Posts Tagged ‘Weekend reading’
This 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 That admittedly outdated technology followed me through Super Mario Kart marathons in university and all the way to my first few jobs in Toronto, where a friend and I would try to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.
How often do you change your passwords?
This 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?
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?
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
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?
This 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?
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?
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!
Do you, like Mindy Kaling, worry that everyone is hanging out without you? According to new research, that fear may be the motivation to check your cellphone alerts up to 100 times a day. Plus, smartphone shipments hit a major milestone, Twitter updates its app to include photo sharing and we teach you how to use carrier billing. Learn all about it in this week’s edition of the weekend reading.
FOMO on screen
Fear of missing out (FOMO) means we’re checking our phones nearly 100 times a day, according to research from Mobile Posse and Phoenix Marketing International. The October research found that U.S. smartphone users spend more time (26 per cent of the total) checking alerts on their home and lock screens than with any other mobile activity. More than half of those surveyed said the notifications were the first thing they checked when they picked up their phone – fuelling the researcher’s belief that this was due to their alternative phrase for FOMO, which they called “Fear of missing something” (FOMS). Thirty per cent of smartphone users also looked at their phone immediately after getting an alert – and on average they were signed up for notifications from at least eight categories, including missed calls, text, email, social, news, weather, games and more.
How often do you check your phone’s alerts?
We’re always sharing stats that mobile use is on the rise in Canada, but last year smartphone shipments hit a new record: for the first time one billion smartphones were shipped in a single year. According to IDC, that’s an increase of 38.4 per cent from the 725.3 million devices shipped in 2012. “Only two years ago, we had half a billion units, so it’s a testament to how popular smartphones are and how competitive the market is right now,” Ramon T. Llamas, of IDC, told Mashable. He does expect growth to slow down eventually, predicting that a plateau is likely in the next five or six years.
Did you purchase a new cellphone in 2013? Which model?
Apps made easy
The average smartphone or tablet in Canada is loaded with 25 apps – but I suspect RedBoard readers are carrying even more games, productivity and educational tools in the palm of their hand! To help Android-toting Rogers customers keep up with the latest downloads, all in one convenient bill, we recently started offering carrier billing at the Google Play store. That means instead of charging your app downloads to your credit card bill, you can add them to your monthly Rogers statement, making it easier to track your wireless spending. Check out the step-by-step how to here.
How many apps have you downloaded to your devices?
Tweak your tweets
Twitter continues to roll out new updates to its mobile apps, and the latest change adds a photo editor. Now, users of the microblogging platform on Android can crop and rotate the images that accompany their tweets. Plus, Twitter now prompts you to @mention the friends in the photo. According to Engadget, the changes will soon roll out for iOS users too.
Do you share photos on Twitter? Will you edit your shots before hitting send?
This 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?
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?
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?
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?
We’ve made our resolutions and looked back on the highlights of the year that was. So now it’s time to embrace 2014 and look forward to the amazing technology the future will bring. Learn all about Generation D and the latest from CES in this week’s edition of the weekend reading.
We’re now more than a week into the New Year – how are those resolutions faring? I’ve shared my tech resolutions for 2014, and so far, it’s going well! My batteries are charged, my device hasn’t been dropped (yet) and I used my phone’s GPS to navigate my way to a weekend ski trip. Not a bad start, right? For a little more resolution help, check out Connected’s 5 apps to help you stick to your New Year’s resolutions.
What have you resolved to change in 2014?
Every year, we survey Canadians to discover their predictions for the future of technology. The new Rogers Innovation Report taught us about a new “Device Generation” or “Generation D,” who live their lives through always-on internet and connected devices. This generation leads high expectations for where tech will take us – a quarter of Canadians think apps will allow people to communicate with pets in the next five years! And more than half, 59 per cent, expect their devices to become a meal concierge, making dinner recommendations, creating grocery lists and arranging delivery. Virtual communication is also expected to trump face-to-face interactions and more than half of Canadians expect to spend more money shopping online than in physical stores. As for the smartphone of the future, bells and whistles are expected to include retina scanners, built-in projectors, augmented reality and 3D screens.
Where do you think tech will take us in 2014 and beyond?
