Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Beautiful sounds from Harman's wireless speakers

Harman, winner of several awards for its unique products and known for its wireless sound systems that make use of Bluetooth and Near Field Communications (NFC) technology, recently invited me to see their latest line of audio solutions bearing the Harman/Kardon and JBL brands.

Harman/Kardon lineup

JBL lineup

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Get Publisher Plus and IObit's MacBooster 2 for Mac at 70% off this Christmas

Hi, Mac users!

Just want to give you a heads-up on two apps that have been discounted for a limited time this Christmas from PearlMountain Technology!

You can buy Publisher Plus and IObit's MacBooster 2 at 70% off from December 8 to 30, 2014. This Christmas bundle, worth almost $100, can be yours for only $29.90. That's a huge saving of about $69.95.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

A Globe-Line tie-up for Christmas lets loved ones abroad call Globe/TM subscribers in the Philippines

Quick! Tell your family and friends abroad to download the Line app!

Many won't be able to make it home this Christmas for various reasons. Both Globe and Line realize this, especially for the Philippines where millions of Overseas Foreign Workers (OFWs) come from. So for a limited time, Globe and Line have teamed up to make the separation during the holidays more bearable for OFWs and their loved ones here in the Philippines.

For nine days, from December 24, 2014 (12 AM) to January 1, 2015 (11:59 PM), Manila time, all Line users worldwide will be able to call Globe/Touch Mobile (TM) subscribers for FREE.

Globe's SVP for International Business Rizza Maniego-Eala of Globe with Line's Greg Kim

Follow Santa on the Google Santa Tracker!

Did you know you could actually use Google to track Santa? Presenting...the Google Santa Tracker!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Samsung presents its fully automatic washing machines

Most people know the basics of doing the laundry. The first thing I learned was to separate the coloreds from the whites. All my kids know that as well as it was the first thing I taught them when they went overseas. Other tips I follow are hand washing my delicates instead of throwing them in the wash, putting socks in netted bags so they don't get separated, and pre-soaking and scrubbing stained garments before a wash cycle.

But there are other factors and they have an impact on your choice of washing machine.

* Did you know that the longer the boosting time of the machine, the more energy it uses? And of course, the more energy used, the more expensive it is for you.

* Did you know that the higher the temperature of the wash cycle, the more energy is wasted too?

* Did you know that too much mechanical action can damage fabrics?

* And lastly, did you know that too much detergent leaves residue that could damage fabrics? In addition, when that is flushed down the drain, it is harmful to the environment.

Taking all these factors in when choosing a washing machine can spell a lot of difference -- savings in electricity and water, increased efficiency, and less worn clothes. And when a washing machine is fast and efficient, Mom has more time to spend bonding with family.

Samsung showed us a line of washing machines that considers the varied needs of a family - small or large - while incorporating the newest technological and practical innovations in their washing machines. Here are 3 of their models.

Samsung's Fully Automated, Top Loading Washers

Two fully automated, top loading washers were introduced to us at the event.

If you've admired silver refs, just imagine that very same classy, premium silver color now on a washing machine! This is the Samsung Fully Automatic Top Load WA16F759

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

APPefize your online content into your very own app

Got interesting content? It can now be APPefized by APPefize, a Software-as-a-Service (Saas) company.

This was what I found out at APPefize's event. Any media (print, images, music and video) can be generated into apps in a fairly short period of time using their robust app engine platform. Whether you are offering a service, promo, game or celebrity app, they can make your content functional, interesting and exciting. And...because it is now an app, you can share content globally, not just locally.

Most people are now mobile so they get a lot of their information on their smartphones rather from their laptop or desktop. This is why the people behind APPefize feel that putting content on apps was a way to go because the content could be made even more interesting that way. Whether you are a showbiz personality, a political figure, a sportsman/woman, a brand, or even an advocacy group, your content can be converted into an app. Some of the celebrities who have apps that are coming out in the coming months are people like Jim Paredes, JayR, Tessa Prieto-Valdes, Regine Tolentino, Derek Ramsay, Richard Gutierrez, Ruffa Gutierrez, Tim Yap, Solenn Heussaff, Barbie Almalbis, Martin Nievera, Christian Bautista, Tippy, and Bela Padilla.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Samsung's Galaxy of Christmas Wishes for 2014

Hold it! Before you buy that gadget for yourself or a loved one, check out Samsung's Galaxy of Christmas Wishes promo which has been running since November 15 to December 31, 2014!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Globe Education Solutions: Using world-class platforms for schools

There was a time when kids' schoolbags weighed a ton, filled with thick books and numerous notebooks, giving parents like me angst about our kids' future posture and shoulder problems. 

