Photos of the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 have Leaked

July 17, 2018  by Chenchen Wang

Somebody’s getting in trouble. Pictures of Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy Note 9 smartphone have surfaced online, of a model that facetiously includes the factory sticker which reads “CONFIDENTIAL” and “NO PHOTOS ALLOWED.” Not surprisingly, the phone has a striking resemblance to its former counterpart, the Samsung Galaxy Note 8, and is relatively indistinguishable save for a repositioned camera and fingerprint sensor—the latter of which has since been moved to the back of the phone.





The phone was also spotted in the hands of the CEO, who was using it in public earlier this week. It’s rumored to come packaged with a new S Pen, which was redesigned to be lighter and includes Bluetooth support, that will also be integrated with features for gaming. From the pictures and rumors, it's since been determined that the phone will be lighter, have a new horizontal dual camera, and include the return of its USB-C port and headphone jack.





It’s interesting to note the S Pen’s Bluetooth functionality will allow it to be used as a remote device to control music playback, long-range self-timer, and anything else that traditional Bluetooth products have made more convenient for phone users. The phone will likely have some upgraded hardware within, smoothing operations and making things a little faster than before. It's set to launch at the end of summer and will engage Apple’s new line of iPhones in a bloodthirsty battle, the victor of which shall be left to the consumer.

As we near the end of summer, Apple Canada has resumed it’s back to school sale that features some complementary Beats Solo3 wireless headphones with any purchase of a MacBook or iPad Pro. The headphones are available in Matt Black or Gloss White, just like last year, only this time it also features a 20% discount off AppleCare as well (ideal if you have butterfingers or will have your computer in the presence of sticky liquids… which will likely be the case given university).





The Beats Solo3 headphones are powered through Bluetooth and feature up to 40 hours of listening with a lithium-ion-powered battery, but they aren’t the most ideal wireless headphones for their overinflated retail price of $329.95; for one, they don’t feature active noise cancelling, newer technology available in this price range that uses phase cancellation to mute background noise from your surroundings.

They are marketed as noise isolating though, which means the cushions will muffle outside noise to some degree. At the end of the day, they’re decent enough for a free pair of headphones. One complaint of previous models is the small cushions, which makes for an uncomfortable listening experience across longer periods of time, but of course this depends on whether you have monkey ears.





There’s also a built-in mic that makes it easy for you to Discord with your friends or activate Siri on the go. The headphones come with a padded carrying case, 3.5mm RemoteTalk cable to convert them into wired headphones, and a USB-A to USB Micro-B charging cable.

Perfect for post-secondary freshmen or if you’re looking to replace your outdated computer—given that you can justify the hefty price of $1129 for a MacBook Air or $839 for an iPad Pro and onwards. Bear in mind that this promo is offered in addition to the standard Apple education discount, which can save you a few hundred bucks off your MacBook or iPad Pro (dependent on the price at final checkout). It’s likely that they’ll continue to offer a similar promotion in the coming years, but if you want a new computer, now might be the prime time to take advantage of this deal.

Check it out for yourself at Apple's Site.

Rogers' New Data Bonuses!

July 11, 2018  by Chenchen Wang

Only a few days after Rogers rescinded their 2 GB bonus on their share plans in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, and the Atlantic provinces—they’re back! This time, every plan has been graced with a hefty 2 GB bonus, from their 1 GB plan all the way to their 80 GB plan.




Here are the changes:


Before After
1 GB 3 GB
2 GB 4 GB
6 GB 8 GB
8 GB 10 GB
10 GB 12 GB
15 GB 17 GB
20 GB 22 GB
40 GB 42 GB
80 GB 82 GB


Meanwhile, Bell is still offering 2 GB bonus on most of their plans (albeit less in quantity and not on any of their higher-end data plans). Telus has yet to add new bonuses since removing theirs.

Check out Roger's new rate plans for yourself here.

