Heading back to school in September? Chances are you have a tablet and even if you own a laptop PC as well, I’ll bet you’d rather be carrying the ultra-light tablet to classes than the heavier and bulkier computer. And many students are choosing to go with a tablet exclusively. Whether you’re using the tablet as your primary device or switching back and forth between it and a PC, this list of must-have productivity apps that will ensure you get the most out of your mobile device.
With its signature Moto G 4G LTE, Motorola proves that simplicity is powerful. Don’t let the low price tag fool you. The MotoG may cost less than other devices but it performs like a higher end Smartphone.
byBradMoon06-29-201409:47 AM - edited 06-29-201409:47 AM
Sometimes two products work together so well that they mesh into an extension of one another and become that much better than either is on its own. Each might be pretty cool, but together, they becomes something special. That’s the case with Samsung’s Galaxy S5 smartphone and its Galaxy Fit fitness band. I had a week to try out these Samsung flagship devices and came away impressed with how well the two combine into what’s currently one of the best experiences out there for someone with an active, connected lifestyle.
Every year Google holds a conference aimed at its developer community. Every year a preview of the latest version of its Android mobile operating system is shown and sometimes there are some surprise appearances —like the public debut of Google Glass at I/O 2012. This year, a wicked fast and new-look Android was revealed (it’s “L” for now, with no sweet-themed name attached), Android Auto was announced for connected cars, Google Fit confirmed the rumours Google is interested in your health, Android Wear showed off awesome new smartwatches from LG and Samsung while Android TV is another crack at conquering your living room. Basically, the theme was Android everywhere. Here’s what you need to know from Google I/O 2014.
Let your tween share all her fun moments with the SELPHY CP910 printer from Canon. This compact and portable printer is designed to print out all those selfies, instagram and smartphone photos using a wireless connection.
Get all those cherished photos out of the phone and into your photo albums or scrapbook . It’s the perfect gift for the tween girl in your life. Hand this over and you'll be the cool adult in her life.
The cell phone has quickly become the focal point of our mobile communications. With the power of a computer in your hand, a display with a resolution on par with HDTV, LTE data speeds that rival your home broadband Internet connection, a high quality camera, gaming capabilities at the level of previous generation consoles, massive amounts of onboard storage, multiple connectivity options and cloud-based synchronization of your services, the smartphone can quickly become an irreplaceable part of your life.
Square is one of the hottest tech companies going. By providing a plug-and-play credit card reader that lets anyone accept credit cards for payment by using their smartphone or tablet, Square is bringing sophisticated payment options to the masses. Perfect for small businesses, vendors at special events and anyone whose customers want to pay using a credit card —Square lets you run your business from anywhere. Square processed over $20 billion in transactions in 2013, proving just how popular this innovative approach is. Now you can pick up a Square credit card reader or tablet stand at Best Buy, starting at under $10.
We’re in a golden age of home movies thanks to the built-in video shooting capability of most mobile phones and there are people making big bucks posting professional looking videos on sites like YouTube —that are shot on their smartphone. How do you go from shaky, raw smartphone footage to polished looking results with subtitles, special effects and animated overlays? It’s actually pretty easy and the best part is, you can pump up your phone footage with movie effects for next to nothing and sometimes even for free.
Fans of Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 operating system have less choice in smartphones than their Android counterparts, so it’s always news when a new device arrives in Canada. Nokia’s Lumia line of smartphones set the standard for the Windows Phone experience and the Lumia 625 is set to raise the bar for value-priced Windows mobile devices. Improving on 2012’s Lumia 620, the 625 gains a faster Snapdragon CPU, bigger display, LTE compatibility and a leap in battery life. There are some compromises compared to the 620 (for example, NFC support has been dropped) but the Lumia 625 provides much of the experience of more expensive smartphones in a budget-friendly device. Expect to see it soon at Best Buy.
Last year, HTC had a hit with its HTC One, considered by many to be the best-looking Android smartphone ever released, not to mention a solid performer. Samsung’s Galaxy S4 ended up running away with the Android sales crown in 2013, but HTC is back this year with the One M8, a successor that’s bigger, looks even better and offers solid performance combined with an innovative new dual camera system. I just spent a few days with HTC’s new flagship and this is probably the best Android smartphone I’ve laid my hands on. And it's coming soon to Best Buy!
