Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Update to Google Now for iOS adds new cards, notifications and more

Google Search for iOS has received an update. One of the new features allows iPhone users to commence a search using the app by uttering "OK Google." There's an interesting scene for you to consider. Someone is walking on the street, iPhone in hand, saying, "OK Google." That person might end up being Baker Act'd (Google it) by a concerned bystander.

Other changes include a series of new cards for Google Now including flight updates, event tickets, reservations for a rental car, and information about public transit. Notifications and Reminders have been added to the app, which now has a revamped homepage and improvements to the UI. And if you're rocking some other Google app on your iPhone, you can take advantage of the one touch sign in.

Google Now is a useful tool that gives you information you want to know, when you need to know it. Traffic information, stock prices, sports scores and all of the information you receive from Google Now appears on the screen without you having to ask for it. Along with the search function on the app, information is always close at hand.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Canadian government reportedly blocks Lenovo bid for BlackBerry

A published report out of Canada on Tuesday says that Chinese tech company Lenovo was seriously considering making a bid for BlackBerry, but the Canadian government rejected the idea due to national security concerns. The Canadian government had previously been in touch with BlackBerry and told the beleaguered  manufacturer that it would not allow a Chinese firm to purchase a company involved in the infrastructure of the country's telecommunication network.

Because the Canadian government had made its position clear, BlackBerry never submitted any proposal to Ottawa that involved a Lenovo purchase of the company. BlackBerry operates a secure network that handles encrypted communications for the government and businesses, and there was concern that the Chinese government would be able to infiltrate the network using Lenovo as a front.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

HTC breakaway company Kazam announces its first 7 Android phones

Earlier this year, a number of former HTC executives decided to start up their own smartphone manufacturing company, called Kazam. The idea was to offer “stunning design, robust hardware, and intuitive technology, underpinned with improved customer service.” Now, the company has announced its first seven smartphones, all of which run Android.

None of the devices appear to be "top tier" by any measurement, but the high-end offerings from Kazam (which are low-end by most standards) will carry the Thunder name. The Kazam Thunder Q4.5 will offer a 4.5-inch display with a 854×480 resolution, a 1.3GHz quad-core SoC, 1GB of RAM, an 8MP rear camera, and just 4GB of storage, although it will offer expandable storage via a microSD card slot. There will also be a Thunder Q5.0 in the future, but the specs haven't been announced on that yet.