Saturday, July 27, 2013

Real-time Digital TV Comes to your Smartphone with Cignal's TV-to-Go Service

TV will never be the same again after Cignal introduced recently its TV-to-Go, an over-the-top (OTT) service.

Cignal subscribers can now watch real-time broadcast feeds from select Cignal channels on their broadband-connected smartphones or tablets - anywhere, any time. Breaking news come to you as it happens. You need not miss your favorite telenovela. Watch a favorite show while caught in traffic. These are just some of the things you can do with real-time TV!


On-demand movies at home were the fashion some time back with Pay Per View. But with OTT technology nowadays, one can watch movies and TV shows on the go via the internet rather than through a dedicated network. So significant is OTT service that Cignal reports that at the recently concluded BroadcastAsia 2013 Conference in Singapore last June 2013, several experts in the field of communications are foreseeing OTT as a worldwide trend in multimedia viewing.

On hand at the launch were top executives of PLDT, Smart and Cignal including M. V. Pangilinan.

For its initial salvo, Cignal brings 13 premium channels to smartphones and tablets, including international feeds from CNN and the Food Channel as well as local feeds like Aksyon TV.

The channels currently available on TV-to-Go

TV-to-Go icon on a tablet

Sign-in page


List of TV shows you can view in real-time mode


The Beta Phase service is already available free of charge to Cignal subscribers with Android devices on the Smart or PLDT broadband networks. To register, go to cignal.tv


Samsung's SideSync Makes Connectivity and Sharing between its ATIV PC and Smartphone Easy

Convergence is the new digital sexy.

And I got a taste of sexy when Samsung sat some of us down to a demo of SideSync, an application that bridges the gap between your Samsung Android smartphone and the Samsung ATIV PC. Basically it allows you to connect both devices to allow you to see on the PC the exact same screen you have on your smartphone, drag and drop files between both devices, and back up important items on your phone to the PC.



This is a summary of SideSync's features.



Phone Screen Sharing

The exact same image of your smartphone is replicated on one part of your PC screen (in fact, it is intelligent enough to even detect the model of your smartphone; the phone image on the PC mirrors the look of your smartphone). You can resize the phone screen on the PC and drag it either to the left or right side of your PC screen to suit your working style. Flip your phone to landscape orientation and its mirror image on the PC does the same.



Keyboard and Mouse Sharing

Your smartphone becomes an additional display. Files can be moved between the PC and the phone using either the keyboard or mouse. And, you can now type on a full-sized keyboard or move files around

Auto Back-up

Every time you connect to SideSync, your mobile content (contact, calendar, tasks, SMS/MMS, SMS/MMS settings, memos, logs, native applications, music, photos, videos, and many more are backed up safely and securely. This happens even while the phone's battery is being charged.

Here are some things you can already do with SideSync:

* Reply to SMS from the phone screen on your PC. This allows you to continue looking at your PC screen where you are doing other work instead of picking up your phone to reply.
* Seamlessly share music, videos, photos, games and files between the PC and smartphone just by dragging and dropping. Files are saved in designated folders for easy retrieval. Imagine playing Candy Crush on your bigger PC screen! :-)
* Draw on the virtual phone on your PC using the mouse and capture screen

SideSync will work with:
PC: Samsung ATIV PCs (ATIV TAB, ATIV BOOK, ATIV ONE)
Phone: Sansung Android phone or tablet running Jelly Bean OS and above)

Try out the Samsung SideSync technology at any of the latest Samsung shops (SM Dasmarinas, SM Lanang, SM Bacoor, SM GenSan, SM North Annex, Ayala Mall Centrio CDO, SM Cebu and Festival Mall).



Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Sneak Peak at a Samsung-driven Convergent Future Home at SM Appliance Center

Can you imagine a future home where you can control just about any home appliance remotely, wirelessly or from another gadget/appliance?

That is not far off. In fact, it is already HERE!

I was able to see for myself the real possibilities of a truly wired and connected home when I visited the SM Appliance Center at SM Makati where the S-Path, the epitome of a Samsung Convergent ecosystem, was unveiled. Samsung has really been leading the pack in the convergence arena and it will not be long before this will become de facto. Most gadgets and appliances will be "talking" to each other and data/photos will be flying to your family and friends even before they get to see you in person. You can monitor your home remotely, turn appliances on and off before you get home, print documents wirelessly and more. It has already began as we saw with some of Samsung's appliances and devices.

A mock-up of a real home was presented to us at S-Path. We walked through the home office of a ''father, then through the kitchen and dining area where the 'lady of the house' met us, then lastly through the living room where we met the 'son' and his entertainment system.

The S-Path at the SM Appliance Center in Makati

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Unlimited Viber services are exclusive with Globe Telecom

Viber and other VOIP (voice over internet protocol) apps are slowly gaining ground and eroding revenues of telcos from calls and texts. In the case of Viber, one can send free text messages, photos, videos, share locations and make free, HD-quality calls on iPhone, Android Windows Phone, Blackberry, Windows, Mac and other devices over 3G/4G or Wifi.

I use Viber a lot. If I am on wifi, why should I even send a text or make a call when I can contact people via Viber? I've also sent pictures using Viber while inside the messaging feature. It is so convenient instead of sending an MMS or emailing a photo. This is besides all the emoticons and stickers available to Viber that make chatting even more fun. And the best thing about Viber? I am not constrained by networks. For as long as the one I wish to contact is on Viber, we can communicate!