What is all the fuss about Spritz? If you were using a Spritz-enabled app, you would already have read to the end of this post and could tell us. But given that Spritz-enabled tech isn’t out there yet (it's coming soon, though), here’s the scoop. Spritz is new speed reading technology that’s based on the theory that much of our time spent reading is wasted as our eyes move side to side. Display a word in one place, flash one word at a time and suddenly reading becomes much more efficient. Not only that, but by displaying just one word at a time, reading is suddenly possible on compact displays, like a smartphone or smartwatch. Being able to quickly (and painlessly) read e-mail, reports or even books on your Gear2 or Gear Neo suddenly makes the idea of wearable technology even more appealing.
During the past week, the world’s leading manufacturers of mobile electronics —smartphones, tablets and wearable technology— have been showcasing their latest products at Mobile World Congress 2014. MWC is the mobile industry’s equivalent to the Consumer Electronics Show and that means big names (Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg gave a keynote) along with big product reveals —like the Samsung Galaxy S5. Basically, If you want to know what to expect in the world of mobile for 2014, just look at what’s on display at Mobile World Congress. Our MWC 2014 wrap-up covers the big news from Barcelona.
Not satisfied with the default ringtones in iOS 7? Many iPhone owners are happy enough with “Cosmic,” “Stargaze” or classics like “Old Phone.” But if you’re bored with the ringtones you get as part of iOS 7 or you’re tired of reaching for your phone (along with dozens of people around you in the mall) every time you hear that familiar ring, maybe it’s time to change things up. Maybe you’d like a riff from your favourite song instead. While you can buy pre-made music ringtones directly from your iPhone, it’s easy to create your own from your iTunes music library. Here’s how.
Even if you’re pretty plugged in to the smartphone scene, there’s a good chance you haven’t heard of Alcatel. Samsung, HTC, Nokia, Apple, Sony, Motorola —of course. Alcatel? Maybe not so much. But that’s about to change. One of the biggest smartphone brand names in China’s booming smartphone market, TCL’s Alcatel is making a push into the Canadian market with the OneTouch Idol X, a big, colourful and super slim Android device that’s set to challenge the status quo. Look for the OneTouch Idol X to make an appearance soon at Best Buy.
Samsung has a bit of a tough act to follow in the Galaxy S4. The company’s flagship smartphone has been the top-selling Android smartphone since its release in 2013, it’s the biggest competitor to Apple’s iPhone and in many ways it set the bar for what other manufacturers brought to the table since then: bigger displays, more powerful CPUs and innovative software like S Health. Competition in the smartphone market is fiercer than ever in 2014, so the Galaxy S5 really has to hit it out of the park to stay on top. Based on what we saw at Samsung Unpacked today, it looks like the Galaxy S5 has the chops to keep Samsung’s winning streak going.
For years, the basic smartphone form factor hasn’t changed much: a rectangular slab of plastic, glass and metal. As displays have become larger, some people have found that rectangle becomes a bit cumbersome to use as a phone and all the flat glass leads to a lot of glare. Enter the G Flex from LG. Canada’s first curved smartphone, the G Flex ups the display size to 6 inches and offers the high contrast ratio and deep blacks that only OLED can. Thanks to its innovative curved design, the G Flex feels much more natural to use as a phone than much smaller traditionally shaped smartphones, while the curved display reduces annoying screen glare. The G Flex offers even more technological breakthroughs than its unique form factor and it’s coming soon to Best Buy.
byBradMoon01-31-201410:17 AM - edited 01-31-201410:16 AM
We all want to save money and VoIP (Voice over IP) technology is one of those great ways to cut your spending. It uses the Internet and its cheap data as an alternative to making voice calls using a telephone or cell phone. Great idea. When it comes to VoIP, netTALK is one of leaders in Canada and the company has just announced the launch of a new Android app that’s exclusive to Canadians. This netTALK app features a long list of benefits including a free Canadian number, free international calls between app users and free international radio streaming. Given the popularity of NetTALK’s Duo VOiP telephone hardware, this app is definitely worth checking out.
byBradMoon01-15-201403:02 PM - edited 01-24-201406:20 AM
Some of the coolest gadgets are the ones that come out of nowhere to solve a problem you didn’t even realize you had. The new Case + Tilt for the iPhone 5/5S from Logitech is one of those products. It provides the expected protection for your phone, but adds three bonus features: a magnetic mount, a tilt stand and ear bud cord management. Three things you probably don’t think about on a daily basis, but once you see them incorporated as part of a smartphone case design, they suddenly seem like the best idea ever. That’s why the Case + Tilt was a Kickstarter success story, that’s why Logitech subsequently bought the company and released the Case + Tilt case under its own label and that’s why you can expect to see the Case + Tilt soon at Best Buy.
