Google+ App Now Available on the Android Market for the Philippines

Somebody posted on her Google+ stream that the Google+ Android app is now available as a free download from the Android Market for the Philippines. Previously, you had to get manually install this app by getting its apk file (which was readily available online) and then save it on your Android phone’s mobile phone before you can install the app. This is what and some Pinoy tech bloggers did to get the app running.

So for those who did not go through this route, you can now simply grab the Google+ Android app from the Android Market. If you’re already on Google+ and you own and Android smartphone or Android tablet, you will definitely want to have this app since it will pretty much give you a better experience with Google’s new social networking service.

Google+ for Android features:

* Circles let you share the right things with just the right people.
* Stream is where you can get updates from your circles or see what people are saying about things nearby.
* Instant Upload automatically uploads videos and photos to your own private album in the cloud, to make sharing a snap.
* Huddle is super-fast group messaging for everyone in your circles.

By the way, in case you also have an iPhone, I can tell you right now that the Google+ for Android is better than the iPhone app.  You can download Google+ for Android by clicking on this link.

Note: If you don’t have a Google account yet, I have a couple of invites to spare. Just send me your gmail add.

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Smart Launches “Always On” Internet Packages

I’ve been hearing about Smart Telecoms’ new mobile Internet packages from several Filipino tech blogs the past couple of days but did not post about it until I get the official press release from Smart. So, here goes. Smart is launching several “highly affordable” Internet packages for those who are fond of using their phones for web browsing for whatever purposes. Read: checking Facebook, Twitter, Google+(?), and or following your favorite showbiz blogs.

The new Smart Internet Packages are as follow:

Volume

Price

Validity

Keyword

Access Code

25MB

P20

1 day

ON<space>20

Send to 2200

50MB

P30

1 day

ON<space>30

250MB

P300

30 days

ON<space>300

500MB

P500

30 days

ON<space>500

1GB

P750

30 days

ON<space>750

2GB

P995

30 days

ON<space>995

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Always On is obviously a volume-based package which allows casual mobile Internet surfers to pay only for the data they wish to consume. These options go well if depending on your mobile phone data usage patterns. And these are available for Smart Buddy, Smart Gold, Talk N’ Text, and smart Bro subscribers.  To activate a package, simply send the keyword to 2200 via mobile phone or via the Smart Bro user menu on the computer. Users may purchase any number of packages simultaneously as they see fit. Validity of subscription starts upon availing of a plan. A P1 maintaining balance is required.

There are also other options especially for those who prefer time-based browsing. Users who prefer a time-based Internet scheme can still avail of an UNLIsurf package starting at just P50 for a whole day of unlimited surfing. UNLIsurf also comes in P300 (7 days) and P1,200 (30 days) denominations.

Meanwhile, those who would only like to access specific sites such as Facebook, Friendster, Multiply, and Twitter can sign up for a “Web UNLI” package for only P20/site per day.

I’m currently maintaining two Globe post-paid accounts which are enrolled in the monthly unlimited data browsing scheme which is costing me additional Php 2,000 for both lines over and above the monthly service fees that I have to pay for my data plan. Unfortunately, I couldn’t cancel those Globe plans because both are still under retention. Maybe next year, I can finally take the big shift to Smart. Although I would have to say that Smart’s offer for the HTC Salsa seems pretty interesting. Let me think first.

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Quick Review: Mac OS X Lion

Yesterday as a field day for all Mac users awaiting for Apple to push the button that releases the Lion from it its cage. I’m referring of course to the OS X Lion which Apple calls as the “most advanced desktop operating system.” How many new features did Apple mentioned? – 250.

One thing that made me pretty excited about the Lion’s release is the fact that I will be getting it the same time as my co-writers here in Appletell. Thanks to Apple for making the update available on the Mac App Store. Unfortunately, my broadband connection at home didn’t cooperate. While others have been posting on Google+ that they have successfully installed the OS X Lion, there I was watching the download progress like it will take forever to finish. In short, I left the download process to run and dreamt of the Lion roaring unto my iMac when I wake in the morning.

