Posts Tagged ‘Weekend reading’

Weekend Reading: Gleaming gold, banishing bulky wallets and Twitter gets a makeover

Weekend ReadingThis week, we’ve got our eyes on some serious bling as we await the new Twitter profiles. Plus, we learn how to ditch our bulky wallets and start paying with our smartphones. Get the scoop in this week’s edition of the Weekend Reading.

The grandeur of gold

We’ve already started shipping the HTC One (M8) in gunmetal grey and glacier silver to people who reserved early. And this week, we had even more exciting news: we’ll be carrying the HTC One (M8) in stunning Amber Gold. Exclusive to Rogers, this stand-out shade will be available for purchase in mid-May. No matter what hue you choose, the phone boasts top speeds on Rogers LTE, an all-metal design with edge-free finishes, the HTC Duo Camera, and dual front-facing speakers with HTC BoomSound.

What colour’s your favourite – gunmetal grey, glacier silver or amber gold?

Twitter transforms

Bigger profile photos are coming to Twitter, plus the service will now be showcasing your best tweets when you visit your profile page. The new design is just beginning to roll out – First Lady Michelle Obama was among the first to get the makeover. As the Next Web explains, the changes also include a customizable header, a new photo/video tab and the ability to pin a tweet to the top of your page.

Twitter.com users will spot another change in the coming weeks too: real-time notifications. You’ll now be alerted if someone replies, favourites or RTs one of your posts. There will also be notifications for direct messages and new followers, which the company says will be “interactive” – meaning you can respond right from the popup window. Mashable notes this should make conversations via DM a lot easier. And, lest it all get to be a bit too much, users can customize which notifications they receive.

I haven’t been among the lucky few in the first wave of rollouts, but I look forward to testing the changes as soon as I can! Keep an eye out for the makeover coming to @RogersBuzz. What feature are you eager to try?

Tap it

My bright pink clutch has seen better days. Scuffs aside, it eats up a lot of real estate in my purse and tends to be a collector for receipts and change from the places I’ve travelled. So I can’t wait to download the suretap wallet and start paying with my smartphone. This mobile payment app, which launched yesterday in the Google Play store, works with Near Field Communication (NFC) technology at contactless payment terminals – so basically, just like tapping to pay with your credit card. All you need to get started is an NFC-enabled device, a compatible SIM-card and the suretap wallet app – you can learn more by watching this video.

Would you ditch your wallet for smartphone payments?

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Weekend reading: The boys of summer, a return to Winterfell and mobile matters

Weekend readingAfter my recent gadget obsession, I was glued to the tube this week. In addition to some notable finales, it was batter up for the Toronto Blue Jays and the final countdown to the Game of Thrones season four premiere. Plus, we learned Canadians are crazy for mobile. Check it out!

Let’s go Blue Jays!

As playoff hopes rise, and fall, across sports stadiums, the Toronto Blue Jays are just getting into the swing of it all with the home opener tonight. Of course, even when the team is at home, I can’t make it out for every ball game. Luckily, all 162 of this year’s games are available with Rogers Anyplace TV. Rogers digital television customers can live stream the games on their computer and tablet with Rogers Anyplace TV and their Sportsnet, Sportsnet ONE or Sportsnet 360 subscriptions, while Rogers wireless customers can tune in on their smartphone via the Rogers Anyplace TV mobile app.

Earlier this week, Sarah shared her story of catching a game while commuting. When have you watched a game on the go?

Game on

Going from the diamond to a different kind of game entirely: Game of Thrones returns this weekend! The Rogers Your World This Week team sat down with Isaac Hempstead Wright (Bran Stark) and Kristian Nairn (Hodor) to find out what season four has in store – watch the full video. In case you’ve forgotten some of the finer plot points from last year, Mashable is offering fans a little refresher on life in Winterfell, translated into emoji.

Catch the premiere on April 6 on HBO Canada, or watch it later with Rogers Anyplace TV and Rogers On Demand.

How will you celebrate the season premiere?

Making it mobile

The average Canadian spent more than 34 hours per month online in 2013, with more of those hours being logged on mobile devices than ever before, says new research from ComScore. The Globe and Mail notes that in the U.S., more than half of people’s time spent online in 2013 was mobile – a whopping 566 billion minutes! Canadians are spending that time on mobile checking the weather, social networking and searching.

Finally, getting back to that tube obsession, roughly a third of us are using a smartphone or tablet while watching TV (I was hunting Pokemon while watching TV on Monday night).

I’m definitely reading way more websites and watching more videos on my smartphone every year – how about you?

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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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Weekend Reading: Hockey news, an internet milestone and more

Weekend ReadingThe time change this week (if not the weather) had many of us dreaming of spring, but at Rogers all eyes were on the fall NHL season with a new host announcement for Hockey Night in Canada. Plus, the World Wide Web marks a quarter-century, one of our Rogers Social Insiders shares her thoughts on Next Issue Canada and we show off our brand new social media hub. Learn more in this week’s edition of the weekend reading.

