• Living,  Tech

    Maxis Introduces World’s First “Kid-Sourced” Voice Navigation On Waze

    Maxis has made headlines with the introduction of the world’s very first “Kid-Sourced” Voice Navigation on Waze!

    It is called the Safe Mode Kids and it’s the first of its kind collaboration between Waze and Maxis. This came about after Maxis was inspired by a survey which found that 97% of Malaysian parents claimed they drive much safer when children are the car. With that information, Maxis decided to take it a step further and developed the Safe Mode Kids project.  “kid-sourced” voices of Malaysian children aged 3 to 12 to develop an innovative way of reminding parents to drive safer.

    Why is it “kid-sourced”? It is called that because the voices of Malaysian children aged 3 to 12 years of age was used to develop an innovative way of reminding parents to drive safer. A rather genius way to promote safer driving on the roads, and particularly timely with the Raya season upon us.

    This is quite different from the other Waze special voice packs that usually feature a single celebrity voice. Maxis’ Safe Mode Kids did it differently as they invited different children to donate their voices for Waze directional prompts with charming reminders to drive safe.

    Instead of the standard Waze navigation prompts you will hear sentences such as  ‘All set. Don’t forget your seatbelt’, ‘Re-routing. Eyes on the Road!’ and “Accident reported ahead. Please be careful, ok?”. The best thing is, Safe Mode Kids will be available to all of Waze’s more than 50 million users around the world!

    The Head of Marketing Services, Sulin Lau said that with the festive season approaching and knowing that Malaysia ranks 17th in the world for ‘most dangerous roads’, they felt that the Safe Mode Kids could be a charming and effective way to remind our fellow Malaysians to drive safer.

    Commenting on the partnership, Eleanne Hattis, Waze, Head of APAC said, “Safety is the utmost mission for any new feature or campaign Waze develops as we work together with citizens to improve their time in the car. We’re proud to work with Maxis on this project, amplifying a common goal to use mobile technology to promote safer roadways. People generally drive safer with children in the car, and we believe this is an attention-grabbing feature that will assist in spreading the cause.”

    Here’s how to get the Safe Mode Kids voice pack:

    • Download/open Waze
    • Select Settings
    • Click on Sound
    • Go to Voice Language
    • Select “English (US) – Safe Mode with Kids” (powered by Maxis)

    For more information, please visit www.maxis.com.my/safemode. Don’t delay getting this app, parents! Road safety is paramount at all times and if having little reminders like these help us drive safer, that surely can’t be a bad thing.

  • Tech

    Google Launches The New Chromecast!

    There’s something new from Google and it just got launched today! We bring you the Chromecast.

    What is the Chromecast? It is basically a device that you can use to literally cast your favorite entertainment from your phone or tablet straight onto the TV. This makes your mobile or tablet your remote control and you being able to watch things on a much larger screen, which is helpful when you want to show more than one person something from your mobile or tablet.

    You can use the apps you know and love on your phone to search and browse, play, pause, rewind, control the volume and even make playlists. At present, the Chromecast works with a growing number of apps including YouTube, Viki, Plex, Netflix, Hulu, Twitch, TEDtalks and Just Dance Now. If you’d like to find out more about your favourite apps and if it’s applicable, check it out on the website here.

    The Chromecast works with iPhone, iPad, Android smartphones and tablets, Chrome for Windows, Chrome for Mac and Chromebooks.

    The beauty of it is, you can also multitask without interruption. You can switch from app to app, open other browsers or let your device go into sleep mode while you continue to watch your favorites on the TV, all without draining the battery on your smartphone, tablet or laptop.

    So, whether you’re whether you’re watching a video, doing a little online shopping, playing online games, want to create a playlist or sharing your vacation photos, you can mirror everything you see on your Android phone or tablet to a bigger screen and what better place to do it than onto your own TV!

    How does it work?

