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The Lite Side

These Lite versions of apps to help you save data!

These Lite versions of apps to help you save data!

Published on May 15, 2017

Social media and the internet is a place with constant updates. You can miss out on a lot if you’re low on data. Luckily here are three Lite versions of your favorite social apps to help keep you updated.

Facebook Lite

Facebook is great because it offers so many ways of keeping track of your account. A popular one is Facebook Lite.. It is a separate downloaded app which is much smaller than the main Facebook app, so its good if you also want to save up on memory space.The FB Lite sample (left) versus the FB (right) shows a simpler interface and larger font. It also doesn’t auto-play videos, only playing them when you tap on it.

Facebook

YouTube Go

YouTube Go hasn’t been released yet but it’s looking to be a great extension to YouTube. It most likely will be a separate app that’s smaller than the current YouTube app. Currently, there is no release date for it but it remains to be widely anticipated. Why? It’s because the app lets you manage your data usage while still being able to watch quality videos. You can get notifications from your favorite channels and even download your favorite videos! The highlight feature is that you can adjust the quality of videos you watch and upload so you can decide how much data you will use for each one, and even offers offline viewing.

YouTube Go

 

Twitter Lite

Twitter Lite just rolled out and unlike the other 2 separate apps you don’t need to download anything. This one works on your mobile web browser from mobile.twitter.com. Loading the page uses only 1MB and you can go into more data saving with the data saver mode that doesn’t load images unless you press “view photo.”

 

TWitter Lite


With all these Liteversions, it’s easier to go online and stay updated through social media without hurting your mobile data subscription!

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Data Saving While Web Surfing

Mobile Browsers that will help you save your data.

Mobile Browsers that will help you save your data.

Published on May 2, 2017

A lot of browsers have unique features that allow you to level up your internet surfing experience. Each browser has strengths and weaknesses that vary depending on your needs. However a lot of these features happen to consume a lot of data. For example, Reader Mode in Safari has a tendency to download whole files, thus consuming extra amounts of data. If you’re more liberal with your data use it’s not a big problem, but if you’re the type to want to conserve data then you might want to explore using a different kind of browser.

Remember when I talked about Data Compression? Well, there are browsers available now that can allow you to conserve, load pages faster without affecting the way you surf. There are two apps that come to mind, both available on iOS and Android: Opera Mini and Google Chrome.

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Opera Mini compresses data, tells you how much data is consumed and better yet, even tells how much data was saved. It has two modes. High is for 60-70% compression, and if you really wanna save data there’s Extreme for 90% compression. If you want to be even more detailed you can adjust the settings for image quality, text wrapping, etc. These help the amount of compressed data. Opera Mini is great if you want to save data, but still have a quality browsing experience tailored to your preferences.

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Google Chrome is another great app and chances are if you’re using an Android phone it’s probably already installed. Chrome has a Data Saver feature which compresses all necessary parts of a web page like the layout and such, and doesn’t load things too data heavy like videos or images unless you choose to.It’s incredibly simple to use, just go to Settings, then Data Saver, and switch it on. It’s that simple! Not to mention Google Chrome has a lot of additional compatibility with most other Google Apps, meaning that it doesn’t cost extra data to use apps like Google Drive or Google Maps versus if you used another browser along with the Google apps.

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Now those are my choices for data saving browsers! Have fun surfing the internet without having to break your data promo!

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Private Chats

The most secure chat apps for protecting your convos.

The most secure chat apps for protecting your convos.

Published on April 25, 2017

In this age of information it’s important to remember that it should also be an age of privacy. A lot of information gets exchanged over chats and sometimes it’s easy to take things for granted.

For online chatting it’s a bit more complicated since what matters is encryption. For those unfamiliar with encryption, its basically when someone other than the intended recipient views the message, it gets all scrambled up and unreadable. Here are some of the best apps for convo encryption.

WhatsApp

WhatsApp is the most popular Chat App for private end-to-end encryption with not even the hosted server being able to read your messages. For private convos this one has over a billion users and is considered the safest and simplest to use.


WhatsApp

 

Viber

A popular chat app here is another excellent choice for privacy concerns. A drawback though for iOS users is that it has difficult time encrypting attachments that were not taken with the app, and are saved from the phone itself. Android users don’t have this problem.

 

Viber

 

iMessage

If you’re an iOS user who uses iMessage a lot then you’re in the clear! iOS features strong end-to-end encryption when it sends to other iOS users. So if you correspond on private chats with other iOS users then you’re perfectly fine not downloading the other apps.

