Canada

Spotify is inviting patiently waiting Canadians to test their streams

Music streaming service Spotify is at long last gearing up to launch in Canada, and they're inviting some of those that have expressed interest to try it out first. The invitations will be sent out to a selection of those Canadians that have signed up at Spotify's Canada page, and users of the latest version of the iOS app can join the invitation queue from right within the app.

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Canadian airlines will soon allow gate-to-gate electronics use

Canadians airlines will soon allow unrestricted electronics access to customers following a new ruling by Canada's Transport Minister. The move comes after the US FAA announced last year that customers can use their electronic devices during "all phases of flight."

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Rogers vs. Bell vs. TELUS: Which Canadian iPad Air or Retina iPad mini carrier should you get?

Once you've decided you're getting a new iPad Air and picked your capacity and color, now you have the option of picking a carrier if you want wireless data. The vast majority of users just stick to Wi-Fi networks for their fix, but you can also get data over cell towers. If you're in Canada, that means going with one of the big three carriers: Rogers, Bell, or TELUS, or one of their lower-price subsidiaries. All of the big three have confirmed that they'll be offering the latest and greatest iPads and Apple announced the iPad Air with cellular connectivity would start at $649. So which carrier should you go with? We've chewed through the plans and coverage, and here's what we've found!

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Waiting for iTunes Radio in Canada, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and Scandinavia? You may be waiting until early 2014...

When Apple announced iTunes Radio for iOS 7, it was as a US only service, at least at first. Unfortunately, that might not change until 2014 at the earliest, even for countries like Canada, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and Scandinavia, which typically enjoy early Apple rollouts. From speaking with people in the music industry over the years, I've continually heard what an utter pain it is getting content licensing deals, especially outside the US, even for Apple. Andy Fixmer and Adam Satariano of Bloomberg point out that even though it may feel slow, it's still faster than many rival services have been able to grow their offerings:

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Verizon CEO confirms no Canada expansion plans

Verizon Wireless won't be expanding into Canada, says Verizon's CEO. The news comes on the heels of Verizon Communications' announced plans to buy out Vodafone's 45 percent stake in Verizon Wireless. While Verizon had looked into a northern expansion, CEO Lowell McAdam left no room for interpretation in a recent comment, according to The Globe and Mail. "Verizon is not going to Canada," he told Bloomberg.

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Facebook Messenger now offers free voice calls for users in the UK as well as the U.S. and Canada

After launching its free voice calling option for its Facebook Messenger app earlier this year in the United States and Canada, Facebook has has quietly rolled out the same service for its UK users. The new calling feature for UK users is built into the Facebook Messenger app and if one of your contacts is online and capable of receiving a voice call you can now easily make a call.

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Apple starts selling the iPhone 5 unlocked online in the U.S., at retail in Canada

As of today you can walk into an Apple Retail store in Canada and walk out with an unlocked iPhone 5. That's something that was only possible via Apple Online orders until now, likely to prevent the type of scalping activity -- the same people lining up everyday to buy unlocked iPhones only to resell them overseas -- that caused problems with previous Canadian launches. Not to be left totally behind, the U.S. has also started selling the iPhone 5 unlocked, but only via Apple Online.

So, if you still haven't gotten your iPhone, and you want to walk into an Apple Store and walk out with an unlocked one, and you live in Canada, today's your lucky day.

Go get it.

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Rogers, TELUS, and Bell announce new unlimited talk and text plans

If you're doing some shopping for a new rate plan in Canada, Rogers, TELUS, and Bell have now gone ahead and introduced several new unlimited talk and text plans to choose from. Sadly, looking at the plans there is very little difference between them all in terms of pricing and included offerings. In fact, the plans are pretty much identical to each other. Let's take a look at them individually.

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Best iPhone 5 PAYG nano-SIM options for traveling to Canada

If you're visiting Canada with a GSM unlocked iPhone 5, you have several Pay As You Go, or prepaid, options to consider. Nano-SIM availability is still hit and miss. There's not reason you shouldn't be able to get one, since every major carrier and subsidiary is currently carrying the iPhone 5. However, getting them to give you one for short-term PAYG might be a battle, or could incur an additional charge.

Canadian carriers like Rogers, Bell, and TELUS all have discount subsidiaries, namely Fide/Chatr, Virgin, and Koodo, so we're going to focus on those. Other carriers, like Moblicity, Wind, and Videotron use AWS frequencies (like T-Mobile in the U.S.) and don't currently support the iPhone.

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Canadian media tries to pile on Apple, iBooks pricing-gate

Absent any actual federal action to glom onto, Canadian media decided to get in on the Apple iBook price-fixing headline game in a more creative, almost desperate way.

Like antitrust lawsuits launched by the Department of Justice in the U.S. and the European Union, the Quebec suit claims that Apple colluded with book publishers to artificially set electronic book prices higher than the $9.99 standard Amazon had set for most of its electronic books.

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