Category Archives: android

Moto X: The best new gadget of 2013

moto-x620When I sat down to think about my 10 favourite gadgets of the year, I found myself hitting a wall - I actually couldn’t think of 10 that I liked all that much.

After a heady few years in which important new gizmos appeared just about every week, 2013 was more of an iterative time bereft of that One Big Thing. I tried to narrow my field down to five, but then figured heck, why cut corners? Why not just go with the one thing I really did like?

There were a few contenders. Obviously, I like the updated iPad Mini, which now has a sharper Retina screen. If it’s a case of what I use most, the Mini wins hands down - it goes everywhere and does everything with me. If it was waterproof, I’d probably use it in the shower. However, it is merely an iterative product that’s a touch better than its predecessor. That’s not enough for it to be my favourite new thing of the year.

I also like the Xbox one and the PlayStation 4 - both new consoles are fun and show a ton of promise. But they’re only as good as the games that are made for them, and so far there aren’t a whole lot of those, which is why I’m hesitant to bestow my Oprah-esque title on them. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on December 17, 2013 in android, apple, Google, motorola


LG’s G2 tries to reinvent the smartphone wheel

LG-G2With smartphones hitting their maturation pount, it’s getting harder for manufacturers to distinguish their products from one another. It’s yet another way in which phones are mirroring computers - they all pretty much do the same thing now, so choosing one really comes down to a matter of personal taste.

The LG G2, launching in Canada through just about every mobile carrier on Sept. 27, is designed with that fact in mind. Like many phones rolling out these days, it’s premised around that “one big thing,” with all the other expected bells and whistles packaged around it.

In LG’s case, the big thing is a unique control system that places all of the phone’s buttons on its back, rather than on its side. The lock button and the volume buttons are located just below the 13-megapixel camera, and purposely so. Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on September 23, 2013 in android, iphone, LG, mobile, nokia


The best part of iOS 7 is blocking calls

IOS-7I’ve been getting a lot of spam phone calls lately, mainly from a fake Revenue Canada number. Annoyed, I contacted my wireless provider to see if there’s anything that can be done about it. No luck, which is pretty amazing. It’s a little unbelievable that phone providers still aren’t able (or willing) to offer customers a solution to this problem at their level.

Fortunately, there are fixes on the device level, which the service rep helpfully pointed out to me. One of the features of iOS 7, which Apple is rolling out today (Wednesday), is call blocking.

It’s pretty simple to do - you simply add the offending number as a contact, then block all calls and/or text messages from that contact. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on September 18, 2013 in android, apple, Blackberry, iphone


Wireless contracts: an endangered species soon

motorola-x-phoneThe funny thing about Canada finally getting in line with the rest of the developed world in making two-year cellphone contracts the norm rather than three years is that, as per usual, we’re probably still going to end up behind the times. Don’t look now, but one-year contracts are about to become the standard everywhere else.

Speaking at the D11 conference last week, Motorola chief executive Dennis Woodside effectively declared as much by unveiling the Google-owned company’s next smartphone, the Moto X: a high-end smartphone that will be priced significantly less than comparable competitors. Woodside pulled no punches in taking shots at the likes of Samsung and Apple, who make huge profits on devices that are priced at $700 or more.

His money quote: “Those products earn 50-per-cent margins. We don’t necessarily have those constraints. Those [margins] will not persist.”

He went on to say, “One of the areas that we think is really open for Motorola is building high-quality, low-cost devices. The price of a feature phone right now is about $30 on a global basis, the [wholesale] price of a smartphone is $650? That’s not gonna persist.” Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on June 5, 2013 in android, apple, Google, mobile, motorola


BlackBerry’s fight even harder in emerging markets

q5With BlackBerry announcing its new Q5 smartphone, it’s clear the company is looking to shore up its offerings in emerging markets. The device, which features a QWERTY keyboard and runs the latest BlackBerry 10 operating system, will be available in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and Latin America as early as July. While the company hasn’t yet announced pricing, the Q5 is intended to be a low-cost option for people who obviously don’t have as much disposable income as people in the West.

It’s a necessary move. Emerging markets have largely kept the company aloft over the past few years while its popularity swan-dived in more developed countries.

However, with the dual competitive reality of Google’s Android and Chinese phone manufacturers in these markets, the question quickly becomes: will the Q5 be enough? Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on May 15, 2013 in africa, android, Google, mobile, nokia, RIM


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