I’m absolutely chuffed that I’ll be on a plane on Saturday, 16 August, to Tokyo, Japan, where I will be spending some time with HTC senior execs and members of the HTC design team at HTC Frequencies Asia III. The third installment of the HTC Frequencies series centres around open conversations surrounding design, technology and of course, all things HTC.
So how many music streaming services do we really need here in Malaysia? Guess Spotify and Deezer isn’t enough as now a new competitor has entered our shores to stream sweet, sweet music to our PCs, phones and tablets.
So who is this new player? The name’s Guvera and they’re based out of Australia with the service offered in multiple other countries. Now they’ve set their eyes on Malaysia.
In a market with Spotify and Deezer as players however, just how is Guvera going to set themselves apart from the competition you might ask? Well, there’s a few ways one of them includes the support of local content. Guvera is in the midst of reaching out to the local music community to grow the local music catalogue and they’ve also created specialised playlists that feature local Malaysian artist like Joe Flizzow, SonaOne, Altimet and Faizal Tahir, just to name a few. However according to Guvera, the support doesn’t just limits itself to music promotion either. They intend to go beyond just music marketing, intending to work closely with local music artist and music makers that may even extend to on ground promotions and more.
So that’s great for our local artists, but how about users and listeners here? What do we get that differs from the other music streaming services out there? There’s Guvera’s unique feature that allows users to tailor their music based on their current mood, activity or preference by searching for music using hashtags. That’s not all though, Guvera also rewards users with offers and what they call “money-cannot-buy experiences” from their music partners. What this “money-cannot-buy experiences” are though isn’t really specified, but considering the music business they’re in, we foresee stuff like fan meets with artist and maybe even backstage meets at concerts. We’ll try to dig up a little more and update you guys.
That’s all great and good but there is one thing that has gotten us a bit perplexed which is that Guvera doesn’t allow you users to play specific tracks they’ve searched for when they’re using the free Guvera Play service. Instead you have to subscribe to the Guvera Platinum service in order to enjoy on-demand music. Considering that Spotify and Deezer already offers users access to on-demand music on their free services, not having that option kind of limits Guvera’s appeal to users. Hey we love discovering music or having them recommended to us but sometimes we’d just want to listen to things we want to listen, without having to pay for it.
To kick things off in Malaysia Guvera is also starting pretty big by having a concert here in KL which is happening today (15 August). The headliner will be hip hop star and actor Mos Def, now known as Yasiin Bey and will also showcase Joe Flizzow and SonaOne among others.
Guvera has also entered buddied up with Lenovo as their World Wide Music partner, so you’ll be seeing the Guvera app pre-installed in the Lenovo mobile devices including their tablets and smartphones.
So interested in trying this new music streaming service? Guvera Play is free and you can download their apps on iOS and Android. Rather use a PC? You can head over to www.guvera.com. As we mentioned before, Guvera has a premium called Guvera Platinum and from RM14.99 a month, you’ll get unlimited access for online and offline music listening as well as on-demand music, all of which comes without any of those pesky ads.
There seems to be a flurry of cheap & cheerful phone announcements this week. First the Lumia 530 and now Motorola is getting into the game as well with their super affordable Moto E smartphone.
We already got wind earlier on about the Moto E’s launch but now, it has finally reached our shores. So how cheap are we talking about here? How about RM369 cheap. Yep, you’re looking at a sub-RM400 phone. With this and Lumia 530, you can say bye bye to the feature phones of yore. And with the Moto E making its way to our shores, the mobile phone pioneer continues its partnership with online super store Lazada, who will be selling the Moto E exclusively online from today onwards.
With the Moto E, Motorola hopes to continue the success of the Moto franchise, with its star performer – the Moto G enjoying tremendous traction in the budget phone category. The Moto G, in fact, is Motorola’s best-selling smartphone in its history. So what does RM369 get you? Considering the price, you do get some decent innards in the Moto E. It comes with a dual-core, 1.2GHz Snapdragon 200 processor, 1GB of RAM, a 4.3-inch screen and a 1980mAh battery. There’s also a 5-megapixel camera, 3G connectivity, built-in FM radio and dual-sim support. You can also expect it to run the latest and greatest stock Android version, in this case, Android 4.4 KitKat.
We did mention that not only was it cheap, it was cheerful as well and that comes in the form of the Moto E’s interchangeable back covers called Moto Shells. You can get them in a choice of three colours; red, turquoise and yellow, so that ought to spicen the phone up a bit.
The Moto E is the third Motorola product available on Lazada, after the encouraging sales of the Moto G and flagship Moto X.
As we mentioned before, its priced at a featherweight price of RM369.00 perfect for the buyers thinking of moving on from their current feature phone. And if they’re thinking of sprucing up the Moto E with a little bit more colours via the Moto Shells, they can get them at RM39 each. Can’t wait to get them? Then just head over to www.lazada.com.my to get it, or if you’re lazy, just click here to go directly to the Moto E’s purchase page.