There was a time when teachers manually graded school work and orally gave exams, when grades were painstakingly computed, printed out on paper report cards, and mailed out to parents or given to students. 

There was a time when textbooks were limited to textbook authors and teachers had to select the best (and the least likely to have errors) textbooks to include in their syllabus.

Those days are almost over if integrated educational ecosystems such as those being offered now by Globe Education Solutions become the norm in most schools. At a recent presentation, Globe announced their partnership with three other international companies that offer tech solutions for the academe: D2L Learning, Globals and Flipside.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Testing Inbox by Google - a new way to categorize email

Guess I'm one of the lucky ones. Because of a techie friend, I was able to get an early invite to try out Google's Inbox, which is currently running alongside Gmail.

How my Inbox looks at the moment

Sunday, October 5, 2014

The Batingaw app is so useful in case of disasters and emergencies

At a recent #SafePH gathering of disaster response advocates including people from National Disaster and Risk Reduction Management (NDRRMC) and organizations from the private sector, one of the things taken up was a presentation on the Batingaw app, developed by NDRRMC in collaboration with and Smart Communications.

Batingaw is an indigenous term meaning "siren". It is a mobile app developed with tech start-up Tudlo Innovation Solutions Inc.  and the OCD-NDRRMC which effectively transforms any smartphone into a safety tool during disasters and emergencies. The app contains Twitter feeds of relevant agencies, media orgs and private sector initiatives, contact info of disaster-related agencies,

Here are screenshots to give you an idea of what's in it.

First thing is to create an account

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Globe goes artsy with its Generation 3 Stores

When BIG and BUSY Globe Stores close down for no apparent reason, you know something is going on! It happened last Saturday in SM North EDSA and will happen again this Saturday at Limketkai Mall, Cagayan de Oro. These stores will reopen already in December 2014.

What's going on????

It began in 2010 when Globe remodeled its stores and introduced pioneering innovative store designs. Now in 2014, another unique retail concept, the FIRST of its kind in the country, will be introduced. Globe Retail Transformation and Management Head Joe Caliro said, “We are taking a giant leap with the new retail concept of our 2 flagship stores. Our Generation 3 stores will bring to life our customers’ digital lifestyle and epitomize the aspirations of our customers. Our stores will be a wonderful place where customers can explore and discover exciting finds in the digital space.”

What will these stores look like?

Dubbed Generation 3 stores, the stores will feature themed surprises -- Arts, Community and Technology. These stores are designed by Tim Kobe, founder and CEO of Eight, Inc. whose brainchild is the iconic Apple store in New York. Among his achievements, Kobe is responsible for the designs of the Apple Stores, the Nike Concept Stores, Coke, Knoll, Virgin Atlantic Airways, and Citibank.

The new stores will have interactive lifestyle vignettes featuring a wide range of products. Installations will be flexible and reconfigurable allowing the store to keep transforming and looking different each time, in order to keep customers coming back.

Renowned Filipino artist Ross Capili

Friday, October 3, 2014

Smart's Free Internet Offer Expanded and Extended

It started today, Oct. 3, 2014, with two tweets from Manuel V. Pangilinan's Twitter account:

"TY for overwhelming response to #SmartFREEInternet. Our early Christmas gift to our loyal & new subs-offer now extended to Jan 5”

"Even better – free internet now open to ALL prepaid, postpaid & broadband subs of Smart, TNT & Sun #SmartFREEInternet for ALL"
With that Smart just extended their FREE internet from Nov. 30 to January 5, 2015. And even more, it now covers not just Smart, Sun and Talk & Text prepaid subscribers but also postpaid and broadband subscribers as well.

