By Michael Liedtke - Thursday, December 13, 2012 - 0 Comments
SAN FRANCISCO – Google Maps have found their way back to the iPhone, and…
SAN FRANCISCO – Google Maps have found their way back to the iPhone, and the new alternative was already the top-ranking free app in Apple’s iTunes store Thursday.
The world’s most popular online mapping system returned late Wednesday with the release of the Google Maps’ iPhone app. The release comes nearly three months after Apple Inc. replaced Google Maps as the device’s built-in navigation system and inserted its own maps into the latest version of its mobile operating system.
By noon Thursday in the U.S., users had chimed in with more than 10,000 reviews of the Google app. Nearly 90 per cent gave Google maps a five-star rating — the highest possible grade. Despite the quickly rising popularity, Google’s solution still wasn’t listed among the 18 recommended mapping apps in iTunes as of early Thursday afternoon. Continue…
By Mika Rekai - Wednesday, August 22, 2012 at 10:37 AM - 0 Comments
How to reduce distraction from texting during movies? There’s an app for that.
In an age of constant communication, the movie theatre is one of few places where using your cellphone, with its bright glowing screen, is still a social faux pas. A new app for Android phones, however, may change that. Developed by a Toronto tech company, the In the Dark app switches smartphone screens to a mix of dark grey and black so users can continue texting without disturbing others. It also automatically puts the phone on vibrate. The app’s developer, Kyle Goomansingh, was inspired to create In the Dark when he was in a movie theatre and distracted by the bright light on a fellow audience member’s smartphone. The app works with the phone’s existing messaging systems, but reconfigures settings so texts and emails appear on a grey screen with black lettering. (It’s also a good way to keep your texts hidden from prying eyes reading over your shoulder.) Of course, the other solution to the texting-during-movie dilemma would be to just watch the movie, but who does that anymore?
By Kate Lunau - Thursday, December 16, 2010 at 3:20 PM - 1 Comment
Angry Birds, the world’s most popular smartphone video game, gets a festive update
Over the holidays, those looking to vent some frustration away from family might consider hurling an angry bird at a bug-eyed green pig—if they’ve got a smartphone and the hottest mobile game available, Angry Birds. (Evil pigs have stolen these birds’ eggs, the plot goes, and the birds are out for revenge.) A festive new edition, called Angry Birds Seasons, features a wintry landscape, an Advent calendar theme and, of course, pigs and birds in Santa hats.
By Chris Sorensen - Thursday, December 9, 2010 at 1:40 PM - 4 Comments
Tech watchers are wondering whether Canada’s Research in Motion is on its way to becoming an industry “dinosaur.”
Faced with an eroding market share and middling reviews for its latest BlackBerry devices, some tech watchers are wondering whether Canada’s Research in Motion is on its way to becoming an industry “dinosaur.” But RIM still has a lot to offer, and nobody knows this better than archrival Apple. The Cupertino, Calif.-based maker of iPods, iPhones and iPads has, according to Dow Jones, hired away five high-level RIM employees over the past year and a half—all of whom worked in RIM’s enterprise unit, which caters to corporate clients, RIM’s bread and butter. Apple has had a tough time getting a foothold with the pinstriped crowd, although that may be starting to change now that Bank of America and Citigroup are reportedly allowing staff to use iPhones at work.
But don’t feel too bad for RIM. Last year, it hired Don Lindsay, formerly of Apple and Microsoft, to be its new vice-president of user experience, and it’s probably not a coincidence that RIM’s latest operating system is much smoother and more intuitive as a result. And, speaking of dinosaurs, RIM also managed to lure rock band U2 away from Apple’s marketing department in 2009—a score, especially if it’s middle-aged lawyers and investment bankers you’re trying to appeal to.
By macleans.ca - Wednesday, September 29, 2010 at 9:04 AM - 0 Comments
Texting, tweeting and surfing have nothing to do with learning and no place in the classroom
The role of technology in the classroom has no doubt been a contentious issue since the first Roman student brought an abacus to his grammaticus. Using the most up-to-date equipment in school has always seemed to be a necessity. And yet the process of learning hasn’t really changed that much since ancient times: teachers still need to teach and students still need to pay attention.
Last week Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty sparked a national debate on the role of technology in Canadian classrooms. Asked about a proposal to relax a ban on cellphones in the classrooms of Toronto-area high schools, the premier seemed rather agreeable to the idea. “Telephones, BlackBerries and the like are conduits for information and one of the things we want our students to be is well informed,” he said. “It’s something we should be looking at in our schools.”
By Scott Feschuk - Thursday, September 23, 2010 at 4:00 PM - 0 Comments
We owe a debt to failures, to those creative ideas that flamed out or gloriously flopped
As humans, we come up with a lot of ideas. Most of them are terrible. Just ask the people who listen to pitches all day, like venture capitalists or bigwigs who run movie studios. Or any of the countless people throughout history who have come up with the idea of marrying Larry King.
But we keep devising new ideas because we want to progress as a civilization and achieve our potential, and also because we’re tired of vacuuming and couldn’t maybe a robot do that?
The result is an era of relentless innovation. New products seem to appear every day—and many of these gadgets are terrific. For instance, recent advances in smartphone technology have in just a few short years rendered obsolete a number of antiquated relics, such as the Yellow Pages and basic human courtesy.
By Chris Sorensen - Thursday, September 9, 2010 at 2:00 PM - 0 Comments
RIM latest device, the Torch 9800, was unveiled this summer to be little more than an iPhone catch-up attempt
A few years ago, shares of Research In Motion were flirting with a price of $150 and co-CEO Jim Balsillie was talking about simply trying to steer the BlackBerry juggernaut, as opposed to actually driving it. These days, however, observers can’t be blamed for wondering if the wheels have fallen off RIM’s business altogether.
RIM latest device, the Torch 9800, was unveiled this summer and instantly deemed by tech blogs to be little more than an iPhone catch-up attempt—and a poor one at that. RIM sold about 150,000 of the devices in the U.S. in its first weekend, while Apple pushed about 1.7 million of its new iPhone 4s out the door during a comparable period, albeit through a multi-country launch.
By Chris Sorensen - Thursday, August 12, 2010 at 1:40 PM - 0 Comments
All-in-one: The new Torch combines an iPhone-like touch screen with a physical keyboard
Research In Motion remains North America’s smartphone leader, even if it’s now widely perceived to be a runner-up behind Apple and its iPhone when it comes to innovation.
By Julia Belluz - Thursday, August 12, 2010 at 9:20 AM - 0 Comments
New Meadowlands Stadium offers fans free smartphone applications so users can view updated statistics and video replays
Is there anything better than seeing a sporting event live and in person? The New Meadowlands Stadium, home to the New York Jets and Giants, thinks so. It will now offer fans free smartphone applications (which will only work inside the stadium) so users can view updated statistics and video replays, find out which concession stands have the shortest lines, and watch live feeds from other games when the one at hand isn’t exciting enough.
By Scott Feschuk - Tuesday, July 20, 2010 at 9:53 AM - 0 Comments
SCOTT FESCUK: An update on the robot uprising
Got a big assignment due? Dreading an upcoming social engagement? You’re off the hook. Don’t thank me—thank the imminent robotic uprising that will slaughter us all.
I’ve been silent on the killer-robot issue for quite some time. There have even been whispers that I’ve gone rogue and betrayed my species. To these outrageous rumours I say: “10011010.” (Yes, I’ve become fluent in binary. Total coincidence. Now step aside while your blender and I talk.)