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HTC Desire Z launched in Canada by Bell

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Bell has officially launched the HTC Desire Z exclusively in Canada according to MobileSyrup and by all accounts it's a pretty sexy and useful smartphone.

Packed with 5-megapixel optics that does 720p HD video recording the Desire Z compares nicely with the iPhone 4. But there are two big elements that separates the HTC Desire Z from its Apple competition, a superb landscape pullout QWERTY keyboard and Flash support.

If you're looking for an alternative to the iPhone, the HTC Desire Z has the featureset and the good looks to give you something to think about.

First Look at HTC Desire Z:

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Bell, Rogers Announce Canadian Launch of Samsung Wave

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Last week both Bell and Rogers debuted the Samsung Wave (S8500), a new touchscreen smartphone that is the first offering to run on Samsung's own proprietary operating system called Bada.

The Samsung Wave is the first phone in Canada to tout a Super AMOLED touchscreen display that will greatly enhance the experience of watching media or playing games. Samsung's Wave also sports a capable 5.0-megapixel camera with LED flash, auto-focus and HD (720p) video recording.

To learn more about the Samsung Wave, check out the dedicated pages at both Canadian carriers: Bell - Samsung Wave, Rogers - Samsung Wave.

Unboxing video of Samsung Wave:

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Bell, Telus now offering iPhones

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Bell and Telus users who have been clamoring for an iPhone but hesitant to jump ship to Rogers, your day in the sun has arrived!

Rogers Canadian exclusivity rights on the iPhone have come to an end, and competitors were quick to add the popular mobile device to their current roster of offerings. Both Bell and Telus are offering the following models at 3 year contract prices identical to that of Rogers;

iPhone 3G 8GB
- $99 w/ 3 year contract

iPhone 3GS 16GB
- $199 w/ 3 year contract

iPhone 3GS 32GB
- $299 w/ 3 year contract

Telus is also offering these on a no contract basis for $599, $699 and $799 respectively, while Bell is not currently offering a no contract option on Apple's little wonder device. Click here to check it out on Bell's website, or here to check it out on Telus.

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Fox introduces FoxPop mobile phone app to enhance DVD viewing

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People who love movies love the internet. The numbers might sound shocking, but according to a recent study 80% of all DVD watchers go to the internet to research a movie after watching it. It's hard to not fell this stat is a little padded, but it nevertheless points to a growing trend in home movie watching -- and it's a trend that Fox is hoping to capitalize on.

FoxPop is a new service that will send trivia related to the film you're watching to your smartphone as you're watching the film. Think of it as having VH1's classic Pop-Up Video in your pocket, giving you a quick buzz everytime something neat comes up.

Initially the mobile version of FoxPop will be available only on the iPhone, but depending on the success of the service we have very little doubt it could spread to other smartphones in the future. In fact the tutorial video on foxpop.com uses the word "smartphone" rather than "iPhone," probably for this very reason. The service is also available as a free download for both Mac and PC users.

The idea behind the app has merit, but I can't help but feel it misses the point. When I research a movie after viewing it's to get information that I wouldn't get from the folks involved. Getting neat behind the scenes dirt or hopping on IMDB to see what else the people in the film have done is really all I'm doing, and I assume others are the same. FoxPop sounds more like a glorified bonus feature than it does the information people are looking for. It like the features on an Infinifilm DVD -- definitely cool, but no substitute for the info people want.

You'll be able to go hands on with the app yourself when Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian hits DVD on December 1st. For more information, visit getfoxpop.com.

[via FilmJunk]

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Apple Undergoes Expedited Reviews For Rejected Apps

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iPhone app developer Start Mobile received an email from Apple recently. The software they developed, Start Mobile Wallpaper Gallery, was rejected before because it "ridicules public figures" due to the fact that it included Shepard Fairey's Obama "HOPE" image. The now iconic image was certainly not meant to ridicule, and Apple agrees. The company asked Start Mobile to resubmit its app for an "expedited review".

After further investigation, we have decided that Start Mobile Wallpaper Gallery is in compliance with our SDK agreement & PLA. We would like to ask that you resubmit Start Mobile Wallpaper Gallery at your earliest convenience if you would still like this application considered for the App Store. Please let me know once your binary has been uploaded and I will ensure an expedited review.

It appears that Apple is now undertaking a review of its previous rejections. In light of reports of what seems to be an inconsistent approval process, this can only be a good thing for developers. Expect to see more resubmissions and expedited reviews in the coming weeks.

Source

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Google Voice Offers Free Calls To Canada

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It looks like I'll be adding a new blog to my RSS feeds. Google has announced that you can now call Canada for free using Google Voice.

You can initiate calls from your inbox online, from our new mobile apps, or by dialing your own Google Voice number from one of your phones and selecting option 2 to place a call.