 

iMessage


Telegram

A great feature in Telegram is that when you delete something on your side of the chat, it is ordered to be deleted on the other side of the chat as well, and will notify if it has. This is a handy feature not present in the other chat apps. Another unique bonus is the self-destruct feature you can add when sending messages or attachments, deleting the file on both sides after a set amount of time.

 

Telegram

 

So protect your privacy with these handy chat apps.  Feel safe when sending your silly messages or deep dark secrets to a friend. Just watch out for screenshots.

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Ingress

A R G ka ba?

Other Augmented Reality Games that add flavor to life

Other Augmented Reality Games that add flavor to life

Published on March 31, 2017

So you probably already tried playing Pokemon Go, only one of the biggest Augmented Reality Games to hit the market. In case you’ve gotten tired of the game, don’t fret! There are other AR games out there that are also pretty fun &exciting. Check out these 3 AR games that can spice up life!

Ingress

Before Pokémon Go, Niantic had Ingress. When you play this location based game join either the Resistance or the Enlightened.Both sides battle to control landmarks in the world where portals thatemit  an energy that can be used for mind control exists. Are you looking for a great story and a chance to play with a community of other players? Then Ingress is the game for you!


Clandestine: Anomaly

This game starts out with your phone being hacked so already the excitement picks up. An alien virus has crashlanded on your neighborhood and you have to save it by fighting aliens and establishing bases to protect locations. The game is very story driven, making players search for clues in the area in order to advance through the story. Check out this game for a fun puzzle solving adventure with a little action.


Zombies, Run!

Zombies, Run! is more than your average zombie game. It’s actually a fitness tool that imagines you as a runner for a group of zombie apocalypse survivors. You’re given missions to accomplish as a narrator tells you to run or take a break when zombies come after you. The game includes a cool soundtrack and story that’s sure to get your blood pumping.

Now those are some of my favorite AR games besides Pokemon Go. It’s really great that you can add a little adventure to your life with just a phone and a bit of data. Based on my usage, due to the use location services these games consume around 20-35MB of data per hour. What other AR games do you like?

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New Mobile Games You Should Check Out

Tired of Clash Royale and Pokémon Go? Check out these awesome new games.

Tired of Clash Royale and Pokémon Go? Check out these awesome new games.

Published on March 07, 2017

Hey there gamers on the go! I’ve been playing a lot of new games lately and I thought I might share some of my favorites along with how much data they use.

Shadowverse

If you’re a fan of card games like Hearthstone then this is a new one for you! Shadowverse was created in Japan by some very dedicated video game designers who’ve also created some Japanese exclusive hits like Rage of Bahamut and Granblue Fantasy. The game is relatively new so it’s very easy to get into, matches only take around 15-20 minutes.. Play against players around the world with their own set of cards and unique strategies, with over 7 million downloads the game has a thriving and fun community. When I played it I only used around 7.5-10MB an hour depending on matches.

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Pokémon Duel

Pokemon Duel is another Pokémon game that was low-key released around a month ago. It plays like a board game where you have 6 Pokémon figures and your task is to get to the goal on your opponent’s side of the board, while protecting your side as well. It’s a game that utilizes luck and skill. A great treat for Pokémon fans everywhere! When I played it, I monited my usage and saw that Pokémon Duel uses 14 MB of data per hour.

Pokemon Duel


Star Wars: Force Arena

Another franchise created from into a strategy game is Star Wars: Force Arena! This game has you playing as characters from the series and leading them into battle alongside rebels or Stormtroopers as you play as either the Rebels or the Empire. You can play as characters from the original trilogy or even new ones from Rogue One. If you pick this up take note it uses around 9.8 MB of data per hour.

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Mobile Legends: Bang Bang

This is one you’ve probably heard of already. Mobile Legends: Bang Bang is the latest addition to the growing number of MOBAs, or Multiplayer Online Battle Arena, and it’s certainly rising in popularity. The game emphasizes quick matchmaking, quick battles, and the opportunity to play with your friends. Mobile Legends is about starting up the game and playing a quick match or two for 15-30 minutes. It’s fun, entertaining and easy to pick up(but hard to put down.) Depending on how long a match runs you’ll end up spending 10-15MB of data.

Mobile Legends 1
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The great thing about these mobile games is that a lot of them really are great online and meant to be played while out and about with and against other people. Online matches take less than an hour so it’s great to play them casually. So check these out and maybe I’ll see some of you in a match!

