Thursday, November 18, 2010

Christmas Is Coming - How Will You Be Using Your Apps?

The wireless industry has changed significantly over the years when it comes to the devices that are available, and the plans that customers can choose from. But the biggest change is how knowledgeable and informed those customers are.

The fact that customers are up to date with the devices they are looking for as well as what is coming to market, is going to be a notable element to the upcoming Christmas season. A study conducted in the US by Mobile Marketing Association found that 59% of mobile consumers plan to use their smartphone and its applicable applications to shop and plan this season, and 64% plan to research deals and offers on devices before they head to stores (Eric Zimmerman).

In addition to scoping out the latest deals and information, the emergence of more Smartphone users this year, will mean that these consumers are utilitzing their devices to assist with the busy shopping weeks ahead. With applications available to help them find their cars, stores within their favourite malls, and barcode scanners to assist with comparison shopping, there is everything people need to get their shopping done effectively and efficiently.

Somewhat ironic, is the fact that retailers have been slow to adopt the shopping applications, such as mobile coupons or store websites that are not designed to work on mobile devices. In order to keep up with their tech-savvy customers, has suggested five applications that retailers should look to work with:

Geolocation Applications:
  • Foursquare currently leads the way, with the ability to log in to various locations in order to obtain points, badges and mayorships
  • With the ability to link these applications to other social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook, consumers then have the ability to show their friends where they are shopping
  • This is another geolocation app that alerts customers as they walk past or near an eligible business location
  • Messages about these locations can include promotions, sales, coupons etc.
Barcode Scanning:
  • According to ScanLife, barcode scanning is up 700% in 2010
  • Applications include ShopSavvy, Checkpoints, ShopKick, and RedLaser (who currently holds the leadership spot for this type of mobile application)
Group Buying:
  • Groupon is looking to be the fastest growing company of the year, and is expected to rake in $500 million in sales in 2010 - not bad for a 17 month old company!
  • Groupon presents a special deal per day in a consumers shopping city, and requires a certain number of customers to purchase the deal in order for it to become effective - this encourages those interested in the deal to promote it to their friends, families and social networks
  • This is a specific application that allows retailers to "track every product on every shelf in store in real time."
  • This means that the website will show users where a particular product is carried in stock, how much it is in store, and how much it is online - a true comparison tool.
  • This raises the bar for traditional competition between brick-and-mortar stores and e-commerce retailers
So with the presence of such useful applications in the market, and with Smartphone users growing daily, how will you be using your mobile device this Christmas season?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Power Saving Tips For Your BlackBerry

Originally posted June 22, 2010

There is nothing worse than being caught out in the middle of the day, with a dead BlackBerry on your hands. And without a car charger, you aren't going to be making those all important calls or sending those urgent emails any time soon.

Save yourself the stress of a dead battery before it happens, with these quick tips to saving power while using your BlackBerry:

  • Charge your BlackBerry® as much as possible
  • Use wall chargers as the preferred charging method
  • Only use car chargers when you really have to as the rapid charge can reduce battery life in the long run
  • Reduce volume
  • Use headphones
  • Load media using BlackBerry® Desktop Manager (avoids resizing)
  • Turn off equalizer settings (Media > Options)
  • Visit mobile sites where applicable
  • Turn Repeat Animations to a lower setting (Browser > Options > General Properties)
  • Close browser when finished using (close with ESC key, not red End key)
Screen / Keyboard (Options > Screen/Keyboard)
  • Reduce Backlight Timeout
  • Reduce Backlight Brightness
  • Holster smartphone (turns off LCD automatically)
  • Set Audible Roll to mute
  • Key Tone Off
  • Use a sleeve when storing your BlackBerry® in a pocket
Network Connections
  • Turn off unused connections when not in use, i.e. GPS, Wi-Fi®, Bluetooth®
  • Use Auto On/Off
  • Use single mode only (2G only or 3G only)
Camera (all accessible through Camera > Options)
  • Turn off flash
  • Set picture size to Small
  • Set Colour Effect to Normal
  • Set Picture Quality to Normal
  • When exiting, be sure to close the application, not leave it running in the background (close with ESC key, not red End key)
  • Log out of third-party applications when they are not needed
Indicators (set under Profiles)
  • Set Audible notification to Off
  • Turn off coverage LED
  • Use the zoom out function to get the largest viewable area that you can still use usefully
With thanks to BlackBerryHelp - follow them on Twitter today!

Does Apple's iPad Face Some New Competition?

Originally posted October 1, 2010

C  Documents and Settings michelle Desktop Tablet

Samsung and BlackBerry recently announced their new tablet devices. Are these possible contenders to the Apple iPad?