    Plug in and play

    Get started in 4 easy steps:

    1. Plug Chromecast into your TV
    2. Set it up and connect it to your WiFi at home (it is important to note that both your mobile or tablet must be connected to the same WiFi network in order for it to work on your TV screen).
    3. Then send Google Cast Ready apps like YouTube and Twitch and more from your smartphone, tablet or laptop to your TV.
    4. Start watching your chosen channel from your mobile or tablet on the TV screen.

    We noticed that on some videos we tested, the resolution on the TV screen wasn’t clear. If your TV has a high definition screen, choose videos or whatever you want to watch in HD format. When we chose things in HD format, it was quite clear.

    It’s relatively easy to use and seems user-friendly enough for everyone. Another good thing about this is that your friends and family can use your Chromecast with their phones and tablets without having to set up anything, as long as they’re connected to the same WiFi network at your home.

    Not everyone can afford to purchase a smart TV and the benefit of this product is also its affordability. It retails at RM170 and you can purchase it from Maxis.com.

    Chromecast can be used on the following devices:

    Android supported devices include: Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Samsung Galaxy S4, Samsung Galaxy S5, Samsung Galaxy Note3, HTC One M7, LG G3, LG G Pro2, Nexus 7 (2013 version) and Nexus 10 running KitKat MR1 or higher, with more devices coming soon.

  • Living,  Tech,  Travel

    Samsung Unveils New Galaxy S6 & Galaxy S6 Edge!!

    Samsung fans will be delighted to know that the brand has unveiled its latest Galaxy S6 and the Galaxy S6 Edge smartphones.

    For those of you who are ardent fans and have been waiting for the official availability of the Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge, you won’t have to wait much longer. The smartphones will be launching very soon in Malaysia!

    Samsung recently announced that the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge are Samsung’s most advanced smartphones to date and they have literally taken the new phones to another level. For Galaxy users, you’ll find that it’s taken a departure away from the previous Galaxy devices and the new features are rather cool.

    The new Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge will feature a slim body made from an aircraft-grade metal. It is powered by the most advanced hardware around and the phone will also have its signature curved edges. The new Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge will be launched on the 2nd of April 2015.

    What makes these smartphones so special? For one thing, its casing is made from a special light-weight material specifically used in airplanes. It’s definitely another class on its own and the fact that it isn’t plastic, that’s an added bonus! It will also have the iconic Corning Inc’s Gorilla Glass on both the front and back of the smartphones.

    When it comes to the camera and screen upgrade, the brand did not disappoint as Samsung has spruced up their new smartphones. No longer will it house unpopular in-house apps that irritated many users no end because it swallowed up a lot of memory space. Now, that’s in the past. Samsung listened to their users and have churned out a real beauty. The new phones will be powered by Samsung’s own 64-bit, 14-nanometer Exynos processors, a departure from its previous reliance on Qualcomm Inc’s chips.

    Another major noticeable change are the batteries. Users would need to know that the batteries in the new phones cannot be replaced, unlike the other Galaxy devices in the past. To compensate for this factor, the devices are the first from Samsung to support wireless charging without a dedicated accessory, which in itself is very cool! What’s more, the smartphones can also get four hours of power with a 10-minute charge by cord.

    For those who need more tech talk, the specs are as follows:

    Samsung Galaxy S6

    • Dimension: 143.4mm x 70.5mm x 6.8mm
    • Weight 138g
    • Colours: white pearl, black sapphire, gold platinum, blue topaz
    • Storage options: 32/64/128GB
    • Display: 5.1-inch Quad HD display. 2560×1440 pixel resolution at 577 ppi. Super AMOLED.
    • Operating system Android 5.0 Lollipop
    • Rear camera: 16-megapixel
    • Front camera: five-megapixel
    • Processor: Quad 2.1GHz + Quad 1.5Ghz, octacore application processor
    • Sensors: accelerometer, light, gyroscope, proximity, compass, barometer, fingerprint, hall, HRM
    • Connectivity: wi-fi: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4/5GHz), HT80 MIMO(2×2) 620Mbps, Dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, mobile hotspot, Bluetooth: v4.1, USB 2.0, NFC
    • Battery: 2,550mAh, with fast wired charging, providing four hours of usage after only 10 minutes of charging
    • Wireless Charging:WPC1.1(4.6W Output) & PMA 1.0(4.2W) compatible
    • Additional Features: Samsung Pay, Microsoft Apps (OneDrive 115GB for two years, OneNote), Google Mobile Services.

