G Flex and revealing the new HTC One (M8) can you really blame me for being a little gadget obsessed? Plus, we look at the latest stats on just how many Canadians are sporting smartphones.

Hot handset

Speed, sleek lines and a killer camera were on display Tuesday when HTC lifted the curtain on the new HTC One (M8). My favourite thing about this new Android device, available in glacier silver and gunmetal grey, is the HTC Duo Camera – which lets you take a shot with two cameras. As someone with a slew of awkwardly framed vacation photos, the ability to choose which parts of the scene to emphasize, even after the fact, is oh-so-tempting. It’s also got scads of memory (and the ability to add more) for all those sweet shots.

Rogers customers can currently purchase the gunmetal grey device online using the Rogers Reservation System, even before it’s available in-store! Rogers will also offer the glacier silver model starting April 10.

What’s your favourite feature of the new HTC One (M8)?

Get Flexed

We’re excited to announce the launch date for the world’s first curved smartphone: the LG G Flex will be available to Canadians starting on April 3, exclusively from Rogers! This curvy handset has a self-healing back and a bunch of other cool features – we shared our top five here.

And we’re not the only ones in awe of the LG G Flex’s unique and user-friendly design. This week the device received the title of ‘Best of the Best’ at the Red Dot product design awards. Congrats to the LG team!

Want to try it for yourself? New and existing Rogers customers can reserve the device online using the Rogers Reservation System. 

Do you think curved is the new flat?

Smart stats

More than half of Canadians – 55 per cent – now have a smartphone, according to the latest adoption research shared by iPhone in Canada. The study of 1,100 smartphone owners by Catalyst Canada and GroupM Next found most Canadians are toting Android phones, with a 45 per cent market share, while 34 per cent are using an Apple device. Blackberry and Windows round out the list. Surveying both Anglophones and Francophones, the research found that only one-third are using their phones to check emails – which I find surprising, as I almost exclusively email on the go. The most popular use for a smartphone was to get directions, while finding a restaurant, checking the weather and using Twitter were also popular.

The other neat stat here is that half of the smartphone owners let go of their feature phones at least two years ago. I gave up my “slider” phone in 2010 – when did you make the leap to smartphones?

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The new HTC One (M8) revealed – purchase yours now and get it early

HTC OnePardon me; I’m still catching my breath after the beauty of the all-new HTC One (M8) was unveiled today. HTC has certainly stepped up its game from the award-winning 2013 HTC One, which was praised by both the tech community and consumers. What, may you ask, makes this new Android device so highly-anticipated, user-friendly and fast? Let me tell you!

1. Speed. You’ll stream the latest videos, images and music at remarkably fast speeds when you light up your HTC One (M8) on Rogers LTE.

This means you can:

  • Use apps like YouTube with virtually no buffering or delays
  • Download your friends’ Facebook and Instagram pictures even faster
  • Browse rich online content – like websites with pictures– without a lag
  • Watch online videos and Rogers Anyplace TV with super-fast streaming speeds and clarity

2. Daring design. This phone, available in glacier silver and gunmetal grey, has curves that you’ll certainly want to flaunt and a five-inch screen that will bring your videos to life. With an all-metal design, smooth lines and edge-free finishes, the phone fits perfectly into your hand.

3. Take pro photos in a flash! The HTC Duo Camera will help you capture memories and adventures with two cameras so you can choose which parts of the scene you’d like to emphasize, even after your shot has been taken. Cool, right? With fast Rogers LTE network speeds, the HTC One will also help you swiftly download and share these memories.

4. Super sound. Music fan? The HTC BoomSound dual front-facing speakers will boost your bass and deliver crisp and clear vocals.

5. Even more memory … for memories. Never again will you be sitting in a café, trying to decide which files to scrap so you can keep taking vacation photos! The latest HTC One (M8) has 32 GB of storage with the opportunity to add even more with up to 64GB of expandable micro SD memory.

