Google extends free Gmail calling in Canada and U.S. through 2013

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Dec 272012
 
Google

Google yesterday announced that it will continue to offer free domestic calls in Canada and the U.S. through Gmail through 2013. The service that lets Gmail users call standard phone numbers has been free since it launched in 2010.

Many of you call phones from Gmail to easily connect with friends and family. If you’re in the US and Canada, you’ll continue to be able to make free domestic calls through 2013. Plus, in most countries, you can still call the rest of the world from Gmail at insanely low rates.

As the Gmail team also indicated, international Gmail users will also continue to benefit from low rates to make international voice calls using Google Voice. For example, Google indicates that the “leading internet telephony provider” charges US$0.20 per minute to call France whereas it charges only US$0.10.

Google may be keeping its Gmail calling service free for another year in a bid to catch up to other voice and video services such as Microsoft’s Skype. To do so, it will need to continue to improve it as it seems more prone to poor transmission quality issues than its competitors.

Now if Google would only integrated Gmail calling with Google Voice or Google Talk…

Read more: Official Gmail Blog

Video: Google Nexus 4 ads from Google and LG

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Dec 202012
 

The Google Nexus 4 is the subject of two new ads, one each from Google and LG. Google’s ad focuses on Photo Sphere, a feature introduced in Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. LG’s ad is more encompassing, showing different people using the smartphone for different purposes by using different tools including Photo Sphere, Google Now, Wi-Fi Display, and Android Beam. The latter also features a number of shots of the reflective pattern on the back of the smartphone.

Now, if Google and LG could only do something about those scarce and erratic” supplies and get these in the hands of all the people wanting one…

Read more: Google [via YouTube] and LG [via YouTube]

WIND Mobile offering CA$50 credit on new Google Nexus 4 activations

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Dec 192012
 

WIND Mobile is reaching out to those Canadians who managed to get themselves a Google Nexus 4. It is offering a CA$50 credit to those who activate a new line on the Unlimited Wish 40 or Unlimited Wish 25 plan between December 10th, 2012 to December 31th, 2012. It is available to both Pay Before and Pay After customers.

WIND Mobile Nexus 4 credit
Click for a larger version

In fact, the offer is not limited to just the Google Nexus 4. WIND Mobile will extend the same offer to any unlocked AWS (1700/2100) compatible phone.

Anyone taking their Nexus 4 over to WIND?

Read more: WIND Mobile (Source: MobileSyrup)

Mobilicity to let Torontonians call from inside a giant snow globe

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Dec 192012
 

MobilicityHave you ever made a call from inside a giant 24-foot snow globe? If the answer is ‘no’ but it’s something on your bucket list, you will have your chance to scratch it off that list on Friday, December 21st and Saturday, December 22nd thanks to Mobilicity. All Torontonians are invited to come down and call loved ones across Canada and abroad from their giant snow globe.

While the holiday season is a time of joy, for those who can’t celebrate with out-of-town loved ones, it can be a time of loneliness. According to new research, the majority (62%) of Canadians miss their loved ones more around the holiday season. The survey also found that 73 per cent said if they can’t be with friends or family over the holidays, hearing their voices over the telephone is the next best thing.

The event will take place at Toronto’s Yonge-Dundas Square from 11:30 to 20:00 on Friday and again from 09:30 to 19:30 on Saturday.

There is no word on whether Mobilicity will take its giant snow globe to its other markets.

Read more: Mobilicity

CES 2013: Samsung teaser asks us to “get ready”

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Dec 092012
 

2012 has not yet wrapped up that our attention is already shifting over to next year and the first big event of 2013. CES 2013 will take place from January 8th to January 11th and Samsung is already promising “something new” and asks us to “get ready:”

The teaser reveals little but early rumours have suggested Samsung could unveil a new 5-inch 1080p AMOLED display and a new branding strategy.

What would you like to see Samsung announce at CES 2013?

Read more: Samsung Tomorrow

Sony Xperia and Box extend cloud storage partnership into 2013

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Dec 092012
 

Sony Mobile CommunicationsSony Mobile Communications this week announced that its partnership with Box would be extended into 2013.

Announced before the 2011 festive season and initially running for a year – Xperia smartphone and Sony tablet users can now grab free 50GB cloud storage for life, by signing-up or accessing existing Box accounts from their devices before 31st December 2013.

Sony and Box first announced their partnership last year. Unlike many similar offers, this one is for life!

The Box app can be downloaded for free from the Google Play Store. All Sony Xperia 10 smartphones and more recent devices (except for the Xperia X10 mini, X10 mini pro and devices with Android versions prior to 2.1) and Android tablets are eligible for the 50GB of storage from Box.

Read more: Sony Mobile Communications (Source: XperiaBlog)

Rogers drops price on Windows Phone 8 device lineup

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Dec 072012
 

RogersIf you’ve been thinking of picking up a Windows Phone 8 device, now may be the time. Rogers launched its first Windows Phone 8 devices last month and has now reduced pricing on both the Nokia Lumia 920 and Windows Phone 8X by HTC as well as the upcoming Samsung ATIV S. Here is the latest pricing:

  • Windows Phone 8X HTC 8GB: Starting at CA$0.01 with a three-year contract
  • Windows Phone 8X HTC 16GB: Starting at CA$29.99 with a three-year contract
  • Nokia Lumia 920: Starting at CA$49.99 with a three-year contract
  • Samsung ATIV S: Starting at CA$79.99 with a three-year contract

Rogers is advertising the prices as a “limited time offer” so they could jump back up in the near future. Let’s hope that this is a holiday promotion rather than a sign that Windows Phone 8 devices are selling slowly…

Read more: Rogers (Source: MobileSyrup)

Video: Windows 8 Live Tile promotion from Norway

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Nov 092012
 

Microsoft could spend over US$1.5 billion over the coming months to promote Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8. It held a number of splashy events to mark the launch of both operating systems and the hype will continue for a while yet. Microsoft Norway came up with an innovative way to promote the concept of live tiles in a recent promotion on the streets of Oslo. Rather than trying to explain it, here is the video:

It may not be the most effective way of explaining what Live Tiles are all about but it certainly looks like everyone had fun, even those recovering after a wall fell around them!