    So, are you looking for a new phone? With these new features, the new Galaxy S9 and S6 Edge will have people hankering for it in droves because really, who wouldn’t want an awesome phone like this?! We’re definitely looking out for it!

    Sources: The Star & ZDNet

  • Living,  Tech

    Vent About “Idiots” In A Safe Social Zone

    Are you feeling a little less than calm? Annoyed or furious with the world today? Maybe the ‘Vent’ app can help.

    The Vent app is a rather nifty application to have in your phone.

    Bosses making your life hell? Boyfriend cheated on you? Driver cutting you off on the road? Neighbour being inconsiderate again? Take it out on Vent.

    Don’t pent up your emotions but rather voice out your frustrations with a certain level of anonymity.

    You know what they say; it’s better to get it off your chest than keeping it in where the negative emotions will eat you up inside.

    You can choose a variety of emotions before posting a short description about your vent. From “calm” to “irritated”, “annoyed”, “angry” and “furious”, you can share your dissatisfaction without fear of being caught red-handed.

    You also have the option to share your posts with other users who are in the same situation as yours.

    The app is currently only available for iPhone users through iTunes but fret not Android brethren, a similar version will be released for us later this year.

  • Living,  Tech

    Was The iPhone 6 Release Date Accidentally Announced?

    Fans of Apple, mark your calendars for what could possibly be the iPhone 6 launch date.

    Wider screens, phablet sizing and an upsize in phone memory — there is no denying that rumours for the highly-anticipated iPhone 6 is piling up! Though, the following news might possibly be the most solid information about Apple’s next-generation smartphone.

    According to information coming from Germany and China, Apple has apparently set the iPhone 6 release date for September 19, 2014. 

    Back in May, it was reported that Deutsche Telekom (Germany) may have carelessly revealed iPhone 6′s release date to fall on September 19, 2014. Fast forward to last week, the exact same timeframe has once again been mentioned — a new report from Chinese-language Tencent claims that Apple is preparing to launch its completely redesigned iPhone 6 on the similar date.

    To further back up the news, note that Apple has a history of launching new iPhones around the same time in previous years:

    • the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c started retailing on September 20, 2013.
    • the iPhone 5 was launched on September 21, 2012.
    • the iPhone 4s launched on October 14, 2011.

    However, it appears that this year’s release date is only for the 4.7-inch iPhone as the phablet-size 5.5-inch model could be slightly delayed. (This indirectly also confirms that we will be having a phablet-sized iPhone 6!)

    Regardless of how true these reports ring, it’s pretty safe to say that it’s time to start saving up for a potential Apple upgrade

    Information Source: Yahoo! News, International Business Times

  • Living,  Tech

    From Card To Your Phone, Starbucks Malaysia Launches Official App!

    Pay your coffee from your phone with the official Starbucks Malaysia app!

    To make things easier for their fans and coffee lovers, Starbucks Malaysia has come up with a creative idea — the Starbucks Malaysia app!

    Free for download on Android and Apple devices, the mobile application aims to make it easier for you to manage your Starbucks card.

    Unique only to Starbucks Malaysia (meaning you can’t use this in Singapore, Thailand, USA, etc.), the official Starbucks Malaysia app allows coffee drinkers to make payments as well as keep track of their existing rewards.

    It is also possible to top up your Starbucks account from the app using Credit Card or Direct Debit.

    To use it in stores, simply login to your Starbucks account with the app, present your mobile in front of the scanner at the counter and voila! — you’d get to pay for your purchases at stores in an instant.

    All these features are now conveniently at your fingertips; what’s not to love!

    For more information and to keep up to date with the app and Starbucks, please follow the Starbucks Malaysia Facebook Page or website.

    via Starbucks Malaysia Facebook

  • Living,  Tech

    6 Interesting Things You Forgot Your Android Device Could Do

    Looking for tips and tricks to optimise your Android smartphone experience? We’ve got you covered!