I love to watch the news out of the annual Consumer Electronics Show for a glimpse at the tech gadgets I’ll be coveting in the upcoming year. Wearable tech, 4K televisions and the idea of the connected home have all been highlighted on the show floor. And this year, there were some pretty cool things to check out.
Health and fitness technology was once again a big draw. In 2013 one-third of mobile device owners used their devices to track their health, according to a Consumer Electronics Association study released at the start of the show. While their data focuses on American adults, I’ve certainly noticed an increased number of FitBits around our office. According to the Toronto Star, the show was “awash in ‘wearable’ devices” while Mobilesyrup writes that health sensors are “trending big” at the show, calling out a smart sleep system as well as a smart blood pressure monitor and a smart pill box.
Other super cool products include the EyeX controller, which lets you control your computer and play games with your eyes, a smartphone-controlled door lock, the iRing to control music apps, a 4K first-person camera, a brain activity-sensing headband and a smartphone-controlled drone.
What caught your eye at CES?
What celebrity duo ruled Instagram this year? And how do you program your Christmas lights with Rogers Smart Home Monitoring system? We’ve got answers to all that and more in this week’s edition of the weekend reading.
The New Year is right around the corner, but everyone is already starting to share their year in review lists. Twitter rolled out its #YearOnTwitter, with highlights in news, entertainment, sports and a showcase of the “hand-picked” best tweets of the year. You can also browse previous years’ selections.
Google, meanwhile, released the Google Zeitgeist for 2013, offering up a year in review video as well as the top 100 searches of 2013 – everything from the most searched Canadians (including a certain mayor) to our favourite cocktails. Over on Facebook, the most talked about topic was Pope Francis.
The BBC also pulled out some online highlights of 2013. While the list is a little bit UK-centric –be prepared for lots of One Direction – we learned that Justin Bieber and Will Smith starred in the top photo on Instagram and the most popular place to upload an Instagram photo was the Siam Paragon shopping complex in Bangkok. Runners up included Times Square and Disneyland.
Don’t feel left out –you too can create a photo highlight of your year on Facebook. Logging in with your personal account, you can have Facebook curate your top 20 moments of 2013. The “Year in Review” feature includes life events and popular posts – check it out at: www.facebook.com/yearinreview.
We’ll soon be revealing our tops hits of the year that was– so stay tuned! What was memorable for you in 2013?
Your ideas in action!
Since Rogers Idea Box launched in August, our customers have submitted more than 130 ideas about how Rogers can improve your customer support experience. After ideas are posted, they’re shared and voted on, with the most popular ideas reviewed by our team. And this week we shared that six of your ideas have already launched! From changing the process of downloading your My Rogers bill online and additional tech support to better reporting of malicious activities and making the MyRogers App available on WiFi, customers are already seeing Idea Box posts in action. Have an idea? Share it today!
Home has been top of mind this week. Not only am I headed home for the holidays, my bags are all packed and I’m ready to go! But like many travellers, I worry about my home while I’m away, so I brushed up on home safety tips from our Rogers Smart Home Monitoring team.
We also caught up with three Canadian bloggers who have been testing the Smart Home Monitoring system for the past year. During our Google + Hangout, we learned about keeping an eye on loved ones, family fun and games and hunky firefighters. Watch the full conversation here.
How do you keep your home safe when you’re on the road?
Weekend Reading will return in 2014.
With the holiday – and related vacations – right around the corner, we’re getting into the spirit of the season, looking at Santa trackers and karaoke hits. Plus, we share details of our new Internet packages and look at this week’s photo-sharing announcements. Learn more in this week’s edition of the weekend reading.
Tech-savvy Santa Trackers
‘Tis the season for keeping tabs on the Jolly Old Elf, and this year both Google and Microsoft are joining the holiday fun. Google’s Santa Tracker includes a countdown ticker, while his animated village includes an advent calendar with games, a phone call function and videos. Meanwhile Microsoft has partnered with NORAD to create a tracker and countdown ticker that also includes games, movies, music and a library sharing news about Santa and holiday traditions around the world. Plus, be sure to head on over to our Rogers Facebook page to help Santa deliver presents!
Will you be tracking Santa on Christmas Eve?
