iPhone

The Informer

Business

2 Comments

BlackBerry is suing Ryan Seacrest

(Image: Courtesy of Typo Products)

(Image: Courtesy of Typo Products)

Having broken up with one celebrity, BlackBerry is now suing another. The Canadian Press reports that the Waterloo-based smartphone maker has filed a lawsuit against Typo Products, a company co-founded by all-purpose personality delivery system Ryan Seacrest. Typo’s product is a snap-on keyboard for Apple iPhones, designed to mimic the very same QWERTY keyboard that, by some analyses, ruined BlackBerry’s future. (It’s available for preorder.) BlackBerry’s allegation is that the mimicry is so close that it constitutes intellectual property theft. Sorry, Seacrest.

The Goods

Shopping

5 Comments

The Thing: a thermostat that’s just plain cool

The Thing: a thermostat that's just plain cool

(Image: Shanghoon)

The new Nest thermostat is brilliant, in a HAL from 2001 kind of way. Not only does it adhere to commands sent from your smart phone, it also learns your patterns and adjusts to your schedule in real time, as you use it, no programming required. It knows when you usually get up, when you go to work, when you come home, when you go to bed. It can give you digital readouts of energy usage and automatically adjust to make you both comfortable and economically ­efficient. There’s good reason this thermostat—a normally boring appliance if ever there was one—is so cool. It was developed by Tony Fadell, the man who oversaw the iPod and iPhone divisions at Apple. A few years ago he jumped ship to tackle home temperature control, and amassed a ­Silicon Valley dream team of designers and thinkers who defected from Apple, Google and other tech industry powerhouses to help him do it. The results are nothing short of revolutionary. The only thing it doesn’t do is play music. Yet. $250. nest.com

The Informer

Business

Comments

BlackBerry 10 makes some high-profile RIM doomsayers eat their words 

Research in Motion’s recent hot streak continues with a pair of endorsements from unlikely sources. This morning, Reuters reported the U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agency—which dumped the BlackBerry for the iPhone a few months back, along with a pair of other spooked enterprise clients—will test run BlackBerry 10 devices early next year. And yesterday, Ironfire Capital’Eric Jackson, a long-time high-profile RIM pessimist, publicly reversed his position, arguing that RIM’s 80 million global subscribers could keep the company afloat. Add in a soaring share price and rave reviews for the latest leaked BlackBerry 10 photos, and RIM’s future is looking more promising that it has in a long, long time. [Reuters]

The Goods

Shopping

Comments

The Find: eight functional iPhone 5 cases that are also stylish, playful and cool

Anyone who has felt the stomach-lurching anguish of dropping an iPhone and shattering the screen can appreciate the value of a well-made protective case. Happily, swift-moving retailers have already released a range of whimsical, stylish and sleek options for the iPhone 5—and, given that Apple’s latest starts at a whopping $700, we imagine demand is high. Here are our favourites, which range from cute to kickass.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

Business

1 Comment

Are BlackBerrys embarrassing? The debate continues

Do you keep your BlackBerry hidden? Barack Obama does (Image: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty)

The New York Times started an online furor earlier this week with an article on the social shame of carrying a BlackBerry in a market dominated by Android phones and iPhones (even corporate clients are making the switch). In a manner akin to confessing their transgressions at an A.A. meeting, BlackBerry users are quoted describing the scornful looks they receive, and the indignity of relying on others to pull up maps, make reservations or search for restaurants:

“I’m ashamed of it,” said Ms. Crosby, a Los Angeles sales representative who said she had stopped pulling out her BlackBerry at cocktail parties and conferences. In meetings, she says she hides her BlackBerry beneath her iPad for fear clients will see it and judge her.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

Business

Comments

BlackBerrys are disappearing from U.S. retail shelves 

Research in Motion is struggling according to nearly every conventional measure of business success: its stock price has plummeted, its market share is waning and its earnings are dismal. Now, BlackBerrys are losing space on retail shelves. According to James Faucette, an analyst at tech investment firm Pacific Crest, U.S. wireless carriers are downsizing their BlackBerry inventories and displaying fewer of the smart phones in their stores (the snazzy new iPhone 5 and upcoming Windows 8 phone will likely only exacerbate the problem). Faucette also noted, “We found a meaningful number of carrier retail locations which had not sold a single BlackBerry in over a month.” Though it’s unclear whether that’s the cause or an effect of being squeezed off the shelves. [All Things D]

The Goods

Shopping

Comments

The Thing: the Olloclip, a super-cool iPhone attachment

The Thing

(Image: Shanghoon)

Why buy a camera? It’s just another gadget that only does one thing—a fatal flaw in the age of multi-tasking, especially when our smart phones take pretty good pictures (the new iPhone 4S includes an embedded camera with a screen-shattering eight megapixels). But that doesn’t mean they can’t be better. Enter the Olloclip, a lens attachment that lets iPhone users go full-Karsh. Developed about a year ago by an amateur photographer in California, it features three interchangeable lenses—fish-eye, wide-angle and macro—in a tiny, pocket-friendly design. Clip one on, and the iPhone camera gets a range of shooting options otherwise available only with a professional photo kit. Because the action’s all happening on your phone, these amped-up pics can be Instagram-ed and posted to Pinterest immediately. Let’s see a DSLR do that.
$70. Apple Store, 220 Yonge St., 647-258-0801.

