Speculation on the iPhone 7

Rumors and speculation have already begun with respect to the new iPhone. As technology lovers, we are excited for the newest developments in the iPhone series.
We’ve been reading sources like MacRumors and CNet for possible ideas on the iPhone updates. Generally, these sites have consistent ideas as to what will be new and hot on the 7, which is expected to drop this fall.
As the iPhone 6 had a major body overall, the 7 is expected to be roughly the same in terms of general dimensions. However, the camera is likely to be flush with the body. Further the antenna bands are predicted to be around the top and bottom of the device (1). Another speculation is the addition of a second lens to increase camera performance (2).
While the screen size is expected to be maintained, the new iPhone is expected to be even thinner. Speculation contends that this will be achieved through removing the 3.5mm headphone jack. With the removal of the headphone jack, headphones will either have to be connected wirelessly or via the lightening jack (3).
Other sites have suggested possible improvements such as different construction materials resulting in higher durability, and water resistance (4). Two things our customers would definitely welcome!
While these are just rumors, we have no doubt the new iPhone will continue the legacy of innovation and exceptional quality.
We will be sure to keep our customers posted on all the newest devices available from Telus. Looking forward to the fall!

Image source: https://unsplash.com/photos/S6KA2NhF5_g

1 http://www.macrumors.com/roundup/iphone-7/
2 http://www.cnet.com/products/apple-iphone-7/
3 Supra note 1.
4 http://www.techradar.com/us/news/phone-and-communications/mobile-phones/iphone-7-1303990

Telus Apps: Helpful & Healthy Solutions!

Did you know Telus has tons of cool apps? While most center around their services, they are also branching out into other areas involving health and wellness! We’ve complied a list of all apps to help make your life easier today!

Optik TV:

Optik TV Remote Recorder allows you to schedule and manage your HD PVR recordings through our phone.

Optik Smart Remote is a super-fast guide to On Demand browsing. Plus you can use your smart phone as a remote control!

Optik on the Go lets you watch whatever you want, whenever you want! Stream over wifi or mobile connection, all for no extra charge!

Consumer:

Telus My Account lets you manage your account and view usage throughout the month. This app is only for mobility customers at present.

Telus Network Experience allows you to report network related issues in your area. This helps Telus to improve the network quality over time!

Business:

Telus Link offers Push to Talk service over Telus Networks. Simply join in a group call and utilize your phone like a walkie talkie, but with exceptional range. This app also work internationally on wifi. This app incurs charges following registration.

Telus BVoIP is for Business Voice over IP customers, allowing them to access services through compatible devices.

Telus Business Connect is the phone to answer them all! This app works with Business Connect phone system allowing you to answer your calls whenever, wherever.

Health:

Telus Pharma is your personal pharmacy record holder. You can store prescriptions, refill prescriptions and access drug information. This application works only for participating pharmacies, and requires a pharmacy provided login.

Telus thinkFull is a stress reduction app created in conjunction with the Canadian Mental Health Association of BC, and heretohelp. The app asks you to rank your stress, and associate what is causing your stress via hashtags. For example, if you rate your stress as a 3, you can add words that are triggering stress for you presently (eg. #finances, #health). Further, the app suggests possible solutions for dealing with your stress. These solutions link to other websites and providers.

 

Telus apps are super helpful to manage their solutions. Further, they are developing health apps as a means of giving back! Pretty cool!

 

Image source: https://unsplash.com/photos/asct7UP3YDE

Telus: Sonim Rugged Devices

Our phones are our constant companions, joining us in work and play. More often than we’d like, this results in serious damage to the device. Screens break, buttons stop working, coffee ends up everywhere. This is even so for people with desk jobs.Sonim-en-overview

For people who work in industry these problems are only magnified. However, to date, there have been very few ruggedized options in the smartphone line. Enter Sonim. Sonim Technologies is a US company manufacturing super endurable devices.
Through Telus, Walco is proud to carry two of these devices. The XP6 and XP7.

Key features of these devices include:

  • Android Operating System;
  • Gorilla Glass touchscreen for use with wet or dirty gloves;
  • Magnetic charging port for water and dust resistance;
  • Super loud speaker and noise cancellation for use in loud environments;
  • 3 year warranty including accidental damage;
  • Push to talk (like a radio!);
  • 4 to 16 GB;
  • Insane battery life- 16 to 40 hours talk time, up to 1000 hours standby.

Talk about a work phone!

IP Radios

IP Radios are the answer to customer’s demand for more range, more integration and more users. These devices work through existing wireless systems, and thus can be integrated with existing infrastructure. Further, IP systems do not require licensing.