We’ve upped our internet speeds again with the roll-out of a new Ultimate internet package. We’re ramping up our download speeds from 150Mpbs up to 250Mbps, doubling upload speeds from 10Mbps to 20Mbps and quadrupling the usage allowance up to 1TB! If you have the Advanced Wi-Fi Modem on the Ultimate (150Mbps) package, you can call Rogers to upgrade to the new 250Mbps package for free. You will need our fastest, furthest reaching modem in order to upgrade. It’s currently available in the GTA and will soon be available to most customers in Ontario.
Twitter’s been busy making upgrades this year, and this week, the micro-blogging service announced changes to its mobile apps, including the ability to send private photos. Direct messages also became easier to find in the navigation. The upgrade also ramps up the “discovery” feature that pinpoints popular accounts, tweets and trending topics.
Instagram, meanwhile, announced Instagram Direct on Thursday, which lets users send private photos to friends and groups. The update, which only allows people you follow to send direct photos and videos, is now available for iOS and Android.
Will you try either of these new photo-sharing features?
Last week we shared our holiday wishlist, but we’ve still got more seasonal tips up our sleeves. We hosted a live holiday movie trivia chat where we shared our favourite flicks and traditions and got some great tips from the Rogers Smart Home Monitoring Team on how to keep your home safe over the holidays. For everyone hosting house parties, we rounded up our favourite karaoke tunes to help inspire your soundtrack. Of course, there’s no guest required – you can also just grab a hairbrush and put your skills to use with Rogers On Demand. Find the karaoke channel by visiting Channel 100, navigating to Music, then choosing Karaoke on Demand.
What’s your go-to song?
With the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season upon us, this week we’re celebrating some Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals. For those of you lucky enough to have crossed all the presents off your lists, read on in this week’s edition of the Weekend Reading for more on Rogers hockey broadcast deal, the office of the future and the latest Snapchat stats.
Snapchat is the latest buzz-worthy photo-sharing service. For the uninitiated, the app allows users to send self-destructing images to their friends. The appeal? No more photos of your boyfriend’s lunches clogging up your SMS inbox and the ability to instantly see whether your friend has viewed the photo of the frock that you’re waffling on. Plus the security of knowing that if you deem that dress unflattering, the photo won’t still be floating around in cyberspace.
How popular is this new app? According to a report from Mashable, Snapchat users send 400 million “snaps” each day – more than double the number sent in June. While CEO Evan Spiegel didn’t share the size of its total user base, he did reveal that 70 per cent of their users are women.
Have you downloaded Snapchat yet?
We all know technology is changing the office environment. Whether it’s answering emails on our commutes or video-conferencing with colleagues and clients, how, when and where we work is evolving. Looking forward, the new Rogers Connected Workplace report, commissioned by Harris Decima, predicts the workplace of the future will be less centralized, more mobile and more flexible. More than half, 52 per cent, of Canadians said they would embrace a Bring Your Own Device policy, and 40 per cent said they’d prefer to do more of their work on laptops (the current leading workplace device, with 45 per cent, is the desktop).
What would you like to see in the workplace of the future?
Hurrah for hockey
Starting next season, Rogers will be your go-to for all things hockey. Rogers has scored a landmark 12-year broadcast and multimedia agreement with the National Hockey League. The agreement starts with the 2014/15 season and continues through the 2025/26 season.
This deal 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. On any given night, Rogers will provide multiple game coverage on up to nine TV channels (including City and Sportsnet) plus digital and radio.
The deal also includes a partnership with CBC for Hockey Night in Canada broadcasts and TVA for all national French-language coverage.
Who are you cheering on this hockey season?
Hot holiday deals
True confession: I was one of those people at the mall at 6 a.m. this morning seeking Black Friday deals. The early wakeup, freezing temps and gigantic coffee is an annual tradition with one of my girlfriends, and honestly, the savings are just the icing on the cake.
While my shopping energy for the day is certainly (probably?) spent, there are still bargains to be had. When you purchase and activate a Samsung smartphone on select two-year plans before Jan. 6, you can get a Galaxy Gear for $49.99 – check out the full details at www.rogers.com/gear.
Stay tuned this weekend for our pointers on how to take advantage of all the Cyber Monday deals!
What purchases will you make this weekend?