Snow: Snapchat’s copy

I’m on Snapchat. Yes, that Snapchat. Since it’s banned in South Korea, the users from South Korea should have an alternative. And, there is Snow. Snow shares similar features with Snapchat.

…it is also gaining traction in China, where the country’s 700 million users make up the world’s largest internet market. There, Snow has a major advantage: Snapchat is blocked in China.

It’s available for iOS and Android.

Android N is… Nougat

I think more people think that Android N will have Nutella as its new name. But, recently Android announced that the official name for Android N is Android Nougat.

Wait, Nougat? I personally not familar with this. According to Wikipedia:

Nougat is a family of confections made with sugar or honey, roasted nuts (almonds, walnuts, pistachios, hazelnuts, and macadamia nuts are common), whipped egg whites, and sometimes chopped candied fruit. The consistency of nougat is chewy, and it is used in a variety of candy bars and chocolates. The word nougat comes from Occitan pan nogat (pronounced [ˈpa nuˈɣat]), seemingly from Latin panis nucatus ‘nut bread’ (the late colloquial Latin adjective nucatum means ‘nutted’ or ‘nutty’).

And, here’s a picture.

ng01851-082-018rq0w8r1 Image source: http://toetenzo.nl/?p=315

Chromecast-ed

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I know that it’s been a long time since Google introduced Chromecast. This week, I decided to get my Google Chromecast (2015) for my SONY TV. The setup was easy within minutes. I haven’t installed many apps, but casting YouTube videos from my Android phone, or iPad was super easy. At least, it’s wireless now.

Why I Pick Telegram as My Primary Messaging Platform?

Last year, I mentioned that I used Telegram and I enjoyed it. Been using for more than a year, I feel that it’s much better than the other messaging platforms. Well, I’m not using that many platforms to connect with other friends or colleagues if I consider the other options like LINE, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and many more. But, why Telegram?

Since I do not experience all messaging apps, I know that some other apps might be better. For now, I’m still considering that Telegram is the perfect option (for me) for some reasons.

Cross-platform and Multiple Sessions

Currently, I have multiple devices I use on my daily basis. Well, not really daily, but I usually switch between devices. I have 15-inch MacBook Pro Retina, iPhone 5, iPad 3rd generation, and Oppo Find 7. I have Telegram installed in those devices. It makes me stay connected. I can easily be in the conversation with friends, and especially colleagues. It’s flexibility to have multiple active session is my favorite!

Features

Telegram offers great set of handy features. Go to Telegram’s website for complete features, but here are some of favorite features:

  • File sharing made easy. I can share various types of files, not only photos, videos, but also PDFs, Android packages (yes, I use this a lot at work), spreadsheets, or any other document types.
  • API. It can be integrated easily to make useful tools. I will give some examples in the bottom part of this article.

Simple, fast, and lightweight

I like it’s simplicity. It helps me a lot in communication. I feel that it’s fast, a core feature that a messaging app needs. Of course, there are some extended features like stickers — even we can make our own stickers, bots (hello, @BotFather), event animated GIF.

Bots

It’s a Telegram account and operated by machine.

Bots are simply Telegram accounts operated by software — not people — and they’ll often have AI features. They can do anything — teach, play, search, broadcast, remind, connect, integrate with other services, or even pass commands to the Internet of Things.

The other one is an inline bots.

With the new inline mode, bots become omnipresent and can be used as a tool in any of your chats, groups or channels – it doesn’t matter, whether the bot is a member or not. Inline bots can help you with dozens of different tasks, like quickly sending relevant GIFs, pictures from the Web, YouTube videos, Wikipedia articles, etc.

At work, some of my colleagues made some handy tools based on this platforms.

ColorOS V2.1.1i Beta Android Lolipop on OPPO Find 7

After I lost my OPPO R819 few months ago, I finally decided to get another Android phone. And, I went with OPPO Find 7. Compared to other manifacturers, OPPO does not offer more frequent updates on its firmware. OPPO has its own operating system called ColorOS. Running on ColorOS, I have no problems, everything just running well.

The latest stable ColorOS for OPPO Find 7 is version 2.0.8i Kitkat. There are of course a way to get the other custom ROM developments like CyanogenMod, Nameless, or AOSP. Finally, few days ago, OPPO released its Lolipop-based ColorOS (V2.1.1i Beta) for Find 7/7a. Some basic features can be seen from the preview video below.

The detailed information on the release can be found at OPPO Community Forum thread. Previously, I had my Find 7 rooted and customized. In the discussion forum thread, there are some users reporting about the successful installation, and some file bugs. I finally took the risk to install the new distribution — and I chose to do a fresh install with these simple steps. It means, I erased everything in my phone with a new setup.

