Thursday, September 17, 2015

Google launches Street View in the Philippines

Google Philippines Logo

After what seemed like forever (not really, maybe almost 2 years), search-giant Google has officially launched Street View in Google Maps in the Philippines. It was in November 2013 when a Street View car was seen plying EDSA, followed by the official announcement of the initiative in January 2014.

As of now, Google has covered most areas in the National Capital Region (Metro Manila), Region 3 (Central Luzon), Region 1 (Ilocos Region), Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), and Region 4 in Luzon, some areas in Region 6 (Panay Island) in Visayas, and Region 12 (including General Santos City and Davao City) in Mindanao.

Google Street View Philippines Maps LaunchA Google Street View imagery in Quezon City.

You can now access Street View on the web and on their iOS and Android apps.

Source: Google

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Microsoft will offer Windows 10 for free… even for pirates

Windows 10 Philippines

You may have already heard that Microsoft will let its Windows 7, 8, and 8.1 customers upgrade to Windows 10 at no cost when it gets released. Did that excite you? Well, get this – the software giant has announced in a summit in China that it will even let users with non-genuine copies of Windows (read: pirated users) to the latest version of the OS.

However, it is not clear whether the offer will be limited to Chinese customers or if it will be available globally. Terry Myerson, head of Windows at Microsoft, was quoted as saying "we are upgrading all qualified PCs, genuine and non-genuine, to Windows 10." If it will be a global offer, then it will be a boon for users especially in countries like the Philippines where software piracy is very rampant.

Microsoft also announced a new summer target launch-frame for Windows 10. The company mentioned that it will be available in 190 countries in 111 languages.

Sources: Microsoft, Reuters

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Samsung gets serious with the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge


I was privileged to have been invited to Samsung’s announcement of their next flagship Galaxy S smartphones – yes, with an ‘s’! – in Manila last Monday (Sunday in Barcelona, Spain). Of course, being the geeky person that I am, I attended the media event (who wouldn’t want to see their new smartphones in person on day one?).

I’m going to skip all the introduction and delve right in to the important stuff.

This year, there are not one, but two flagship Galaxy smartphones announced by Samsung – one being the ordinary Galaxy S6 and the other being the Galaxy S6 Edge. Both models share almost exactly the same specifications and features. The Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge packs a new metal and glass design combo, which is a radical change from previous flagships from Samsung.


The only difference between the two is that the S6 Edge features a display with a curve on both sides (as opposed to the Note Edge, which only had its curvature on the right). The only other minor difference lies in the battery – the S6 Edge has a 2600mAh battery while the ordinary S6 has a slightly lesser 2550mAh, both are non-removable… but, we’ll talk more about that later.

Both Galaxy S6 models sport a 5.1-inch QHD (2560x1440) screen with a pixel density of 577ppi. That’s 77% more pixels than that of the S5. Ticking inside is a 64-bit Samsung Exynos octa-core processor which Samsung says is 20% faster and 35% more energy-efficient than the Note 4’s processor.


And speaking of power-efficiency, it is said that the Galaxy S6 smartphones has this Quick Charge feature that will give you 4-hours of usage with just a 10-minute charge. That in itself is insane! Now you probably know why Samsung opted to forgo the replaceable battery its users liked in previous Galaxy S smartphones. Oh, and Samsung’s built wireless charging right in. No more need for replacement covers! (But you’d still need a wireless charging plate)

When it comes to camera, the Galaxy S6 smartphones have a 16-megapixel camera while gaining optical image stabilization (OIS), an f1.9 aperture to handle low-light photos and videos better, and tracking auto-focus (AF). Its front-facing camera is a 5-megapixel sensor with the same f1.9 aperture. While I haven’t had the chance to try its camera at the event, I’ve seen some sample shots on the web and those really impress. I cannot wait to try out the camera on the Galaxy S6.




So when can you get your dibs on the new Galaxy S6 smartphones?

Samsung says the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge will be available starting on April 10th across 20 countries. Whether or not the Philippines is included on the first wave of launch, we don’t know just yet. The Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge will both be offered by Smart and Globe.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Globe rolls out prepaid LTE SIM cards

Globe Prepaid LTE SIM

Hello to all my readers. I’ve been quite busy in the past few months and didn’t post anything new since September. But there’s this news that I think is worth posting.