Hockey hosts

NHL hockey has returned from the Olympic break, but we’re already looking forward to next season. Can you blame us? Back in November, Rogers announced a 12-year, $5.2 billion deal with the NHL. This week, we introduced our broadcaster lineup to cover more than 500 regular season games across 13 networks and seven platforms. George Stroumboulopoulos will host Hockey Night in Canada, as well as Sunday night’s NHL Hometown Hockey on CITY, while Don Cherry and Ron MacLean will return for Coach’s Corner. Daren Millard and Jeff Marek will host hockey coverage on Sportsnet and Sportnet 590 The FAN radio. Check out the full coverage of the announcement on CBC and Sportsnet.

What device will you watch hockey on next season?

Happy birthday WWW!

The World Wide Web turned the ripe old age of 25 on Wednesday. On March 12, 1989, Sir Tim Berners-Lee wrote a paper that became the web. The Independent celebrated with an in depth interview with Berners-Lee, as well as baby photos of popular websites and 10 things you need to know about the web.  Huffington Post marked the occasion with a list of 25 ways the web has changed our lives – including easy directions and ways to procrastinate – while Mashable imagined WWW’s quarter-life crisis.

What was your first WWW visit?

Next Issue newbies       

Have you tried Next Issue Canada yet? The all-you-can-read digital magazine service offers more than 100 of the world’s top titles on your tablet, including digitized back issues. And as Rogers Social Insider Elisabeth Rosalyn discovered, a tablet takes up way less space than your print issues – she actually says her “basement contains skyscrapers” of magazines! You can read her full review of Next Issue Canada here (spoiler alert: she calls it a “must try”) and sign up today by visiting nextissue.ca.

How many magazine titles do you read regularly?

What’s the Buzz?

Hopefully, you’re already following @RogersBuzz and checking out our pins, posts and status updates. But now you can check out all the news we’re sharing across all our social networks on our newly revamped hub at social.rogers.com. The new bilingual site shares the latest tech, product news and tips – all in one central destination.

What do you think of the new social.rogers.com?

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Weekend reading: Cool consoles, tablet stats and staying safe online

Weekend readingThis week, we’re looking into the potential of the new Microsoft Xbox One as an entertainment hub and digging into the latest tablet stats – can you guess who came out on top in 2013? Plus, we’re marking Fraud Prevention Month with a few reminders to help you stay safe online. Learn more in this week’s edition of the Weekend Reading.

Gaga for gaming

When I was a kid, my Super Nintendo rocked my world. That admittedly outdated technology followed me through Super Mario Kart marathons in university and all the way to my first few jobs in Toronto, where a friend and I would try to complete the Donkey Kong games (to 100 per cent, natch) in one sitting.

Now, of course, gaming consoles are about so much more than just playing games. The new Xbox One is an entertainment hub – in addition to games, you can tune in to movies, music, sports, TV and even training from Jillian Michaels. You can also stream your favourite shows with Rogers Anyplace TV. For more on the future of the Xbox One, check out our chat with Greg Barber, Vice President, Consumer Channels Group at Microsoft Canada.

What do you do with your console, beyond gaming?

Android takes tablet lead

Android hit a home run in 2013, surpassing Apple’s iOS to become the leading tablet operating system. Android tablet sales made up about 62 per cent of  the global market share, according to research from Garner, as reported by CNET. That’s up from a 45.8 per cent share in 2012.

While Android was the top operating system for tablets, iPads were the top model. Sales for the Apple tablets grew to 70.4 million from 61.4 million. Samsung was the second most popular tablet manufacturer.

Tablet sales across the board soared in 2013, hitting 195.4 million. That’s a 68 per cent increase from 2012.

What kind of tablet do you own?

Protect yourself online

Just how secure is your password? The 10th annual Fraud Prevention Month is a good reminder to evaluate your online security. To mark the campaign, the Competition Bureau has released The Little Black Book of Scams as a free ebook. It outlines how scams work, how to recognize potentially fraudulent activities and how to report them.

Check out more tips to help you avoid fraud traps on RedBoard and check out TechEssentials for everything from creating strong passwords to avoiding phishing scams.

How often do you change your passwords?

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Weekend Reading: A sweet new Samsung, four-star flicks and Arctic animals

Weekend readingThis week, we watched Samsung announce some serious upgrades to its Galaxy phone and tried to embrace the winter weather with Google’s latest maps of polar bear country. Plus, we’re getting ready for an award season marathon with some A-list talent. Learn more in this week’s edition of the weekend reading.

