Technology

Oh yay! Skype relented and brought back support to iPhone 5 and older devices running iOS 9 and later 

Well well well! What a triumph for backward compatibility! Days ago I just blogged and whined about how disappointed I am that Skype 8.1 dropped support for the iPhone 5.

It looks like Skype has learned the error in its ways and have brought us iPhone 5 users back into its loving arms.

I’m guessing I wasn’t a lonely voice in the desert asking them to repent because just a few days after the shocking release of 8.1 they released 8.1.2 announcing that the “issue” of backward compatibility has been “fixed”.

No, its not an oversight on their part at all. They really meant to initially kick us iPhone 5 users out of the Snapchat-like update. Otherwise this compatible device list wouldn’t have been updated.


That screenshot of the 8.1 update states explicitly that device compatibility starts from iPhone 5s and up. I have suspected that this is their way of heeding Apple’s “gentle” encouragement that developers update their apps to be exclusively 64-bit compatible.

Now, I have nothing against progress, mind you. But looking at the updates and features they included in 8.1, I don’t feel like 64-bit is absolutely required. Sure there will be features that the iPhone 5’s hardware cannot support but in terms of the basic functionality plus a few bells and whistles, it should still work decently. So why hold out on us poor iPhone 5 users, right?

The newest update, 8.1.2 now indicate backward compatibility with all iOS devices running iOS 9 and up. See below.


What’s more, this Snapchat-like update as I’d like to call it, boasts a lot of new features for fans of customization, stickers and all other fancy stuff we’re more familiar with from other messaging/social media apps.


Are you bored with Skype’s blue theme? Well here you go. You can now change it as you please.


And it even showers you with praises at every step of the tutorial when you customize your Skype — because duh? We should get awards for trying! 😐

Now I couldn’t care less for these features, honestly. These shiny new things are lovely but I’m all about functionality and performance. So as long as Skype works the way it promises to work, then I’m happy.

And with 8.1.2 update bringing iPhone 5 back in, I couldn’t be happier.

How about you? Do you feel the same about Skype update 8.1.2? Did you even notice it? Or more to the point, do you even still care about Skype? Or have you moved on to other call/messaging apps long ago? Tell us in the comments! 😍

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Technology

I hardly use Skype (at least not for calling) recently but I’m still upset that its latest update V8.1 dropped support for iPhone 5 and older devices.

So this is it, then? That weird alert email Skype users reportedly received about a month ago about Skype dropping support for older devices… this is it. 

That email, though referred to smart TVs and Windows phone and other devices. I didn’t realize it includes my poor old iPhone 5 too. 


But then when I tried updating Skype on my phone, it didn’t let me. 


First of all, why Skype? Why? And you know what, for that matter, Microsoft why? 


Worse, it teases you with all these fancy features, only to let you down. 

Skype has been clunky for the longest time across all devices (and that 1 star review on the App Store proves it), and yet instead of taking the high road and fixing the bugs, you take the easy way out by simply dropping support for all of them “older” devices. 


*Sigh*

I loved Skype. I really did. in fact I still have Skype credit I haven’t used in years. 

Once upon a time, Skype was the household name for VOIP calls. It was the de-facto software for calling your near and dear wherever they are in the world. 

Then all these messaging apps started integrated calling features, cheesy stickers, payment facilities and all the many bells and whistles we never knew we needed but now can’t seem to live without..

Skype however, didn’t budge and relented pretty late. Too little, too late actually. 

Now if they did this in favor of keeping the calls solid, that would’ve been understandable. But that’s not even the case. The service just kept getting worse by the day — calls dropping, call quality degrading and recently, snail-paced response while loading previous conversations in chat. 

But maybe it’s just my device. The iPhone 5, at least the one I have, is actually over 4 years old. And for a modern device, that’s pretty old. 

Still, I can’t help but be upset that I can’t update Skype. Maybe it’s sentimentality taking over. Or maybe I just can’t get over the fact that 32-bit devices are going the way of the dinosaur sooner than I imagined. 

I dropped my iPhone 5 innumerable times and replaced its battery thrice. Replaced cracked screen twice. 

And just like the 4S and the 3GS before it, it’s hard to wake up one day and realize that OMG you “need” to get a newer phone if you wanted to use a decent range of apps. It doesn’t help that the Apple App Store started removing 32-bit apps. It’s almost like you’re being pushed into a corner to upgrade or go Android. 

I was happy when iOS 10.3.2 kept support for the iPhone 5, contrary to many previous reports and speculations. Come iOS 11 though, it’s bye bye iPhone 5. 

Sadly this is our reality. My reality. I just have to either grin and bear it. Or get a newer phone. But with my iPhone 5 still alive and kicking, I simply can’t justify replacing it. 

Maybe soon… when my 5 finally dies on me. Until then, ’till brick do us part. 

App Reviews · Blogging · iPad · iPhone · Mobile · Reviews · Tech Opinions · Technology

Why am I on this? – Messaging Power App Telegram releases Telegraph – the quickest way to share your thoughts online.

