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Tags : announcement



At Google I/O last week, a variety of announcements came our way regarding Android. Ice Cream Sandwich, Movie Rentals, and more were announced. One of the other items unveiled at the event was Honeycomb OS 3.1, the next update in the tablet-specific OS. Included in the update are a variety of new featurs, including resizable widgets, USB accessory support, and more.

Unfortunately, like with most events of this type in the U.S., Canada wasn't really discussed a whole lot. U.S. Motorola XOOM owners began seeing the update shortly after the announcement, while there has been no sign of it north of the border. Finally, Motorola Canada came forward on Facebook and declared that the update is coming soon. No specific dates were provided, but they did say:

"Some of the feature upgrades include basic external SD card support for general SD file and media access, expanded support for USB-connected accessories, additional Bluetooth support and Picture Transfer Protocol to enable easier transfer of photo files to your PC."

Certainly great news for Canadian XOOM owners!


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Google held their I/O event today, announcing a number of things pertaining to their mobile OS and platform - Android. Possibly the biggest announcement was the official confirmation of their upcoming OS version, Ice Cream Sandwich. This new version aims to bridge the gap between tablets and smartphones, bringing many of the higher-end features of Honeycomb to a smaller screen size. This promises richer widgets and graphics, better multitasking, and much more. Ice Cream Sandwich is expected to launch in Q4.

Another big announcement was movie rentals via Market. No word on when Canadians will see the feature released, but starting in the next few weeks, Google stated they will be rolling out movie rentals in the Android Market. These rentals will start as low as $1.99, but premium titles will likely be more.

Though Canadians haven't received any word on when it will be available to us, Google also announced Music Beta. Music Beta is a service that allows you to upload your personal music collection to the cloud for streaming on your computer and various Android devices. It was made available today to certain U.S. users by invitation, so hopefully we'll see it soon in Canada.

A few other announcements were made as well, including a promise of higher dedication to timely OS updates. They also discussed projects like the Android Open Accessory Toolkit and Android@Home so hardware creators can develop a broader range of products, and even offer connectivity between home appliances and your device!


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Back in February, HTC announced the Flyer, their first android tablet. The Flyer has a 7" (1024x600) touchscreen display, and runs on Android 2.3 Gingerbread at launch, though it will eventually see Honeycomb. It's powered by a 1.5GHz processor, and will run HTC's latest version of Sense specifically designed for tablets. One of the features that makes the Flyer stand out is the Scribe technology, which aims to repopularize stylus use.

The HTC Flyer was recently added to HTCSense.com's Canadian section, on the device registration page. Hopefully the addition of the device means a near-future launch. With the original announcement stating that the Flyer would be available globally in Q2, we should see this new tablet available sometime this summer.


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Beginning yesterday, the BlackBerry World 2011 event is where most expect new device and software announcements, and RIM lived up to those expectations. Announcing the BlackBerry 9900/9930 models and BlackBerry 7 OS, RIM stated that the Bold Touch is expected to be available from carriers around the world beginning this Summer.

The Bold Touch 9900/9930 are essentially the same device, though the 9930 operates on CDMA networks, whereas the 9900 is GSM and HSPA+ compatible. They feature a 2.8" (640x480) VGA multitouch display, while retaining the familiar BlackBerry design that comes with a full QWERTY keyboard. The Bold Touch is a significant improvement over current BlackBerry handsets, and is powered by a 1.2GHz processor and 768MB of RAM. It has a 5MP camera with 720p video capture, and supports NFC, Wi-Fi, GPS, and bluetooth connectivity. It comes in at just 10.5mm thick, making it the thinnest BlackBerry yet. Lastly, the Bold Touch runs on BlackBerry 7 OS, RIM's latest version of their platform. No word on pricing or exact launch dates, but we should see these launch by late Summer.

BlackBerry 7 OS brings with it several new features over the current 6.0 version, including a significantly improved browser with faster rendering and full HTML5 support. It also offers voice activated search, and integrates "BlackBerry Balance", a feature that helps separate personal content from corporate items on your device.