Read more: Neowin (Source: Mike Temporale [via Twitter])

RIM free app giveaway for Canadian BlackBerry 7.1 users

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Nov 062012
 

Research In Motion today kicked off its “hottest app giveaway,” offering up to CA$40 of selected premium apps free to BlackBerry 7.1 users.

RIM BlackBerry 7.1 app giveaway 2012

The following apps are available for free until December 31st:

RIM also reminds customers still running BlackBerry 7.0 that this offer is a good opportunity to upgrade to 7.1.

The offer is valid only in Canada and is limited to BlackBerry smartphones running BlackBerry 7.1 OS. There is no word yet on whether a similar offer will be available in the U.S. as well.

Read more: Research In Motion

More Samsung Galaxy S III video ads

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Oct 252012
 

Samsung has released three new video ads for the Galaxy S III. These focus on features of Samsung’s flagship smartphone rather than poking fun at Apple’s fans although the the first does take aim at the iPhone’s smaller screen size. The other two focus on Samsung’s S-Beam feature.

There are also a number of new Samsung Galaxy Note II ads on the Samsung YouTube channel for your viewing pleasure.

Read more: Samsung Mobile [via YouTube]

Motorola update list of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean updates

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Oct 222012
 

Motorola MobilityMotorola Mobility last month confirmed that most of its 2011 smartphones would be upgraded to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. Those that would not be would instead be eligible in the U.S. for a US$100 credit towards a new Motorola smartphone. The company has now updated its upgrade lists to indicate which devices will be upgraded and which will not.

First up, the devices that will receive the upgrade include the recently announced DROID RAZR M, RAZR HD, and RAZR Maxx HD which will all be upgraded by the end of the year. The ATRIX HD, Photon Q, Eletrify 2, DROID RAZR, DROID RAZR MAXX, DROID 4, and DROID Bionic will also be upgraded but timelines are not provided.

With Motorola having changed its mind on a few devices already, it still leaves the door open to additional ones with the warning that “all dates and status subject to change.”

A total of 13 devices will not be upgraded and will be eligible for the rebate. Among those are the Atrix 4G, Atrix 2, Photon 4G, DROID 3, Milestone 3, and others. The rebate can be applied towards the purchase of a ATRIX HD, DROID RAZR HD, DROID RAZR M, DROID RAZR MAXX HD, MOTOROLA ELECTRIFY 2, Electrify 2, or Photon Q.

The $100 rebate offer is not available in Canada at this time but Motorola is “working to expand the program to additional markets and will provide more details when they are available.” We’ll let you if it makes it up here.

Read more: Motorola and Motorola U.S. trade-up program

Video: Another Microsoft Surface ad

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Oct 192012
 

On the heels of the first Microsoft Surface ad comes a second one. Unlike the first, this one focuses less on dancing and more on the features and capabilities of Microsoft’s new Windows RT tablet. It also spends a bit of time on the Touch Cover and Type Cover accessories.

The Microsoft Surface is now available for pre-order through the Microsoft Store. It will also be available starting on October 26th at retail locations including Microsoft stores and its Holiday Stores. Prices start at US$499/CA$519 for the 32GB model without a Touch Cover.

Microsoft is rumoured to be spending over US$1 billion to promote Windows 8, Window RT, and its first tablet device.

Read more: Microsoft Surface [via YouTube]

Promotional ASUS Padfone 2 videos

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Oct 162012
 

Along with today’s ASUS Padfone 2 announcement, ASUS has released three videos of the smartphone/tablet hybrid device. The first is a short 30 second promotion. It is followed by a longer video that goes over the technical specifications of both the Padfone 2 and its Padfone 2 Station. The third and longest video delves a bit into the manufacturer’s ‘Design Thinking’ philosophy.

PadFone 2 is a fully featured 4.7″ Android™ smartphone with industry-leading specifications that docks with the unique PadFone 2 Station to become a lightweight, but fully featured, 10.1″ tablet. Apps are seamlessly optimized on-the-fly to support both tablet and phone modes, with an instant transition between smartphone and tablet screen sizes.

This might be as close as we get in North America to seeing the ASUS Padfone 2 in action.

Read more: ASUS [via YouTube]

Video: First Microsoft Surface tablet ad

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Oct 152012
 

Microsoft’s marketing campaign for its upcoming Surface tablet kicks off tonight with its first ad to air on U.S. national TV. Microsoft is rumoured to be spending over US$1 billion to hype Windows 8, Window RT, and its first tablet device.

The ad itself reveals little about the tablet. It focuses instead on the kickstand and magnetic keyboard and the sounds made by these.

The Microsoft Surface will go on sale on October 26th for a still undisclosed price. It will be available at Microsoft stores as well as its new pop-up Holiday Stores (including four in Canada).

Read more: Microsoft Surface [via YouTube] (Source: The Verge)