In short, upon waking up the download was finished. I immediately fire up the installer. It took 30 minutes to finish the installation so I was able to prepare myself for my work. And just before I left home, I was able to explore some of the salient features of Lion.

1. I was not really impressed by the Launchpad. I mean, I’m contented with the apps toolbar sitting on the lower part of the iMac’s screen. And I rarely go through all the apps installed on my iMac anyway, so I really couldn’t see how this will make my life easier.

2. One great thing about the Launchpad is the you pull it out and push it in – that is by swiping five fingers onto the trackpad in outward/inward motion.

2. Then there’s the Mission Control. At first, I said, what the heck is this? But when I learned about its functionality then that’s time I appreciate it. With Mission Control, you can see which desktops and apps are currently open. You can switch from one desktop to another and use all the open apps in that desktop. You can add more desktops if you want, then open apps so that you can seggregate your work apps from your play apps. Got what I mean?

3. The full screen apps feature is pretty cool and easier to do than the old way of pulling out the window to expand its view. The only low down is here is that not all apps and software support Lion yet. So, the full screen apps may not work.

4. The multitouch gestures are helpful and the experience is almost the same as doing it on an iPad. Lion comes with the reverse scrolling by default. This is simply the reverse of what were are all used to. If you don’t want it, you can simply turn it off from the Settings tab.

5. The Safari browser was slightly improved. It’s slightly faster than the previous version. The right swipe gesture for navigating through tabs is pretty cool.

6. The “swipe to right” gesture to switch between apps is great. This is by far my favorite feature.

7. The icons in the finder looks slicker than they were in Snow Leopard. The overall redesign gives it a punkier look.

I have yet to fully explore the functionality of OS X Lion. But so far, I would have to agree with Apple that is by far the most advanced desktop OS, for its Mac products.

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Google+ is Shaking Up the Social Media Sphere

If I remember it correctly, it’s almost two weeks now (or more?) since Google has introduced its social networking service, Google+. As of today, there are probably more than 18 million users of Google+ already. And Google has yet to release this to the public. The more than 18 million Google+ users just grew through the “by-invitation” process that Google employed to build the Google+ userbase. Hence, at the growth that it is growing, the social media has suddenly shaken up by Google+.

Many were not expecting Google’s social networking service would be quite a hit. Many thought it will be just like Google Wave and Google Buzz which never really took off. But then, the inevitable happened – Google managed to successfully launch a new social networking service which in time will give Facebook and Twitter, two of the most popular social networking/social media services a run for their money.

Gradually, Google+ is carving its niche in the social media sphere. Although it’s still not allowed, several businesses have sneaked in and managed to create an account for their companies. Can you imagine how the userbase of Google+ will grow once businesses such as web hosting providers, restaurants, brand companies and others are allowed to create their Google+ account? I could just imagine how threatened Facebook and Twitter is right now.

If you’re running a business, especially technology-related and you want to promote your products or brands, Google+ is the right place to do so. Currently, the Google+ ecosphere is inhabited by geeks and techies who are actively interacting with one another, sharing information and links they find cool and interesting for fellow geeks.

Google+ will soon compete with Facebook in the brand advertising space. Google lives by its advertising revenue. So, expect Google to leverage on the growing popularity of Google+ and once the business model is in place, expect business companies ranging from the technical ones such as those offering dedicated servers to the more consumer-based products such as food and beverages among others – to come knocking on your Google+ account’s door asking you to add them to your Circles.

Google+ is shaking up the social media ecosphere, there’s no doubt about that. How other social media sites are going to react will be quite interesting to find out.

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Sony Ericsson Launches the W8 Android Walkman Phone, Plus More

I was supposed to attend the launching of Sony Ericsson’s latest mobile phones but due to unforseen reasons, I was not able to go. Anyway, I heard that Sony Ericsson has launched W8 Walkman phone which also runs on Android OS. This makes the Sony Ericsson W8 the first Android Walkman phone then. The W8 Walkman phone boasts of a 3-inch screen, 3.2 MP camera with direct upload to Facebook, video recording, a 3.55 mm headphone jack, 3G and Wi-Fi. The package available for the Philippine market comes with a 4GB SD card so that you can immediately store your MP3 files.