Nokia (we should really say Microsoft Devices Group) has just redefined “cheap and cheerful” again – with the new Lumia 530, the cheapest Lumia to date. For the price of RM355.00 (that’s a little over US$100) or equivalent to 30 Americanos, you get to take home a rather cheerful, feature-packed smartphone running the latest Windows Phone 8.1 update.
Just this year, they gave us the mouth-watering HTC One (M8), which we reckon is one of the flagship Android’s to beat in 2014 and now HTC has rolled out another one. This time a curvier, more affordable HTC One (E8) with new materials and funky, vibrant colours.
Don’t let our display image scare you. Facebook hasn’t been banned in Malaysia… yet. However this piece of news is likely to get Malaysia famous for all the wrong reasons again. Seems like the Malaysian government is studying whether it should ban Facebook here in the country.
This, according Communication and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek, is in response to the recent cases of “abuse” of the social network. Don’t panic yet, you’ll still be able to share all those “uplifting” stories, listicals and baby pictures since they’re only studying the matter.
Even the Minister himself said that the whole idea will be difficult since there are 15 million local accounts. As for the number of abuses reported? 2000. Just do the maths and you’ll see that even contemplating this idea shouldn’t have happened. That’s not the only issue though. Malaysia would have to take into account what the business community would think. There’s strong usage of Facebook by businesses here in Malaysia for marketing and PR purposes (let’s not forget our own government also uses it for outreach), so we think that trying to do away with Facebook here will be quite an undertaking.
So far only three countries have a perma-block/ban on Facebook at they are China, Iran and North Korea. Other countries have blocked the site at one time or another but eventually access was given back. Considering the backlash that’s going to happen in … oh now, we highly doubt that this will even come to pass. But just to be safe, if you do get approached by the people conducting the study for the ministry, we’re pretty certain you’ll know what to say.
Ok now back to sharing cute cat videos on our Facebook feed.
So the latest big budget remake of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT) has finally hit the big screen and what’s the verdict?
Looks like Malaysia has just gotten itself another contestant in the LTE broadband game. TM has decided to throw its hat into the LTE ring with their new TMGo 4G service that runs on the 850Mhz LTE spectrum and will be delivering speeds up to 20Mbps.
TMGo is being offered as a prepaid service so to get yourself some of its wireless broadband goodness, you’ll have to get yourself a device starter pack, which will then need to be topped up based on your usage requirement. There are two device options available with both using a SIM card – a USB mobile adapter for a single user option and a MiFi hotspot router for a multiple user and more mobile option. So how much will they cost? The USB Mobile adapter starter pack will cost you RM115 while the MiFi router starter pack will be RM315 and both options will start you off with 2GB of data over a 30 day period. And to sweeten the deal, TM is also throwing in an additional 500MB for the next 6 months, as long as you keep an active subscription.
That’s of course the starting up price, once your initial 30 days of 2GB data is up, you have three price options to continue your subscription – RM10, RM30 and RM50. The minimum RM10 option gives you a 7 day validity with 1GB of data while the RM30 option gives you 30 days with 3.5GB, and to top it all of, the RM50 option gives you 60 days validity with 6GB of data. TM’s sweetening the subscription deal even more by offering bonus data availability if you take the RM30 or RM50 option. You’ll get 500MB and 1GB of data for the RM30 and RM50 options respectively. Now considering the total data quotas you’re getting for their highest subscription option (7.5GB at least for the next six months) that works out to around RM7/GB which is pretty competitive.
Can’t wait to get your hands on TMGo? Well its already available for sign-up but there’s a slight catch though. Surprisingly, the first areas for roll out isn’t the Klang Valley as you’d typically expect. Instead, lucky Kedahan and Melakans will be the first Malaysians to get their hands on TM’s new wireless broadband services. And that’s not the entirety of the two states either as only certain areas will be getting its coverage (refer below). Of course, TM will also be rolling out the service to other parts of Malaysia in the coming months, so just be patient.
Enjoyed the convenience of a chauffeured ride that Uber provided but you just can’t afford its pricey rates? Well you now have a cheaper alternative as Uber as officially rolled out its UberX service here in Malaysia.
UberX was initially rolled out in KL earlier in July but now its been opened up to the rest of the country. Like the UberBlack service, you’ll still get the convenience of booking your ride via mobile and cashless payment, but now you get even cheaper rates. And since it is cheaper, you can expect slightly toned down rides which include the Perodua Myvi, Nissan Almera and Toyota Vios.
So how cheap are the rides? Let’s say they’ll be giving regular cabs a run for their money. Base rates start at RM1.50 followed by RM0.20 per minute and RM0.55 per KM. And you know what’s the best part? If you ever decide you need a late night ride, you won’t even be charge with midnight surcharges. How’s that for value? As for safety, Uber makes all their drivers undergo stringent checks and you can also rate the drivers after your ride.
So with Uber rides being more affordable, maybe it’s time to give it a try.
Chew on this fact: gaming videos on YouTube are ranked second in terms of subscribers’ numbers with over 78 million viewers clicking ‘subscribe’. There are literally thousands of gaming channels out there but you don’t want to follow just ANY plain ol’ gaming channel do you? So which ones are actually worth your time? Well we’ve picked the cream of the crop so you won’t have to spend too much time searching.