How do you avail of free internet?

You just have to maintain a balance of at least one peso, or be subscribed to any load bucket/promo.

Register at the beginning of each day that you want to avail of free internet. Simply send “FREE” to the number “9999.” Registration is free. You will receive an SMS confirmation upon successful registration. Once registered, you can enjoy a free data volume package of up to 30MB per day. (Note: Data charges will apply to peer-to-peer uploads and downloads, videos (unless embedded in Facebook), VOIP and messaging (except for Facebook Messenger).

Plus -- Unli Facebook

On top of this free internet, enjoy “unli” “all-you-can” Facebook access. This includes sending messages via Facebook Messenger and viewing of videos embedded in Facebook posts. Subscribers can also enjoy all-day Wikipedia access as well on top of the daily 30 MB free data allocation.

Now, all 72 million Smart, Sun and Talk & Text subscribers can enjoy browsing through favorite websites as well as increased social media engagement without incurring data charges. This is a game-changer as I see it because in the past, while many have been able to afford smartphones that have been getting cheaper and cheaper, using them to avail of data buckets and promos has not grown along with the sales of smartphones. Making the internet free up to 30MB a day may not be for the data-heavy subscribers but for the ordinary people who just want to check their Facebook, send out an email or do a Google search, 30MB oftentimes will be more than enough.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

A Bonding Moment with a Sibling and Samsung's UHD Curved TV

I don't always get to meet my married sister. We are both busy with our individual families. Besides that, we live in opposite sides of town.

So when I had a chance to stay at Makati Shang for one night, she was the first person I called to ask if she had time to go on an overnight with me. She was free!

We began with a lunch at nearby Glorietta, then checked into the hotel a little past 4pm.

As soon as we entered the room, I got a very pleasant surprise. Not only did we have a king-sized bed and a fruit tray but the room was transformed into a mini home theater room!

My arm span isn't even enough to measure the width of this 78-inch screen!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Pre-order a Xiaomi Mi3 with a Smart postpaid plan

Smart is the first in the Philippines to offer the Xiaomi Mi3 with a postpaid plan - a metallic smartphone with superior specs and yet, is priced quite reasonably for smartphones in its category.

At Smart data plan 999 (with 24-month lock-in period), you get the Xiaomi Mi3 FREE plus the following:

* All-day (unlimited) surfing
* 99 all-network texts
* 9 minutes all-network calls

Sunday, July 13, 2014

The Pope App just launched

Good news for the Catholic faithful. The Vatican is on social media.

No, I am not referring to @Pontifex, the Pope's official Twitter account. That's old hat. This is the latest news... the Pope now has his very own app. What else but The Pope App!

It's only been a week since the app debuted on the online scene but it already has over 100,000 downloads. Available on both the App Store and Google Play, The Pope App presents "the latest news and information on the Pope as produced by the Vatican's own media services and featured on, the official network hub of Vatican communication".

The latest news coming from the Vatican

Live events are streamed on the app

Social sharing of Pope's tweets within app

Other features in the app
The app's contents are easily shareable and can be easily changed from within the app into different languages including Spanish, French, Italian or Portuguese. Live views from webcams located in St. Peter's Square and other areas nearby are shared also via the app. Papal events are live streamed while papal photos, videos, full texts of homilies and speeches as well as a calendar of events and links to all Vatican media are also in the app.

Here's a video about the app:

How wonderful for Catholics to be able to walk around with a direct link to Pope Francis in our pockets and bags!

To download, visit the Apple Store or Google Play.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Deezer expands Smart's music portfolio even more

Recognizing that Filipinos really love music, Smart has teamed up with premium music streaming service Deezer to bring over 30 million songs in its library to Smart's postpaid subscribers.

Deezer is an app available on Google Play and the App Store. It is also on the web ( so you have access to Deezer on your computer or via your mobile phone.