But...when I am NOT on wifi, how can I still use Viber if I need to contact people all day? I could subscribe to an unlimited data plan. But that costs around PhP 50 a day. I could choose another data plan for less but that either caps me at a fixed data plan or I can only connect for a few hours.

Globe has recognized this shifting habit in its subscribers and has gone into an exclusive partnership with Viber. Unlimited Viber without wifi or additional data charges is now possible through an exclusive partnership with Globe.



At a recent launch, bloggers got to meet Talmon Marco, Viber's CEO. He talked about how the Philippines, being a text and social media capital, was ripe for just such a partnership. Together with Globe's Peter Bithos, Globe's Senior Adviser for Consumer Business, Marco laid out exactly how prepaid subscribers could use Viber with Globe prepaid offers.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Nokia Asha 501 Dual Sim smartphone - small in size, large in features

The newest addition to the Asha line of Nokia was introduced recently - the Nokia Asha 501. This very small smartphone comes in different eye candy colors, is the first smartphone to be built on a brand new, developed from the ground up, Asha platform that is meant to give its users a whole new and fun mobile experience.



The Asha 501 on the outside

The first thing you notice is the Asha's size. It fits comfortably in the palm of a hand and weighs almost nothing (98 gms). Despite its small size, it sports a 3.0" QVGA TFT capacitive display with scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass. The Asha's colorful shells are interchangeable. This appeals to women like me who want to mix and match our phones to what we wear. And there are 6 colors to choose from - bright red, yellow, black, bright green, cyan and white (I fell for the bright red!). It comes with a 4GB memory card, upgradable to 32GB.



The Asha's 3.2MP camera may not be that impressive in the world of smartphones sporting double-digit MP cameras but pictures should be decent and clear enough to be sent via email or posted on blogs. A built-in app for the camera has 5-in-1 filters for creative shots. Jumpshot, anyone?

The Asha 501 on the inside

Small but 'terrible', the Asha 501's new platform was designed for a feature-rich experience. For the social media crowd, this phone comes with built-in Facebook and Twitter apps. Even the Weather Channel is preloaded. Its WLAN lets you connect to wifi hotspots anywhere. But where it stands out is in the following features included in the new platform:

Dual Sim - the benefit is obvious. Two mobile numbers in one phone.

Fastlane - start where you left off because this feature provides a timeline of activities and events in the recent past, present and near future. Want to know what activities you were doing yesterday? Just swipe. Or want to check your calendar for the coming week? Swipe the other way. It's that easy!



Nokia Xpress Browser - exclusive only to.Nokia, this browser enables faster and more affordable browsing (for those with data cap plans) because it compresses web pages by up to 90% even when multiple pages are open.

Games - Don't be fooled by its size because the Asha 501 has preinstalled gamed such as World Zoo, Fashion Icon, Little Big City, Real Football, and Bubble Bash. In addition, 40 EA games are availablw through the Nokia Gift app such as the popular Bejeweled, Tetris, Revolution FiFA, Sims 3, Need for Speed: Undercover and Plants vs Zombies.

The Nokia Asha 501 retails at PhP 4,490.

It may be considered low end in comparison to more powerful smartphones (it can only go up to 2G speeds). If you are on the internet a lot, you will want to go for a higher end phone with 3G and 4G capability to get better internet speed. But what the Nokia Asha 501 does is bring the affordability of a smartphone to those with a tight budget. I think this kind of pricing may really spell the beginning of the end for non-smartphones.


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Smart Music lets you download original MCA Music tracks at very affordable prices

Music lovers, heads up!

Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) just clinched the first-in-the-world ever deal with MCA Music (the world's number one music company) to offer MCA Music's over 3 million tracks from its global catalog exclusively to subscribers, both postpaid and prepaid, of Smart and its other mobile brands (Talk 'N Text and Sun Cellular). Through the Smart Music portal at www.smart.com.ph/music, downloads of original, licensed and full music tracks from the entire MCA Music global catalog are now possible.



We get access to the widest offering of music tracks from international and local music artists and can download these into our computers or mobile phones for as low as FIFTEEN PESOS PER TRACK! This has got to be the lowest rate in the digital music market today. New releases will be slightly higher at PhP 20 per track but that is still roughly half only of what it would cost you on other online music stores.

MCA Music's catalog spans eras and multiple genres. Some of the popular music superstars under its wing are international music artists like Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber, Mariah Carey, Jennifer Lope, Lady Gaga, U2, Black Eyed Peas, Eminem and more. From the local scene, the roster includes Ely Buendia and his bands Pupil and The Oktaves, Sitti, Nyoy Volante, Urbandub, Franco, ChicoSci and more. MCA Music also carries the license to classic collections such as the Beatles, The Rolling Stones and Motown.

Through the Smart Music online music portal, postpaid and prepaid subscribers of Smart, Talk 'N Text and Sun can browse the country's largest digital store and pay using their prepaid load or have it charged to their postpaid bill. There's no need anymore to have a credit card to purchase legitimate music online.

Smart Music is accessible via smartphone, tablet or laptop. You will first need to sign up with just your mobile number. A temporary password will be sent to your phone which you can use to log into the portal.

Here's a bonus too for early adopters. From now till August 8, all subscribers who sign up can get their first 2 songs FREE of charge.