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Algonquin By the People For the People Friday, November 21, 2014
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So You Want to Buy a Smart Phone . . .

iphoneConsidering an upgrade from your regular phone to one with cool l, internet access, easier texting, and a touch screen?

Find out from Algonquin colleagues what prompted their recent smart phone purchase. Also, read about what the Technology store has to offer – including Motorolas very cool, very popular new offering!small egg

Jessica’s Pick: Windows Phone (HTC Surround)

The Run Down

Jessica Brown, Innovation and Special Projects

Mobile Versions of Microsoft Office Applications
Can create or save Office documents on your phone, then save to the cloud via Windows Live Skydrive, which you have with a Hotmail or Windows Live account.

Customizable Interface: Live Updating Tiles
Can customize what you want to “pin” to your phone’s main screen

Feed Updates
Can view listing of quick updates for Calendar, Facebook, weather or other things of your choosing without having to open the application

Middle Ground Device Between Apple and Android
Apple offers one model of phone with one operating system. Support for this device will likely be secure for a long time.  Android is an operating system (a program that runs smartphone applications and basic phone functionality). It is used on a number of phones offered by various phone companies – all which can have very different features and specifications . There is the risk that, over time,  particular Android models will be dropped in favour of others due to market competition. Windows limits the number of models it produces. Yet, like Android, it has a more flexible operating system that allows for more capacity and varied features.

Other Interesting Features

  • You can play X-box games online
  • Has a 5 megapixel camera with a dedicated button (rather than having to push a touchscreen button)
  • Has a speaker and a built-in stand which allows it to be a portable media player

Michel’s Pick: Android Phone – Samsung Captivate

The Run Down

michel langlais

Michel Langlais, Blackboard Technical Support

Free Google Navigation App

Provides turn-by-turn navigation that you would get with a GPS, but for free
Satellite imagery is more up-to-date than what is commonly provided by GPS devices

Integrated Google Products
Picasa (for photo editing and publishing), G-mail, G-talk. As a heavy Google user, this was certainly a draw for Michel.

Latitude – Geo-location Program
Can geographically locate where other users of Latitude (an Android application)

Accessories not as expensive
Parts such as data cables are more universal and less device specific. As such, it is easier to purchase these accessories inexpensively.

Other Interesting Features

  • “Pull-down from the top” Menu that is always accessible
  • Swipe keyboard offers a faster way of texting and writing emails on a touchscreen

Vanessa’s Pick: iPhone 4G

The Run Down

Vanessa Marshall

Vanessa Marshall, Blackboard Technical SupportThe Run Down

Variety of apps

Many applications to support a physically active lifestyle. As someone  actively into yoga, there are apps for learning yoga poses.

The fitness app has been useful as a runner. As a teacher, the stopwatch has been useful for testing and managing time in the classroom

Nice Selection of Accessories

Can chose from a number of  stylish and durable protective cases

Good upgrade option for Phone Plan

As a Telus customer, the iPhone was a viable option for smart phone upgrade

Other Interesting Features

  • Forward and Backward facing camera. This can be handy for video calls or taking your own picture
  • HD (high definition) video
  • High-resolution screen for crisper looking images

Notes From Our On-Campus Experts: The New Technology Store

Christopher Hahle, Customer Services Representative

One of the phones that is getting a lot of hype is the Blackberry Torch, RIM’s latest blackberry model to hit the market.
This phone offers both a 3.2” touch screen as well as a slide out keyboard which offers customers both interfaces for interaction with the phone. The Torch also uses the latest blackberry operating system (Blackberry 6 OS)
which has the ability for multi-tabbed web browsing, multi-touch gestures on the touch screen, and integrated social networking feeds.
Bell Services Vendor
The  NewTechnology Store offers various service plans for Bell which include a number of options for smart phones.
The newest phone that looks very interesting is the Motorolla’s Atrix 4G which is an Android phone. Connect it to a screen via a docking station and it operates as a computer and webtop.
Drop by the store in D105 or visit their web site for more information.
posted by Louisa Lambregts in Learn,Live and have Comments (11)


  1. Comment by david kulawick on April 1, 2011 at 6:27 pm

    Interesting article; thanks to the author and subjects for sharing.

    RIM is an interesting story. I suspect that they are building an Android VMs for the PlayBook (which I’ll bet $5.00 will be “dead on arrival”) and their phones. But the phones won’t be running the new OS, QNX, for some time and I’m guessing the new OS, which the PlayBook will be running, is a precondition of enabling an Android VM. I have no insider knowledge.

    See the Ottawa Citizen article today; RIM tablet not ‘dead on arrival’; how can one say that when it hasn’t arrived?
    Oddly, the article appears on page F7 of the print edition but the Citizen’s search tool hasn’t heard of it yet? Go figure

    See also;

    <a href="" title="RIM's silence on subscriber growth has UBS analyst fearing the worst"

    For the first time last week, Research In Motion Ltd. reported quarterly earnings without mentioning how many new customers joined the BlackBerry bandwagon during the quarter.

  2. Comment by david kulawick on April 1, 2011 at 6:28 pm

    D’oh! Where is the error button?

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