Friday, 19 September 2014

LG G3 Giveaway [Contest]

So we mentioned this during the Hangout #89 - that if you misssed out on the End of Summer Giveaway, that there'd be an opportunity for you still.

And that opportunity is to win the very cool LG G3.  I loved that phone.  I always said that 5.5" would be too big.  The OnePlus, the Note 3... they were all too big for that size; but the G3 was perfect.  Only slightly bigger than the G2.

Here's your chance to be able to own one.

Monday, 15 September 2014

Samsung's Galaxy S5 Active is tough enough for Canada!

So the Samsung Galaxy S5 came out and was quite the showcase to some as it came with water resistance out of the box.  To many who have not seen the Sony line up ... this was awesome!  So, when Samsung announces an S5 'active'... what more can they bring to it than water resistance?  In respects the device is basically the S5, but adds in that 'active' component.

Well, knowing most Canadian environments the S5 Active is not only the IP67 rating (1m for 30m) it passes through the military standards of MIL-STA-810G.

Now that's a mouthful.  But what does that mean?  Military is tough right?  This standardized testing sets the phone against a barrage of environmental conditions (18 to be exact) including temperature, sand, dust, pressure, etc..

That's pretty intense.  But given our propensity for extreme climates (in my own day we go from about 5C in the morning, to 25C in the afternoon and then a gamut of cold, windy, rainy to humid or dry).

It's good to know that this device will withstand it all; just like us!  Is it the true Canadian device?

It's currently available at Bell, Rogers and Telus ($280 or $700 outright).  That is kind of an annoyance to me, that it's the same base price as the S5, but if you want it on contract it's more expensive than the regular S5.  Again, the carriers do a terrible job of being clear on their subsidy.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Rats - unexpected replacement ahead S5 mini or Z3 compact?

The traditional cell phone market has really changed in Canada. Going to 2 year contracts was an excellent excuse to boost rates. If I choose to upgrade early I can spend $277 to buy out my S4 plus I have to pick a new plan. I currently spend $63. If I upgrade the plan is $85 for the same amount of data. Yikes. My S4 has an intermittent flickering band along the bottom of the screen. While it's working ok I don't want to be left without a device.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

My Back to School Gear [review]

I got into a back to school mode a few weeks ago and I was looking to see what I'd need for going back to University or College. Since I'm a guy that has a bunch of tech with me I figured I'd need something to accommodate most of that.

I did the typical thing, go on Google and start searching backpack and battery charger. It yields a bunch of results and I took the time the look at various options that are made available. The prices were interesting as you had anything from 100$ all the way to 600$.

I finally settled on the Tylt Enegi+Backpack and since we had reviewed products from Tylt it was a good choice in the subject matter.

Friday, 12 September 2014


Hey everybody, it's the last day to save yourself some cash if you're going to the AndroidTO conference.

Not going?  WHAT?  Seriously it's a great opportunity for Android Developers and Enthusiasts to get together, hear some speakers and get great insight on the state of Android... and generally Android Geek Out.

You should want to go now; and Friday, September 12 is the final opportunity for the Early Bird pricing ... But you have to act fast.

This'll be the 3rd year for me; and it'll be VERY interesting in that it's at a new location, and instead of the 'streams' this year it looks to have one stream... which you may think 'aww, not as exciting', but look at the line up of speakers:

  • Cecillia Abadie (LYNXFIT) "Android for Wearables"
  • Danesh Mondegarian (CYANOGENMOD) "Contributing to Android"
  • Tejas Lagvankar (YAHOO) "Developing for Android TV: Getting Started"
  • Matthew Patience (BNOTIONS) "Chromecast: Building Experiences, Not Apps"
  • Kevin Grant (TUMBLR) "Motion in Android - Getting L animations in the applications that you're actually building"
  • Gabriella Levine (GOOGLE[X]) "Robotics for World Change: Insight into Google[x] and Beyond"

and more.

I'm really excited to see some of the topics... new areas like Wearables, AndroidTV, developing for Chromecast.  And of course, Google[x] will be pretty awesome.