A phone for fitness

A fingerprint scanner, heart-rate monitor and lightning-quick autofocus are just a few of the headline-grabbing features of the new Samsung Galaxy S5.

Samsung announced its latest flagship phone Monday at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, continuing, according to the Toronto Star, “Samsung’s strategy of building in ever more capabilities into its phone.” The Star touted the fitness features, bigger screen – a move from 5-inches to 5.1, better battery life and “what the company is claiming is the fastest-ever autofocus for a smartphone.” Techcrunch also highlighted the bigger screen – saying it’s “pushing into phablet territory” – and delves into the 4K video capabilities. Mobilesyrup, meanwhile, celebrated the announcement with an infographic outlining how the Galaxy S line has evolved, including the details on size, camera, weight, display and battery life.

Canadian specs have yet to be released, but new and existing customers can reserve their Samsung Galaxy S5 now on the Rogers Reservation System.

What’s your first impression of the Samsung Galaxy S5?

Polar paws

Snow squalls, the polar vortex – this whole winter thing is starting to wear a little thin. But Google is making it all a little more bearable with its latest trek through the tundra. For International Polar Bear Day on Thursday, Google Street View launched maps of Cape Churchill and Wapusk National Park in Northern Manitoba. As reported by the CBC, the initiative is intended to show polar bears in their natural habitat and highlight the effect of climate change on the Arctic.

The new footage was shot during the fall using Google’s Street View Trekker, a backpack with 15 mounted cameras, from onboard tundra buggies.

Of course, Google has mapped many locations over the years, including the Grand Canyon, the White House, and even Rogers retail locations!

What building or region would you like to see on Google Maps?

Win your awards pools

Before you place your bets on Sunday night’s winners and losers, make sure you brush up on the nominated flicks. Hollywood all-stars including George Clooney and Tom Hanks are waiting for you in the Awards Season collection on Rogers On Demand Channel 100. You can catch up on buzz-worthy movies like Gravity and Captain Philips or, if you’re feeling nostalgic for past hits, you can find previous critic favourites like American Beauty, Slumdog Millionaire, Million Dollar Baby, and The Hurt Locker all in the same place. Check out Rogers.com/OnDemand for more info.

What movie gets your vote for the best of 2013?

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Weekend Reading: Rogers Next, the LG G Flex and Facebook news

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This week, all eyes were on Facebook’s latest acquisition, WhatsApp, and how Canadians are using the social network. Plus, we announced an early upgrade program called Rogers Next and are thrilled to reveal we’re bringing Canadians the curvy LG G Flex. Learn more in this week’s edition of the Weekend Reading.

Facebook on the move
Facebook made headlines on Wednesday when it announced a $16 billion U.S. deal to purchase mobile messaging service WhatsApp. Before the purchase  announcement, Facebook released some stats on how Canadians are using the social network.

Canadians are glued to Facebook on mobile, , according to numbers released by the social network. In fact, 15 million Canucks a month scroll through their Newsfeeds via our phones or tablets. In the six-month period from August 2013 to Feb. 2014, the number of mobile users increased by 15 per cent (up from 13 million).

Daily mobile usage is also on the rise, jumping from 9.4 million to 10 million Canadians in the same period.

How do you check your Facebook Newsfeed?

Upgrade your device sooner
Earlier this week, we announced a new way for customers to upgrade their smartphone even faster. Rogers Next, a new subscription program for Rogers customers, will allow customers to upgrade their device after 12 months for $0 on select 2-yr plans.

Customers who enroll in Rogers Next will pay a monthly fee of $24.99 (or $29.99 if you want to include Rogers Device Protection Premium with your Rogers Next subscription). After 12 months, you’re eligible to trade in your current device in good working condition and upgrade to a smartphone of your choice for $0 (up to $250 based on subsidized 2-yr term pricing), with no upgrade or connection fees (If the device costs more than $250 on a subsidized two-year term, then you just pay the difference). You can then choose to continue your enrollment in the Rogers Next program and upgrade again after 12 months.

This is a hassle-free way for Rogers customers to be able to upgrade to the latest and greatest smartphones every year.

We’ll have more information to share about Rogers Next closer to launch, so stay tuned!

What new phone are you waiting for?

Rogers to carry the world’s first curved smartphone

The LG G Flex debuted last fall, and first launched in South Korea, while North Americans got their first glimpse of the curved smartphone at CES this past January.

Now Rogers customers will be able to get their hands on the world’s first curved smartphone, the LG G Flex, when we launch the device later this spring.

A Rogers exclusive, the device will launch running Android Jelly Bean 4.2.2., and comes in Titan Silver, with a 13 MB camera, plus a 2.1 MB front-facing camera.

Want to be one of the first to receive this phone? New and existing customers can reserve the LG G Flex now on the Rogers Reservation System.

What do you think of a curved phone? 