With over 30 million tracks in its inventory, Deezer offers the music lover a wide range of genres to choose from. My son is a Beatles fan and at the blogger launch, he was saying that other music streaming apps didn't cut it for him because they didn't have Beatles songs. Well, what do you know. Deezer does! And he spent a good part of the night with the headphones on, listening to different songs he'd pick out from Deezer's vast music database.

Here's more from Deezer that you'd find interesting.

* Music Recommendations from Music Editors - this combines the best of man and machine recommendations made by Deezer's 50 music editors worldwide together with its smart algorithms. By studying your music choices, it can recommend to the user music that is personalized to his/her music taste.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Samsung Galaxy K zoom - a camera-specialized smartphone

In a digital world where the smartphone is used more and more for selfies and photo uploads on social media, not all smartphone cameras cut it anymore.

Samsung has now launched a camera-specialized smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy K zoom that blends advanced digital camera technology with a Galaxy smartphone.

How the Galaxy K zoom looks with lens recessed

Opening the Camera app automatically activates the zoom lens' protrusion

Globe announces 100% 3G coverage now and full 4G coverage in 90 days; partnership with Lotus F1

Today, Globe's President & CEO, Ernest Cu, announced before media and bloggers that Globe has finally achieved 100% network coverage with 3G signal and that in another 90 days, it will be able to provide full HSPA+ (LTE) coverage.

Globe's Cu says the rollout of both 3G and 4G HSPA+ infrastructure for its entire network is part of its transformation efforts to deliver the most modernized telecommunications infrastructure in the country. With this transformation, they say subscribers should expect enhanced coverage in major points of convergence and a more reliable network not just for texts and voice calls but also for fast internet connection.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Smart Bro Dashboard: Manage your budget and data usage better

It always pays to listen to your subscribers and get their feedback.

After a lot of listening, planning and tweaking, the first phase (beta) of the Smart Bro Dashboard was launched at a blogger event yesterday.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Samsung's Industry Business Solutions Center recently unveiled

This is a heads-up for industries in the healthcare, retail/hospitality, education and office/banking/finance industries. Samsung just recently unveiled their new Industry Business Solutions Center located at Campus Avenue, McKinley Hill.

Bringing together Samsung's products and software that build on convergence, current digital technology and productivity, the center is a showcase of all the possibilities that these industries can now avail of.

I joined a tour around the Industry Business Solutions Center and here is what is already available.

The Center greets visitors with a huge video wall which can show individual windows, each showing a different set of information, or it can become one huge wall showing an enlarged view of a map, traffic situation, weather information or anything else. Video walls are very good in what many refer to as "war rooms" -- those centers that are used for disaster monitoring, strategy mapping, command centers.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Springpad is shutting down; download or migrate your data

In a surprise move, I saw a tweet yesterday from the productivity app I've used more frequently over Evernote -- Springpad -- announcing that they will be shutting down on June 25, 2014. I quickly checked to see if this was indeed official and read this article on their blog, "Springpad says goodbye". Sad but true, they are indeed shutting down due to lack of funding. :-(

If you're one of the many Springpad users who loved the app but will need to consider alternatives now, the good news is that there are 2 migration options: Evernote and Pocket.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Dell introduces its entry level 3000 and 5000 series Inspiron laptops

Dell just introduced today its latest entry level Inspiron 14 3000 Series and Inspiron 14 and 15 5000 Series laptops that are meant for families and students.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Globe introduces GoSurf with Spotify

Spotify is the music streaming app that is taking cyberspace by storm nowadays. If you've gotten tired of listening only to your own music playlists over and over again, Spotify now lets you hear streamed music from different genre collections as well as from friends and celebrities.

Now you can enjoy Spotify with Globe's GoSurf promo. Globe Postpaid and Prepaid subscribers, TM and Tattoo subscribers can subscribe to GoSurf with Spotify. This means you get a plan that combines surfing time as well as Spotify music streaming. 

Friday, May 16, 2014

1Password 4 for Android is on open beta testing!

Android users, rejoice! A leading password manager, 1Password by AgileBits, has an open beta test for its 1Password 4 for Android.