So how does it work? The system is the logical combination of radio and wireless technology. Each system requires a controller, which acts to manage up to 100 units.  Access points are placed in locations where the units will be used, and units can jump from access point to access point while a person is moving throughout a large area.

The system can also work over a system that expands to different buildings or cities. This is designed through the use of routers on each end, and of course the necessary access points. Only one controller is necessary, as it can work remotely to manage units off site.

This technology is perfect for enterprises working over several dispersed sites, or large areas such as hotels and warehouses. It is also scalable according to unique needs and concerns.

Check out the following infographic to demonstrate how it works!

IP Radios (4)

Image source: Unsplash

Telus Fibre: Kamloops

In the last few months, you may have had a Telus technician knock on your door and ask to run fibre to your home or business.  Perhaps you are wondering what this means and what it entails. This service is completely free. Once you are connected, you are able to receive upgraded services when they become available.

To understand the benefits of fibre, it is important to understand what we have at present. Currently, systems providing internet and tv services run on copper wire. Copper provides excellent service and has been extremely popular in the telecommunications industry.[1] However, fibre has certain advantages. For example, fibre has higher bandwidth and thus can carry more information at once. Moreover, it costs less and is arguably more durable. Fibre also allows for greater security, as it cannot be easily eavesdropped on.[2]

So what is fibre? Fibre consists of very thin, transparent fibres of glass. These fibres transmit data via light. This not only allows for large volumes of information, but also for extremely high speeds.  Fibre is cutting edge technology and paves the way for future development.  Currently, Telus fibre has speeds up to 100Mbps. Telus even has a ‘download compare’ function on their site to show just how fast fibre is in comparison to current speeds.[3]

So when can you sign up? Telus has provided a very helpful map of Kamloops that outlines availability and time frames.

Still have questions? Check out the FAQ attached below to learn all about the benefits of fibre!

TELUS-Fibre-FAQ_o

 

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copper_wire_and_cable

[2] http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2010/10/21/3044463.htm

[3] https://fibre.telus.com/kamloops/compare/

Spot News Release:1000 Rescues in Canada

SPOT Satellite Technology Delivers Peace of Mind for Outdoor Enthusiasts with 1,000 Rescues Initiated in Canada – over 3,500 Rescues Worldwide
Proven and essential safety gear, SPOT devices provide affordable and reliable connectivity, S.O.S. notifications, and real-time GPS tracking, completely independent of cellular coverage

Highlights:

  • SPOT satellite devices have been used to initiate 1,000 rescues in Canada since 2007; over 3,500 worldwide.
  • SPOT gained 12,000 new Canadian users in 2014; 55,000 worldwide.
  • B.C., Alberta and Nunavut account for the majority of SPOT rescue incidents to date.

MISSISSAUGA, Ontario – March 25, 2015 – Globalstar Canada Satellite Co., a wholly owned subsidiary of Globalstar Inc. (NYSE MKT: GSAT) and the leader in satellite messaging and emergency notification technologies, announced today that its SPOT products have been used to initiate 1,000 rescues in Canada, many life-saving, since the technology was launched in 2007. British Columbia has reported the greatest number of SPOT rescues with 376 incidents, followed by Alberta at 115 and Nunavut at 111. Another 96 SPOT rescues have been initiated in Ontario and 85 in Quebec. The majority of these rescues were comprised of hiking/mountain sports, boating/water sports and motor vehicle incidents.

With hundreds of thousands of SPOT units in service globally, SPOT delivers peace of mind for outdoor enthusiasts with affordable and reliable connectivity and real-time GPS tracking, when there is unreliable or no cellular coverage. In Canada, SPOT gained 12,000 new users in 2014, adding 55,000 worldwide, a record number of activations in any single year which underscores the fact that Canadians increasingly want to stay connected.

SPOT products offer users worldwide peace of mind, by allowing them to track their assets, use location-based messaging and emergency notification technology and to make calls beyond the reach of mobile signals. Since it was introduced, outdoor enthusiasts and adventure seekers such as hikers, boaters, campers and outdoor recreation enthusiasts have come to depend on SPOT’s life-saving capabilities.

Emergency Preparedness
The first week of May is Emergency Preparedness Week in Canada, a time when Canadians are encouraged to take a role in being prepared for an emergency. This includes knowing the risks, making a plan and building an emergency kit. Essential and proven safety gear, SPOT satellite devices can be an important part of trip planning for anyone considering outdoor adventures where cellular coverage is unreliable or unavailable.

