App of the Week: Mailbox

Mailbox, the popular mail client on iOS and later became a part of Dropbox, is now on Android. It has been over a year since Dropbox purchased the app and it is just now being released on Android. A new feature called “auto swipe” allows users to archive an email for now and then will automatically archive any similar emails that may arrive in the future.


The Mailbox Android app works in the same way like the iOS version does. The entire app revolves around swipe-based gestures. If you swipe an email  toward the right, it will archive that email. Next if you were to long swipe an email message to the right, it will send it to the trash instead of archiving it. Then if you to swipe a email to the left, you can snooze an email for later and it will come back to your Mailbox at the time that you choose. Then finally if you long swipe a email message to the left, you add it to a list instead of snoozing it for later.

Mailbox is trying to get people to use the app in order to reach Inbox Zero which means you have no emails in your inbox. Currently the Mailbox for Android app only supports Gmail/Google Apps and iCloud accounts and there are more coming soon.

You can find the link for Mailbox on the Google Play Store below.

Get it on Google Play


Ubisoft announces an Official Release Date for Watch Dogs

Watch Dogs will now be coming on May 27th, 2014

Here is the new story trailer


ORIGINAL STORY: Yes, one of the most anticipated games of the year, has been delayed until Spring next year (2014). The game first came as a surprise at Ubisoft’s press conference back at E3 2012. And now the news came as a surprise to everyone with the launch of the game being only about a month away, it seemed like cutting it close to announce a delay. Just to be clear, ALL versions (current and next gen) of the game will now be released sometime during Spring 2014. 

This is what Ubisoft had to say on their company blog: 

Our ambition from the start with Watch Dogs has been to deliver something that embodies what we wanted to see in the next-generation of gaming. It is with this in mind that we’ve made the tough decision to delay the release until spring 2014.

We know a lot of you are probably wondering: Why now? We struggled with whether we would delay the game. But from the beginning, we have adopted the attitude that we will not compromise on quality. As we got closer to release, as all the pieces of the puzzle were falling into place in our last push before completion, it became clear to us that we needed to take the extra time to polish and fine tune each detail so we can deliver a truly memorable and exceptional experience.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you. We thoroughly enjoy and appreciate the way you respond on the web, at events, press conferences and other opportunities we have to interact. Your passion keeps us motivated.
We can’t wait to see you in Chicago next spring. We are confident you’ll love this game as much as we love working on it.

I’ve actually seen actual live gameplay footage of Watch Dogs a few months back, and I have to say that the game did look good, that could be due to the fact that it was being played on a Playstation 4 (because you know, Ubisoft like Sony’s console a bit better than the rest) and at that demo, the guy who showed off the demo, could not say what console it was running on, but I could see the Playstation 4 controller button prompts on screen and the controller that the guy was holding, was for a PS4.

I guess we will all have to wait just a bit longer to get our hands on the many hacking abilities of Aiden Pearce (the vigilante protagonist).

Follow Me on Twitter @sachinbahal and @Canadian_Techie

My Favourite Apps of 2013

Here are just some of the Android Apps and Games that I used most often in 2013. Which range from RSS feed apps to some of the my favourite games.

Android Central: I enjoy reading Android Central very much , and its nice to see that they took the time to create and app that can be considered a great looking app and even better is that they have a Android Central community on Google+ so you can sign up for the beta and help give ideas and suggestions of what to include in the next version update.

Android Central - The App! - screenshot

Hangouts: It is a great app to help bring together all the different chats in while using a Google service and what’s even better is that it just recently got the ability to do SMS and it has become the stock messaging app for the Nexus 5.

Download: Hangouts

Hangouts (replaces Talk) - screenshot

Falcon Pro for Android: I prefer this over the standard Twitter app for Android. It is one of the best Twitter Clients that has come out recently. It has a nice and clean UI and beats all the other Twitter Clients out there including most of the Free Clients. Its a shame that Falcon Pro hit the Twitter token limit of how many users can use the client but the developer has made it available for download for free on the Falcon Pro website.

Download: Falcon Pro

Falcon Pro New Tweet

Pushbullet: It is a great app for sending notes to yourself (or you friends) or files from you computer to phone and vice versa. Ever since I installed both the Chrome extension and the app, I am finding it more and more useful everyday, the only thing that I would like to see, is a bigger file size limit (bigger than 25MB).

