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Showing posts from July, 2014

Microsoft Office365 bumps OneDrive storage to 1TB ;-)


Globe + SMART Follow-up

I visited Globe Telecom Powerplant Mall. I was able to change my plan from 299 to 999 with out the additional charge of an early termination fee (ETF). As I stated in my previous post Globe is dumb and the call center staff did not know what she was saying. 
Along with this new plan I got a bigger LTE data bucket. Globe's 999 plan has a peso value of 1700, I got the GoSurf 999 (5Gb + Spotify premium). 1700 less 999 that leaves me with 701 consumable credits for calls and texts. I asked the staff at Globe Telecom Powerplant Mall and when I exceed the data bucket, I will be charged an additional 1500 pesos (no matter how much I exceed) my other option was to get a different 5Gb bucket that has Globe's Fair-Use Policy. I figured, if I do exceed the cap I would rather pay the 1500 and use the faster LTE than get slowed down to EDGE. Since my cut-off is on the 24th of the month this new plan takes effect on 24-Aug-2015. So I have to be frugal with Globe data for the mean time. 
I a…

SMART is arrogant, GLOBE is dumb. KAMOTE

I left Globe late 2011 and moved to SMART. Nearly two (2) years later my situation with SMART has deteriorated to deplorable levels at home and so-so at work. Still no LTE for both. I got a Globe line recently and have been testing their service. I must admit the last time I was with Globe I had a terrible experience during their upgrade phase.

SMART - I pay 999PhP/monthly for 40 mins, 100 sms, and unlimited data.
GLOBE – for testing I got a 299PhP/monthly plan with 500 peso value, this peso value I applied to a GoSURF 499 package (1.5Gb data + Spotify Premium for 6 months) so I have 1 peso left. that’s 1 SMS everything else is on top.

My strategy: Reduce my SMART plan from 999 to 349 (the lowest plan with SMART) as I transition from SMART to Globe. Increase Globe from 299 to 999 (peso value 1,700) and get GoSURF 999 (5Gb).
The staff at Globe center V-Mall told me I can upgrade anytime so I call GLOBE and ask how to upgrade my plan. Now here is the dumb part: I was informed to u…

Spotify Premium + LTE at Home. TYVM Globe.

The Globe SIM card has activated at 6:38PM. I was able to link my existing free Spotify account and convert it to a Premium account. So I have Spotify Premium until January 21, 2015 2:43AM to be exact. 
Spotify Premium works across all devices even if it was registered via Globe. So it is working on the Mi3W which is currently using my SMART SIM card. 
Now on to the all important data. Do I have LTE at home? 
The answer is yes and the speed is good. This is a definitely a point for Globe and against SMART. 
Let me recap, 
At Home in Mandaluyong city:  Globe = LTE  SMART = No Service or GPRS or 3G with no data / slow data.
At Work Marikina city: Globe = TBD, I need to test it.  SMART = 3G acceptable speed

Note: with my plan I have 1.5Gb of data or 1500Mb that means 50Mb for 30 days. Not much for a heavy user but I think this will be sufficient for testing and emergency purposes.

Back with Globe After 2 Years. I Hope I Don't Regret This...

Got myself a Globe line after 2 yrs.  I hope I don't regret this.  I chose the lowest plan possible which is P299/mo which has a P500 PV (peso value). For my combo I chose GoSurf 499 which includes. 1.5Gb dataSpotify Premium 
So basically I have 1 peso left on my plan and everything else is on top. I do not expect to exceed 1.5Gb as this is a secondary line and not my main one. 
According to Gerry (or Jerry) the sales person at Globe Center V-Mall My LTE SIM card should be activated in 3 to 5 hours. Spotify Premium is free for six months only, after that I can choose to continue the service for 129PhP/mo via Spotify or Globe (I haven't checked)Data allowance is not affected by using Spotify. I am skeptical that this is the case. I mean will they monitor the traffic on my device and mark Spotify's usage as free while the rest of my consumption is counted against my allowance? [edit: reading between the FAQ lines it seems Spotify Premium will eat up your data allowance. I hop…

