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Free services Mobile

Enhance your mobile site with brow.si

Brow.si website addon
Brow.si is a website add-on that enhances your mobile site by adding a flyout bar and makes it act a bit more native and increase engagement with readers.

Brow.si is a free website add-on that enhances your mobile site by making it act a bit more native and increase engagement with readers.

When viewed on a mobile browser, a website that enables the brow.si add-on will have a flyout bar that contains buttons for saving the article via Pocket or Readability and sharing the article through e-mail or via Facebook, Twitter and Linked In. The bar also lets you control the font size of the site as well as subscribe to push notifications for updates via the brow.si app on the App Store.

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Highlights Internet Journalism Mobile WebTech

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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Mobile

iTunes gives me the Blues

There is a special place in Inferno for iTunes.

A few minutes to my Saturday run this week, I decided on a change in music. I usually listen to NPR podcasts or Bob Dylan, Nina Simone and Amy Winehouse while running but yesterday I wanted to listen to The Lumineers and Madeleine Peyroux.

I listen to songs on the BlackBerry Z10 because its storage is expandable with a memory card (unlike that of the iPhone) and it’s easier to manage songs there — just a matter of mounting the phone’s memory card as a storage drive and adding or removing the songs.

MUSIC ON THE IPHONE. I wanted to copy 4 albums on my Mac into my iPhone and iTunes insists on backing it up first, syncing things before sending the files. I went through the process for close to an hour to find, while I was already out on my run, that the files weren’t copied.
MUSIC ON THE IPHONE. I wanted to copy 4 albums on my Mac into my iPhone and iTunes insists on backing it up first, syncing things before sending the files. I went through the process for close to an hour to find, while I was already out on my run, that the files weren’t copied.

But for running, I prefer using the iPhone because of RunKeeper. The BlackBerry Z10 has an equivalent app — Sports Tracker — but it often hangs and force closes in the middle of your run. Several times, it also stopped tracking the mileage.

I planned to start running at 5 p.m. and attached the iPhone to the MacBook Pro to sync the albums a few minutes before that time.

Manually managing songs on iTunes

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BlackBerry Mobile Review

Nobex is a great BlackBerry 10 podcast app

Nobex Podcast and Radio app

There aren’t many BlackBerry 10 apps that compare well with those for Android and iOS. While using some BB10 apps, you get a foreboding feeling of something about to crash it tingles. Take the Sports Tracker for BlackBerry, an app that tracks your run or bike ride using GPS. Midway into your run, it hangs and at times closes and you lose your mileage log.

But not the Nobex Radio and Podcast app.

The podcatcher app for the Z10 and Q10 is not only among the best made-for-BlackBerry 10 apps in the BlackBerry World, it is also at par with some of the best apps in other platforms.

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Highlights Mobile Social networking

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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Android free software Highlights Mobile

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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Highlights Internet Mobile

Student project that lets you monitor, control lights, appliances via phone wins SWEEP awards

A SYSTEM that allows homeowners to monitor and control lights and electrical appliances in their homes from anywhere via mobile technology won the 9th SWEEP Innovation and Excellence Awards last Thursday in Dusit Hotel in Makati City.

Colegio De San Juan Letran’s SMS.AWT: Switching and Monitoring System Using Android in Wireless Technology was picked the best among the 10 finalists that made it to the finals of the nationwide search for student applications with the theme “Technology in Nation-Building.”

The student team, led by 5th year computer engineering student Frances Marie Kagahastian, won P500,000 in cash and an equivalent amount in grants for the school. The team won an additional P50,000 for the Ericsson Networked Society Award.

Frances Marie Kagahastian of Colegio De San Juan Letran receives her award for winning the top prize in the 9th SWEEP Innovation and Excellence Awards. With her are (from left) PLDT-Smart public affairs head Ramon Isberto, PLDT president and CEO Napoleon Nazareno, PLDT and Smart chairman Manny Pangilinan, her teacher-mentor, an official from the Department of Science and Technology, PLDT and Smart technology head Rolando Peña and technology group head Mar Tamayo. (Photo provided by Smart)
Frances Marie Kagahastian of Colegio De San Juan Letran receives her award for winning the top prize in the 9th SWEEP Innovation and Excellence Awards. With her are (from left) PLDT-Smart public affairs head Ramon Isberto, PLDT president and CEO Napoleon Nazareno, PLDT and Smart chairman Manny Pangilinan, her teacher-mentor, an official from the Department of Science and Technology, PLDT and Smart technology head Rolando Peña and technology group head Mar Tamayo. (Photo provided by Smart)

Kagahastian, who said her dream was only to be featured in a tarpaulin banner in their school, said she was overwhelmed by the victory. It was the first time her school joined the contest.

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Highlights Mobile

Interactive Sinulog: Get contingent info, “Like” performances on FB via phone scanning

This year’s Sinulog is more interactive. Banners carried by contingents now contain QR or quick response codes that, when scanned with a phone or tablet, triggers the download of information about the contingent.

The article that is loaded by the system is connected to Facebook, allowing people to “Like” performances right on the spot.

The project is a collaboration among Sinulog Foundation, Smart Communications, Inc. and InnoPub Media, the journalism start-up I co-founded with Marlen.

QUICK GUIDE. The QR codes found on banners of Sinulog contingents trigger the download of information about the delegation. It also allows people to “Like” the performances on Facebook.
QUICK GUIDE. The QR codes found on banners of Sinulog contingents trigger the download of information about the delegation. It also allows people to “Like” the performances on Facebook.

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Highlights Journalism Mobile

Bisaya poetry e-book “Skina Balak” launched today

InnoPub Media, the journalism start-up I co-founded with Marlen, and literary group Bathalad, Inc. have published an e-book anthology of Bisaya poetry written by its members.

The anthology, “Skina Balak,” will be launched tonight in Persimmon in Mabolo, Cebu City in time with the opening of Tahas art exhibit.

Skina Balak is an anthology of Bisaya poetry that you can download to your smartphone, tablet or e-reader.
Skina Balak is an anthology of Bisaya poetry that you can download to your smartphone, tablet or e-reader.

Skina Balak can be downloaded to your smartphone, tabler or e-reader from sites like MyCebu.ph. I also included the download link below.

The e-book can also be downloaded via phone scanning of QR or quick response codes printed on posters, desktop standees and other materials.

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Highlights Mobile productivity

To do: Install to-do apps on phone

(I wrote this for an article on digital to-do lists for the Sun.Star Cebu Weekend)

I arrived home to the ding of my phone reminding me to run 5K and finish writing this article on to-do lists and a blog post on Inbox Zero.

My phone flashed the reminders because it detected, through global positioning system (GPS), that I was home.

Beyond calling, today’s phones have become our main computer. For many people, it already is the main device to read or send e-mails. Increasingly, it is how people access social networks like Facebook.

If there’s one task phones are really good at, it’s keeping to-do lists. Even before smartphones, people were already keeping to-do lists via the SMS editor, alarm system, calendar feature or the rudimentary notes facility built into some phones to keep track of tasks.

CHECKMARK. The app, which is available only on the iPhone, allows you to set location-based reminders. The images above, taken at various times, show notifications flashed by the app.
CHECKMARK. The app, which is available only on the iPhone, allows you to set location-based reminders. The images above, taken at various times, show notifications flashed by the app.

Productivity apps are a dime an unli-SMS bucket today and you’d have a hard, albeit fun, time figuring out which app works best for you.

What makes the task of choosing an app even harder is the tight competition for features and users, with developers releasing updates every few months or so in a frenzied apps race where users, millions of users, are the top prize.