Samsung Galaxy Tab
  • Launches at the end of November on Rogers Wireless
  • 7-inch screen
  • Runs Android 2.2
  • Cortex A8 1 GHz processor
  • 3-megapixel camera and a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera for video chatting
  • Access to the Android Market (alternative to Apple's iTunes store)
  • Support for Adobe Flash 10.1
  • Wi-Fi
  • It also seems that Samsung is positioning the tablet as a voice device
There is still no word on pricing for the Samsung Galaxy Tab, but industry experts feel it would be wise for Samsung to position this device as a competitor to the iPad, and so ensure that pricing is placed lower.

BlackBerry Playbook

  • Full Adobe® Flash® 10.1 enabled
  • Built-in support for HTML 5  
  • 7" LCD display, 1024 x 600 screen resolution
  • 1GHz dual core processor; 1GB RAM
  • Built-in microUSB connector
  • Multi-touch capacitive screen
  • Wi-Fi
  • On-screen keyboard
  • True multi-tasking
  • 3MP hi-def forward-facing camera; 5MP hi-def rear-facing camera
  • 1080P HD video
  • Ability to pair with BlackBerry Smartphone

No word on the launch date for this device, but be sure to take a look on BlackBerry's website for a sneak video (

Most Consumers Don't Know When Their Wireless Contract Ends

C  Documents and Settings michelle Desktop contract
Originally posted October 1, 2010

A recent Best Buy Mobile Survey announced that more than half of US cellphone owners have no idea of the month and year when their wireless contract expires.

Only 40% of those surveyed received reminders as to when their contract was about to expire. This means that customers are mis-informed when it comes to upgrades and plan options available to them.

Shawn Score, Best Buy Mobile's president, comments "When it comes to mobile solutions available today, many consumers are not armed with the right information to truly get the most out of their mobile phone."

This is something that Canadian wireless providers see too. I have lost count of the number of people that have come into our locations, having purchased their phone elsewhere, with no idea how to use the phone, or even why they purchased it in the first place.

One suggestion is to have a customer loyalty program that provides them with information to stop them using devices that are years old, and moving them to something that is going to better suit their needs. And with the advent of so many different applications for the hundred of smartphones out there, wireless retailers can even create loyalty programs that work via text, email, mobile coupons or online apps. The key? Simply staying in touch with those customers.

Although the survey was conducted in the US, Canadian wireless providers are likely to see similar trends. Some other facts found include the following:
  • 67% of consumers indicated “carriers” were their main influence when buying a phone
  • 23% of respondents chose the phone they bought based on the device itself
  • 10% chose a phone based on its operating platform (e.g. iPhone, Android, Windows Phone 7, etc.)
  • Other phone purchasing priorities include: music, video and camera (45%), GPS navigation (32%), intent to replace landline phone (29%), social networking capability (26%), Wi-Fi (26%), e-commerce capability (15%), movie downloads (15%) and games (14%).

Thanks go to IQMetrix News & Views for the original story (

Facebook Launches "Places" - Huge Impact for Wireless Users

C  Documents and Settings michelle Desktop icon facebook
Originally posted September 30, 2010

On August 19, Facebook created a new service through its site called Places. This pits the social networking giant against existing location-based applications such as FourSquare.

The new feature aims at helping existing users find friends and their locations in real time, and actually works with the existing services such as FourSquare. The advantage for Facebook is that is doesn't have to find new userts - it's 500 million users have access to this new option.

This is another addition to the social networking site's move to monetize its network usage, particularly among its mobile users. More than one quarter of Facebook users access the site from their Smartphones, and this allows the site to promote the use of mobile coupons for various services (as FourSquare currently does).

Facebook's Places essentially turns a user's Smartphone into a combination of GPS, social network (the world’s biggest), loyalty card, ad space and coupon dispenser - things that will potentially draw millions of retailers to start offering real-time, location based deals to users.

Of course, this comes with its fair share of concerns about privacy, but unlike the release of Places in other regions, such as the US, Facebook users have the option to turn this feature off if they don't wish to participate. It remains to be seen how successful this new feature will be, but with the increase in Smartphone users growing every day, it is only a matter of time before Places touches millions.

NEW To Rogers Wireless

Originally posted September 23, 2010
Check out the latest devices carried on the Rogers Wireless network:

BlackBerry Torch 9800
Launches September 30, 2010

RIM's first smartphone to incorporate a touch-screen and a slide out QWERTY keyboard. This is also the first Blackberry to launch with the BlackBerry 6 OS, including expanded messaging and social networking capabilities, and a customizable home screen. A 3.2" screen with a 360 x 480 resolution, separate on-board and application memories, a 5MP camera, and the ability to do tabbed browsing make for a highly anticipated device from RIM.