I’m an iPhone owner, as are many of you, and much as I like my smartphone one of the biggest complaints I have is running out of storage space. While 16 GB sounds like plenty, apps are getting bigger to take advantage of higher resolution displays while more advanced cameras are cranking out ever larger digital photo files. Mophie is a name many people will recognize as the maker of some of the most popular smartphone and tablet battery accessories made, including the popular Juice Pack line that combines a smartphone case with a booster battery. Mophie just made history at CES 2014 with the introduction of the Space Pack, the world’s first iPhone 5/5s case that not only offers extra battery power, but includes additional built-in storage.
Smartphones don’t typically get the spotlight treatment at the Consumer Electronics Show. There are plenty of big conferences like the Mobile World Congress where these devices tend to get their big reveals. Still, Sony made a splash (literally) at CES 2014 with the introduction of its new Xperia Z1S flagship Android smartphone. With upgraded water resistance compared to the Xperia Z1 and carryover of the powerful 20.7 megapixel image sensor, Sony is now positioning this as “the world’s first ultra high resolution camera in waterproof smartphone.” While Canadians will be happy to know that also means it’s pretty good at keeping out rain and snow, attendees at CES 2014 in Las Vegas could probably make better use of the Xperia Z1’s resistance to dust.
Your smartphone and tablet aren’t just for playing games, surfing the web, watching movies or updating Facebook —although the mobile devices are pretty awesome at any of these tasks. You can also put your favourite gadget to work saving you money. Here’s an overview of five apps that will make you feel even better about your smartphone or tablet in 2014 because that slab of glass, plastic and metal is putting money back in your pocket.
Over the holidays, thoughts turn to family. Chances are, you have family scattered across the country and maybe even around the globe. Being able to spend time with the ones we love isn’t always possible —at least not physically. But thanks to the technology we’re carrying with us every day, it’s easier than ever to keep your family close. Whether that’s taking advantage of Skype to video conference using your smartphone, tablet or laptop, updating Facebook or sharing your photos online, keeping your distant friends and family close is more practical, spontaneous and engaging than a long distance phone call could ever be. So take advantage of your gear’s built-in capabilities to make 2014 the year you reconnect and stay connected.
You won the holiday lottery and someone gifted you with a smartphone. Congratulations! It’s activated, you started downloading some apps, you imported your contact list then called the first person on it just to test the voice quality (and maybe to brag, just a teensy bit). What next? The answer is obvious. Accessorize! Make that shiny slab of glass, metal and plastic your own. Make it stand out in a crowd, do more than a “stock” version can and protect it so you still have it come December, 2014. And with Boxing Day approaching fast, there’s no better time to hit your Best Buy store in search of smartphone customization.
byBradMoon11-29-201308:18 PM - edited 11-30-201309:33 AM
Tablets may be getting much of the attention leading up to the holiday season, but all the top consumer electronics manufacturers have their flagship smartphones on shelves now too —it's a great time for comparison shoppers. Every year choosing the right phone gets more difficult as the devices get faster, more capable and more attractive than the generation before. We’ve gone from chunky phones with 2.5-inch displays, 1 MP cameras and basic texting capability to sleek devices sporting 5-inch displays crammed with as many pixels as a HDTV, along with photo and video capabilities that rival a digital camera, mobile web surfing faster than some home Internet connections and the ability to play console-grade video games. Throw in variables like customized interfaces, and choosing a smartphone is tougher than ever. To help you pick the right phone for your needs, we’ve put together a comparison of five of the most popular Android flagship smartphones.
While flagship smartphones like the HTC One can offer a spectacular user experience, not everyone wants or can afford the absolute latest and greatest. Fortunately, manufacturers have been putting considerable effort into expanding the capabilities and appeal of their mid-range models. The HTC Desire 601 is a great example of how smartphones in the tier below the flagships can be solid devices in their own right. The Desire 601 gives up some specs and the premium finish of the HTC One, but the end result is a more affordable Android smartphone that still offers plenty of performance. The display may not be on par with flagship devices, but it’s still bright, fairly big and reasonably sharp. The camera takes decent photos and the sound is a standout thanks to HTC’s BoomSound dual front speakers. The Desire 601 will be available in Best Buy stores starting on November 8, through Koodoo and Virgin Mobile.
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