Download: Pushbullet

Pushbullet - screenshot

LinkedIn Pulse News: I believe that this is one of the better news apps out there on Android which is also on iOS and has a Chrome extension, and the Android app has become even better and nicer looking and slicker than ever before, this may be due to the fact that LinkedIn acquired Pulse News and did a major revamp. 

Inside the Pulse News App (OLDER VERSION)

LinkedIn Pulse - screenshot
LinkedIn Pulse New App (CURRENT VERSION)

Then here are the rest of my favourite apps of 2013: (Click the titles of the apps to get to the Google Play page for the app)

Vine - screenshot

Tumblr - screenshot

Google+ - screenshot

Flyne. The Offline Reader. - screenshot

reddit sync pro - screenshot

Spelltower - screenshot

Themer Beta - screenshot

Flow for Reddit (Pre-Beta) - screenshot

Pocket Casts - screenshot

Rayman Fiesta Run - screenshot

Trigger - location profiles - screenshot

Feedly Reader | Blogs,News,RSS - screenshot

Next Browser for Android - screenshot

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TheCanadianTechie YouTube Channel:

Google announces the Nexus 5 with Android 4.4 KitKat

Finally, the day that we have all been waiting for (at least any techies like myself), is here. The LG-made, Google Nexus 5 is now real and available. 

Inside, it has a 5-inch 1080p display, a 2.3 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 CPU and 2GB of RAM. It comes in 16 or 32GB of internal storage (no expandable storage slot because it is a Nexus device), for colours, you can have either Black or White (which has white on one side and black on the front side). It also features a 8 Megapixel rear-facing camera with Optical Image Stabilization (which should help get rid of and blurriness in photos) and 1.3 front-facing camera, a 2300 mAh battery with wireless charging capabilities.It will also come with the latest version of Android, version 4.4 KitKat.

There will be two models of the Nexus 5 available, a North American version with CDMA support, 7-band WCDMA and 9-band LTE, and then an International version with 6-band WCDMA and 6-band LTE. It will cost $349 for 16GB version and $399 for 32GB version.

Here are some of the feature of Android 4.4 “KitKat”.

Touchless Control, this feature was first implemented on the Moto X and the latest DROID devices. It allows users to say “OK Google Now” from anywhere and it can activate voice actions. This feature is included in 4.4 but is limited. And will launch exclusively on the Nexus 5.

Another cool feature is that if you get a call from a number that is not in your contacts, your phone will automatically check the number by cross-referencing local listings using Google Maps. If for example, it is a local business, then  your phone will remember it. The dialer will also prioritize the contacts that you talk to most, so getting touch with friend or loved ones is that much quicker and easier.

Also Hangouts will be the default messaging app, so the all your messages are in the same place, now that Hangouts can support SMS and Gifs.

And there are lots more features that can be seen at the Android 4.4 KitKat homepage. here:

Here are some more pictures of the Nexus 5

Another thing to note is that Android 4.4 KitKat will be coming to the Nexus 4, the Nexus 7 (2012 and 2013), the Nexus 10 and the Google Play Edition Galaxy S4 and HTC One. It will NOT be coming to the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, as confirmed by Google Support section (which does suck because I’m using one right now and was hoping that it would be coming.

Follow Me on Twitter @sachinbahal and @Canadian_Techie


**Also as of this posting on October 31st at 5:15 pm EST, the Nexus 5 is sold out on the Google Play Store, both the 16 and 32 GB in Black or White.**

Interview with pplconnect

We’ve all been there, we have all at one point lost or forgot our smartphone at home or just when you are out and about. Now I am pleased to bring you, pplconnect  It essentially allows you to access and use your device without changing a single thing. All you will need to do is download the app, sync your smartphone’s info with your “virtual smartphone” and now you can log-in to that virtual smartphone on any device and then be able to use your smartphone in real-time. You will be able to receive text messages on your computer, update contact info on your tablet or even make a call using a friend’s smartphone. The best part is that you won’t have to change your number. 

I had the privilege of interviewing one of the co-founders, Jenview Azzolin, the other co-founder is Denzil D’Sa. Now for a bit of background, Jenviev Azzolin and Denzil D’Sa, have been working together for over 5 years and have accomplished major international successes, such as the launch of the Bombardier Global 7000 & 8000 jets, recognized as the most successful in business aviation history. They have put together a team of 5 senior members in technology and design.

The actual interview. 