(screenshot courtesy of AgileBits website)

Being a 1Password user for many years, I don't hesitate to recommend this leading password manager to my family and friends. They have iOS, Mac and Windows versions. All you need to remember is ONE master password (Note: The master password has to be something you can remember because it has no "Forgot Password" feature. You forget it, you lose your info inside). But once you're logged in, you'll find the safety features really outstanding: strong encryption; ability to auto-login from 1Password or copy-paste the password; categories; vaults (lets you put passwords in different vaults where each vault has its own sync, sharing and password settings); and a new Watchtower feature in the Mac version that alerts you to passwords that have not been changed in a long time, weak passwords or passwords at risk.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Smart postpaid plans now bundle the LG G2 Mini LTE

Smart's postpaid plan options have just widened again with the inclusion of the LG G2 Mini LTE smartphone in its offerings.

Available with the Smart Postpaid All-in Plan 1200, the LG G2 Mini LTE is said to be the most affordable smartphone bundled with unlimited LTE surfing using the Smart platform. The Unli LTE 995 is already automatically included in the All-in Plan 1200 so the remaining consumable balance can be used for other call and text bundles.

The LG G2 Mini LTE is the mini version of the LG G2. It runs on KitKat and has an 8MP rear camera (with autofocus and LED flash) and a 1.3MP front-facing camera. It also comes with 8GB of internal storage and a 2440 mAh battery. It will be available in black and white.

Here are some of its cool features:

* Knock Code - a popular feature which lets users tap twice on the screen to wake the phone up from sleep mode.
* Rear Key - lets users take full control of their phones with their index finger using a rocker placed at the back of the phone
* Guest Mode - lets users set a predetermined unlock code that restricts access to personal files when the phone is lent to others
* Plug & Pop - instantly launches video- and audio-related apps once the users plug their headphones in

The LG G2 Mini LTE is also one of the newest High-Definition (HD) voice-capable handsets. This technology provides subscribers with higher quality and better call experiences. When the feature is activated, words with the letters "s", "m" and "p" become more intelligible from both ends of the call. at the moment, HD Voice is available in NCR, Rizal and Bulacan with more areas being rolled in down the road.

Subscribers can also avail of the LG G2 Mini LTE at Plan 999 with a PhP 4,776 one-time cashout or PhP 199 on top of their monthly fees for 24 months (inclusive of calls and texts). Prepaid subscribers can avail of the LG G2 Mini LTE at an SRP of PhP 13,990.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Uber partners with Smart for a Mother's Day surprise

Still wondering what to give your Mom or wife on Mother's Day? Here's something very different you could try.

Smart has partnered with Uber, the on-demand car service, to bring you an on-demand promo just for Mom.

On May 11, Uber users can request for a special Mother’s Day package which will include the following:
- A bouquet of fresh flowers
- Gift box with beauty products from Glamour Box
- A sweet treat from Grechelle's Kitchen
- Gift certificate for a manicure session at Posh Nails

The package's regular price is P400 but those with active Smart postpaid subscriptions will receive a special code on Mother's Day which can be used to order the package at 50% off.

How to order?

Those with active SMART Postpaid subscriptions will receive a special code on Mother’s Day which they can use to avail of the Uber on-demand promotion for half its usual price. This will be charged to the credit card used during the registration for an Uber account.

Users only need to download the free Uber app for smartphones and sign up for an account to enjoy the promotion. A vehicle option named “UberMOM” will be seen in the app, and users would have to move the green pin on the map to the location where they want the gift basket delivered to. SMART Postpaid subscribers only need to enter the promo code along with their orders to get the discounted price for the gift basket. Everyone who signed up for Uber can join this promo and make a request for the package through the Uber app.

One thing to take note of: Due to the high demand expected during Mother's Day and limited supply of the packages, the on-demand service will only run on May 11 (Sunday) from 9AM to 8PM and only 100 gift packages will be available for delivery.

The Uber application can be downloaded from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. Postpaid subscribers can avail of the 7-day and 30-day Flexibundles for P299 and P999, respectively, to get access to the Uber app and other mobile internet applications on their phones.