    If you are one who likes to tinker with your gadgets, then Android is possibly the best operating system for your smartphone or tablet. However, given the fact that Google updates the software quite frequently, it is sometimes inevitable that we miss out (or forget) some of the really cool features the green bug-eyed Android is capable of.

    That in mind, why not take a memory refresh. Below are 6 interesting things you might’ve forgotten that your Android smartphone could do.

    1. Smile To Unlock.

    Instead keying in your password, you can just smile at your device and let Android’s Face Unlock do it’s thing. To set it up, head on to Security under the settings tab.

    2. Enhanced Automation.

    Third-party Android apps like Tasker and Automagic can bring automation to the next level. For instance, you could set them to turn off your ringer when you walk into the office. Talk about convenience eh!

    3. Easy File Transfers With Android Beam.

    You can exchange contact info, as well as share photos or even apps wirelessly with Android Beam. All you need to do is to just place two Android phones together and they can automatically beam out. Note: You’ll need a recent Android phone with NFC — Near Field Communication — built in to use this function. Most of the newer devices, such HTC One and the Samsung Galaxy series, should have it.

    4. Additional Swype Keyboard.

    One of the fun things about Android is the multiple choices you can get for the keyboard. You can download several third-party keyboard apps (Swype, Swiftkey) to use gesture typing and better text prediction, or the Google Keyboard app from the Google Play store.

    5. Monitor Data Usage Without Third Party Apps

    Did you  know that Android lets you manage network data usage without the need of downloading third party apps? In the Settings menu, tap “Data usage” to reveal charts that show your total data usage and whether you’re getting close to the limit.

    6. One Tap To Call

    It is no secret that other softwares have easier methods to call out from; but the good news is that you can add your favourite contact to your Android homescreen and just tap to call.

    To do so, simply press and hold an empty space on your screen to make the menu pop out, select Shortcuts > Contacts and voila — you can then scroll through your list of contacts and tap the person you want to add to your homescreen.

  • Lifestyle,  Tech

    Crash the Party at BlackBerry Interstate Tour

    BlackBerry fans across Malaysia! BlackBerry’s bringing you the party via the BlackBerry Interstate Tour which is happening from 1 June to 5 July 2012! As part of the overall Stop Missing Out! Campaign in Malaysia, fans and customers can look forward to exclusive party invitations in major cities such as Penang, Kuching, Johor Bahru and Kuala Lumpur.

    Fans and customers can look forward to winning some cool prizes such as the new BlackBerry Curve at all the locations – starting from 1 June in Penang at Slippery Senoritas (passes also available on-site on 31 May) followed by Kuching at Terminal 1 on 15 June. The party continues in Johor Bahru at Club Cabana on 22 June before coming back to the capital at Zouk KL on 5 July 2012.

    Want to snag yourself an invitation? Simply log on to the BlackBerry Malaysia Facebook fan page or follow their Twitter account (@BlackBerryMY #StopMissingOut #CrashTheParty) and follow through a few simple steps and who knows, you might be walking away with your very own BlackBerry soon!

    So stop missing out, for more information just log on to their website.

  • Living,  Tech

    Selfeed: A Selfie Feed or New Form of Torture?

    Why not both. Is it just us, or is this whole Selfie fad getting quite out of hand?

    Let’s cut to the chase. There’s a site, called Selfeed – and what it does, is present real-time selfies from Instagram (from pictures that use the hashtag #selfie) on a relatively non-interactive website layout.

    You can choose to Tweet or Like the page on Facebook, and that’s pretty much it. Sit back. Relax. And watch as selfies from around the world pop up in real time, each one lasting less than a second on screen in a deluge of self-portraits.

    According to creators Tyler Madsen, Erik Carter, and Jillian Mayer, the site was created merely because they wanted it to exist..”neutrally”, and to create a communal global selfie that went beyond any one person.

    “We enjoy the constant flow of selfies and find it incredibly hypnotic and fascinating,” said the artists.