Samsung Galaxy S Captivate
Arrives in Canada mid-October
C  Documents and Settings michelle Desktop galaxy s
The Samsung Galaxy S Captivate is the latest Android device to be announced for Rogers Wireless. Featuring Android OS 2.1, a 4" Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 480 x 800, a 5MP camera that records 720p HD videos, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and holds up to 32GB with a microSD memory card.

iPhone 4
Launched July 30, 2010

C  Documents and Settings michelle Desktop Rogers iPhone 4

The always-in-demand iPhone 4 launched in Canada on July 30, with line ups at every store location stretching as far as the eye could see. Demand for the device has far surpassed supply, and we are hoping that inventory levels will become sufficient soon!

With a high resolution Retina display, 960 x 640 resolution, multi-touch screen, FaceTime, 5MP Camera with LED flash and autofocus, HD video recording with LED light, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, Accelerometer, it's no wonder that every Apple lover is clamouring to buy one, not to mention those new to the Smartphone market!

Students Head Back To School with Smartphones

C  Documents and Settings michelle Desktop Back To School1
Originally posted September 23, 2010

This month has seen the return of students to their respective institutions, and what a month for wireless this has been!

With a huge influx of quick messaging and touch screen devices, such as the Samsung Corby Pro and the LG Neon 2, students have had their fair share of phones to choose from.

There has definitely been an increase in wireless activity among students, even from last year, as purchasing a new phone has become a staple of the "Back To School Shopping List".

And more students are moving away from the standard cellular device, embracing the Smartphone trend that offers a more feature-rich experience. Not only do these devices give students access to their email, but they can stay up to date with their friends on campus via the social networking sites that seem to be a standard on new devices.

Devices such as the Motorola Flip Out with MotoBlur, with swipe text technology for faster messaging, and the BlackBerry 9300 Curve, with 3G capabilities, have been extremely popular. Prices are now more affordable, and there have been some great Student Plan offers this year.

It has been an extremely busy time for us - some might say it has been like a second Christmas for the wireless industry!

Apple Announces Availability of iOS4

apple logo
Originally posted July 23, 2010

In preparation for the launch of the iPhone 4, Apple has launched a major software release for the iPhone.

This new iPhone OS 4 software includes over 100 new features and enhancements available to users of the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.

The following are just a few of the many enhancements of this advanced operating system:
  • Multitasking and the ability to run background applications
  • Folders
  • Improved mail
  • iBooks
  • 5x digital camera
  • Tap-to-focus video and much more
Check out Apple’s website (at for more information about iOS 4.

How do I upgrade to iOS4?
1. Install the latest version of iTunes (iTunes 9.2) from the iTunes download page.
2. Once installed run iTunes 9.2.
3. Connect your iPhone to your computer.
4. Select your iPhone, when it appears in iTunes under Devices.
5. Select the Summary tab.
6. Click Check for Update.
7. Click "OK" to update.
Please note that although the iOS 4 software is compatible with the iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, and upcoming iPhone 4, not all functionality is available on older devices.

Start Your Car With Your Wireless Device

Originally posted July 16, 2010

It's definitely true that there is an app for everything.

Directed Electronics Canada and its Viper brand have come up with an app that starts your car using your wireless device. This does require the Viper product to be installed in your vehicle prior to using the app, but is still a very cool, updated version of a standar remote start.

Remote starts have always been popular with those living in colder provinces, as it means they don't have to crawl into a freezing car with icy fingers and wait for the car to warm up.

One main bonus to this new application is that it solves the problem of limited range that some remote key fobs experience. The range on the SmartStart is practically unlimited!

There are additional features within the application that can allow for remote truck unlocking, unlocking doors, finding the car in a parking lot, or arming the security system. It even allows control for multiple vehicles.

For more information, and to purchase the system, visit and search news for smartstart.

The Newest Android From Sony Ericsson

Originally posted June 17, 2010
Key Features of the new Sony Xperia X10 - available now at Rogers:
  • The Xperia X10 phone provides a rich navigation experience with an easy-to-use, smart and visual interface
  • The Timescape and Mediascape applications let you view all your communication or media in one window
  • Access Google services easily or enrich your phone with applications from Android Market
  • The 4" responsive touch screen and ultra-fast processor also make navigating the phone a breeze and watching your favourite videos on it pure pleasure
  • Take pictures with an 8.1MP camera with face recognition software
  • Built in GPS provides location based services like Google Maps, to help you find your way to your destination. You can even add location information to your images with the geo-tagging function
  • Turbo 3G gives you broadband-like speed in your phone. Download large files and attachments super fast, and browse websites and news feeds in seconds
  • Fully synchronizes with your old phone, even if it isn't a Sony Ericsson. Transfer contacts, calendars, notes and bookmarks; and you can even manage up-to-date information in your mobile phone from the Internet
  • Suits any style with colour availability in black or white
Get a full product simulation on the Sony Ericsson website