So, Globe just announced that prepaid LTE SIM cards are now (finally) available. And we’re not talking about the Tattoo Prepaid LTE SIM cards that were out since September 2012 – what they have now is the LTE SIM cards for Globe Prepaid accounts.

The Globe Prepaid LTE SIM cards will come in dual-cut (mini and micro) and nano sizes. The dual-cut ones cost P40 while the nano ones are P75. For those who don’t want to let go of their phone numbers, you can have your SIM replaced with an LTE one at Globe Stores.

You’d need a Globe Prepaid LTE SIM card if you have an LTE device such as an iPhone (5/5c/5s/6/6 Plus), Samsung Galaxy (S5/S4) or other smartphones that support LTE.

For more info, check out their website.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Nokia Lumia 530 Dual SIM lands for P4,990

Nokia Lumia 530 Philippines

Nokia’s (now Microsoft Mobile) most affordable Windows Phone device to date, the Lumia 530 Dual SIM, has been released in the Philippines. The Lumia 530 features a 4-inch LCD display, 4Gb storage, a 5-megapixel camera, and comes with the latest features of the Windows Phone 8.1 and Lumia Cyan such as the Word Flow keyboard and Action Center.

If you think the internal memory is a little low, fret not. You can insert a microSD card (up to 128Gb) and install apps from the Windows Store right there.

“With high end apps, features and exceptional build quality at an amazing price, the Lumia 530 DS sets the benchmark for affordable smartphones,” said Karel Holub, General Manager, Philippines, Microsoft Mobile Devices Sales. ”The Lumia 530 DS demonstrates our focus on welcoming more people to the Windows Phone ecosystem with amazing devices that light up Microsoft’s digital work and life experiences. By building on the momentum of the successful Lumia 520, the Lumia 530 DS will help us deliver an uncompromised smartphone experience to more customers than ever before.”

The Nokia Lumia 530 Dual SIM will be available in orange, green, grey, and white. It will retail for P4,990.

Nokia Lumia 530 Features and Specifications
4-inch LCD display with FWVGA (854x480) resolution @ 246ppi
1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 quad-core processor
512Mb RAM
4Gb internal storage, up to 128Gb microSD card slot
5-megapixel camera
3G/HSPA+ (21Mbps) - 900/2100MHz
2G - 850/900/1800/1900MHz
Bluetooth 4.0
Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
Dual SIM
1430mAh battery capacity
Windows Phone 8.1 OS with Lumia Cyan update

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Samsung announces the Galaxy Note Edge

Samsung Galaxy Note Edge Philippines

Samsung has just revealed the Galaxy Note Edge at the IFA 2014 in Berlin. The Samsung Galaxy Note Edge features a curved edge screen that was demoed by the Korean company in the past.

Samsung Galaxy Note Edge Features and Specifications
5.6-inch Quad HD (2560x1440) Super AMOLED display
2.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 quad-core processor
32/64GB internal memory
Up to 64GB microSD card slot
16-megapixel main camera with Smart OIS
3.7-megapixel front-facing camera with f1.9 aperture
4G LTE Category 6 connectivity (300/50Mbps)
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
USB 2.0
3000mAh battery with Quick Charge 2.0
Android 4.4.4 KitKat

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Samsung’s first metal smartphone is arriving in the Philippines

Samsung Galaxy Alpha SM-G850F Philippines

The first Samsung smartphone to pack a metal body is soon arriving in the Philippines. We recently spotted the Samsung Galaxy Alpha with model number SM-G850F over SamMobile’s firmware listing website.

According to the initial firmware available, it is possible that the Galaxy Alpha will only be available unlocked at retail stores.

Samsung Galaxy Alpha SM-G850F Philippines

The Samsung Galaxy Alpha was announced in August, and is the first Galaxy smartphone to sport a metal body. It features a 4.7-inch HD Super AMOLED display, a 2.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, 16 or 32GB of internal storage, and a 1860mAh battery. There is no microSD card slot available, unfortunately. It runs the latest Android 4.4.4 KitKat OS.

The Galaxy Alpha supports Category 6 LTE connections, which has a spec of up to 300Mbps. That makes it one of the first LTE-Advanced smartphones to be launched in the Philippines when it hits the shelves.

