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Going Big

The new Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is large and in charge

The new Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is large and in charge

Published on September 7, 2017

The Galaxy Note series has always been my favorite smartphone series from Samsung. The new features that come have always wowed me every year it gets released, with all that S8 brought to the table earlier this year, Note8 had a lot to live up to. So, I gotta say Note 8 did not disappoint!

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Everything I love from a Galaxy phone, Note8 has it in XL! It’s got the ever present and always great water and dust resistance (IP68), something Samsung was the first to introduce, meaning Note8 can go anywhere you want it to. The display can even be written on while the device is wet so no rain can stop this powerhouse.

Let’s not forget the protection on the inside of the phone! With powerful biometric security locks and authentication options, and a Secure Folder for all your security needs, you can be sure your information inside this phone is for your eyes only. Not only is it bigger but it’s also faster! The powerful performance from the 6GB RAM, 10nm processor, and expandable memory means this phone can do almost anything incredibly fast. Not to mention wireless charging which charges fast and easy!

Infinity Plus One

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With the biggest screen on a Note device, I expected it to be able to do even more, and I was right! The Note series has always been amazing for its ability to not just have a big display, but to do big things with it too. The Note series has also been notable for its ability to have more than one app on display with Multi Window. So what can this 6.3-inch Quad HD+ Super AMOLED Infinity Display do? Along with an Infinity Display, Note8 brings with it an infinite set of possibilities with App Pair. From the Edge Panel, you can create a set up launching two apps at once! You can read the websites and load up videos, or chat with your friends while drawing an animated character to send them. The possibilities are endless!

S Pen Powered Up

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When you think Galaxy Note, you also imagine it with the S Pen! The Note 8 has an even sharper, more refined S Pen with a ton of new features for you to play with. It now has Live Message, letting you communicate visually to tell better stories and send better messages. The Note 8’s S Pen is sharper, letting your drawings be cleaner and more precise. You can share your animated drawings and texts to anyone like you could share a GIF!

And just like in the previous iterations, the Always On Display makes an awesome comeback! This is something I’ve always found really innovative. Sometimes I type in information I need to remember in my phone, but I have to unlock my phone if I wanna check it again. Not with Note 8 though! Memos can be jotted down on the locked screen without having to open the phone.  With a larger screen, you can never have too much space to put your memos on the screen while on the go. The Note 8’s locked screen can hold a hundred notes that can be edited, pinned, and checked with just a simple use of the S Pen.

Double Camera Power

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Finally we’re down to my favorite feature of the new Note 8 - the camera! Or should I say the two cameras! Now Samsung has always had the best cameras for smartphones, but this time Samsung decided put two awesome rear cameras into the Note 8. It has a wide-angle lens for background, scenery shots, and a telephoto lens for sharper close-ups. They even added a cool new feature called Dual Capture Mode, which lets you use both cameras at once to take a shot,  giving you both a more defined close-up and a beautiful picture of the entire background, in just one shot!

Truly the Samsung Note 8 is the biggest thing you’ll see in today’s phones. It’s a big powerhouse phone that lets you do bigger things, whether it be almost infinite possibilities of multitasking or taking beautiful shots in different resolutions and focuses. I’ve never been more excited for a phone in my entire life, and I can’t wait to preorder mine on September 8!

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Up In The Air

What you should know before getting a drone

What you should know before getting a drone

Published on August 3, 2017

Recently drones are becoming a big deal here in the Philippines. Before, news outlets and enthusiasts mostly used them, but these days they’re becoming more and more approachable and allowed for commercial use. Before purchasing a drone though, here are some things that you should know.

1. You'll need a license

That’s right, you can’t just go around flying a drone without all the proper permits. Before you begin flying, you’ll have to register your equipment and get a certificate to fly your drone from the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, or CAAP. The test requires a few things such a passing a few written and practical exams, and at least 5 hours offlying outside of controlled airspace while under supervision.

 

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2. DronesPH is here to help

All of those requirements may sound intimidating, but don’t worry, much like getting a driver’s license,there are many places that can teach you the things that you need to know to pass the test. They’ll even be able to help you pass the first set of requirements from the CAAP.