BlackBerry 7 OS will only be available for the Bold Touch 9900/9930, and will not be compatible with existing devices from RIM. There will likely be several newer devices announced with the OS in the near-future, but this new Bold series handset will likely be their flagship model. Those who purchase the device will also get the full version of Docs To Go out-of-box, so users will quickly be able to access all of their documents, including PDFs.


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According to a recent release from Sasktel, they aren't just expanding their current 21Mbps network, but also working to launch a 42Mbps 4G network in Regina and Saskatoon this summer. No word yet on which devices might be available offering support for that speed, but it will likely start with a mobile internet stick.

Along with that announcement, Sasktel stated that by the end of 2011, their coverage will be available to 98% of Saskatchewan's population. It is already at 96%, according to the carrier.

It's certainly nice to see network upgrades and announcements, but one can't help but wonder their status regarding LTE deployment. With Bell and Rogers racing to launch their true 4G networks in a few major cities, we can only assume that's the future.


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A few days ago we let you know that Rogers was getting set to launch their 4G LTE network sometime in 2011 in Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, and Vancouver. According to the announcement, the network will also become active in 25 more cities in 2012. Bell has responded, releasing a document internally that states that their LTE trials have concluded, and that they are also working on launching in the near-future. In the document, they say "Bell has completed 4G LTE trials and we are currently deploying 4G LTE as well. Our competitors will not get in front of Bell's network leadership." No word on launch dates or which areas Bell's LTE network will be available in at launch as of yet, but we'll keep a close eye on Bell (and other networks) to keep you up to-date-on 4G LTE network deployment in Canada!


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Summer is coming, and with it comes WWDC and all kinds of announcements from Apple. This June, Apple says they're going to "unveil the future of iOS", which has many analysts sharing their thoughts. One of the most common rumours, with information apparently coming from individuals with knowledge of the company's supply chain, points to a September ship date for the iPhone 5.

Other speculation points to the new iPhone model having an edge-to-edge screen, but otherwise similar to the iPhone 4 physically. It will also come with an 8MP camera according to the information, and should have a much stronger A5 processor.

Who knows if this will prove to be true, or what else Apple has in store for us regarding iOS' future. Hopefully we'll see some truly innovative technology!


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The tablet market has been buzzing, and we've been keeping you updated on many of the new devices set to hit the scene this year - the PlayBook, Galaxy Tab 10.1, and HTC Flyer, among others. According to several sources, it looks like we'll be getting an official announcement regarding the iPad 2 on Wednesday, March 2nd. No word yet on exactly what information will be released, but we should get an overview of the iPad successor, and hopefully a rough timeframe for release. Speculation thus far is pointing to a thinner design, more powerful processor (dual-core?), and improved display, in addition to a front-facing camera for Facetime. We'll be sure to keep you updated on any advancements on the iPad 2, so stay tuned!


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Their has been quite a bit of buzz about what Sony would be doing next when it comes to their mobile gaming platform PlayStation, and with rumours flying out every corner of the internet, it looks like we're finally getting some official confirmation. February 13th, Sony Ericsson intends on officially announcing the Ericsson Play, the next Ericsson Android handset and the next PlayStation portable device all rolled into one!

The Play is expected to feature a 4.2" (480x854) LED touchscreen display, a 5MP camera with LED flash, and will run on Android 2.3 Gingerbread at launch. Other specifications include a 1GHz processor, 380MB of RAM, and connectivity options including Wi-Fi, GPS, and bluetooth. What sets the Play apart from other Android handsets is the PSP-style controls that slide out where a QWERTY keyboard would normally be located, giving hardware control for gaming to users where they'd normally need to use touchscreen controls. No word yet on pricing, or when the device will launch, but we should be getting that information at the official announcement, which is just around the corner on the 13th.


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Bell has recently announced that they will be releasing North America's first 42Mbps Dual Cell product - the Novatel U547 Turbo Stick. Their 42Mbps network will be launched and active in Toronto on November 23rd, coinciding with this Turbo Stick launch. According to the announcement, the network and device will be rolled out to other cities sometime in 2011, though nothing more specific was stated. Unfortunately there's no word on price points for this new mobile internet stick, but we'll be sure to update you when it launches tomorrow!


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