Source: SamMobile

Digital technologies for education highlight DigiTech Manila confab


The first ever DigiTech Manila Conference and Expo, slated on Sept. 19 and 20, at the SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City, will feature the various facets in digital technology for children, schools, libraries, and for the ICT industry. Digital learning enthusiasts are invited to take advantage and update themselves on gadgets, high-tech services, and new developments that will give new perspectives on how people generally learn, teach, and live in this modern day.

DigiTech is highlighted by two conferences: the National Conference on Technology in Education, and PEPCon: The 1st Philippine Educational Publisher’s Congress.  Both events will gather digital technology leaders, experts and practitioners in education, as well as provide a venue for school administrators, educators, teachers, students, librarians, publishers, researchers, content providers, software and hardware suppliers, app and web developers to interact, discuss and work together to promote current informative, innovative and creative teaching and learning technologies.

Speakers at the two conferences include former Education Undersecretary Dr. Isagani Cruz; professor, columnist, and author Dr. Queena Lee-Chua; Supreme Court library director Milagros Santos-Ong; associate professor and principal of the University of the Philippines Cebu High School, Dr. Aurelio Vilbar; Brian Aljer Coballes of the Ateneo de Manila High School-Educational Media Center, Victoria Tinio of Fit-Ed, Mylene Abiva of Felta Multi-Media, Inc., Dexter Andrada, chief technopreneur of Mite Asia, Apple Distinguished educator Galvin Ngo; Jansen Mayor of Millenium Challenge Account-Philippines, Jose Ma. Policarpio of Digilearn Multimedia, UP professor Dr. Milagros Laurel, Ireneo Demecias Jr of Ayala Foundation’s Text to Teach, DIgi Ann C. Castillo of World Vision; and Tan Lee Hong of Cengage Learning Asia Pte. Ltd.

DigiTech Manila Conference and Expo is part of the biggest and longest running book fair in the country, the Manila International Book Fair, set on Sept. 17 to 21. Another event taking place is the Best of Anime where otakus, Japanophiles, and cosplayers gather for two days to experience otaku culture.  For details, call 896-0661 or 896-0682, or e-mail

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Xiaomi to sell Mi 5200mAh and 10400mAh power banks on August 29

Xiaomi Philippines Mi Power Bank 5200mAh 10400mAh

Xiaomi, the Chinese tech company that makes and sells affordable smartphones and other devices at affordable prices, will soon make their popular Mi power banks available in the Philippines.

The Mi power banks, which comes in 5200mAh and 10400mAh variants, comes with high-quality battery cells either from LG or Samsung. The sleek power banks sports an aluminum casing making them look sleek and minimalistic.

The company promises 2.5x full charges for the Mi 3, 4.5x on the iPhone 5s, and 1.5x on the iPad mini. On the other hand, the 5200mAh variant can full charge a Mi 3 a single time, or charge an iPhone 5s up to two times. The Mi batteries is equipped with Texas Instruments chips which protects it from overcharging, short-circuits, overvoltages, and overcurrents.

The kicker here is that the 10400mAh and 5200mAh Mi power banks will only set you back P645 and P445 respectively. You can purchase your own Mi power bank from Lazada. Click here to buy the 10400mAh variant or here for the 5200mAh variant. These will go on sale at exactly 12 noon on August 29.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Google Play carrier billing comes to Globe


At the first day of Globe Telecom’s Digital Lifestyle Expo at the SM Megamall, the company announced that carrier billing for the Google Play Store is finally coming. With carrier billing, anyone using an Android smartphone on Globe will now be able to buy apps, games, and even rent or purchase movies and have it paid thru their plan or deducted from their prepaid credits – no more credit, debit, or prepaid cards needed. Getting more in-game coins on various titles is now also possible.

Globe’s Peter Bithos says this feature has been in the works for quite some time now. A hint of what’s coming appeared early last year on the Play Store, only to leave users waiting.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Of restrictions and competition

Ever wonder why telecom services in the Philippines are shitty? Look no further. Here's the only answer, straight from the horse's mouth.

The 2015 AEC does not pose a threat to the Philippine telco industry.

"The effect on telco is minimal because it is regulated. It would require licenses, and entry to this market will require partnerships," Cu said. "So we expect very little, immediate impact on us," he added.