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3. There are laws regarding drones

Other than obtaining a license, there are some other things to keep in mind when using a drone. These little flying robots can be incredibly invasive to one’s privacy, so it’s always important to remember the following laws:

  • You cannot fly within 30 meters of a person who is not associated with operation of the drone
  • You cannot fly higher than 400 feet (122 meters)
  • You must fly during daylight hours and only fly in good weather conditions
  • You must not fly within 10km of an airport or in areas were aircrafts are operating
  • You may not fly your drone over populated areas

 

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4. They're incredibly fun

With all those things setyou’ll have an amazing time flying a drone! With a camera and a long-lasting battery, you’ll have an eye in the sky. Having a drone is worth it, especially considering how beautiful the Philippines will look from a drone’s eye view.

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Off The Net

The apps with useful offline features

The apps with useful offline features

Published on July 31, 2017

You know what’s the hottest trend to hit mobile Internet apps? It’s their offline features! That may sounds silly, I know, but more and more apps have been adding offline features in order to help them be usable even without data connection. Here are some of the most useful offline features that’ll help you in a pinch.

1.Google Chrome

Google Chrome can download web pages for later web reading. Thanks toits offline feature, you can just load some of your favorite pages into your phone and have up again anytime, even when your Internet is down. You won’t even have to worry much about the page getting updated because it will be updated in the background once you connect to theinternet. By the time you load it up while you’re offline then, the page will be updated. You can find out more I did on an article on web browsers here.

 

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2. Google Maps

You may think that you constantly need GPS in order to get any use out of Google Maps, but that isn’t true at all. Google Maps has features to help you out while you’re offline. For directions, you can get them while online and save them on your phone for offline use, along with step-by-step instructions. For those who just want to view a general area, you can hold an area in the map and it will be saved on to your phone.

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3. Facebook
 

Facebook has a couple of features great for offline social media. For one,you can start posting a status, photo, or video, even when offline. Not to mention Facebook Free Data Mode. After that, it will automatically be uploaded once you gain access to the Internet again.You can also save Facebook posts on your account, which you can check out while offline.

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4. Dropbox

The most important offline features of Dropbox is, the ability to access your files in the cloud. Thanks to Dropbox’s offline access feature, you can read your files whenever you need to. You just need to make the files available offline. This will also allow you to edit your files while offline, and let you save all revisions once you go back online.You can also share your files by generating shareable links.Because of these, Dropbox is a must have app for people on go.

 

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So those were some of my favorite apps with offline features. What’s important about offline features is that they let you use the app, while helping you save on data and battery. Hoping more apps incorporate offline features too.

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Facebook Powerhouse

Facebook keeps getting bigger by doing what everyone is doing

Facebook keeps getting bigger by doing what everyone is doing

Published on June 8, 2017

Facebook many say began the social media craze. Hardly anyone remembers Friendster or Multiply or that Facebook was really just a simplified version of those two websites. It’s been 13 years and Facebook is bigger than ever before. With almost 2 billion users, Facebook doesn’t seem to have any plans of stopping. It’s gotten bigger by absorbing, replicating, or even combining services of other websites and apps. Here are some of the services Facebook has copied.

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When you’re not using a certain app turn it off! Background apps tend to use a lot of energy, especially when there is a large number of them running. So to avoid this always close apps and use ones you really need.

 

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Yahoo! Messenger

Back in the early 2000s Yahoo! Messenger was the instant messaging service. It helped that it used Yahoo!, the email service everyone was using. But in 2008 Facebook introduced their instant messaging service. With this you could message all your Facebook friends easily, which was usually a larger number of people than your Y!M contacts. So once Facebook messenger got bigger, Y!M died out.

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Twitter

Two features that Facebook copied from Twitter were hashtagging and verified accounts. Both were exactly the same as the ones found on Twitter with hashtagging being that clickable word we love and the blue verified check or celebrity or official business accounts. Hashtagging never caught on Facebook itself but, it’s found life in Facebook’s instant posting with Instagram.

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ESPN

If you’ve liked any pages of sports teams you’ll be happy to know Facebook has easily one stopped and added a feature way back that lets you know the details of any game your team is on. It can even tell you the time left or quarter, the schedule of the next game, and the final score. This features was taken from ESPN and other sports websites, but with the benefit of only seeing teams you follow.

