Canadian iPhone users will finally be able to use Apple Pay this fall, according to the Wall Street Journal. Sources say Apple is in discussions with six major Canadian banks, including Royal Bank of Canada, Toronto-Dominion Bank and National Bank of Canada, to launch its mobile payment service in the country in November. The big sticking points for many of the banks, though, are the fees Apple would take from every transaction, as well as security issues around authenticating cards, which has been a problem for some U.S. banks. If everything pans out, it would make Canada the first territory to get Apple Pay outside of the U.S. The WSJ notes that Canada's high iPhone penetration is one reason Apple may be focusing on it. iPhones make up a third of all smartphones in Canada, compared to just 20 percent globally, according to research company Catalyst.

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Free. It's a price we love. Ironically, free usually comes at a price. Today, that price, is the loss of Amazon's try-before-you-buy TestDrive service for Android apps. It turns out, with more and more apps being free (at least to download), there was less demand for a service that let you test 'em out in the browser/virtual machine. Makes sense. Accordingly, Amazon has pulled the TestDrive feature from the appstore -- this has no effect on any apps that used it, just the feature is gone. The downside being there's no longer a way to (easily) check out apps that don't use the free-to-play/freemium model on Amazon's store any more. But, coming full circle... that's the price you pay for having more free apps, right?

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Remember that crappy, top-down Halo game that came out a few years ago, Spartan Assault? Well, it got a sequel that's available on Steam, Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, and as weird as it sounds, even iOS. Anyhow, Halo: Spartan Strike will run you $5.99 or, if you're using one of Apple's mobile gizmos or a PC, you can grab the first game and the new one in a bundle for $9.99. Spartan Strike's story is a simulation (much like the last one was) set during the events of Halo 2 -- but there's a twist. Remember the cool new enemies from Halo 4, the Prometheans? They're in this game too, which raises more than a few questions regarding its fiction and timeline.

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Pull to refresh in Chrome for iOS

Don't like that Chrome makes you use two hands to comfortably surf the web on your iPhone 6? Your life just got a bit easier. Google has updated Chrome for iOS so that you can pull down to not only refresh web pages, but open and close tabs. At this rate, you might only have to reach up when you want to type in a site address. There's also a Today View launcher widget that includes voice search, suggested answers for common searches and support for password managers like 1Password and LastPass. All told, you should spend more time browsing and less time stretching your fingers -- that's a worthwhile upgrade in our books.

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US Restores Diplomatic Relations With Cuba

Now that the political relations between the US and Cuba have taken a turn for the better, American companies are pushing out marketing schemes to fit the bill. Today, Boost Mobile, Sprint's prepaid branch, announced a monthly plan that's geared toward customers who have loved ones in Cuba. The caveat, unfortunately, is that it's only available in Miami right now -- but the strategy makes sense, since it's a city with a dense population of Cuban-Americans. If you're there, $50 a month gets you unlimited text and 15 talk minutes to Cuba at 33 cents per minute -- which the company claims to be the lowest rate among prepaid carriers. Boost's Cuba Monthly Connection deal also includes 5GB of data and all-you-can-have texting and calling within the US, while $10 more monthly doubles your data.

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OnePlus I'm hoping...

Cyanogen has revealed that it will pre-install Microsoft apps on its modded Android OS later this year, including Bing, Skype, OneDrive, OneNote, Outlook and Microsoft Office. The news doesn't come as a huge surprise, since it was rumored that Redmond had purchased a minority stake in Cyanogen with the express intention of bundling its software. As part of the deal, Microsoft will also create "native integrations" on Cyanogen OS, presumably to make all its apps play well together. Microsoft has avoided porting its productivity software over to Android and iOS for quite awhile, but finally made the jump earlier this year.

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Meerkat

Can an Android launch save Meerkat? SXSW must seem like a long time ago for the folks behind the livestreaming app that took Austin by storm back in March. It was just a few weeks later that Twitter launched Periscope, which, thanks to the social network's clout and a better user experience, has quickly become the streaming app of choice. Right now both services are iOS only, though, and Meerkat is hoping to hook the hundreds of millions of Android users on its app with a public beta launch.