The Informer

Business

Comments

Research in Motion takes a beating in Australia

Research in Motion’s embarrassing flash mob outside a Sydney Apple store was a sign of worse things to come for its Australian operations. Last week, RIM’s managing director for Australia and New Zealand left the company after less than three months in the position. Then this week, Qantas Airways announced it would start using iPhones instead of BlackBerrys for its 1,300 company-issued phones — in part because the company expects to save more than $1 million through simplified infrastructure and data agreements, but also because a survey suggested employees would rather have iPhones than BlackBerrys. So, basically, RIM is struggling to hold on to executives, corporate clients and consumers. Not good.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

Business

Comments

QUOTED: a Toronto tech watcher, on the RIM catastrophe that would flummox even Steve Jobs

(Image: Ben Stanfield)

Clearly, they have failed. There’s just no way now to pull out of the death spiral. With stiff competition and a complete lack of marketplace trust, zombie Steve Jobs couldn’t fix RIM.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

Business

1 Comment

Reaction Roundup: Is BlackBerry 10 all that it was supposed to be?

At the annual BlackBerry World trade show in Orlando yesterday, Research in Motion top dog Thorsten Heins unveiled prototypes of the new BlackBerry 10 devices that should have been out a long time ago be launched to the public later this year. The phones, which will be distributed to developers so they can get busy on creating apps, look like mini-PlayBooks, with a 4.2-inch screen, a fancy predictive keyboard and an improved camera. This is a make-it-or-break-it device for RIM—it’s widely acknowledged BB10 has to succeed if the company is going to survive. So, does it look like RIM has the product that will save it? Here’s a roundup of what the pundits, analysts and developers are saying about the new devices.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

Business

2 Comments

RIM embraces its square-ness and provides software for other, cooler smartphones

(Image: Cheon Fong Liew)

After trying too hard to seem cool (the Bold Team superheroes appealed to absolutely no one, and an attempt to get in on the tablet trend didn’t go as planned), Research in Motion has finally realized it’s got to focus on its enterprise customers. CEO Thorston Heins’s first move since the company released awful fourth-quarter results was to release BlackBerry Mobile Fusion software, which allows IT departments to manage the security of not only BlackBerrys, but also sexier smart phones like the iPhone and Android devices. The company has already shed several security-conscious clients and seems to be trying to keep the corporate world interested in their software, if not the phones themselves. The new plan won’t make Apple panic, but it’s a conservative move that at least won’t embarrass RIM. Read the entire story [TechCrunch] »

The Goods

Shopping

2 Comments

The Thing: the classic British Aga cooker boldly goes digital

The classic British Aga cooker boldly goes digitalGood food comes at a price. For dedicated kitchen design geeks, that price is $18,000, which is what it costs to own Aga’s newest cooker, a 970-pound cast-iron behemoth dubbed Total Control. It operates like a traditional Aga—using stored, radiant heat to produce constant cooking temperatures and therefore tastier, juicier food—with a high-tech twist. This one can be switched on and off in a matter of minutes or programmed to turn on automatically at a certain time. And if that doesn’t make your mouth water, this will: an iPhone app for long-distance preheating is in the works. The Aga Shop @ Grange Toronto, 150–154 King St. E., 416-943-0242.

(Image: Liam Mogan)

The Dish

Random Stuff

3 Comments

Check out version two of the Toronto Life Best Restaurants app

Last Thursday, Toronto Life released its new Best Restaurants app, which brings our reviews of Toronto’s top 400+ restaurants to your iPhone or iPad for $1.99. Today, we released the first update, which adds a couple new features:

• You can now email restaurant reviews, along with the address and phone number, right from the app

• You can now view a map of just your filtered search results, wherever they may be in the city

Click here to find out how you can get the app now »

The Informer

Features

4 Comments

Editor’s Letter (April 2012): The App of My Eye

The last couple of years have been fantastic for Toronto diners. The city has experienced an explosion of hole-in-the-wall masterpieces, opened by people you’ve probably never heard of, doing inventive, surprising things with small kitchens. They often don’t care much about decor, and the rooms are usually noisy, but the places are packed night after night. A few weeks ago, on a Monday, I called one such restaurant to book a table for the following Thursday, and the man on the other end of the line laughed at me. He said he had an opening on a Thursday—six weeks from the day I had in mind. Other terrific restaurants don’t even take reservations. If you want a table, plan to wear comfortable shoes, because you’ll likely wait in line. At about 7 p.m. toward the end of the week, Dundas West and Queen West and East are the sidewalk gathering places of curious foodies in from Mississauga and Lawrence Park, eagerly awaiting the opportunity to rack up points on their credit cards. (That is, if the low-tech restaurant in question takes credit cards.)

Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

Business

Comments

Another U.S. agency dumps RIM (despite its fancy PlayBook-integrated Porsche)

Once again, Research in Motion is having a rough week. First, Politico reported that the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is set to switch its smart phone of choice from the BlackBerry to the iPhone. Then the company underwhelmed at the Mobile World Congress, where it had neither new products nor news on the long-awaited BB10 devices (though a RIM exec did flaunt the defections by government agencies and lame trade show appearances are nothing new for Canada’s beleaguered tech giant. So, RIM, if you’re going to blunder, we’d prefer if you had the decency to be creative about it. Read the entire story [Toronto Star] »

Advertisement

Advertisement