Be 1 of only 100 people who can give this unique package to your Mom or wife. And if you are a Smart postpaid subscriber, you can even get it at 50% off.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Samsung unveils the world's first curved UHD TV

The backdrop of the launch was as theatrical and exciting as the products being introduced. From a modern family setting that featured different ways of enjoying the 2014 product lineup of Samsung in family entertainment, we were treated to a Roman gladiator performance at the Blue Leaf event hall, where Samsung unveiled another world first - the Samsung Curved UHD TV.

This angle really shows the curvature of the UHD TV

Friday, May 2, 2014

Real-time tracking of flights with FlightStats app

The old way of checking a flight's status was through the airline's website. I remember doing that many, many times when family members were traveling. But for some reason, they were not always reliable. At times, departure/arrival delays were not reflected on the flight status.

But now, there are apps you can download that provide more accurate and real-time flight status. One of them which is on my phone is FlightStats. Just imagine how useful such apps can be. If there is a delay in the flight, you'd know even before leaving home. Productivity is much higher because you know that you can leave home and arrive at the airport at just the right time, allowing you to do work when flights are delayed.

The Flightstats app uses a mix of information and visuals. First you enter the details (by flight, by airport or by route).

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Samsung launches its PRO Series with two variants

For my bad eyes, BIG is BETTER.

That's exactly what the PRO series by Samsung Galaxy featured when it launched the 12.2" Galaxy Note PRO and the 8.4" Galaxy Tab PRO. Both variants boast of a WQXGA display with 4 million pixels for crisp, vibrant color display.

The Galaxy Note PRO is HUGE!!! At 12.2" of screen real estate that is less than an inch shy of my 13" Macbook Air's screen! It runs on an Octacore processor and has an 8mp rear camera and a 2mp front camera. It comes ready with 32GB internal storage, upgradable to 64GB with a memory card. It runs on a 9500 mAh battery. Wow, really powerful. I'd need to upgrade all my power banks if I had this one! And of course, like the Note 3 smartphone and the Note 10.1 tablets, the Galaxy Note PRO has the S-Pen and the same features.

What a wide, wide, wide screen area!
Because it is that big, the Multi-Window feature is really neat to work with -- imagine 4 windows open simultaneously without putting a strain on your eyes. Watch a video or movie on one window, have your social media network in another and still have 2 windows for work-related stuff.

That's an iPad Air on top of the Galaxy Note PRO. WHOA!!!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Wanted by Google: a Pokemon Master!

This has got to be the most fun and best time-waster April Fools Day idea from Google.

This morning, I saw some tweets talking about a new YouTube video from Google so I followed the link. Check it out here.

As it turns out, Google's April Fools video was not just an entertaining video.  There is an actual game embedded inside Google Maps that lets you scan the world looking for, and capturing, Pokemon!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Collaboration on the cloud with the partnership of PLDT SME Nation and Samsung Electronics

The tarp at the event read “Today, only 14% of Filipino small to medium enterprises have an online presence. By 2016, 75% will be online.

A very bold prediction indeed.

But who says it isn’t possible when the event was meant to announce the solid partnership of PLDT SME Nation and Samsung Electronics Philippines Corporation (SEPCO) to bring future-ready solutions for small and medium enterprises (SMEs). PLDT First Vice President and Head of SME Nation, Ms. Kat Luna-Abelarde), told those present that the synergistic partnership with Samsung meant offering an array of high-speed myDSL Biz broadband packages and flexible cloud bundles combined with Samsung’s newer gadgets.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

PSE Edge app: stock investing info on the go

Wow, the Philippine Stock Exchange has just brought stock investing info to a new level by launching its PSE Edge app today. Edge, which stands for Electronic Disclosure Generation Technology, is a state-of-the-art, fully automated system acquired from Korea Exchange and tailored for PSE's needs with the Koreans' help. It replaces the current PSE Online Disclosure System (ODiSy). It now has more features that further standardize disclosure reporting from the PSE's listed companies. This in turn enhances and levels the playing field for smaller investors who can now have the same access to information as the much bigger players and stockbrokers. This means improved transparency all around and encourages more investments in the equities market from the smaller investors who can be assured of equal access to corporate information.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Evernote updates its iOS app with more features

Hurry and update your iOS device to the latest version of Evernote because you would not want to miss out on its newest features.