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WHY IS THIS BIRD IN MY COMMENTS?

How Trash Doves became a meme sensation!

HOW TRASH DOVES BECAME A MEME SENSATION

Published on March 07, 2017

So by now you've probably seen the famous head thrashing purple dove flood your Facebook. If you haven't, let me fix that.

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This dove has stickers for all purposes from sending a compliment to someone cute to just serving up some freshly-baked bread puns. People have also been flooding comments sections with this headbanging bird.

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No one probably expected the bread loving bird to get this meme-able. But where did it come from?

Well the dove themed sticker set actually debuted in January 31st, created by Florida artist SydWeiler. She told the Guardian she had based them on pigeons stating "they're like beautiful doves, except they eat trash."

 

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It first became viral in Thailand early February where it even earned itself a music video that hit 3.7 million views in 5 days.

It was on Thai news outlets and all over Thai Facebook. By February 11 English-speaking Facebook caught up. After that it blew up all over the internet, appearing on Twitter and Reddit as well.SydWeiler was surprised how well the sticker set was received, not expecting all the attention.

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No sticker set has been this meme-able since Pusheen! And on even better news, SydWeiler is now working on another sticker set, this one based on raccoons.

 

What’s your favorite sticker set? Tweet me @askmartysmarty to let me know!

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4 WAYS TO SPOT FAKE NEWS

Can you tell a hoax when you see one?

4 Ways to Spot Fake News

Published on December 23, 2016

Can you tell a hoax when you see one?

Last time, we talked about internet etiquette. Today, I'm back to address another issue in social media-land: the spread of FAKE NEWS.


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It's prevalent in Facebook and Twitter nowadays, and for some reason, many people have fallen prey to them! This results in misunderstanding and needless argument that could be prevented if we all begin to be more mindful of what we read.

In the Philippines, the most popular fake news sites include Adobo Chronicles, Agila News, Filipino Freethinker, Mosquito Press and The Professional Heckler. Worldwide, you have sites like The Onion. These sites use satire in their articles, which means that while they use real-life (usually trending) events or people to tell the story, much of it is made up or twisted to make a point. Satirical pieces are mostly opinion pieces or commentaries, if not written simply for entertainment purposes.
But it's not all satire. There are sites or groups that simply make money off of fake news (through ads on their website). These websites are prone to use clickbait marketing. They write what they think people want to read, and it doesn't matter if it's not true.

Don't waste your precious data reading or sharing false news! Here's a simple four-step guide to help you identify them:


  1. Check your source

    Where do you usually get your news from? An online newspaper? Your social media feed? Online groups? Wherever you may be getting them, it pays to be sure!


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    Are the reports written by anonymous authors? Fishy! Have they been around long enough? It matters, too. Is it openly satire? When in doubt, check the About. Websites that use satire are almost always easy to identify—just look at what their "about" page or tagline says. Adobo Chronicles explicitly states that they "spice up" news with figments of their imagination. Agila News' tagline claims that they won't let "facts get in the way of a good story".

    Was a particular news site flagged for reporting false news before? Hmm, research, research, research!

  2. Read the article, not just the headline
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    Of course, a one-liner is much more convenient to read and react to than a full article but then again, you lose sight of context. The point of the article may be completely different than what you'd assume just by reading the headline. If it's too good (or too nasty) to be true, there's a high chance it is.

  3. Check the date (and other details)

    Real news can be used to misinform, too. I've lost count of the many "Walang pasok" announcements that have been re-shared and recycled from past years' typhoon updates and holidays. (Spell P-A-A-S-A.)


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    Images are also often the subject of contention. There are instances when a news report includes the wrong image. It could have been for two events that may be similar in a way but held in different times, for different purposes or by different parties.

    A quick way to check this is to do a Google image search with the image you're suspecting. Simply click on the camera icon and paste/upload the image, hit search and voila! You get links to articles or pages where the image was used.

  4. Check the source's source

    Another way to tell if a news site is reputable is by the sources they use. Unlike celebrity news which uses unnamed "insiders", the hard news section needs to name its sources for credibility. If you want to know how reliable your source is, find out who their source is!

    These are just some of the ways to help spot a fake.


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Did you know? Facebook will also start banning fake news sites. This does not mean we stop doing our part. We still have to be vigilant to help stop them from spreading.

Do you have more tips to share? Feel free to comment!