Saying Goodbye to our Beloved Data Bonuses

July 9, 2018  by Chenchen Wang

After almost a full year of voluptuous bonus data among Canadian service providers in the prime provinces, these rates are finally reverting back to the shells of their current selves. Rogers and Telus have since ended their 2 GB bonuses as of July 9th, and minor providers like Fido, Koodo and Virgin Mobile have replaced their 3 GB bonuses with tiny 1 or 2 GB bonuses for the same price as before. Bell is still offering their 2 GB bonuses with no expiration date in sight, however, it’s safe to assume that they’ll be cutting it shortly thanks to their competitors.




Here’s a brief changelog of the updates for you to chowder down on:

Rogers

  • 2 GB bonus data ends on July 9th in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, and the Atlantic provinces
  • 2 GB bonus still offered in Manitoba on their 6 GB plan
  • 1 and 2 GB bonuses still offered in Quebec on their 7, 10, and 14 GB plans respectively

View their plans here.


Telus

  • 2 GB bonus data ends on July 9th in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, and the Atlantic provinces
  • 2 GB bonus still offered in Saskatchewan on their 10 GB plan
  • 4 and 2 GB bonuses still offered in Quebec on their 4, 10, and 14 GB plans respectively

View their plans here.


Bell

  • 2 GB bonus data still going strong in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, and the Atlantic provinces (but likely to be removed in the near future)
  • 2 GB bonus still offered in Manitoba on their 6 GB plan
  • 2 GB bonus still offered in Saskatchewan on their 10 GB plan
  • 4 and 2 GB bonuses still offered in Quebec on their 4, 10, and 14 GB plans as well as 2 GB plan for the Premium Smartphone Ultra Plus tab

View their plans here.


Virgin Mobile

  • 3 GB bonus data replaced with 1 or 2 GB bonuses in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, and the Atlantic provinces
  • Bonus 1 GB and 2 GB still offered in Quebec on their 1, 2, 6, and 8 GB plans respectively
  • 2 GB bonus still offered in Saskatchewan on their 5 GB plan

View their plans here.


Fido

  • 3 GB bonus data replaced with 1 or 2 GB bonuses in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, and the Atlantic provinces
  • Bonus 1 GB and 2 GB still offered in Quebec on their 1, 2, 6, and 8 GB plans respectively
  • 2 GB bonus still offered in Saskatchewan on their 5 GB plan

View their plans here.


Koodo

  • 3 GB bonus data removed from British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, and the Atlantic provinces (still offers the same data plans as Fido and Virgin Mobile even with their bonuses)

View their plans here.


Freedom Mobile

  • 3 GB bonus data ends on July 10th

View their plans here.


Eastlink

  • 2 GB bonus data still offered

View their plans here.


Sasktel

  • No changes

View their plans here.


If you're in a province that still offers bonus data, take advantage of it while you can. If you aren't, just keep holding your breath; there are definitely bonus offers in the near future, but it's a question of when. Keep those fingers, paws, and tentacles crossed in anticipation!

Top 5 Apps for Seniors

July 6, 2018  by Chenchen Wang

Current technology is evolving at a rapid pace and not everybody can keep up with the latest trends. But this doesn’t mean that the older generation shouldn’t know about the vibrant perks and apps that can maximize life's greatest conveniences. Here are some of the top 5 apps in 2018 that are an absolute must-have for any seniors and will certainly make things easier than ever.

  1. Medisafe
    Medisafe is a convenient app that allows you to keep track of your medications and daily dosage. No more fumbling around calendars or getting your partner to remind you to take your pills. This app can send you reminders, keeps a helpful overview of your daily medication consumption, checks your medication for harmful interactions and tracks health measurements including blood pressure and calories. It can even send notifications to your family members so they’re constantly in the loop. Best of all, the app is free to use (although you can pay for more options) on the App Store for iOS, or the Google Play Store for Android devices.



  2. Spotify
    If you’ve been around your kids or grandchildren, then there's a good chance you've heard of it. Spotify is the latest and greatest trend when it comes to music and isn’t restricted to only the youngins; this popular music-streaming app has millions of songs at your fingertips that span thousands of different genres and time eras. If you're a fan of The Beatles or chunes from the 60s, 70s, 80s, or whatever else, then you're in luck. There are also podcasts and audiobooks that can satiate your boredom or accompany you in the kitchen while you cook, clean, or work in the garden. The app is available for free, but restricts you to limited features (you can only listen on shuffle mode and can’t make playlists) unless you pay a small fee of $9.99 per month. Pick it up now on the Google Play Store or App Store.