According to Kevin Callan, SPOT Ambassador and the ‘Happy Camper’:  “SPOT Gen3 is an incredible piece of technology that not only allows for a much safer wilderness trip, but it also provides a sense of ease for friends and family at home. That’s a huge asset. With GPS accuracy, it pin-points my location, lets people at home know where I am, and that I’m safe. It also can send an emergency signal if I ever need it. I’ve used this device for several years now and greatly depend on it.”

SPOT continues to innovate with products and services that deliver peace of mind, reliable connectivity and accurate GPS tracking solutions that are relevant to millions of users around the world, such as:

  • SPOT Gen3™ is a rugged and affordable GPS tracking device providing off-the-grid messaging, emergency alerts, extended battery life, and extreme GPS tracking at 2 ½ minute intervals.
  • SPOT Global Phone is the most affordable satellite phone available in retail, allowing users to make calls virtually anywhere beyond the boundaries of cellular.
  • SPOT Trace™ is a GPS tracking device which uses 100% satellite technology to track anything, anytime, anywhere. SPOT Trace ensures that users never lose sight of their car, boat, motorcycle, ATV or other valuable gear.

The ability to send S.O.S. notifications to GEOS and emergency dispatch services are included in the SPOT Basic Service plan. The GEOS International Emergency Response Coordination Center is staffed 24/7 with dedicated and highly trained operatives who have access to emergency responders worldwide, to ensure timely and efficient response to each emergency situation.

Telus Fitness Wearables

Telus is promoting health this spring. It’s February, which means that 64% of people have already given up on their New Years’ Resolutions.[1] Rather than getting discouraged, why not find a new way to get motivated!

Everyone knows it is difficult to go from the couch to a marathon runner. Rather than setting extreme goals, it may be easier to start with an understanding of your baseline and move forward in realistic steps. Wearable technology is a great way to do this.

First, wear the new device for a period of time while maintaining your current lifestyle. Data obtained can give you a sense of your current activity and health levels. For example, devices like the Fitbit Charge track how many steps you are taking, how much you are sleeping and your calories burned.

Second, enjoy the ‘Hawthorne effect’. Under the Hawthorne effect, an individual improves their behavior due to the knowledge of being observed. Thus, as wearable devices raise awareness regarding your level of activity; this in itself causes an increase in activity. In fact according to Fitbit, “users take 43 percent more steps than they did before they bought one.”[2]

Third, develop a realistic strategy based on your current level of fitness and where you aspire to be. If you are walking 2,000 steps a day, set a goal of 3,000 steps. Many devices also allow you to set alarms and alerts once you have been sitting for a specific amount of time.

Finally, devices track other information that is useful to your general health and wellbeing. The Fitbit Charge tracks sleep and allows for a vibrating alarm. Food logs are also available for maintaining information regarding caloric intake. For runners, you can log runs and map out routes. There is also a community aspect to many devices, allowing for increased motivation through healthy competition and support.

Regardless of your current health status, information is power. These devices are a great way for you to understand the current state of your activity, and take the first steps towards improvement.

As a Telus dealer, Walco is proud to offer a number of these devices. We are also happy to discuss which is right for you.

Basic Tracking

Fitbit Flex:

  • Tracks – steps taken, calories burned, hours slept, distance traveled, active minutes and quality of sleep.
  • Battery life- 5 days
  • Compatibility- Android and iPhone

Advanced Tracking

Fitbit Charge:

  • Tracks – steps taken, calories burned, hours slept, floors climbed, active minutes and quality of sleep.
  • Manual Tracking- log food, workouts.
  • Battery life- 7-10 days
  • Features- call display
  • Compatibility- Android and iPhone

Tech Savvy

Samsung Gear Fit:

  • Features – real time information on workout, interactive, interacts with phone features such as messaging and calls.
  • Battery life- 3-5 days
  • Compatibility- Samsung

Fashion Forward

Misfit Shine

  • Tracks- walking, running, swimming, cycling, soccer, tennis, basketball etc. Also tracks sleep.
  • Battery life- 6 months.
  • Compatibility- Android, iPhones and Microsoft

 

[1] http://blog.telus.com/our-customers/blog-post-1-ready-tech-go-wearable-fitness-and-new-years-resolutions-how-to-stay-fit-and-reach-your-goals-in-2015/

[2] http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/workout/gear/wearables/wearable-tech-gadgets/

Microsoft for Mobile Devices

Earlier this month, Microsoft shifted to providing the Office suite free for mobile devices.[1] While this may not sound revolutionary, for those of us who live on our devices, it in fact is.