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My favorite Kdramas you can stream right now

Here are 6 Kdramas available on iflix to binge-watch and give you feels

My favorite Kdramas you can stream right now

Published on March 10, 2017

Korean drama has been in mainstream Philippine media for as long as I remember, but it’s never been more convenient now that it’s all available online to stream, (see: Downloading vs. Streaming) all thanks to video-on-demand service, iflix.

iflix, the world’s leading Internet TV service for emerging markets, offers viewers a MASSIVE library of award-winning shows and movies to choose from -- like top Korean content producers and distributors, KBS Media, iMBC, SBS, and CJ E&M -- to give subscribers the most popular and varied Korean entertainment available online.

Check out some of my recommendations that you can watch on iflix right now:

1. Descendants Of The Sun

DOTS

Descendants of the Sun has been a first in many friends’ recommendations for a K-drama newbie like me. The series revolves around the relationship between Korean army captain Yoo Shi Jin and doctor Kang Mo Yeon. The couple’s duty as civil servants complicates, but also, advances the prospect of a stable and consistent romantic relationship between the two. This drama was the first series I watched that made me feel all the feels. #Hugot

2. Healer

Healer

If you’re into crime dramas, Healer is the way to go. Protagonist Seo Jung Hoo under the alias “Healer” runs illegal errands for a living. Through his undercover job, he encounters news reporter Chae Young Shin whom he later discovers is linked to larger conspiracy involving his own family history. Though action-packed, Healer has a ton of funny and light-hearted moments, which is how I began crushing on Chae Young Shin and her quirky antics. Yikes.

3. Kill Me Heal Me

Kill Me Heal Me

I’ve noticed a lot of medical drama has been emerging in the k-drama scene, but Kill Me, Heal Me has been tagged as an essential by a lot of fans. Kill Me, Heal Me deals with the challenges and perplexities of Dissociative Identity Disorder in lead character Cha Do Hyeon. Do Hyeon tries to come to terms with his condition with the help of psychiatric resident Oh Ri Jin who eventually falls in love with one of him. The way actor Ji Sung excellently portrays the mix-up in Cha Do Hyeon’s multiple identities, and how the whole element of self-searching unfolds alongside his romantic relationships really got me attached to the series.

4. The King 2 Hearts

King 2 Heart

The King 2 Hearts takes on a more serious tone because a large part of the story deals with the tensions and political compromises between North and South Korea. The drama portrays the trials of the arranged marriage between South Korean monarchic prince Lee Jae Ha and North Korean military instructor Kim Hang Ah. While the engagement between Jae Ha and Hang Ah reveals cultural differences between the North and the South, it also furthers a story on reconciliation and love persisting in a landscape of political turmoil. Doesn’t this sound like a Shakespearean classic?

5. The Legend of the Blue Sea

Legend of the Blue Sea

The Legend of the Blue Sea is another big one! It tells the complicated crossover of worlds between con artist Heo Joon Jae and a mermaid of the old era Shim Chung. This story of a mermaid falling in love with a human as she adjusts herself to the modern day human practices sounds quite typical, but the major selling point of this drama for me is really the solid build up of the romance between Joon Jae and Shim Chung! A lot of the sweet and funny moments really gave a fresh take on its genre. Not to mention the historical backdrop that also got me hooked through the whole series.

6. Train to Busan

Train to Busan

But of course, romance doesn’t have monopoly over heartrending K-dramas. Train to Busan is also worth mentioning in this list because of its unexpected take on the zombie apocalypse genre. What was supposed to be a smooth journey to Busan for Seok Woo and his daughter Soo An, turns out to be bloody run for survival from a nationwide virus outbreak. What ultimately brings everyone to tears is the movie’s focus on Seok Woo’s distant but loving relationship with his daughter.

Can't wait to catch these K-razy dramas now on iflix.com, can you? You'll also be excited to know that you can enjoy quality viewing on your iOS or Android devices, laptops or desktops and even on your TV via Chromecast or HDMI cable! "Cool! But what about data?", you ask. We'll break it down for you: While each K-drama episode is a bit longer than your average Western drama (lasting around 50 – 60 minutes), streaming content or Download & Watching Offline will only consume around 170 – 190 MB of data. Something like Train to Busan, being almost 2 hours long, only consumes less than 400 MB. Binge-watching does affect your data plan, but don't worry, check out my tips on monitoring your usage so you're not left hanging if data runs out while getting all them feels (and thrills!)

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Marty the Smarty