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Weekend reading: Love poems, the tablet debate and social media Valentines

ValentineThis week, we’re celebrating our sweethearts with a Samsung contest, questioning whether tablets are headed for a boom or bust and finding ways to spread the love on social media. Read all about it in the latest Weekend Reading.

Spread the love

Chocolate, flowers and a heart-shaped card are so passé. In this world gone mad on social media, will your love really believe you’re true without at least a status update? Mashable suggests it’s time to think outside the box, offering nine ways to say ‘I love you’ on the Internet. Whether you coordinate profile photos, send off a flurry of RTs or create a Tumblr-worthy GIF, you can leverage social media to make the day special for your sweetheart.

How will you share the love this weekend?

Tablet trend

A little over three years ago, the tech-savvy swarmed for tablets. Sales soared, competitors spurred improvements and app developers rushed to embrace the larger screens. Today, the devices are still popular, but sales are slowing. A guest article on Re/Code suggests our love affair with the tablet is over. Writer Zal Bilimoria says that people expected too much from the device – can it possibly be a constant companion while also replacing your laptop and your phone? Zal says no. In fact, he says, tablets have been hurt by the improvement in smartphones and their apps. With faster handsets, people don’t need a device to bridge their desk and pocket.

But, don’t count the tablet out just yet! Over on Gigaom, writer Kevin C. Tofel counters Zal’s post, offering up his four reasons the tablet market is far from dead. It’s worth reading both their arguments in full, but, for the sake of brevity, Kevin says that we can’t yet pass judgement on the tablet because a) we’re still early in the product life-cycle, b) mobile broadband improvements will put more tablets online c) the app market is still growing and d) phablets and tablets overlap. Essentially, Kevin says that tablets are evolving, and will grow to meet our needs, including, potentially even handling our phone calls one day.

What do you think? Are tablets headed for a boom or a bust?

Sweet sonnets

We had an overwhelming response to this week’s Valentine’s Day poetry contest. Who knew so many RedBoard readers were poets, too? More than 700 poems were submitted, many of them very creative and fun to read. If you need some inspiration while filling out a card for your Valentine today, you might want to give our readers’ poems a glance to help you out. We’re still confirming the winner of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3s, but here’s one of our favourite submissions from Todd Greencorn:

Roses are red
Leaves grow on a tree
This Valentine’s day I will ask
Will you Marry me.

Let us know if she says yes, Todd!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Weekend Reading: FOMO, perfect pics and a mobile milestone

Weekend readingDo 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?

Mobile milestone

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?

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Weekend Reading: Tech trends, space-age smartphones and more

Weekend readingThis week, we learned that bigger is better – when it comes to phablets – and that Canadians believe the phone of the future could have a flexible 3D screen and built-in projector.  Plus, we talk wearable tech and check out the latest stats on smartphone ownership. Read all about it in the latest edition of the weekend reading.

Fun with phablets

My favourite portmanteau – phablet, a combined phone and tablet – appeared in Deloitte’s TMT Predictions for 2014. The CBC even went so far as to say “phablets are here to stay.” The technology, media and telecommunications report forecasts that increasing numbers of seniors will buy smartphones – rising from 30 per cent currently in the developed world to 50 per cent. This has been partially fueled by increasing screen sizes – from 3.5 inches to at least four inches. And Deloitte says the large-screened phablet, which have screens between five and seven inches, are expected to account for a full quarter of smartphone sales worldwide this year.

Do you own a phablet?

Wicked wearables

The Deloitte predictions also looked at the technology around Google Glass and fitness bands, predicting that in 2014 consumers will be wearing more than $3 billion worth of newly purchased equipment. At CES, wearable tech was in the spotlight, including the Pebble Steel Smartwatch and Neatmo June Wellness Bracelet, which both made Mashable’s list of the best tech of CES 2014.

What would you like your wearable tech to do?

Futuristic phones

We asked Canadians to stretch their imagination and predict the smartphone of 2019. Five years from now, the standard device is expected to boast a flexible touchscreen with 3D screens and augmented reality. Built-in projectors, retina scanners, personalized voice commands and high-quality cameras also make our future device wishlists.

Apps are also expected to become more personal and, eventually, be able to completely control our homes, from organizing our meals and groceries to running the bathtub and mowing the lawn.

What household task would you like your phone to handle?

Mainstream mobile

Whether you’re standing in line at the grocery store or the ski hill, it always seems like you’re surrounded by people who are glued to their gadgets. The latest stats from eMarketer prove that more and more of us are relying on mobile devices – growing to 4.55 billion this year. Meanwhile, smartphone usage around the world hit the one billion milestone in 2012, and this year it’s expected to climb to 1.75 billion. Nearly two-fifths of all mobile phone users – close to a quarter of the global population! – will use a smartphone at least monthly this year.

How often do you use your mobile?

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