Originally published at:  http://telegra.ph/Why-am-I-on-this-05-19

From the Telegram blog:

Telegraph

Today we are launching Telegraph – a publishing tool that lets you create richly formatted posts with photos and all sorts of embedded stuff. Telegraph posts get beautiful Instant View pages on Telegram.

To try it, go to telegra.ph, publish a story, and share it on Telegram. With Telegraph, your Telegram channel can run stories just like the mainstream media (although you may find it tricky to become as biased).

Well I saw Telegram came up with something like a blogging platform of sorts, a la Medium.. and being the huge Telegram fan and user that I am, I felt compelled to check this out and so here I am typing on my iPad with no particular topic in mind except for getting this over with so I can see what it is and how it’ll look like when I finally hit “Publish” because right now, all I see is white space everywhere and considering how cluttered the Internet has become over the years, this is both refreshing and weird for me. So hold on, let me take a screenshot so you could see what I mean.

Screenshot of my iPad screen as I was typing this post. Whoa. So meta.

Oh okay there it is. Wow. I can’t believe how incredibly easy this is! 😱😳😍

Like OMG is this for real? Absolutely undistracted blogging UI that only gives you exactly what you need as you need it. That is so simple yet so profound, so much so that I’m actually surprised that I’m still writing up to this point when I told myself from the beginning that I was only going to type a sentence or two.

Like wow. I could get used to this. I haven’t been blogging personally for so long because over time, it seemed to me that it’s become too much work composing your thoughts, adding pictures, worrying about SEO and sh*t that I end up not writing altogether.

This is really nice. I think I just found myself a new platform for daily diary entries. Let’s see what happens in the coming days. I feel excited and you should too.

Talk to you soon,

RJ

Guest Post · Technology

Virtual reality latest initiation in the world of gaming

 

Guest Post by: Lisa Myers

 

The era of virtual gaming has dawned and these games are becoming exceedingly popular with many of the teenagers who are deeply fascinated by the graphics, animations and most importantly, the ability to talk to others. This is the latest introduction in the gaming world that has taken the world over and continues to revolutionize it! What could be greater than the ability to interact with different characters in the game without any hurdle?
Virtual reality is the latest feature that has taken the gaming industry by storm. People are inquisitive and they want to go further in order to explore the unexplored.
Video gaming enables the players to set on an adventurous journey across undiscovered worlds. Gaming provides them with the ability to explore, travel across and amuse them within an alien setting. Currently, the game designers have begun the quest to offer the richest interactive experience of all times.
What is virtual reality?
Virtual reality is the latest form of technology that is capable of counterfeiting an environment. This top notch technology allows the people to interact with their environment in an unbelievable way. Virtual Reality (VR) can also exercise profound influence on our sensory experiences (sight, touch, smell, and hearing). The term virtual reality (VR) was first coined in 1950s in science fiction literature usually found in the work of Stanley G.Weinbaum. The term earned popularity in 1980s and now it is said to be the future of the video gaming.
Virtual Gaming
At the contemporary, VR manifests itself on either headsets or computer screens, whether you are playing online games like poker or engaged in a battle in some war game. VR headsets are there to give you the most sensational gaming experience ever. This technology provides greater liberty to the users as they don’t have to control the games using their hands and this offers them a richer, true-of-life, game play!
VR gaming is actually the introduction of a 3-D environment to various video games. Virtual reality effects are usually created with the help of virtual reality softwares that offer and enhanced, just-like-real sensation to the players by assisting them to co-ordinate with their environment. VR has been on the scene since the inception of 3D gaming. Before the development of modern technology, VR made the use of projectors or huge multiple screens. Virtual gaming controls may be no different. They may make use of a standard keyboard or mouse. More advanced VR rooms may include latest technology that has the capability of enhancing the player’s experience and freedom in the virtual environment.
“ I think that VR is going to be the feature that will satisfy every player’s appetite for games and will go a long way to transform their dream of immersion (deep mental involvement) into reality” says Berkes from Game Period.
With the rampant advancement in the technological sphere, the virtual reality (VR) gaming hardware has evolved to the point of maturity, offering the users with an incredible sensory experience.
So if you are of the view that today’s VR games are awesome and breathe taking and it can’t get better than that, imagine about the technological advancements and their impact on the gaming industry in the future, you will be taken aback! That’s for sure! With your Virtual Reality headsets and glasses on, you can enjoy the gaming to its maximum!

App News · App Reviews · App-laudable! · iPad · iPhone · Mobile · Reviews · Technology

[APP REVIEW] AppMatch.com is the Tinder for Apps

AppMatch.com App Review

It feels like ages ago when I downloaded my first iOS app in 2010. Seven years have passed and in internet time, that’s a long time. Once upon a time, “app” was the hottest buzzword out there so much so that the expression “There’s an app for that!” became a funny catchphrase everyone can relate to.

Despite gloomy projections a few years back, it’s obvious that mobile apps aren’t going away soon. In fact, more and more people are downloading apps and spending more and more time on them too, according to this article.