SMART's deteriorating signal

In my use-case SMART's signal has been deteriorating. 
When I turn into my street the signal goes from 3G to No Service or GPRS. When I am in my room it also goes from No Service to fake 3G. Fake 3G meaning the iPhone displays three bars but sometimes there is no data connection. I am quite certain it is not my iPhone because even my Samsung loses it's signal sporadically.
I have four accounts with SMART.  1 999 iPhone plan for my personal mobile 1 freedom plan for my 3G USB modem when cable internet is out 1 freedom plan for work 1 freedom plan for work
I have two prepaid sim cards with Globe 1 Samsung Galaxy Data SIM - I got this free when I bought my work phone 1 Prepaid SIM card 
Contacting SMART's support via twitter or their hotline they always repeat the same script:
Apologize for the inconvenienceAsk me to reboot my phoneTell me their network doesn't have any issues in my area.
This is no good. I moved from Globe to SMART in 2011 in the hopes of getting LTE it is now 2014 …

The Split Personality of the Google Ecosystem

LEFT: Google Now recommending an album. 
RIGHT: Google Play not allowing me to purchase. 
FYI: The item is available on iTunes. 

Back to the iPhone 5S, the Mi3W as a 2nd Screen

So after a week on (mostly) only Android. I therefore conclude that the OS has come a long way from gingerbread. I think credit is due to both Google and Xiaomi. The MIUI does not get in the way. There isn't a lot of useless stuff included (take a hint Samsung). The Mi3W is great value. It is well spec'd and beautifully made. Kudos to X & G, for a JWD. If I was not heavily invested in the iOS / iTunes ecosystem or I if I were of a mind to seriously switch, it is possible, however it is not totally painless depending on which computer you have (Mac or PC). Android was designed for the cloud. But in my case I do not trust the Philippine ISPs and Telcos. I would still need offline copies of my content and data simply because our internet is NOT reliable enough. As I have said in my previous ramblings streaming may be big in other countries but it is not a reliable option for the Philippines (YMMV). I do love those free services. Google still has the upper hand when it comes t…

Day 7: Bluetooth-ache

I have an older model car and my iPhone 5S isn't recognized via the USB cable. So it came as no surprise that the Mi3 was not recognized as well.

On my iPhone I can connect my Plantronics headset and my car at the same time and switch the audio target on the fly between the two this seems to be not possible with the Mi3. I have to go into Bluetooth settings and manually select the target which disconnects the other device.

When connecting to a purely audio device like a bluetooth receiver the headset portion is retained and the media portion is switched. There is no easy way to switch the output.

How can a modern device not be able to maintain multiple Bluetooth connections?

Day 6: Hardware + Design

The screen on this device is very nice and crisp I have no complaints. I have to mention size again. After a little less than a week I am still bothered by the size of this device. I am sure I will get over this eventually. But yeah this is a big phone, my iPhone with a case fits in the standard car cup holder, the Mi3W without a case doesn’t fit my Ford’s cup holder.
I never thought I would be saying this but I sort of miss the lightning cable connector. I do not miss the crappy quality of the cable but the reversible nature of the plug itself. Micro USB is still very practical but I cannot wait until they implement the reversible thing.

Having used the iPhone 5 & 5S, I now feel that the earphone plug is better located in the bottom of the device it really does get in the way less.

The Mi3W did not come with a pair of earbuds, I have been using my BOSE SIE2i with it. The MFB works to play/pause music or answer calls but the volume buttons are not compatible.

I must commend XiaoMi …

Show Your Lock Screen Saturday

It's "Show Your Lock Screen Saturday", I have been on a Ralph McQuarrie kick lately the photos from #McQuarrieMonday on the web.

What's on your Lock Screen/s???

Day 5: Videos, Missing Icons, Phantom Icons, and Missing eWallets

Today the Video Player icon has gone missing. I know the app is still on the device because the video I loaded still played on the default player. I have scoured all the folders and I have no idea where the icon went.

Speaking of video, watching videos on this device is fantastic! The drawback of course is I cannot play iTunes purchases but since Google Play Movies are now available in the Philippines, I guess that is a wash. One thing the iPhone can do that this device can’t is Netflix. Now that’s a huge let down.

