DroidCon Montreal - Special registration PROMO starting March 1st to the 7th!

DroidCon is coming to Montreal this April 9th - 10th.

Interested to join Android Coliseum? Looking at booking your ticket? We've got you covered with a PROMO CODE for our Canadian viewers and readers for the event! All this thanks to +droidcon Montreal 

Valid March 1st to the 7th. You can use DMPUBAC at the registration or you can use the link https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/droidcon-montreal-tickets-14992767772?discount=DMPUBAC to save 15% off of your registration cost!

How awesome is that?

Let's have a repeat of our last Android Meetup!

How to use the new Smartlock feature on the LG G3 with Lollipop

With the new features of Lollipop appearing on many devices lately, I thought I'd take a moment and showcase my new favourite feature:  Smartlock

Essentially, the idea here is to leave your phone without a lock code/pattern if it's near something it trusts.  This could be while you're at home, or at the office, or near a trusted bluetooth item.  If any of the conditions you set are true, then it doesn't use a security lock feature.

If those conditions aren't met (i.e. I left my phone at the library and it's no longer near my G Watch) then the phone uses a security lock screen; such as pin, pattern, or my favourite Knock Code.

Very handy as I want to secure my phone from strangers getting into it, but I just can't be bothered to have to punch in a pin or my knock code every time I want to turn the screen on.

Thanks Smartlock!

What's new in the LG G3 Lollipop?

Like most customized OEM UI for Android, when there's a new version, the outward appearance of menu items and the like don't really change, but under the hood is where most of it happens.

With the LG G3, getting the bump to Lollipop 5.0.1, didn't change a lot visually.  Well, that's not exactly true, Lollipop has brought in the material design aspect, so there are better animations and shading overall.  You can't not see the overscroll animation just about everywhere.

But what else does this update bring?

Lollipop includes new volume modes, in 5.0.1 they've removed the 'silent' mode option from long pressing the power key, so to get into that feature you have to press a volume key, and then from there you can choose silent, priority, or off.  What's cool is with silent or priority you can set a time limit for it.  So, if you are going into a meeting for 2 hours, you can put it in silent for 2 hours and not have to worry about forgetting that it was left on silent.  Priority mode essentially is a 'filterable' silent mode, where only essential apps can come through.

And it includes SmartLock, which I'll talk about later on.

Here's my quick showcase of what's different:

Next Aired TV Guide for Kodi XBMC on Android (Video)

Here's another useful tip for our Kodi / XBMC users out there.

BubbleUPnP - Streaming Everything to Kodi XBMC (Video)

BubbleUPnP is a wonderful little app that'll let you stream nearly any and everything from your phone and on the cloud to your Kodi app. This is more ideal if you have Kodi setup on a TV or home entertainment center.

Citymaps 2.0 in Canada has more than 600 000 points of interest!

Citymaps enables users to create collections of places, or personal maps, with easily searchable themes. The app update also introduces “collaborative maps,” which enables groups of people to create collections together.

For example, people who live in Montreal might make collections called "The Very Best of Montreal" that highlights their favorite places to go to in Montreal.  Similarly, someone from Toronto could organize their favorite brunch spots into a collection called "Awesome Brunch Places."

TIMEX® IRONMAN® ONE GPS+ smartwatch is now available for purchase in Canada

Ever since I bought my first smart-watch, the Sony SmartWatch1, I’m a big fan of the concept. As someone who enjoys outdoor activities like running and biking, I find it very useful to be able to see my workout details and to control the music while my phone is tucked in.

As much as I love Android Wear I think that it has room for improvement and that’s why I’m excited to see other options appearing lately. New innovation from different companies can only help to move the smart-watch concept forward.

The newest addition to the smart-watch market is the TIMEX® IRONMAN® ONE GPS+. This watch is mainly geared for athletes and the features definitely match the target market: it tracks speed, distance and pace, monitors the heart rate, it can send SOS alerts and control the music without a phone attached. Other smart watches can do all that but the advantage of this watch is its durability and standalone connectivity. It is water resistant up to 50 meters so you can sweat on it, run in the rain and swim with it. It would be perfect for long races, even mud races when you can’t have your phone with you. The display is a high resolution touch display.

The stand-alone wireless connectivity provided by AT&T is a big advantage, a connection to a phone is not needed. One year of data will be included for Canadian subscribers and a second year will cost $40, not so bad. The watch has its own workout and messaging apps and a built in music player. The device has 4GB of internal storage so music can be stored and listened to with a Bluetooth headset. 

Besides tracking your workouts and playing music, you will be able to send your performance metrics to social media and online fitness platforms, share your location with family and friends and send email based messages using an onscreen keyboard. A companion app is available for Android and iOS devices. A web interface is used to set up your profile, contacts, social and fitness connections and more. 

The TIMEX® IRONMAN® ONE GPS+ is Now available online for $499 or $549 with a heart rate monitor. Hopefully, I’ll be able to try one soon and post a full review. 

Source: TIMEX Canada

More Lollipops for more Canadian devices (HTC One M7 and Moto G)

So earlier this week I had the "where the heck is my Lollipop" blues.  The G3 in the US and some European countries had it, we knew the Moto X 2014 and HTC One M8 had already received it in Canada... so where's mine?

I had enough of a wallow and decided we could chat about it during our 103rd hangout show, and then lo and behold my G3 got the 5.0.1 update.  Great.

However, that still left many devices in the dark.  Well, as +Martin Guay mentioned at the end of the show, it looked like the M7 started to get the roll out at that point, and then I missed the fact that the Moto G (2013) is updated, both got 5.0.2 (which makes me now want that +0.0.1 bump).

I've updated our Firmware Update Database accordingly now.

Who's still waiting for theirs?  The G2 isn't until like April, Samsung's later devices SHOULD be soon, and then earlier ones are slated for April.  Sony said the Z series will get it, but no firm timelines.

Are you still waiting, or have you gone and tried a custom ROM yet?

Hangout Show #103 [video]

We had a quick show again last night, stayed well within our 30m window and we still covered a nice range of topics!  Checkout the agenda over at hangouts.androidcoliseum.com where you can also watch the video and see who was chatting about what.

Thanks again, and we'll see you next week!

Oppo N3 review - Not just a selfie phone

I have an Oppo N1 and a Find 7, so why did I want the N3? The main reason was that I missed the N1’s rotating camera. The quality of the front facing camera cannot be compared, especially in low light conditions. People love their selfies!

Most reviewers call the N3 the ultimate “selfie phone” and it is, but it is much more than just that. It is a beautiful and fun phone that includes many exciting features and cool extras: A rotating camera, an O-click remote, touch access, fingerprint unlock, maxxaudio, dual sim, the VOOC fast charger and more! That’s a pretty long list.