TheCanadianTechie: Tell me more about pplconnect, What is it?
Jenviev Azzolin: pplconnect is the name of our company, which focused on leveraging new technology to solve real customer problems n order to have a positive impact. Our values are founded in creativity, diversity, change and positive impact. 

pplconnect lets you access and use your smartphone from any device, without changing a thing. Simply download the pplconnect Android app, sync your smartphone to your virtual smartphone, and voila! You can now log-in to your virtual smartphone on any device and use your smartphone real-time. 
Receive your SMS on your computer, update your contacts on your tablet, even make
a call from a friend’s phone (all without changing your number!).

CT: Where did the idea come from? What was the inspiration behind it?
JA: The product idea was founded in a problem that both Denzil, my co-founder, and I felt. For example, we would forget our phone at home and only realize once we arrive at work. We would then feel the need to turn back to go get our phone, as neither of us could survive without it. We then started talking to our network about this and realized that they felt the same dependency on their smartphone. Research then revealed that this has become a worldwide problem, referred to by experts as nomophobia (the fear of not having access to your phone). With all this evidence on such a widescale problem, we decided we shoud build a solution to address this and diminish our dependency on the physical device, by making our smartphone device agnostic. 

CT:How long did it take to brainstorm, development and promote, to get to where PPL Connect is today?
JA:We’ve been working on pplconnect for almost 2 years. We started with nothing, but the 2 of us and our desire to build a positive company. We then built our business plan, researched user cases, recruited a team, secured some funding, and started prototyping. We are now at the stage of unveiling our beta. 

CT:What sets apart PPL Connect from similair apps like MightyText or
JA:We are not a remote access to your phone. We are building a completed Virtual Smartphone (a smartphone that is live from the cloud and therefore agnostic of the device) that is synced with your current phone number for your live SMS and calls. We also do a lot more than texts, we link your contacts, calls, SMS, photos and video and eventually apps to be live from the cloud. 

CT:Do you have plans to bring this to other platforms beyond just Android?
JA:We are currently on Android and web, which allows a pplconnect user to log-in to pplconnect on any device via the web browser. We also have plans to build an iOS native app in the future. 

CT:What is next for you and your team once PPL Connect officially launches?
JA:We are currently in private beta. Our goal is to continue to onboard users on our private beta, until we are ready to open it up to the public. In parallel, we are raising a round of funding at the moment. 

CT:When do you think PPL Connect will be available to the general public?
JA:Early 2014. 

Grand Theft Auto V: All Screenshots, artwork and all of the Trailers

I created a video montage of all the screenshots and artwork for Grand Theft Auto 5, but for some odd reason it would not playback when i embeded it into this post. So here is a link to the video. Enjoy: 

I also tried to upload a compilation of all the Grand Theft Auto 5 Trailers but it got taken down, so below will be another compilation by a different YouTuber.

Also stayed tuned to the blog for a review of Grand Theft Auto V in the next couple of days.

Follow Me on Twitter @sachinbahal and @Canadian_Techie

Android 4.4 will be called ‘KitKat’ and 1 Billion Android Activations

Today, Google’s Sundar Pichai, head of both Android and Chrome, revealed that the next version of Android, which will be version 4.4 and be called KitKat. Yes, the delicious chocolate treat will be the the name of the next version of Google’s operating system. There were countless rumors that the next version of Android would be version 5.0 and be code-named Key Lime Pie.

Android 4.4, KitKat
Android 4.4, KitKat

The decision for Google to go by a different code name was after the realization that “very few people actually know the taste of a key lime pie,” as said by John Lagerling, director of Android partnerships in a interview with the BBC. Late last year, an employee came up with naming the upcoming version KitKat, which is apparently a favourite snack among Android coders. And then Google decided to reach out to the folks at Nestle. Within 24 hours an agreement was made, though it’s apparently “not a money-changing-hands kind of deal,” according to Lagerling.

Android 4.4 'KitKat' Statue
The Android 4.4 ‘KitKat’ Statue at Google HQ

Also in the same post by Pichai on his Google+ profile, said he had just returned from meeting with hardware partners in Asia and also said there are now over 1 Billion Android activations He goes on to say that he “can’t wait to release the next version of the platform that is as sweet as the candy bar that’s one of our team’s favourites.” To promote the partnership, there will be specially-marked KitKat packages with a chance to win a free Nexus 7 or a Google Play credit. Also there could be a KitKat bar in the shape of the Android logo and just like the new Android statue.

Also here is a video from KitKat showing “The Future of Confectionery”.


Follow Me on Twitter @sachinbahal and @Canadian_Techie


Google Android & Chrome Event Wrap-up on July 24th, 2013

Today, Google unveiled quite a few new products and services today, most notably the new Nexus 7, just simply called the Nexus 7 (2013) and the Chromecast.