Aside from the Sony Ericsson W8 Walkman Android Phone, three other Walkman phones were launched at the event. These are the Sony Ericsson Zylo and Sony Ericsson Spiro with instant connectivity features to Facebook and Twitter. The Zylo supports FLAC format which is said to be the best sound format right now. The Spiro features TrackID music recognition software, chat via SMS, 3.5 mm jack, Bluetooth stereo and FM radio.

The last  handset announced by Sony Ericsson is the Yendo with Walkman. What differentiates this phone from the Spiro and Zylo is the fact that it’s the first Sony Ericsson touch-enabled Walkman phone. It also features a 2MP camera.

In celebration of the launching of these four new Sony Ericsson Walkman phones, Sony Ericsson is holding an online GLEE video music contest. All you have to do is to submit videos while doing any of the songs in the GLEE soundtrack. The contest runs from July 26 to September 30, 2011.  Fans can submit videos of their own cover of any song from the GLEE: The Music original soundtrack albums.  The judges’ panel will comprise of representatives from Sony Music Philippines  and Sony Ericsson.  Top winners will get a chance to win Sony Ericsson W8 Walkman™ phones, GLEE:  The Music t-shirts and a Boracay vacation package for two from South East Asian Airlines (SEAIR) and Boracay Garden Resort.  Complete contest details are available on Sony Ericsson PH on Facebook.

 

 

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New Apple MacBook Air Now Available from the Philippine Apple Store (Online)

Apple has just announced the latest generation of the MacBook Air family. These new Apple MacBook Airs are simultaneously being released at all Apple Online Store worldwide, so they are now available from the Philippine Apple Store (Online). If you’re planning to get a new MacBook Ari, you might want to check out any of these configs. Prices and specs of these products are as follow:

New MacBook Air (mid-2011)

11-inch : 64GB

  • 1.6GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor
  • 2GB memory
  • 64GB flash storage
  • Intel HD Graphics 3000
  • ? 49,990.00

11-inch : 128GB

  • 1.6GHz dual-core Intel Core i5
  • processor
  • 4GB memory
  • 128GB flash storage
  • Intel HD Graphics 3000
  • ? 59,990.00

13-inch : 128GB

  • 1.7GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor
  • 4GB memory
  • 128GB flash storage
  • Intel HD Graphics 3000
  • ? 65,990.00

13-inch : 256GB

  • 1.7GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor
  • 4GB memory
  • 256GB flash storage
  • Intel HD Graphics 3000
  • ? 79,990.00
All four models of the new MacBook Air come with Mac OS X Lion pre-installed.
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Smart Rolls Out Affordable (Read: Cheap) UNLI Call and Text PostPaid Plans

Here’s another “paki-post” post. This one is from Smart Telecoms naman. They just launched the UNLI Text Plan 299 and UNLI Call Plan  & Text 599 Plan. These two plans are probably the cheapest unlimited plans released by Smart so far. But I’m not sure about this hah. I’ve been a Globe subscribers for several years na and I’ve no plans of switching to Smart, unless they give something free or incentive to switch to their service (just kidding).

Some more details about these cheap text and call post paid plans. The P299 plan is perfect for heavy texters as it lets you send unlimited local texts to any number on Smart, Talk and Text and Red Mobile networks. You’ll also get a free Samsung E10180 GSM phones which is perfect for texting.

The 599 UNLI Call and Text Plan provides unlimited calls and a better handset – the Nokia C1-01.

Details on how you can avail of these two plans are as follow:

Both plans are available until October 7, 2011 at the following Smart branches: SM North EDSA, SM Megamall, Smart Tower Ayala, Robinsons Place Manila, SM South Mall and SM Cebu.

To know more UNLI Text Plan 299 or UNLI Call & Text Plan 599, go to www.smart.com.ph or visit the Smart Wireless Center nearest you. 