Many of us use Microsoft products in our everyday business and personal affairs. We are well versed in the features, understand the tools, and have no inclination to change. However, upon moving to a mobile device, users were previously forced to resort to Apple and Google offerings. Frankly, these products do not have the ease of use and universality of Microsoft Office.

The shift by Microsoft is especially welcome now that Google has moved to multiple apps for Google Drive, requiring the installation and use of 2 apps where one would easily suffice.

Aware of this situation, Microsoft has altered its previous paid model and allowed the products for free download to consumers (not businesses).[2] Microsoft’s motivation is apparently to ensure dominance of the Office suite across platforms.[3]

Office is available on the iTunes store and on Google Play.

[1] http://office.microsoft.com/en-ca/mobile/

[2] http://www.theverge.com/2014/11/6/7163789/microsoft-office-free-for-ipad-iphone-android

[3] http://www.theverge.com/2014/11/6/7163789/microsoft-office-free-for-ipad-iphone-android

Communications Monitoring Report 2014

Last month, the CRTC issued the annual “Communications Monitoring Report” (the “Report”). This Report primarily contains statistics on the relationship Canadians have with communications products and services. This includes, TV, Radio and Telephone (both mobile and land line).

The Report outlines many points we believe may be of interest to our customers:

  • The vast majority of mobile users are on post-paid services. At Walco we sell pre-paid cards and administer postpaid contracts (where customers are billed monthly). Moreover, pre-paid services continue to decline in popularity, while post-paid services grow.[1]
  • Roaming charges are chiefly accrued in the USA. Specifically, 54% of data usage, and 73% of voice roaming.[2]
  • 54% of postpaid consumers have contracts of over 2 years. This of course will change as old contracts expire and renewals are completed under the Wireless code.[3]
  • Canadians sent 531 million text messages each day, for a total of 194 billion text messages last year.[4]
  • Market share of service providers was divided as follows: Rogers 34%, Telus 28%, Bell 28%, Other 5%, and New Entrants 5%. [5]
  • At present only 11% of handheld devices in use by British Colombians are considered Advanced Devices (i.e. a device which supports text, internet, email and video.) BC, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec have the highest number of Advanced Devices.
  • Pricing for Canadian wireless services ranged greatly and did not fall much outside the norm for international standards. Pricing for ‘average use’ cellular contracts is roughly 4$ more per month than the next country. However, pricing for ‘low use’ cellular contracts is 5$ less than the highest priced country.[6]

As can be seen, the mobile world is changing very quickly. More people are moving to ‘advanced devices’ and as a result using more data features. More people are committing to contracts instead of  using ‘pay as you go’ devices. Text messaging is becoming more and more prevalent as a preferred form of communication.

On a global scale, Canadians are quite similar to other countries in terms of their appetites for mobile communications. Furthermore, Canadians are primarily served by the ‘big three’ and obtain pricing within reasonable range to other nations.

At Walco, we are excited to be a part of a growing and changing industry!

The report can be found at: http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/publications/reports/PolicyMonitoring/2014/cmr.htm.

[1] Report, page 210.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Report, page 211.

[4] Report, page 212.

[5] Report, page 213.

[6] Report, page 285.

Digital Doctor: Medeo

This week’s post is a little different. At Walco Radio, we are excited by all technology, and are eager to tell you how you can use it to make your life better. With that in mind, we have found a program that we think is pretty innovative.
It is no secret that finding a GP in BC is a struggle. Many people have lost their GP to retirement, moved to a new city and never found one, or simply never had one to begin with. The Province, in realizing this issue, has launched a program called Medeo.
Medeo is essentially Skype or Facetime with a doctor. It works on your desk top, Apple or Android device. You can get the iTunes app here and the android app here.
Getting set up is relatively easy. You simply sign up by creating a login. Security is ensured by requiring a cell phone number for verification. In other words, when you log in, a text is sent to your phone with a code that must be entered onscreen. Next, you fill out a form with your symptoms. You are then connected to a coordinator who either puts you through to a physician or sets up an appointment for later. The session with the physician is carried out using your device’s camera and microphone. Just like in a face to face appointment, the doctor may give you a prescription or referral to a specialist.
Many of the practitioners on the board of Medeo are based out of Victoria or Vancouver. The founder of the program received his education in Alberta, and has practiced in Victoria for 4 years. This ensures local content and understanding of the needs of BC residents with respect to health care.
This program is an exciting new way to combine mobile technology with modern concerns. Just one more way communications devices are changing our world.