See you there!

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Comparing the Smartwatches

So, if you didn't realize it, the LG G Watch is on sale right now at +TELUS - go check it out here (way cheaper than the Play Store); it's only online tho'.

I'd been waiting to pick... unlike +Mark Lastiwka and +Sylvain Le Bourhis who both bought right away (Sylvain bought the G Watch) and gave their impressions recently.

But with the flurry of some of the watches lately... it's hard to tell which you should get.

If I was having this conundrum, someone else must be as well - so I did what I tend to do well... make a database.  I was going to put in the price but they tend to vary greatly, so let's just focus on specs and features.

Any that I'm missing?

I've updated the Database page to include this as well (didn't want to throw them into the DEVICES database as it's really just an accessory).


Androids version numbers as of September

Okay, I've had to do something with numbers and it's like nails on a chalkboard to me.

What used to happen was that Google would collect data over a month period and report on that for the Android Distribution.  So I made a nice chart, each column for a new month.

Except in the past few months they've been blurring which month it was (like ending in the first week of the new month), and more recently it's data pulled only from a week.

So what should have been the 'August numbers' were actually collected Sept 2 - 9.  So I can't call it August.  And I really don't want to go back to the historical data and start trying to pull out what dates... ugh, nightmare to try to keep track of it properly.  The OCD in me is starting to scream.

But here's how it looks 'currently'.

TL;DR - 1 in 4 users are on the most recent OS version (4.4.x) with more than 3 out of 4 being in the Google Now era (which I consider to be the most recent as there's not a lot missed for feature wise between the >4.1 versions)

Monday, 8 September 2014

Comparing the flagships of the day (Moto X, Note 4, Z3, G3, S5, M8)

image from:  Willem van de Velde (II) - The Taking of the English Flagship the Royal Prince
So, we've just seen some heavy hitters released.  We're still waiting for them to hit the store shelves, but before you rush out to pick up yours, let's take a look how they compare with the other flagships of the year thus far.

But how do they compare to each other?

As you see, there's very little detail across the board, with some stand out features on some of the devices (QHD, or G Lens camera, etc...)

So we really have to rely on what the user experience will be ... also what features you want out of the device as each will tend to hand anything you want.

Friday, 5 September 2014

Motorola wants you to 'choose choice' [new Moto X, G, 360 & Hint]

So, for those of you night owls, the 'event' that Motorola was holding yesterday finally came to light.  They had been showing off their new devices to select folks and keeping them under an NDA until the wee hours this morning.

Then, an hour before the NDA expired, Motorola released 4 videos for their 4 new products (remember their 'event logo'?)

So what were they?  We already knew for the most part, just the earpiece was still a mystery.

  • new Moto X
  • new Moto G
  • Moto 360
  • Moto Hint

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Winners for the End of Summer Giveaway 2014

Thank you.


To everyone who entered this giveaway.  It's readers like yourselves that help us pass the word along that allows us to be able to give more items away.

And a HUGE THANK YOU to our sponsors.  Without their generosity there wouldn't be anything TO give away.  So... why not give their pages a like, a circle or +1?

+Samsung Canada
+Color Cables

This year's winners:
  1. 8bitdo NES 30 (Sylvain's review | Ryan's review) x2
    1. Clinton H
    2. Juan B.
  2. Tylt Galaxy S5 screen protector (Ryan's S5 review)
    1. Jefferson D.
  3. Tylt Moto X screen protector (Tom's Moto X review | Ryan's Moto X review)
    1. Rhiney M.
  4. ColorCables x2 (Ryan's review)+ Tylt NFC Stickers (Ryan's NFC article)
    1. Paul B.
  5. Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 White 10.1"
    1. Peter V.
  6. Nomad ChargeCard (Tom's ChargeCard review)
    1. Darren Y.

For those that posed the questions in the contest, don't worry, we'll be answering them.  There were lots of great questions.

All winners have been contacted and awaiting confirmation.