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Amazon/Craigslist

Facebook let your spending habits go crazy with its buy and sell features. The first one was the Facebook Group’s Buy and Sell feature which allows you to see prices and message directly the sellers. You can join groups for specific interests and even search for specific things you need to buy. Another feature is ads below videos which tell you which products were used in the ad, letting you easily purchase them.

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Yelp

Thanks to companies, restaurants, stores, using Facebook pages to advertise getting details on a service has now become so much easier with their Facebook including so many features. Like when a store is open, what time they close, how many people have checked in there, where are they located, and even what rating they have. Here users can share their experiences and give 1 – 5 stars depending on how well it went. So all you need to know about a place is as easy as checking its Facebook page.

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Facebook keeps getting bigger, adding more and more convenient services. Things that we wanted to do on various different websites we can now do through Facebook. There seems to be no limit to what Facebook can do. Maybe some day we’ll also see ride sharing or a dating service through Facebook? Who knows? We’ll see.

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Bot Uprising Part 2

Check out these cool brands Messenger bots to make your life easier

Check out these cool brands Messenger bots to make your life easier

Published on May 30, 2017

Sometimes the best way to get your services done and get the answers to your specific needs faster and more efficiently is online. With the growing visibility of various Chatbots that are easily accessible from Facebook Messenger webpage or app, you’ll be making friends with bots in no time!

Smart Communications

With Smart’s bot you can check out all the latest call, text, and data promos. You can even check out your prepaid balance real easy. Finally the bot can even look at your postpaid account to check up on your postpaid bill! Wow this bot is really helpful for managing your account!

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CNN

The top news agency has the chatbot set up to message you the top stories of the day, every day when you subscribe. You can even ask it to send you top stories on topics on specify or Editor’s Picks for some particularly interesting stories and articles!

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TheScore

This sports news group has a chatbot that’ll set you up with all the latest news on your favorite sports teams. It’ll regularly update you on your teams per game and other important events. Just select which teams you want follow and TheScore will do the rest!

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Kayak

This travel buddy is particularly great. Without leaving your newsfeed you can look for flights and hotels with the best prices. All you’ll need to share is the destination and travel date, then voila! Kayak’s got your back.

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The bot uprising doesn’t sound so bad now does it? Try out these convenient bots, just on Messenger or the Facebook web page!

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Siri, Google Now, and now Bixby!

How much data do these mobile assistants use?

How much data do these mobile assistants use?

Published on April 12, 2017

Mobile assistants are becoming the biggest thing these days! When Apple first rolled out Siri she was an object of praise and admiration. Imagine having a smart AI to help you with menial tasks.

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The AI has become a mainstay in Apple’s products since iPhone 4S. Google followed suit last year with their own mobile assistant, Google Now. For Android users you can download Google Now at the Google Play Store if its not yet integrated in your phone.

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Now even Samsung wants in on that action, getting Bixby out on their latest phone. It’s an exciting addition for Samsung users, especially considering Android’s customizability. Combining this with a Mobile Assistant gives you a whole new level of flexibility.

Let’s go back to Siri for a moment. Siri is an interesting Assistant thanks especially to its clever voice recognition and interpretation. It’s more than a search engine or scheduling device, it learns from you the more you use it! The question is though, how much data does it use?

Ars Technica noted that Siri used an average of 63KB per task or question. Continued use of around 20 tasks a day will likely consume 1.2MB. That’s not a lot considering how helpful it is!

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Google Now uses a bit less data. A task is known to consume around 33KB. This is great considering it incorporates Google Search into its systems as well. The drawback is that it’s less versatile than Siri, limited mostly in part to the Pixel Phone’s systems.

This brings us to Samsung’s mobile assistant on the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+: Bixby. Bixby can do all the basic voice recognition and interaction, but it adds something the other 2 don’t: screen interaction. Bixby, unlike Siri and Google Now, knows what’s on the screen and incorporates the camera with Bixby Visual. Bixby can your camera to search location, shopping nearby, give you details, and even extract text for you to copy and save.