    “Most of the selfies that are aggregated are self-portraits with one singular figure. On Selfeed, these figures exist alone, but together.”

    O-kay. Unless you’re in a state of inebriation while viewing this, we don’t really know who this would appeal to. We’re trying really hard to imagine how this would benefit anyone. It’s not like you get to ‘Heart’ nice selfies or leave comments. You just sit, stare and passively be entertained (if you could even call it that) by flashing images of narcissistic and (usually) poor quality portraits.

    Just to be clear, there’s nothing wrong with taking a selfie. We’re sure your mom and your friends would like your picture a thousand times if they could. But if you really wanted to see a bunch of random people, why don’t you step away from your computer, wash your face..and step out of the house?

    If anything, Selfeed resembles the best form of torture. All that’s missing is that eye opening contraption from A Clockwork Orange.

    What do you think? Love it or hate it?

    Source: Time

  • Living,  Tech

    5 Reasons Why We Love the Samsung Galaxy S5

    Every year, the tech boys try to up the ante – sometimes less successful than others..but the Galaxy S5 does not disappoint

    You would’ve heard by now the specs of Samsung’s latest baby so let’s just do a quick TL;DR here for you: It’s got a 5.1″ FHD Super Amoled display, runs on 2.5GHz quad core application processor and Android 4.4.2 (KitKat) operating system, a 16MP camera on the rear and 2.0MP at the front.

    With that out of the way, here’s 5 reasons why we love the Galaxy S5:

    1. Style

    Let’s face it, phones play such a huge role in our lives that it’s important that it looks the part too. So if you’re into sleek functionality, the Galaxy S5 delivers. Just like many designer bags, the back of the Galaxy S5 comes with a perforated patterned back cover, lending it a modern glam look. It comes in classic shades of Charcoal Black and Shimmery White, with Electric Blue and Copper Gold set to arrive here later on.

    2. Camera

    As mentioned above, the 16MP camera has an enhanced menu and user interface that allows you to take, edit, and share photos effortlessly with a faster autofocus speed of 0.3 seconds. We’re really impressed with the Selective Focus feature which allows users to focus on a specific are of an object while blurring out the background and vice versa..AFTER you’ve already taken your photo. Pretty cool, huh? With this capability, you no longer need a special lens kit to create a shallow depth of field effect, and can take as many hipsterized photos to be uploaded onto your tumblr or Instagram account!

    3. Get Fit

    The S Health 3.0 offers more tools and acts like a comprehensive personal fitness tracker to help users monitor and manage their behaviour, along with additional tools including a pedometer, diet and exercise records, and a new built-in heart rate sensor.

    Pair this phone with the extra accessories like the Samsung Gear 2 and Gear Fit and you’ve got a sound system to keep your fitness in check with real-time fitness coaching or further customise your experience with an enriched third party app ecosystem.

    4. Faster Connections

    No matter where you are, the Galaxy S5 will help ensure you have the fastest available connection thanks to its ability to support the fifth generation WiFi 802.11ac and 2X2 MIMO and most advanced LTE experience today. There’s also a Download Booster feature , which boosts data speed by bonding WiFi and LTE simultaneously – so yay to faster YouTube experience!

    5. Protection

    While enjoying a good looking camera is fine and dandy, you want to know its safely protected as well. The Galaxy S5 is dust and water resistant and also offers a Finger Scanner which provides a secure, biometric screen-locking feature. There’s also a safe mobile payment experience, and the impressive Ultra Power Saving Mode will turn your display black and white, and shuts down all unnecessary features to minimise battery consumption and give you extra juice and crucial moments.

    The Samsung Galaxy S5 will be available in Malaysia from April 11 onwards at selected telco partners (Celcom, Digi, and Maxis) and all Samsung Mobile Brand Stores at a recommended retail price of RM2,399. Pre-orders start from March 28 to April 10. The Samsung Gear 2 and Gear Fit will be available from April 11 onwards at RM899 and RM599 respectively.

    For more information, visit the Samsung website.