We want you to be first in line – no need to wait until launch day! Starting today, you’ll be able to purchase the gunmetal grey device online using the Rogers Reservation System, even before it’s available in-store! Rogers will also offer the glacier silver model starting April 10, when the HTC One (M8) will be available in stores nationwide.

Stay tuned to this space and follow @RogersBuzz for updates on availability and pricing.

If you’re currently an infatuated owner of the 2013 HTC One and are intrigued by 2014’s daring new design, we challenge you to write and share why, in 100 words or less, you should be upgraded. Post your answer on RedBoard below this post, and we’ll draw a random winner to win a shiny HTC One (M8). (Full contest details here). Like this new device, we hope your entry is fresh, bold and memorable!

Update, March 28, 2014: The contest is closed. We’ll post the winner’s name here as soon as they are confirmed. Thanks for your entries!

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Weekend Reading: Gear-ing up, finding faves and welcoming spring

Weekend readingThis week, we said adios to winter (at least according to the calendar), tested out a new Twitter feature and got all the details on Samsung’s new GALAXY S5 and wearables. Want in on our newfound knowledge? Here’s some Weekend Reading.

Get the Gear

The Samsung GALAXY S5 is coming to Rogers on April 11! The Canadian specs and launch date were revealed this week, and we’re really excited about the S. Health 3.0 app, which records steps and heart rate information and lets you record diet and exercise information. You can reserve yours now on the Rogers Reservation System.

The icing on the cake: the Samsung Gear 2 Neo will be available exclusively for Rogers customers, also on April 11. All Gear accessories display your phone’s calls, texts and emails on your wrist. The Gear 2 Neo even includes a standalone music player to power your playlists on the go. Rogers will also be carrying the Gear Fit and the Gear 2. Check out what CBC had to say about the new devices here.

Which of the new Gear wearables has caught your eye? Why?

Top tweeps

Twitter marked its eighth birthday by rolling out a tool that shows your very first tweet. Unfortunately for many, that first tweet was pretty dull but this CBC roundup did uncover some gems! Our first tweet from @RogersBuzz welcomed all our new followers. My personal account’s first tweet was a somewhat embarrassing third-person account of my morning at work. Hopefully, I’ve gotten wittier since then!

What was your first tweet?

Twitter’s testing a new timeline feature that lets you track every tweet from a selected group of people. The micro-blogging site’s “Fave People” lets you group your preferred accounts into a special timeline. You can also choose to receive notifications when they tweet.

I’ve been playing with the feature, which is currently being tested on Android, and I must admit, it’s kind of nice to have a special list of my preferred folks. Rather than my usual list functions – media, runners, sports, etc. – I’ve been using the feature to keep track of my real-life friends whose updates sometimes get lost in my main feed. One caveat – friends with locked profiles cannot be favourites.

How would you use the “Fave People” function?

Sweet springtime

OK, some parts of the country may still be seeing the odd flurry and sub-zero temperature. But the calendar assures us that spring is coming, and we spent yesterday looking for proof! @RogersBuzz followers shared a few promising signs of new growth and sunshine!

Even if we’re still waiting on the thaw, it’s a great time to start thinking about digging in the garden, or, in my case, potting a few herbs on the balcony. To help you get a head start on the growing season, we rounded up a few awesome apps to help gardening veterans and newbies alike.

What tools help your green thumb? 

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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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How to turn off tracking in iOS 7

iOS 7Connected Rogers shares how to control whether your Apple device knows your location.

Your iPhone always has your back. Think of it as a loyal companion that wants to better understand how it can help. Thanks to iOS 7 (learn how to upgrade to iOS 7 here), it deduces where you work, the places you frequent and where on the map you call home. It then uses this data – which is stored on your device and isn’t sent anywhere without your permission – to preemptively provide traffic updates and if need be, an alternate route. Super-helpful!

