There's a certain peace of mind that only comes from spending a bit of extra money when you buy something to get a protection plan that you probably won't even use, and now OnePlus 2 and X buyers in North America will have that option—just in time for the OnePlux X to kind of become available on these shores. And just as we saw in Europe, this enhanced warranty is only available to new customers.
Folks in the US and Canada will get the same coverage, but they're looking at slightly different prices. Okay, Canadians are getting the short end of the stick thanks to the lower value of their syrup-covered frozen dollars.
YouTube Kids launched in the US back in February with the aim of making it easier and safer for kids to watch videos on YouTube. So far, the app has been downloaded more than 10 million times across all platforms, and Malik Ducard, YouTube's Global Head of Family and Learning, says that families consider it to be "among the top kids apps available." Today, the team is expanding YouTube Kids into five new countries — Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom — and adding in lots of country-specific programming like Charli's Crafty Kitchen and Wild Kratts, too.
YouTube Kids boasts many elements parents will find very attractive, such as a playful, child-friendly design, voice search for kids who are still learning their ABCs, and plenty of family-focused content.
With this year's batch of Nexus devices, Google has upped its warranty game. In addition to the manufacturer's twelve months of coverage, Google offers an additional year for folks who pay for Nexus Protect.
Earlier this week Blackberry's official online store posted a pre-order page for the Priv, a high-end QWERTY slider phone that also happens to be the company's first full Android device. Apparently that was a bit premature - it disappeared after a short time, but not so short that prospective customers didn't balk at the $749 USD starting price. Today the pre-order page is back with a slightly cheaper price: $699. Was the original page an error or did Blackberry see the quick reaction and adjust it down? We couldn't say. The page says the phone will start shipping on November 6th.
John Legere, the mobile CEO who can't get Deutsche Telekom to love T-Mobile no matter how many new customers they sign up, is back with another jab at his competitors. T-Mobile already features some pretty extraordinary free international roaming extras, but now it's going whole hog on the two countries that Americans visit the most: Canada and Mexico. Starting next week if you cross the border to the north or south, your T-Mobile phone will work the same as it does in the States. Take it away, John:
The original Moto X signaled a major design shift for Motorola, and the company has done an admirable job keeping the device updated to the latest versions of Android so far. The Moto X 2013 is now seeing its first Android 5.1 updates, specifically for the unlocked retail models in the United States and Brazil plus the Rogers carrier version sold in Canada, according to Motorola manager David Schuster. This comes after a few weeks of soak tests.
That's just a short while after the first Moto X 2014 models were given 5.1 updates, and about three months after Google officially announced Lollipop 5.1 itself.
Get them while they're young. When it comes to securing longtime customers, one of the best moves tech companies can make is to get children accustomed to their products while they're going through school. That's not to say that everything is self-interested. In today's world, children benefit from getting early hands-on experience using tech to do something other than playing games.
Now Google is doing its part to make Canadian students as likely to encounter Android tablets in class as iPads. The company has announced the availability of Google Play for Education and classroom-oriented tablets north of the border. This move comes a couple months after the company expanded its initiative across the pond.
Pity the poor electronics retailer: with Amazon and others offering low prices and fast shipping in locations all over the world, it's getting harder for old-fashioned brick-and-mortar locations to turn a dime. In North America the only electronics store that seems to be surviving is Best Buy (often by renting out the inside of its own stores to the likes of Samsung and Apple). Today the big-box giant announced that it would be either closing or re-branding all the remaining locations of Future Shop, a Canadian electronics store that's been around since 1982.
Google has launched a dedicated AdWords app into the Play Store, but it's not yet open to everyone. The company is kicking things off in Canada for the time being, where the app will remain exclusively available until further notice.
AdWords for Android allows users to view campaign stats, receive alerts, update bids, and manage budgets. Users can also place a call to a Google support person. The app serves as a companion to the desktop experience, but it comes with enough to keep a handle on things.
Google services may take a while to make the long trek north from Seattle to Vancouver, Detroit to Toronto, or from Portland to Montreal—but Canadians still get to enjoy Google hardware such as the Chromecast. Television network CTV has added support for the spiffy little dongle inside the latest version of its Android app (though this, too, kind of took a while).
Chromecast support is the most exciting item on the changelog, but this release also tweaks the interface. Everything is still mostly black and red, there's just more of the latter. Some of what used to be in the sidebar is now spread across the top of the screen in tabs.