WeChat, Line, KakaoTalk battle for users; no clear winners yet in Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia is the battleground for a bruising competition among a set of cute mobile phone applications: chat apps. Up north, the battle has largely been won in their home markets, with Line taking Japan, WeChat in China and KakaoTalk in South Korea.

In SouthEast Asia, however, there is no clear winner yet, said Junde Yu, the vice president for AsiaPacific of App Annie. Line, WeChat and KakaoTalk are battling each other across the region through TV ads, billboards and celebrity endorsements.

“We send our heartfelt condolences out to good old-fashioned SMS,” App Annie said in a blog post on the subject.

Yu said the fight is more than just about getting the top market share in social messaging. The apps are “entry points to dominate mobile.”Continue reading “WeChat, Line, KakaoTalk battle for users; no clear winners yet in Southeast Asia”

Waze app: how to use your phone to outsmart Cebu traffic

“IN 200 meters,” the Waze app on the phone said, “turn right.”

We were headed to Marco Polo Plaza Cebu and were near the Banilad flyover on our way to the IT Park when Waze, the driving application I was running on my phone, gave the direction to turn right.

Waze had determined, by going through its database of roads in Cebu and reports of traffic conditions sent in by users, that the quickest route for us was to go to that neighborhood behind Gaisano Country Mall, pass through Camp Lapu-Lapu and a small side road and emerge on our way up to the hotel.

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Smart network ready for LTE Advanced: Rolando Peña

DAVAO CITY-After hitting LTE Advanced download speeds in excess of 200 megabits per second (Mbps) during tests in Manila, Smart Communications Inc. held another test in Davao City last Saturday.

PLDT and Smart Technology head Rolando Peña said he scheduled the test in Davao to show that the company’s network is able to deliver LTE Advanced throughout the country.

“I want to be able to tell my board of directors that I have personally tested the network up to Davao and that we are able to deliver the next generation LTE on a nationwide basis. To me Davao is the biggest challenge because it traverses several land-sea-land-sea type of combination,” Peña said during the test at the PLDT office in this city.

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Tech as enabling disaster preparedness: APSEMO experience

WERE you among the hundreds of people stranded in parts of Metro Cebu Saturday night? A strong and sudden downpour caused waist-deep flooding in several areas of the metro.

Flooding has now become all too common not just because of the sorry state of our drainage system and our explosive growth but also because of the weather. Climate change is upon us and its bringing disasters along with it.

One thing that empowers communities in dealing with disasters like widespread urban flooding is technology.

Before technologies like mobile phones came in, disaster preparation was a “failure,” said Dr. Cedric Daep, the head of the Albay Public Safety and Emergency Management Office (Apsemo)

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payITfwd launch in Cebu highlights advocacies of ‘ordinary’ Cebuanos

“Sometimes as a journalist,” Sun.Star Cebu reporter Bernadette Parco said during the payITfwd launch in Cebu, “you have to step out and do something for your community.”

For Parco, “doing something” is working with a friend, who is also a journalist, to hand out school bags to poor students to encourage them to continue going to school.

Parco was among 5 people invited to talk about their advocacies during the launch of the payITfwd program of Smart Communications Inc. in Cebu last July 5. The program is meant to support “social good” initiatives through technology.

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1st 30-Day Challenge completed: run at least 5K daily

I just completed a 30-day challenge to run at least 5 kilometers a day. I failed at my attempt to blog daily. One out of 2 isn’t bad for my first month.

The idea behind the 30-Day Challenge is that 30 days, according to Google engineer Matt Cutts, are “just about the right time to add a new habit or subtract a habit.” Cutts popularized the idea of taking on a 30-Day Challenge after he gave a TED talk on the topic.

For June, I decided to taken on 2 challenges: 1) run at least 5 kilometers a day and 2) blog daily. I completed the daily running part; I failed at the daily blogging right in the first week.Continue reading “1st 30-Day Challenge completed: run at least 5K daily”

Taking on 30-day challenges

Thirty days are “just about the right time to add a new habit or subtract a habit,” Google engineer Matt Cutts said in his TED talk in 2011.

“If you really want something badly enough, you can do anything in 30 days,” he said.

By taking on his 30-day challenges, Cutts said he found that “instead of the months flying by, forgotten, the time was much more memorable.”

He also said that “small, sustainable changes” were more likely to stick.

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Learning to build mobile sites, from WAP to JQuery Mobile

Sun.Star Cebu mobile app
EASY, POWERFUL FRAMEWORK. JQuery Mobile allows non-programmers like me to easily and quickly build powerful mobile Web apps and sites. (Photo by Max Limpag)

About ten years ago, I built a WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) mobile news site. This was at a time when the cellphone to aspire for was the Nokia 7110, a slider phone made even cooler when a similar device was used in the Matrix movie.

At that time, the Sun.Star website signed a content agreement with Smart for SMS and WAP news and they needed a WAP mobile site. Nobody among the website staff then knew how to build a WAP site. Being a sucker for always trying to learn new stuff, I volunteered to build it.

I finished the WAP site in time for the launch after a 3-day development marathon done after I finished my work at the Sun.Star Cebu copy desk, fueled by more than a pack of Marlboro reds a day (I was still a heavy smoker then) and guided by a phonebook-thick Wireless Markup Language (WML) reference for the Artus Netgate.

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With Hangouts, Google muscles into messaging sector

Mobile messaging is a fragmented sector. Every few months or so, a messaging app for the phone launches. Unlike SMS, mobile messaging makes use of the Internet for connectivity and offers a multi-media environment with photos, sounds and even animated graphics and virtual stickers.

“K, CU” isn’t enough, we now have to include a graphical smiley, Emoji (an expanded smiley set), or even an animated avatar that reflects our moods. One-on-one texting is old school; group messaging is in.

It’s not surprising that mobile messaging, according to research company Informa, already exceeded texting in 2012. Informa, according to a BBC report, reported 19 billion messages sent per day through messaging apps in 2012, higher than the 17.6 billion text messages process daily.

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Google Chrome simplifies sideloading of Android apps to BlackBerry Z10

One of the key features of the new BlackBerry 10 operating system that runs on newer devices like the Playbook, Z10 and Q10 is its ability to run some Android apps that have been converted into .bar files.

To install these apps, you need to “sideload” the files or transfer these to the phone via a laptop or desktop. If you’re on Windows, you can sideload the files using DDPB or VNBB10.

If you’re on a Mac, it used to be a bit more complicated to install Android apps and required that you type commands on the Terminal.

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