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.

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.

Solution: WhatsApp crashes on iOS 8 Beta

WhatsApp Logo

Last week, I finally decided to upgrade my iPhone 5 to iOS 8 Beta 4. When the iOS Beta 1 was available, I took the risk to have it installed. But, it was too disappointing for too many bugs and errors. I’m excited about the upcoming iOS 8 features, and I want to try some of the features. There is a discussion thread at MacRumors Forum which lists the application compatibility on iOS 8. Anyway, I have lots of apps installed right now. If you’re not sure about having the iOS Beta, you can wait for the official release.

I have some applications that are not running well, and one of them was WhatsApp. It keeps crashing. I can accept the fact that some other applications are broken or crashed. But, WhatsApp is an app that I use on daily basis. After searching for solutions, there are two popular ways to fix this issue:

I chose the second option, because it’s pretty straight forward. Big thanks to Ritvij Pathak’s The Tech Portal. So, what was the problem? Quoting from the site:

The main reason for the crashes is typographic ligature. For those of you who didn’t get what it is, don’t fret, we didn’t either. Turns out it has something to do with two letters being read as one syllable. Ex: letter combos like ff, fi, ffi, fii, will make WhatsApp crash.

What I found was that WhatsApp crashed when I typed some words or there are some words that are already in the database file. So, I followed the instructions and had everything solved. I want to reproduce the solution based on my experience.

I need to download two applications: iExplorer and Navicat for SQLite. Both are paid applications but the trial version are available. After I had it installed, these are steps I did. Anyway, WhatsApp iCloud setting should be turned off.

Open iExplorer — your iPhone should be connected, of course — and navigate to Apps > WhatsApp > Documents. Export the ChatStorage.sqlite file by right-clicking on the file and choose the export destination of your choice. You will need this file later. Having the backup for this file is advisable. So, after exporting this file, duplicating this file won’t hurt.

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Open Navicat for SQLite and import the ChatStorage.sqlite from the previous step. Navigate to Query and add a new query. Paste the query below, and Run it.

update ZWAMESSAGE
set ZTEXT = replace( ZTEXT, 'ff', 'f f')
where ZWAMESSAGE.ZTEXT like '%ff%';

update ZWAMESSAGE
set ZTEXT = replace( ZTEXT, 'fi', 'f i')
where ZWAMESSAGE.ZTEXT like '%fi%';

update ZWAMESSAGE
set ZTEXT = replace( ZTEXT, 'fl', 'f l')
where ZWAMESSAGE.ZTEXT like '%fl%';

CREATE TRIGGER insert_Ff AFTER INSERT ON ZWAMESSAGE
BEGIN 
  UPDATE ZWAMESSAGE 
  SET ZTEXT = replace( ZTEXT, 'ff', 'f f')
  WHERE ZWAMESSAGE.ZTEXT like '%ff%';
END;
 
CREATE TRIGGER insert_Fi AFTER INSERT ON ZWAMESSAGE
BEGIN 
  UPDATE ZWAMESSAGE 
  SET ZTEXT = replace( ZTEXT, 'fi', 'f i')
  WHERE ZWAMESSAGE.ZTEXT like '%fi%';
END;
 
CREATE TRIGGER insert_Fl AFTER INSERT ON ZWAMESSAGE
BEGIN 
  UPDATE ZWAMESSAGE 
  SET ZTEXT = replace( ZTEXT, 'fl', 'f l')
  WHERE ZWAMESSAGE.ZTEXT like '%fl%';
END;

Your ChatStorage.sqlite has been updated. The next thing you need to do is bring the file back to the iPhone using iExplorer. Move it to the same place and if you’re asked to replace the file, just replace the file.

My previous errors with WhatsApp was fixed immediately. But, it seems that the errors still occur under different situation. The most common problem is that WhatsApp still keep crashing when I type some words in the window. For now, the temporary solution works, and let’s wait the official update from WhatsApp team. I’m sure they will fix it once iOS 8 is available.

iTunes 10.5, iCloud, and iOS 5

I’m waiting for iOS 5! It should be arrived today and I can’t wait to download it. When I watched Apple Special Event (October 2011) last week, there were many information about iOS features that I want to have. It is said that there are more than 200 new features in this release.

From the video, you can see some icons there about the top features. It will have Notification Center, iMessage (chat between iOS users), Newsstand, Reminders, Twitter deep intergration, Camera improvement, Photos , Game Center, Safari, and also PC Free.

And, if you want get the most from the release, you should check your iTunes. The latest version of iTunes (Version 10.5) is already available now. It will also support iTunes in the Cloud.

What’s new?

  • iTunes in the Cloud. iTunes now stores your music and TV purchases in iCloud and makes them available on your devices anywhere, any time, at no additional cost.
  • Automatic Downloads. Purchase music from any device or computer and automatically download a copy to your Mac and iOS devices.
  • Download Previous Purchases. Download your past music, TV, app, and book purchases again, at no additional cost. Previous purchases may be unavailable if they are no longer on the iTunes Store.
  • Sync with your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with iOS 5.
  • Wi-Fi Syncing. Automatically sync your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with iTunes any time they’re both on the same Wi-Fi network.

Nokia Maps says hello to iOS and Android

From Ovi blog:

  1. You can see where you are on the map, thanks to HTML5 support for positioning
  2. You can find addresses, businesses and other places of interest, anywhere in the world
  3. You can get to know the places: all the essential information about a place are presented on one page (pictures, user reviews, popular travel guides description, contact information)
  4. You can plan the fastest route to your destination by car or on foot
  5. You can see where the public transport lines go, and where the stops are
  6. You can share your favourite places with your friends via SMS, email, Facebook or Twitter