 

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Sony Celebrates the Manila Launching of New VAIO S Computers with 2 Promos

I just received this email from Sony Philippines and thought of sharing them with you as you might be interested to join this promo. In line with the release of the new Sony VAIO Summer Collection, which incidentally are laptops (not swimwears), Sony is having some nice gigs that might give you a chance to win cash prizes, Sony digital cameras, Sony VAIO laptops and a trip to Hollywood!

So, here are the mechanics of the two promos:

1. CREATE a VAIO E Ad Campaign

To promote the more powerful but more affordable VAIO E, Sony Philippines is launching the Create a VAIO E Ad promo, to give creative minds a chance to win the new laptop. The contest is open to anyone aged 15-24 years old from July 18 – August 12, 2011. Simply ‘like’ Sony Philippines in your Facebook and choose between creating a Print or Video Ad that will showcase your ingenious talent. On August 12, 20 finalists will be selected per category and the chosen finalists will be up for online voting on August 15-28, 2011. Lucky winners of the Best Sony VAIO E Ads per category will win Php 25,000 each with a brand new VAIO E laptop. Special prizes also await the winners of the Voters’ Choice Award for both categories – they will each win a Sony Cyber-shot DSC-S300 digital camera.

2. The Great VAIO S-cape Promo

Imagine having 12 hours of battery life when you are out of the office. Wouldn’t that be great? What about when you travel? With VAIO S offering as much as 12 hours that is perfect for business or leisurely travel, Sony Philippines is launching The Great VAIO S-cape promo. From July 1-Sept 15, 2011, anyone who buys a VAIO from authorized Sony Philippines dealers is entitled to win this promo. Buy a VAIO S and get 5 more additional points. Submit your photo with your new VAIO via email. Only one super lucky winner will be chosen to win! Find out how you can maximize the 12-hour battery life in the new VAIO S by joining The Great VAIO S-cape Promo.

For more details, check out na lang Sony Philippines Facebook page. I’m not getting anything out of this. It’s enough that I informed you about it. 🙂

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Eat N Split is Another Android App Proudly Developed by a Pinoy

In the spirit of “bayanihan” I’m featuring another Android app made by a fellow Pinoy. The app called Eat N Split is similar with KKB which is an Android app that will help you split the bill. The app goes by a catchy tag line – “split your bills in style!” Well, true enough upon checking the app, I immediately saw user stylish user interface. I will have to give credit to the app’s developer for making the app’s interface fun and appealing.

The app works simply as well. All you need to do is to add items including bill items, item price, item quantity and item name. You can also add items to people or add taxes and tips by entering percent and name. After entering those information, the app will then split the bill per person including taxes, tips and items.  Easy, right? Well, I can’t imagine any other possible way of  adding more to an app of this type anyway.

Eat N Split is available as a free download from the Android Market. Hopefully, this post helps you get some significant number of downloads. Good luck guys!

 

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Smart Telecoms Now Accepting Pre-Orders for HTC Chacha Facebook Phone

I was supposed to attend the launching of the HTC Chacha last Wednesday at Resorts World but due to some reason I didn’t make it to the event. I heard that it was a huge success with all the celebrities and the raining HTC phones that were given to the participant. Anyway, now that the HTC Chacha phone has been launched, Smart Telecoms has also started accepting pre-orders for the said Facebook phone.

The HTC Chacha, for the benefit of those who are not aware, is a mid-level smartphone which has one major feature – a special button that launches the Facebook app. Other features of the HTC Chacha include 5MP camera, 480×320, 2.6 inch Gorilla Glass Display, VGA front-facing camera, and powered by an 800MHz processor. It’s a QWERTY phone with the cute blue “f” button just below the keyboard.

Smart Telecoms is offering the HTC Chacha under its various data plans. You can have it with a 100MB data for Php 1000/monthly, or on various unlimited data plans which range from Php 1,500 and above.

Pre-ordering online runs until July 17 with the expected availability scheduled on the 20th of July.

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