  • Download the package. It’s recommended to refer to this forum thread for the latest updates. The file is around 954 MB. Transfer the installation on the root directory to my phone.
  • I backup the files (especially photos) to my MacBook.
  • Turn off the phone.
  • Turn on the phone by pressing Power and Volume Up buttons until the logo appears to enter the recovery mode.
    • Follow the wizard, select “Wipe data and cache” option, click “Yes” to confirm.
    • Choose “Install from sd”, and navigate to the directory root. You should see the downloaded package there. On my installation, the file name is X9006&X9076ColorOS_V2.1.1i_Beta_full.zip.
  • Once the installation process completed, your phone will be rebooted. It takes time to boot. If the installation is successful, you will be greeted by some basic setup processes. Just follow the instructions.
  • Done.

I like the new look. There are some bugs — of course since this is a beta release — but I can live with them so far. According to the release, the updates will be also available OTA, which is good.

There are some new improvements and features offered in this release. One of them is the camera plugins which I like. I take photos a lot, and the camera-related functionalities are not easy to resist. It’s now time to install more Android applications and make some setting customizations.

Which Android Phone I Should Buy?

There are thousands of distinct Android devices on the market, and the numbers are growing. I bought some Android devices from some different brands. The latest one I bought, and I still use it right now is OPPO Find 7.

Finding the phone that really fits its owner is not easy. Android has a simple tool to help choosing which phone based on the way how you use your phone.

Which Phones

Go to www.android.com/phones/whichphone. Just follow the simple wizard. You will be asked on what you will your phone be used for (you will be asked about how frequent you use it). If some alternatives been found, they will be narrowed down to the carrier, phone sizes, and also price.

I tried, and I got the result that based on my daily use, I might go with LG G4, Motorola Droid Turbo, or Nexus 6.

The Phones

Bye OPPO R819

Last week, during my business trip to Jakarta, I lost my OPPO R819 phone which I bougt almost two years ago. It was my second Android phone I ever had. I liked it a lot for its design and features. I’m thinking of getting a new Android phone. But… what?

On Telegram

Telegram

I’ve been using many messaging app. For now, I’m enjoying using Telegram for some simple reasons: lots of my colleagues and frequent contacts are there. It also supports multiple devices (using a single identity). It’s great since I can switch between devices (MacBook, iPhone, iPad and my Android devices) seamlessly.

Goodbye Readmill

Readmill

Readmil has been my favorite ebook reader so far. I have shared my thought on this long time ago. I have a good really good experience. But, it seems that I have to find another alternative in the future since Readmill will be closed permanently in next July 2014. Sad.

This Berlin-based team will be joining Dropbox, a file hosting company. Dropbox does not offer ebook reading feature. The reason is more about the talent. For now, I will keep having Readmill on my iOS device (iPhone 5) and Android. I have it installed in both devices. For iPad? Well, I don’t have it anymore since I lost it last month. When Readmill is really gone, I think I’ll move back to iBooks on iOS. For Android? I’m still searching the best alternative.

Goodbye Readmill, you’ll be missed.

Dear Yahoo! Mail, how are you?

There is a fact that Yahoo! Mail is probably one of my first email service providers. Not sure about the exact date I created my account, but I think it was in 2000’s. It was the time when Yahoo! was so popular, had lots of services, and interesting products. Probably, it was also because that there were not many alternatives. Yahoo! Mail was a good choise.

But, it has been years. Many services — not only email — come and go. But, when we jump to the internet world, everybody will get an email. Not only about the very basic features (sending and receiving email), but email service should be build better, answering what users need. What internet users really need.

Let’s not forget also about some other services. Google launched its Gmail in April 2004 (so, it has been 8 years). Recently, Microsoft re-launched its Hotmail as Outlook.com. Every service tries to make improvements for its users to deliver the best product and features for them. This is how Yahoo! Mail inbox looks like.

If you have a Yahoo! Mail account, just try to login and see yourself. What do you think? Well, what do I think? And, why I’m writing this post, anyway? If I don’t like it, why should I write about it? Isn’t it easier to just leave it?

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Why HTC dropped Ice Cream Sandwich for HTC Desire HD

For more background, due to how storage on the HTC Desire HD is partitioned – and the larger size of Android 4.0 – it would require re-partitioning device storage and overwriting user data in order to install this update. While technically advanced users might find this solution acceptable, the majority of customers would not. We also considered ways to reduce the overall size of the software package, but this would impact features and functionality that customers are currently using. Even after installing the update, there were other technical limitations which we felt negatively impacted the user experience.

Why HTC dropped Ice Cream Sandwich for HTC Desire HD.