  3. Kindle
    Kindle is a free app from Amazon that lets you read dozens of eBooks with customizable settings to ease your reading experience, like the page color and text size, or toggling between portrait and landscape mode. You can also organize your collection of books, magazines and documents into categories or genres for ease of access. Who knows? You might find that you read more often without having to carry around a thick book in your bag. You can purchase new books via the app through the Amazon store, but there are also thousands of free ones available for you to choose from. This handy app is perfect for travelling or if you’re in a waiting room and can hold all of your favorite literature inside of your tiny device. See it first on the Google Play Store or the App Store.



  4. WebMD
    We run into more and more problems and symptoms as our bodies age, but it’d be a hassle to go to the emergency room for a rash or minor headache. WebMD acts as a pseudo-symptom checker that can give you some quick info about anything health-related that may peak your curiosity. It also provides instructions for first aid and can help you identify pills, conditions, or treatments. Of course, you should never substitute the app for a visit to the doctor’s office, but it’s there for ease of access and is a lot quicker than an in-depth Google search. Like any informative encyclopedia apps, this one is free as well. Available now on the Google Play Store or the App Store.



  5. Big Launcher
    The Big Launcher is an Android-only launcher application which provides a larger, simpler Android interface that makes it a little easier on the eyes. It allows you to customize your interface and enlarges everything, from the tiles on the screen to your text messages and notifications. Tiny app symbols become large, recognizable icons without the text for ants. There's even an SOS button in case of emergencies that calls or texts pre-set numbers. Unfortunately the app is relatively popular and retails for a hefty $11.99 price on the Google Play Store, but there is a free demo available for users to try before they buy.



There are tons of other apps that are convenient and helpful available on the market now, but these are some of the more practical ones that are most useful at first glance. Thirsty for more? You can do your own scavenger hunting on the Google Play Store and Apple Store.



The BlackBerry KEY2 is Coming to Canada

July 3, 2018  by Chenchen Wang

On its way to Canadian soil is BlackBerry’s newest smartphone, the BlackBerry KEY2. Like its predecessor, the BlackBerry KEYone, the device comes with noticeable upgrades including a better keyboard, stronger processor, more RAM and a dual camera—although at a hefty price of $829.99 CAD.

But what about the features? To start, this bad boy is loaded with a Snapdragon 660 processor and a 3500mAh battery which allows full-day usage; it also comes with twice the memory at 6 GB of RAM as opposed to the KEYone’s 3 GB. This means that most of your high-demanding apps and programs or games will run with ease. Mind you, the processor itself is still inferior to that of other competing phones like the iPhone X and the Huawei P20 Pro.

Akin to its name, the BlackBerry KEY2’s keyboard is a significant piece of its design and defies the logic of being outdated. It includes keys that are nearly 20 percent larger than the KEYone, allowing you to feel the joy of the little clicks as you press down on physical keys. Its power button has also moved to the right side of the phone so that users don't accidentally shut it off during the heat of rapid texting. A new “Speed Key” has been added in place of the Shift option, which allows the user to map shortcuts and access applications directly from the keyboard.

It might also be interesting to note that BlackBerry phones typically come with some of their own apps, yet most of these are useless and have been replaced by modern apps like Facebook Messenger and whatever else you can scrape for free from the Google Store.

There’s also a second 12MP camera that provides a decent photography experience, but again pails in comparison to bigger phones like the P20 Pro, iPhone X or Galaxy S9+. It does however, have video recording at 4K and 1080p between 30 or 60 fps. The phone also includes a 3.5mm headphone jack for all of those Spotify enthusiasts who've yet to upgrade to bluetooth headphones.

The BlackBerry KEY2 drops later this week and will be available from Telus, Bell, Rogers and Sasktel. Read more about it on BlackBerry's site.