Also this phantom icon has appeared and when I uninstalled it Google Search gets uninstalled too.

Weird stuff for sure.

Another thing that happened to me... I wanted to check on my yahoo password so I could link my Flickr account to Instagram on the Mi3W. When I opened up eWallet, my password was not being accepted. Upon checking I realized it was the default blank wallet. Both my wallets were gone.
I suspect that the Mi3W cleanup I did last night nuked my eWallets. …

Day 4: Details Details Details

While I appreciate the lengths that XiaoMi has gone to make their default MIUI skin very familiar to an iPhone user such as myself. I know this is nit-picking but we all know that the devil is in the details. Here are some details they hit and missed in my view…

Music & audio playback, the default app doesn't display album art. All of my music has been tagged in iTunes and the album art is not recognized. This is annoying.

The lock screen also displays only the barest of media information. Sometimes when you use another audio app it displays the wrong info namely the last tracked played on the default app or nothing which I think is sloppy execution.

And here is a detail they did get right.
Dynamic Weather Icon -The weather icon changes and displays current weather. ARE YOU LISTENING APPLE? IT IS POSSIBLE, DAMN YOU!

I also like that the default alarm has the weather.

One of the best things about Android is that you can change the default apps for most of the functions…

Day 3 with the XiaoMi Mi3

Day 3 on my experiment of going full Android with the XIAOMI Mi3
XIAOMI PHILIPPINES is selling an additional 2,000 units of the Mi3 04-July-2014 at 11:00AM visit If you want to get one I suggest you create an account today and then start refreshing the lazada site 5 mins before the item goes on sale.  I am still struggling with the size of the device and there is still a sense of un-ease because I am using it without a case.

Speaking of cases, the Mi3 Flip case is no longer marked "coming soon" but I still cannot order it from lazada. Odd.

I have found that the plantronics [Find MyHeadset] app is not compatible (immediately crashes upon launch with no error messages).

I also think that the iPhone handles media & calls better, one time I was playing a podcast using PocketCasts and a call came in but the podcast did not pause playback and I had an active call with a podcast playing. I am not sure if the person on the other line heard this. I h…

Day 2: iPhone to Android: Apps & Issues

Ok. As I mentioned in myprevious post I am embarking on a one (1) week Android only experiment. This post will focus on the apps I have purchased to make the switch from iPhone to Android.

The experiment will last until Tuesday, June 8, 2014, at that point I will decide if I will stick to the Mi3W as my main device and use the iPhone 5S as a secondary. Right now the iPhone is in a drawer. PODCASTS - I am podcast fanatic, I think they are great and on my iPhone and Mac, I use the amazing [DOWNCAST APP]. I have tried about ten podcast apps in my previous flings with the Android platform and all of them have not been a good experience.

Well that all changes with [POCKETCASTS by shiftyjelly] it is a paid app at 159.41PhP and it’s fast, slick and easy to use. However it does not support enhanced podcasts, I hope this functionality is added in the future.

MUSIC – The Mi3W’s player does not display album art, so I am using Google Play Music to play local files.

Let us go into PIM data, I us…

Day 1: I wonder if I can go full Android for a week?

My current main device is a 32Gb iPhone 5S. Mostly I have relegated Android OS for my secondary device (for work or just to mess around with the OS) and usually I get the cheap low spec devices. My past Android device history shows this.

HTC HeroHTC ChaChaSamsung Galaxy PocketSamsung Galaxy S DuosSamsung Galaxy S Duos 2Xiao Mi Mi3W - current
Since [Xiao Mi Philippines] was offering their Mi3W at a very affordable price I decided to get one. The Mi3W is not a low-spec device [] the specs are actually pretty good. It has KitKat and MIUI which is the skin from Xiao Mi.
Now with the rumors that Apple will finally be releasing a bigger screen iPhone I think this is a good time to start getting used to a wider device. I must admit that I am not comfortable holding the Mi3W and I rely heavily on Keeep (full-disclosure I sell Keeep) to handle the larger device. Text input is also done with two hands instead of one, which is not ideal.

Before I start this experiment. I need to take care o…