(screenshot from Evernote's website)

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Smart Family Ties: Savings, Security and Connectivity within the Family

(Note: Read all the way down because Smart is doing different weekly Instagram contests. Major and minor prizes up for grabs at the end of the promo.)

When family members are separated during the day, trying to stay connected and in touch can rack up quite a bill. I have 4 kids and all throughout their school years, my dilemma often would be ensuring that they had enough load so that they could reach me during an emergency and vice versa, or simply communicate with the yaya or driver regarding fetching hours.

Last January, Smart began offering the Family Ties Plans -- a family-oriented combo of postpaid plans that allow family members to stay in touch with each other without breaking the bank.

This is how Smart Family Ties works.

You have a choice of two postpaid plans. Family Ties Plan 900 includes unlimited calls within the family circle, unlimited texts to Smart, 200 texts to all networks and 100 MB free data PER LINE, EVERY MONTH. Plan 900 comes with 3 postpaid lines and 3 handsets, all under ONE account.

On the other hand, Family Ties Plan 1800 comes with unlimited calls AND texts to Smart subscribers, 200 free texts to all networks and 300 MB free data on EACH LINE, EVERY MONTH.

One can add up to 6 family members under each plan. Just add PhP 300 per line for Plan 900 and PhP 600 per line for Plan 1800.

Only ONE billing statement will be produced for all three lines but each line will have its own details. If a parent wants to teach the kids how to budget strictly, it is easy to tell which one exceeded his monthly allocation.

Smart's Postpaid Flexibundles are also available in case any family member wants to subscribe to additional services beyond what the Family Ties plan offers.

The Family Ties postpaid plans

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Contest: #EpsonforMoms Labelworks and PictureMate Printers

(Note: I'm hosting an Epson contest with either a Picturemate PM245 or a LabelWorks label printer as giveaway so please read the entire post.)

I've always connected the brand Epson with printers. And we've had our share of printers at home -- from the very simple and cheap desk printer I had beside my computer to the all-in-one printer that the whole family shared at one time to the wireless printer that we currently have. So when the SoMoms were invited to an Epson for Moms event, I was the first to sign up. Were we in for a huge surprise because the products we were introduced to that day were meant to turn ordinary into extraordinary!

Monday, February 24, 2014

PSHS Launches its First Samsung Smart Classroom

As a geeky parent who has experienced just how heavy school bags can get (and they weigh a ton!), I totally embrace the growing concept of shrinking school material into ebooks and portable devices such as tablets.

So when I got an invitation to the ribbon-cutting ceremony of Samsung's first smart classroom in the main campus of Philippine Science High School (PSHS), I did not hesitate to say yes. After all, PSHS is where you'd find some of the country's most gifted student-scientists who are well known for their skills in math, science and technology.

At the Advanced Science Technology Building, one of PSHS's main campus classrooms was renovated completely to house a fully digital and interactive learning environment filled with the latest in Samsung's technology solutions for learning. Not only did Samsung provide the hardware inside this classroom but they also provided the software platform upon which the learning tools ran.

Plaque right outside the smart classroom

Sunday, February 9, 2014

WeChat 5.1 is here with more games and features

WeChat, one of the top 3 searched apps in the Philippines, recently introduced us to their app version 5.1 and they come with more games, enhanced features that support both iOS and Android platforms, expanded group messaging and customized photos that are shareable.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Happy 30th Birthday, Mac!

It's 30 years of Mac! Happy birthday, Mac!!!

Apple's official website has this image plastered all over its homepage to celebrate 30 years of Apple innovation.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

50 GB of storage free for life from Box when you download its iOS app

Cloud storage is now becoming the way to store one's files so you can take it everywhere. Dropbox initially offered 2GB free storage with increasing storage for every new user you bring in. iCloud started with 5GB. My son told me about Box some time back so I registered for an account just as a backup cloud storage but never used it.

You will want to download Box on your iPhone or iPad as soon as possible though because for a limited time, all users who download the iOS app get 50GB cloud storage FOR LIFE. Yes, it is never going away!