If, however, you simply don’t like the idea of your phone being location-aware, you can easily turn location tracking off in iOS 7. Here’s how:

1. Open the Settings app. Swipe down to Privacy and tap.

2. Tap the slider switch to turn Location Services off.

3. A message about Location Services appears. Tap Turn Off to acknowledge.

Find more quick tech tips at Connected Rogers.

Personally, I rely on location tracking to help me find the nearest coffee shop and to compensate for my terrible sense of direction. How do you take advantage of your device’s location tracking features?

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Reserve your Samsung Galaxy S5 now with Rogers

Samsung Galaxy S5This just in: Samsung announced its latest Android device, the brand-new Samsung GALAXY S5, today at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.

Don’t wait to get yours!  New and existing Rogers customers can reserve theirs now on the Rogers Reservation System.

Reserving a device on the Rogers Reservation System means you don’t need to call around to stores looking for stock. You know where you are in line, and can choose which Rogers store will receive your device. Plus, you’ll always know where your device is: You get an email notification when it ships, and the store will call you when it arrives.

Here’s what Samsung announced about the device today: The Samsung GALAXY S5 is a LTE Category 4 Standard device, and includes a Finger Scanner for a secure, biometric screen locking feature as well as enhanced S Health 3.0 to help you stay fit. The personal fitness tracker includes a pedometer, diet and exercise records and a new built-in heart rate monitor.

The Samsung GALAXY S5 also has a 16MP camera with the world’s fastest autofocus speed of 0.3 seconds. Canadian specs will be revealed soon. Click here for more information on the S5.

Rogers customers who purchase the Samsung GALAXY S5 will also have the choice to subscribe to the Rogers Next Program, which allows customers to upgrade their device every 12 months with no early upgrade or connection fees. Conditions apply; visit here for full details.

We’ll have more details to share regarding exclusive offers, pricing and release date soon. Stay tuned to @RogersBuzz on Twitter and RedBoard for the latest.

What feature from the Samsung GALAXY S5 excites you?

Update: March 18, 2014: Today, Samsung officially announced Canadian specs for the Samsung Galaxy S5, hitting Rogers this April. Being a Rogers customer has its advantages with this launch:

  • Light up your Samsung Galaxy S5, with its quad-core processor, on Rogers LTE, Canada’s fastest LTE network, and you can expect smooth HD video streaming and blazing fast downloads with virtually no buffering or lags;
  • Be gone the days of carrying a bulky wallet! All Samsung Galaxy S5 smartphones from Rogers will come with the suretap wallet, an app that lets you securely store your credit and debit card information and make payments using your smartphone;
  • Rogers will carry Samsung’s full line-up of next-generation Gear wearables – Gear Fit, Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo – starting on April 11. Only with Rogers will you have access to the Gear 2 Neo, which comes with a standalone music player for your favourite tunes on the go. These wearables extend the smartphone to your wrist with real-time notifications, and help keep fitness goals on track with a built in pedometer and a heart rate sensor.

A few weeks ago, we let new and existing customers reserve their spot in line for the device and today, we’re announcing exclusive offers for the first 10,000 who purchase through the Rogers Reservation System:

  • A $50 credit on a virtual Rogers Prepaid MasterCard in their suretap wallet, ready to spend however they want;
  • Customers already enrolled in the Rogers First Rewards loyalty program when they reserve will receive 2,000 bonus points with their purchase of the Samsung Galaxy S5.  Instantly redeem these points for a discount in-store or save to redeem for Rogers products and services, including bonus wireless data, roaming travel packs and more.

The Samsung Galaxy S5 will be available on April 11 at Rogers for $249.99 on select two-year plans. The Samsung Gear 2 Neo, only available with Rogers, will be available for $219.99; the Gear Fit for $219.99; and the Gear 2 for $329.99.

For updates on more exclusive offers coming soon, check back here or visit social.rogers.com. For complete offer details and Samsung Galaxy S5 specs, head over to rogers.com/Samsung.

Reserve your S5 today using the online Rogers Reservation System. The exclusive offers for the first 10,000 to reserve end April 10 at 11:59 p.m. ET.

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