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Google Drive's share-on-upload feature

Can't wait to share a photo as soon as it hits the internet? Google has your back. The company has updated Drive for Android so that you can start sharing files from the notification that your upload is done -- you don't even have to launch the app to get things going. The update also adds support for 23 more languages, including local Chinese and French dialects. Just be ready to wait a while for this no-waiting feature, as Google says the update will be rolling out over the next week.

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kiwanja_uganda_texting_2

In Sub-Saharan Africa, mobile wallets are a huge deal. While it's been that way for years, the World Bank's latest Global Financial Inclusion database gives us solid details on just how prevalent they are in the region. According to the report, 12 percent of adults (64 million) in the area have mobile wallets or what Africans call "mobile money accounts," which aren't connected to banks. Half of those people have traditional bank accounts, but the half rely solely on their phones for their financial needs. It seems to be especially popular in Kenya, where 58 percent of adults access their money through a mobile device.

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Yahoo sign at night

Yahoo may have a way to restore some of its former glory in the messaging world. Tipsters for The Information claim that the company is building a mobile app that includes text messaging, Snapchat-style recorded video and elements of live video apps like Meerkat and Skype -- think of it as a hedge that covers all the hot trends at the same time. While you would only broadcast streams to your contacts at first, live streaming would eventually extend to communities like your fantasy sports league.

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Google's making it even easier to track down your misplaced mobile device. While Android Device Manager already exists to help find lost phones and tablets, just getting to your account's ADM menu often requires a search of its own. But Find My Phone is as simple as a web query. In fact, that's literally what you're doing. Simply open a Google omnibox and type "find my phone" to display a map that reveals the phone's current resting place. If the device is nearby, you can also opt to ring your cell. Unfortunately, Find My Phone does not allow you to lock or erase your device should it be stolen or, say, left at the local pub -- you will still need Android Device Manager to do that.

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If you're looking to install some wireless charging tech at home, and you fancy IKEA's home furnishing aesthetics, you'll soon be in luck. The Scandinavian company will begin selling its wireless charging collection that's already on shelves in Europe here in the US by "late spring." This means you'll soon be able to purchase nightstands, lamps and standalone pads that can juice up your device just by laying it down -- if it's compatible with the Qi wireless charging standard, of course. If not, IKEA has compatible cases for iPhone (4, 5, 5s, and 6) and Samsung Galaxy (S3, S4 and S5) phones, too. When you stop in to purchase that new lamp, table or pad, be sure to nab the accessory for an additional $15-$25, depending on the model of your phone.

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LG's unnamed Windows Phone for Verizon

LG pledged continuing support for Windows phones over a year ago. As you may have noticed, though, its actual support since then has been... less than enthusiastic. That could be changing shortly, as Neowin claims to have an image of a Windows-powered LG phone for Verizon. There's precious little revealed by the picture, but the tile sizes, interface and generic design suggest that it's a mid-size, budget-oriented Windows Phone 8.1 device -- sorry, you'll probably have to keep waiting if you want a giant Windows 10 flagship. If this image is accurate, though, you can probably expect to see this device on shelves before Microsoft's newest operating system arrives later in the year.

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Once again, the third time's the charm for Microsoft's Surface lineup -- for the most part. Last year's Surface Pro 3 was the software giant's most compelling implementation yet of its hybrid laptop/tablet concept. Now we have the Surface 3, the third entry in its cheaper Surface lineup. And while it may look similar to its predecessors, it's actually a completely different beast. It's a $499 Surface tablet that can actually run all of the Windows programs you're used to, not just Windows 8 apps. And to Windows RT, the stripped down version of Microsoft's OS that previously powered the non-Pro Surface tablets, all I have to say is: So long, goodbye. Don't let the door hit you on the way out! By giving up on Windows RT, Microsoft has finally managed to make a decent cheap Surface.

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Motorola Droid Turbo

It may seem like mobile viruses are everywhere, but Verizon would beg to differ. The carrier has issued a report on data breaches which finds that the security threats to your phone are generally "overblown." The total number of security holes that have been used for exploits, regardless of platform, is "negligible" -- whatever device you use, you probably aren't at risk as long as you use common sense.

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