 

 

No word on how much data it uses, but right now it’s looks worth any amount of data consumption! You can read more about Bixby and the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ here.

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Live Streaming On Mobile Data

How much data does live streaming use?

How much data does live streaming use?

Published on April 7, 2017

When it comes to events that happen in your day-to-day life, sometimes taking videos isn’t enough. Sure you can video a cool event and then upload it to Facebook a few hours later when the wi-fi is faster, but sometimes you want to share the experience instantly.

These days, it’s not enough to just record what’s happening. You need to livestream it too!

Two of the best tools for livestreaming are Periscope and Facebook Live. But how much data does each app use?

Krisha De did a test on it here and found that the Facebook app uses 16.2 MB per minute while Periscope uses 5.7 MB per minute.

Both apps have their advantages. Periscope uses less data and can be connected to other social media apps like Twitter. So if you’re aiming for a faster stream and want to hit different social media sites Periscope is for you!

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Facebook uses more data but lets you reach a wider audience, and has the benefit of sending your friends notifications when you go live! Not to mention you’ll get a feel of everyone’s reactions thanks to Facebook’s reacts. So if you want to gauge reactions and really inform people when you’re streaming, use Facebook!

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For Facebook Page users there’s third option! Facebook has an app called Facebook Page that lets you manage your FB Page from there. So if you’re livestreaming from that app you actually consume less data at 5.3 MB per minute. So if you want your fans to be informed, use Pages. However this is if you have a Facebook page. For those who don’t, it’s best to stick to Facebook!

So now, whenever you witness something cool happening don’t be afraid of  draining your data, because now you know which app to use and when!

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Outside The Box

The Samsung Galaxy S8 Reinvents what a Smartphone can be.

The Samsung Galaxy S8 Reinvents what a Smartphone can be.

Published on March 30, 2017

I was excited for the Unbox Your Phone event for Samsung Galaxy S8, because as a big fan of smartphones and gadgets, I knew Samsung was one of the biggest innovators. Every time they make an announcement there is always a big new reinvention or feature. When the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ were unveiled, I wasn’t disappointed.

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We imagine a smartphone as glass screen surrounded by a white or black border of metal. Samsung’s new Infinity Display goes beyond edge-to-edge. It completely removed the edges and angles, creating a completely immersive experience. S8 comes in 5.8-inch while S8+ comes in 6.2-inch, but it’s more than just a bigger screen, it’s a display that feels like it’s going beyond the curved borders of the phone.

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You’re probably wondering, “okay but what about selfies/picture quality?” Well don’t you worry the device’s 12MP Dual Pixel with F1.7 lens and multi-frame capability means that it doesn’t matter if your subject is moving or in low-light settings, your photos are gonna look beautiful to compliment that Infinity Display.

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For you tech nerds out there you’ll be happy to know the S8 and S8+ pack some serious hardware. The IP68-certified phone is safe from dust and water, allowing you to take this with you without having to worry about small amounts of water or dirt. Not to mention 64GB of storage, from S7’s 32GB, expandable up to 256GB. The battery is also incredibly energy efficient with 3000mAh for the S8 and 3500mAh for the S8+ plus a 1mn mobile processor that boosts multitasking capabilities while saving energy.

Another great introduction is the mobile assistant Bixby. Bixby isn’t your every day mobile assistant. Bixby Voice does all the usual things like voice commands and making schedules, but the highlight feature is Bixby Visual. You can use your camera to search location, shopping nearby, give you details, and even extract text for you to copy and save.

Finally Samsung Galaxy S8 reinvents the smartphone with Samsung DeX. All you need is the DeX dock, a mouse, a keyboard, and a screen and Bixby will transform into a desktop computer! Thanks to Samsung DeX, you can do anything a mobile phone and a laptop can do, all from portable items you can carry around. It’s like having a Nintendo Switch for phones!

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So what’s an “unboxed” phone? It’s a phone whose display is immersive and infinite. It’s a phone with a mobile assistant that can do amazing things with the touch of a button. It’s a phone that isn’t just a phone but a computer in your pocket. It’s the Samsung Galaxy S8. The Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ are available for pre-order on April 17 to April 29, and I can’t wait to pick up mine!

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Marty the Smarty