According to the comScore report, the number of mobile users surpassed desktop users in 2014. Gartner’s prediction narrates that over 268 billion mobile downloads will generate an income of $77 billion in 2017. The estimated global mobile app revenue was $35 billion in 2014, $45 billion in 2015, $58 billion in 2016, and a predicted $77 billion in 2017, as stated above.

But with Apple and Google Play’s app stores boasting a combined 4.2 million apps, it’s difficult to sift through an endless stream of apps to find those that you’ll actually want to download, find useful and actually use regularly.

Enter “app discovery” apps. At first blush, it seems redundant at best and counterintuitive at worst– after all, that’s another app taking up precious screen space. An app for discovering other apps? Seems like a chore. And for a long while it is. I’ve tried a few of these app discovery apps and it nearly drove me crazy going through all the random recommendations I’ve got.

For those who don’t know yet, I am a self-confessed app junkie since 2010 and still am, actually. I live and breathe apps for many years not only because I write app reviews but mostly and honestly for the thrill of a good app find. I would scroll through this endless list and try to download, test, use and delete as many apps as I can go through.I did this excessively and obsessively in the hopes of finding a gem in a sea of copycat, overpriced and underwhelming apps. Eventually, I got tired of the chase and settled for the ones that consistently sat on the Top Downloads charts or were “picked” by editors or showed up on Product Hunt — my recent go-to site for the fresh and promising apps and projects.

I did this excessively and obsessively in the hopes of finding a gem in a sea of copycat, overpriced and underwhelming apps. Eventually, I got tired of the chase and settled for the ones that consistently sat on the Top Downloads charts or were “picked” by editors or showed up on Product Hunt — my recent go-to site for the fresh and promising apps and projects.

Very recently, however, I found a new app discovery app (website) called AppMatch.com. If the name makes you think of a dating site or makes you ask if it is,  well it’s yes and no. Yes, because as I’ve realized after using it, it does feel like speed dating and Tinder combined, except that on AppMatch.com, the goal is to match users with their future favorite and can’t-live-without app (not a love interest, sorry to disappoint you Romeos and Juliets out there). App Match connects people with the apps they should be using by asking questions and then recommending apps based on your answers. The questions can range from light-hearted and fun to deeply personal. The more questions you answer, the more it learns about you and the better app recommendations it can make.

Since app discovery apps are not allowed in Apple’s walled garden, you definitely won’t find this in the Apple app store. To use App Match, all you need to do is use your phone’s web browser and go to AppMatch.com. Note that while the website is accessible via desktop/laptop, you can only use the app-matching-discovery feature using your smartphone.

AppMatch.com App Review

This is actually great because tapping on app download links take you directly to your device’s app store so you can readily download them coming from the browser.

Check out my video review/walkthrough below for AppMatch.com.

App Review: AppMatch.com

So how does it work? Easy.

  1. Open your smartphone’s native browser (Safari etc) and type AppMatch.com.
  2. AppMatch.com App ReviewSign-up/create an account using your email.
  3. AppMatch.com App ReviewStart answering quiz-like questions to help App Match find the best apps for you.AppMatch.com App ReviewAppMatch.com App ReviewAppMatch.com App Review
  4. You can quit/skip anytime you wish. Doing so will prompt App Match to display the latest app matches based on your answers.
  5. From a menu that looks very much like Tinder, you have the option to “Swipe Right” for apps you like and “Swipe Left” for those you’d rather skip.

AppMatch.com App ReviewAppMatch.com App Review6. App Match then sorts your choices to user-friendly tabs accessible from your profile and from there you can tap on the download link that will take you straight to the right app store.

AppMatch.com App Review

AppMatch.com App ReviewAppMatch.com App Review

7. Rinse. Repeat.

What kind of questions does it ask?

The questions can range from light-hearted and fun to deeply personal. The more questions you answer, the more it learns about you and the better app recommendations it can make.

What about my privacy? 

Here’s AppMatch.com’s privacy page for reference. It’s pretty much the same as what’s expected from a regular website. It tells you all you need to know about what information they collect and what they do with it.

Is it free to use? Yes.

App Performance Review Metrics:

Being an “app” accessible via a website, there are major advantages because factors such as app crashes, app speed, app latency and network errors are hardly an issue and when I used it repeatedly I didn’t have any issue at all. In this regard, I’m actually effectively reviewing a website. So all the other usual suspects when it comes to app issues are low to non-existent. The UI is great, the response is quick and the overall user experience is pleasurable and even fun.

Overall Rating: ♥♥♥♥ (4 out of 5 hearts)

I have yet to immerse myself in it so I can’t say how many apps it can possibly recommend to me but I look forward to using it regularly. I also hope the algorithm will just keep on getting better and the app list would keep growing, giving way to new promising apps.

You can try this immediately for yourself since it doesn’t even need a download. All you need is your smartphone’s web browser. Oh, and did I mention it works with Android (Google Play Store) too? Oh yes, it does!

So remember, you don’t need to drown in an ocean of apps or walk away overwhelmed by the sheer volume you’re up against. Just like love and that elusive soul mate, maybe your next favorite app is on AppMatch.com all along, just waiting for you to swipe right so it can take your heart away!