Today is a big day for Canada, at least when it comes to mega-retailer Amazon's products and services. The company has announced Canadian availability of its Alexa-powered smart hardware with a special short-term promotional discount, as well as the regional availability of its Prime Music streaming service. Developers can even get in on the action, as some Alexa-related software and hardware development tools are also now available in the country. Read More
The holidays are fast approaching, which means the opportunities to gather with family and share the past year's memories and make new ones will be aplenty. This makes now the perfect time for using Google's Photo books to print neat physical albums of your existing photos or to prepare for the impending holiday picturefest. And as it so happens, Photo books are now available in Canada as well.
When they first launched in May, Photo books were exclusive to the US, but now users in Canada will start seeing the option in Google Photos, in both English and French, and regardless of whether they're using Android, iOS, or web. Read More
Late last month, Essential dropped the price of its flagship (and only) phone from $699 to $499 in the United States. While Essential said it lowered the price in order to help the company break into the smartphone market, it's also very likely that sales have been poor. A drop was also announced for Canada, but the new price wasn't revealed at the time. Read More
Samsung Pay has existed for a few years, but the company has been slow to roll out support in Canada. Only one bank has had Samsung Pay in Canada so far, but now a handful of others are joining the fun. This expansion also brings support for debit cards in addition to credit cards. Read More
We are just mere moments away from the official Google Pixel event, but that hasn't stopped a lot of stuff leaking. Last night, redditor /u/FireYoshiQc posted a flyer from Best Buy Canada that showed a promo offer: buy a Pixel 2, get a free Google Home Mini. Read More
Amazon introduced calling and messaging to its Echo speakers back in May then implemented the same feature inside the Alexa app so you could start a call or receive one from your phone, without having to be near your Echo. However, the feature had one main limitation: the person you were calling had to have an Echo or at least Alexa calling set up. Calls to phone numbers weren't possible, but now they are.
Amazon secretly enabled the option a couple of days ago and has now officially added it to the Alexa app changelog. After setting up Alexa calling and messaging in the app's Conversations tab, you can say something like, "Call dad's phone," or, "Call dad's mobile phone number," and it will perform a call to the phone number. Read More
To call the Facebook suite of apps a bloated mess would be an understatement, most especially the ever-growing Messenger — I think I've used it once, after which I uninstalled it. However, in a surprising turn of events, Facebook has launched the "lite" version of the app in North America, the United Kingdom, and Ireland. Read More
Here's an almost-freebie to start off your week: Google Home's promotions page has added one new offer for you to take advantage of: 3 months of Deezer Premium+ for $0.99. That's one buck for 3 months of unlimited, on-demand streaming, no ads, but with offline saves and high-quality audio. Deezer Premium+ normally costs $6/month or thereabout, depending on where you live, so you'd be saving around $17. Read More
The original NVIDIA Shield Portable (just called 'NVIDIA Shield' at first) was released back in 2013, and is still a very unique device. It had the form factor of a flip handheld console, like a Nintendo DS, but was much beefier and used NVIDIA's own Tegra 4 chipset. The result was a beast of a gaming system that ran stock Android, and could stream games from your PC (as long as you had an NVIDIA GPU). Read More
It took a few months longer than expected, but the Essential Phone went up for pre-order in the US yesterday. Our friends north of the border didn't have any way to buy the phone at the time, but that changes today. The Essential Phone is now live on the Telus website... and that's all. Telus is the only place you can get the Essential Phone in Canada. Read More