What Mr. Ernest Cu is trying to say is that the odds of us having a new telecom company in the country is low. Because first, our economy is restricted – you can thank the 60-40 rule in our Constitution for this. If and when a foreign telecom company decides to enter the Philippines, it will have to look for a local company to partner with. And what, whom with? PLDT? Globe? Then there's our bureaucratic, red-tape-ridden government.

In other words, the lesser the competition in an industry, the lesser the chance the companies will improve because they have no 'incentives' to do so. Oh, and the telecom industry won't have much competition unless the administration amends the economic provisions in the Constitution.

So, there.

Reference: GMA News Online

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Beyond the Box slashes P4,000 off the Retina iPad mini price

BTB iPhone Case Sale

Apple fans, look right here. If you’re in the market for a brand new iPad mini with Retina display, you better get one from Beyond the Box. Right now, until September 15, you can get as much as P4,000 off the price on the WiFi plus Cellular model. If the price off isn’t enough, they’re throwing in a free accessory as well for every purchase.

Urbanears Plattan (valued at P2,950)
Urbanears Medis (valued at P2,450)
Aiaiai Tracks (valued at P2,450)
Native Union Monocle (valued at P1,750)
SwitchEasy Cover Buddy for iPad mini (valued at P795)
Tech21 Impact Shield for iPad mini (valued at P1.400)

iPad mini with Retina display (16GB) – P23,990
iPad mini with Retina display (32GB) – P28,990
iPad mini with Retina display (64GB) – P32,990
iPad mini with Retina display (128GB) – P37,990

If you want to know more about this promo, visit Beyond the Box.

Monday, August 11, 2014

iPhone 6 cases are already available in the Philippines


Just one of the many signs that Apple’s next smartphone, the iPhone 6, is already around the corner is this case that’s already available in Manila. The case seems to be for the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 model as it’s only a tad bigger than the iPhone 5s.

The case is remarkable slimmer, and bears the same rounded edges found on the iPod touch and iPad. The lock button has been moved to the right side so as to not make it hard for users to reach the button when locking and unlocking the phone. The bottom has lost the symmetrical pair of speaker grilles.

If all of the leaks turn out to be true, then we might see a very slim, and bigger iPhone this September 9.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Globe is now unlocking out-of-contract iPhones

Globe iPhone Official Carrier Factory Unlock

Good news to owners of Globe-issued iPhones. Globe is now offering official iPhone unlocks for eligible customers. Unlocking an iPhone allows the user to use a SIM card from another network and could be particularly useful if travelling abroad, or if the user decides to give or sell the device.

To be eligible, the device must be out of contract and that you still have an active account with Globe. The account owner where the device was originally tagged must be the one who initiate an unlock request.

Customers who need to unlock their iPhone should get in touch with Globe thru their hotline (730-1000 or 211) or live chat representatives. If eligible, a customer will be given a reference number for the unlock request and will have to wait for 5 days. Samsung devices are also supported.

We were not immediately able to verify if prepaid iPhone and Samsung devices purchased from Globe can be unlocked as well. We’ll post an update if we get more info.

Source: Globe Community Forums

Friday, July 4, 2014

Samsung Galaxy K Zoom lands for P24,990


It’s not the Galaxy S5 Zoom. It seems as if Samsung doesn’t want to pollute the name of their flagship smartphone. And so they called the successor to the Galaxy S4 Zoom the Galaxy K Zoom.

The Samsung Galaxy K Zoom follows the same principle as its predecessor. It’s a smartphone with a bulging camera sensor at the back, which makes it a viable replacement for point-and-shoots. It sports a 20.7MP BSI CMOS sensor with Xenon flash, optical image stabilization (OIS) and, as you would expect, a 10X optical zoom. The Korean manufacturer has managed to cram all that in a 16.6mm body.


The K Zoom’s camera can now do focus (AF) and exposure (AE) separation, a feature that allows its user to focus and expose an image on different subjects. There’s also a Pro Suggest mode which offers different live ‘films’ which are quite like photo filters.

Some of the features from the Galaxy S5 also made their way to the K Zoom. Among those is the S Health Lite application for fitness and health tracking and the Ultra Power Saving Mode which lets you get the most out of your remaining battery juice.

The Samsung Galaxy K Zoom with LTE capability is already available in the Philippines for P24,990.