In case you're wondering, Google Voice is available via invitations only, so if you're not among using it, you can sign up for an invite here. Google Voice is only available in the U.S., but I don't think it would hurt anyone if you signed up anyway, regardless of your location.

The site also outlines the various features that you can get from the service, which is probably why Google's isn't rolling out sign ups en masse.

Source

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New Version of the Facebook iPhone App Near Completion

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Popular social networking site Facebook is saying that the next version of their iPhone app is "pretty much done". All that's left is to translate the software to work using other languages. Users who are anticipating the app can expect the following features:

The source doesn't want to specify a release date yet though, so "pretty much done" can be anytime between next week and next year. It also mentions that Facebook has to submit the app to the powers-that-be of the App Store for approval, so that's another potential roadblock there.

Source

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Bell & TELUS To Release LG Phones This Week

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Call it a gaffe or something, but LG put one over Bell and TELUS by posting the specs of the Bliss or Keybo2. The former will be released by Bell on the 7th of this month with a 3-year contract at &79.95, a 2-year contract at $129.95, a 1-year contract at $299.95 and a no-contract deal at $279.95.

On the other hand, TELUS is going to release the Keybo2 under the expected rates of $129.99 for a 3-year contract, $229.99 for 2 years, $279.99 for 1 year and $329.99 for a buyout.

LG on the Bliss: “Everybody wants to have the ultra slim LG Bliss – today’s hottest trend in touch screen technology. With a next generation user interface, large 3” touch screen, and sleek rounded design, this phone has a fresh look that’s sure to capture lots of attention."

LG on the Keybo2: “The perfect new phone for text messaging fanatics. Slim and feature-packed, the Keybo 2 boasts a full, compact QWERTY keyboard with large, widely-spaced keys and a 2.6” internal screen for easy, breezy texting."

Look for both units on their respective carriers on August 7.

Source

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App Store Downloads Reach 1.5 Billion

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Apple proudly announced that the App Store has crossed a landmark 1.5 billion downloads. That's a billion and a half of applications downloaded, further solidifying the iPhone's place in mobile software.

Apple® today announced that customers have downloaded more than 1.5 billion applications in just one year from its revolutionary App Store, the largest applications store in the world. The App Store is also growing at an incredible pace with more than 65,000 apps and more than 100,000 developers in the iPhone™ Developer Program.

Those apps reach 77 countries and 40 million iPhones and iPod Touch units combined. If you own one of these devices, take a look at the apps you have installed and count which ones you downloaded from the App Store to find out how much you contributed to those numbers. On a side note, I'm wondering how many of those 40 million iPhones have been jailbroken. Those numbers are probably something we're never going to see.

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DragonWave Wins Contract From Globalive

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The wireless auction has certainly brought new players to light. In today's news wireless ethernet provider DragonWave reveals that it has won a contract from Globalive, allowing it to set up its infrastructure to deliver "high-capacity, cost-effective IP-based services".

DragonWave says that its Horizon Compact product allows companies to meet the growing demand for more bandwidth without the expense of building or expanding a fibre backbone. DragonWave Horizon and AirPair products operate in both licensed and unlicensed radio frequencies between 6 and 38 GHz, and delivers pure "packet" microwave performance with software scalable, ultra-low latency transport of up to 1.6 Gbps per link.

While we have to actually take advantage of the products themselves, it's obvious that the wireless spectrum auction has revealed a lot of interested parties. It's somewhat odd yet reassuring that competition is already picking up. I'm saying it's odd because both companies have yet to go live with their services. One has to wonder what other players will make themselves known.

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PSP Phone Rumors Resurface

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Some things just never die. Rumors of a Sony PlayStation phone have surfaced again. This time, there are expectations that the company will be coming up with a development team for the product.

Sony is again rumoured to be considering a game station/cell phone combo thought to be based on the Sony Playstation platform, reports Reuters, citing the Japanese Nikkei newspaper.

With the PSP Go also under development, it's clear that Sony is making serious moves on portable gaming. Nintendo clearly dominates the handheld market with the DS, but the spot for top cellphone gaming brand is still open. The iPhone is enjoying popularity in that area but, to Sony's advantage, it is not marketed as a gaming phone per se.

Sony declined to comment on the matter.

Source

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Google Voice Expands Invitations

If you think you're missing a piece of the action because you're not (and never were) a GrandCentral user, then you're in luck. Google is sending out invites for Google Voice and they're going to go beyond the usual set of customers. Those of you who requested an invitation should expect to receive an email soon.

Once you receive your invitation, just click on the link and follow the instructions to setup your new Voice account. To help you find a Google number that is personalized to you, we've added a number picker that lets you search by area code and text. See if you can find a number that contains your name, a specific word or a number combination.

In case you've forgotten, Google Voice links all of your phone numbers to a central one. When Google launched the service, it was open to former GrandCentral customers only. Now that invites are being sent, you can sign up for one by going to www.google.com/voiceinvite.

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