Think mobile

In announcing his company’s purchase of Oculus VR, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the social networking giant now has more than a billion active mobile users a month.

“Mobile is the platform of today, and now we’re also getting ready for the platforms of tomorrow,” Zuckerberg said to explain the purchase of the virtual reality company.

That’s stunning numbers from a company excoriated in the past for not getting mobile. After their initial debacle with taking a hybrid HTML5 approach to mobile, Zuckerberg turned things around and had the company release native apps for the major mobile platforms.

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Mobile now

MOBILE isn’t the future; it’s the present. That’s the gist of recently released Internet usage reports.

Last month, more Americans used smartphones and tablets than desktops or laptops to access the Internet, according to a study by analytics company comScore.

Also last month, Nielsen released its Digital Consumer Report that found, among many other things, that Americans in 2013 spent an average of 34 hours every month using apps or mobile web browsers on their phones as opposed to 27 hours using the Internet on personal computers. Continue reading

Looking ahead: 2014 in tech, startups

Over the holidays, I’d often find our youngest kid, 10-year-old Lennon, hunched on the sofa watching YouTube episodes of a cartoon series on the phone. Once in a while I’d offer to download the episodes for him so he could watch it on TV. “Naah,” he’d say. Watching on the phone was enough for him.

Look around and you’ll see people, mostly the young, starting to use phones and tablets more and more for most anything – playing games, watching videos, listening to music, reading stuff and connecting through social networks.

Will 2014 be the year of the mobile shift – when more people use portable devices rather than desktops to access the Internet – in the Philippines? It has happened in many countries abroad. But are we there yet? I think momentum is building for the shift but 2014 may be a bit too soon. Give it a year or two.

The mobile revolution will be an exciting and disruptive time that will have profound implications across industries. It is this mobile shift and how we seize the opportunities that come with it that I look forward to the most this year. Continue reading

Mobile shift

There is a big chance you’re reading this on your phone. A bigger chance this year than in 2012, anyway.

A common pathway to this article would be from social networks like Facebook and Twitter, services that people are increasingly logging into through apps on their phones.

This year, an article in the BBC announced, is the year “we all went mobile.”

And it isn’t just about using small screen and portable devices, it’s about a state of mind, said the article written by business reporter Matthew Wall. Continue reading

Cebu developers harness tech to help in Yolanda rescue, relief efforts

THE day after super typhoon Yolanda battered Cebu, developer Albert Padin of Sym.ph went to their office on Escario St. to play games and work on some personal projects. Saturdays, Padin said, are days when their team does hackathons on projects that do not involve their day-to-day jobs.

While combing through news and social network updates, Padin read a call on geekli.st for developers to pitch in coding skills to build a system to help in relief efforts. Since he already had a team that was ready to build things, Padin said they decided to hold a hackathon to build a website to help in relief efforts.

They started the hackathon at 2 p.m. on Saturday with the goal of wrapping up by 5 p.m. They finished at 10 p.m. instead because they worked on 2 things: 1) a system that can help track the search for missing persons and 2) a site that can centralize relief and rescue information in the different areas ravaged by super typhoon Yolanda.

They later closed the person finder service and redirected people to the Google People Finder website. Padin said the Google system was better and the people running it had experience using it in previous disasters. Continue reading

The LG G2 is a great high-end Android phone

THE first thing that strikes you when you turn on the LG G2 is how beautiful the display is. It is sharp and vibrant and comes on such a big screen. It’s almost realistic you’d find yourself gingerly pressing the glass.

And as you start using what is currently LG’s flagship device, the next thing that will strike you is how responsive it is. Opening apps, switching between applications and moving between screens feel fluid and seamless.

And as the day wears on, you’d find the phone’s large battery capacity kicking in, allowing you to use the device for an entire day without having to recharge.

I tried the LG G2 for several weeks and found the phone, which comes with Android Jelly Bean, a joy to use. Continue reading

New #30DayChallenge: Write in Markdown

I’ve always wanted to learn and start using Markdown in writing. For some time, it hovered near the top of my to-do list but I never got around to actually starting to use it.

I use a Markdown-capable online writing tool – Editorially – but I never used it for that. I used it purely to manage articles and to allow me to work on a post in multiple workstations.

When I write, I compose only in plain text. As soon as I’d finish the article, I’d go over the post again and manually code the HTML tags for blog or website publishing.

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Elementary OS, my dear PC

IT used to be that you’d never find the words “Linux” and “easy to use” in the same sentence.

Linux, to the unfamiliar, is an operating system – the basic software that allows you to use your computer. It’s like Windows (although that comparison probably made a lot of its developers and users cringe).

The main difference between Linux and Windows is the way these are developed. Windows is a proprietary system built by a single company- Microsoft. Linux is built by a global community of users under an open source license – a framework that encourages sharing and collaboration.

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Elementary, my dear PC

After trying out Elementary OS for a day, I decided to make it my main home desktop operating system. Elementary OS is an Ubuntu Linux-based distro that has a beautiful and simple interface and a nice selection of default apps. It also seems to respond well to modest hardware. If you’re a first-time Linux user, this is the distro to try. #Linux #elementaryOS #Ubuntu