The brand new Nexus 7 (2013) has been given a minor upgrade from last year’s model. It has a 1.5 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Processor with an Adreno 320 GPU and 2GB of RAM. The display has been bumped up to have a resolution of 1920 x 1200 to give a pixel density of 323 ppi. 

Nexus 7 (2013)

It is still made by Asus. It also contains NFC and 802.11n Wi-Fi connectivity and Wireless Charger support. The Slimport that the Nexus 7 has, will allow for displaying 1080p content on your TV. The front-facing camera is still 1.2 Megapixels and there is now a rear-facing camera that is just 5 Megapixels. Both the weight and the display bezel have both been slimmed down. There is also a pair of stereo speakers. It will be the first device to be running Android 4.3.

Also announced was a Unlocked LTE version which will work on AT&T, T-Mobile and Version (in the USA) and other carriers with GSM based LTE networks. The new Nexus 7 (2013) will be available on July 30th, the 16GB Wi-Fi only version will cost $229 and $269 for the 32GB Wi-Fi version. While the Wi-Fi & Mobile Data (LTE) version will be available in the coming weeks in Canada, US, UK, Germany, France, Japan, Australia, South Korea and Spain. It will be sold in the Google Play Store and in retailers like Staples and Best Buy (Future Shop & Best Buy in Canada) and now Amazon will be selling the Nexus 7.

Google also announced Google Play Textbooks, which is a dedicated category just for learning material. You will be able to Purchase or Rent for 6 months at a time, the books are Up 80% discounted and the comprehensive selection of titles includes textbooks from all 5 major publishing houses. The service will be available in August and it’ll sync across Android, iOS and the web.

 The new companion app to go along with the new Google Play Games Service and it is simply called Play Games. The app will show leader boards and will allow you to connect with your friends (on Google+) to challenge or play along-side. It will also track all your achievements and it will serve as a single repostitory to launch all your games (just like Steam does).

 And last but not least, Google introduced the Chromecast, which is a HDMI dongle that only cost $35. It can mirror content being played on a nearby tablet or smartphone or computer. How it works, is that the device connects to your local WiFi network and similairly connected devices using Chromecast. You will be able to display YouTube videos, Netflix content, mirror your Google Chrome window (and some people have already been able to play local PC content using Chromecast), show content from Google Play like movies (and possibly music) and soon, Pandora audio content. It is available on the Google Play Store (US-Only for now), in Best Buy and on Amazon.

That’s what it’ll look like but it will need the USB cable to power it

Follow Me on Twitter @sachinbahal and @Canadian_Techie



Microsoft reverses Xbox One DRM policies: Say goodbye to required online check-ins and used game complications on the Xbox One

Microsoft previously said at their E3 2013 press conference, that the Xbox One would have a 24-hour online check-in requirement and they had some complex way of explaining used games on the Xbox One. Today, Microsoft has said they aren’t going with those policies that they made, and the company had this to say on the Xbox blog to help explain the situation,” I am announcing the following changes to Xbox One and how you can play, share, lend, and resell your games exactly as you do today on Xbox 360″ as said by Don Mattrick, President of Interactive Entertainment Business of the Xbox division . He also said this:

“An internet connection will not be required to play offline Xbox One games – After a one-time system set-up with a new Xbox One, you can play any disc based game without ever connecting online again. There is no 24 hour connection requirement and you can take your Xbox One anywhere you want and play your games, just like on Xbox 360.
Trade-in, lend, resell, gift, and rent disc based games just like you do today – There will be no limitations to using and sharing games, it will work just as it does today on Xbox 360.”

Mattrick also says that this is a direct response to gamers’ reaction to their policy, and this was also part of his explanation, “Since unveiling our plans for Xbox One, my team and I have heard directly from many of you, read your comments and listened to your feedback. I would like to take the opportunity today to thank you for your assistance in helping us to reshape the future of Xbox One,”. Another thing is that he confirmed that Xbox One games will be region-free and that disc-based games will have to be kept inside the disc tray rather than the device ripping them to the hard drive to be able to play game digitally. 

This sounds like the gamers won over Xbox and it’s all for a better gaming experience on the new Xbox One. And it could also be a way for Microsoft to win back people that may have gone to side with the Sony and the PS4 because they said there is no DRM and you can trade and lend games all you want without any online check-ins.

 Follow Me on Twitter @sachinbahal and @Canadian_Techie