Apps

12 lightweight versions of your favorite Android apps

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Do you want to speed up your phone, free up storage space, and minimize data usage? These lightweight versions of popular apps will be able to help you accomplish those three.

These apps are generally intended for developing regions with slow internet connections and less powerful devices. They’re not as feature-rich as their full-featured counterparts, but sacrificing a few features will go a long way for Android phones with weaker specs.

Camera360 Lite

Camera360 Lite will still deliver your candy selfies with dozens of filters and presets. The best part is that it’s less than 4MB to download.

Download on Google Play Store

Facebook Lite

Stay connected with your friends on the world’s most popular social network even with a 2G connection. Instead of accessing the mobile site of Facebook on your phone’s browser, you can download Facebook Lite to get more features and instant notifications.

Download on Google Play Store

Files Go

Files Go is designed to work for any Android phone, but devices with low storage will benefit nicely from this app. Instead of relying on crapware for cleaning your phone, download this one made by Google.

Download on Google Play Store

Google Go

As Google embraces developing markets more with the introduction of Android Oreo (Go edition), a lightweight version of their search app is up on select countries. Enjoy the best of Google Search without sacrificing precious megabytes.

Download on Google Play Store

Line Lite

Line is pretty popular in Asia, and with the stripped-down version of their mobile messaging app, you can message your friends with a package that takes up only 1MB on your phone. Don’t worry, you can still send stickers, images, and emojis.

Download on Google Play Store

LinkedIn Lite

Keeping in touch with your professional connections online will be a lot easier with LinkedIn Lite. You can chat with your connections to get job referrals and career advice without a heavy app on your phone.

Download on Google Play Store

Messenger Lite

If you have Facebook Lite, you should have Messenger Lite to complement it. Like with Line, you can still do messaging basics with photos, stickers, and even voice calls for longer chitchats.

Download on Google Play Store

Opera Mini

Even before Android phones became affordable for the masses, Opera Mini was around on feature phones for loading mobile web pages quickly and neatly. Now that we all have smartphones, the app still doesn’t fail to deliver.

Download on Google Play Store

Shazam Lite

Quit guessing and typing the lyrics of what’s playing around you. Shazam already has a straightforward app which lets you record first offline and search when you go online.

Download on Google Play Store

Skype Lite

Video calling is pretty heavy on data and storage space, so if you worry about that, Skype’s own lightweight app can help you. You can even do group video calls for free. Some of its features are primarily for India, but everything else works well everywhere.

Download on Google Play Store

Twitter Lite

Twitter’s mobile website works wonderfully, but then again, having a dedicated app on your phone is better. If the main Twitter app is too much for your phone (or even for you), there’s the Lite version available for download.

Download on Google Play Store

YouTube Go

Here’s another Google-made lightweight app for the rollout of Android Oreo’s Go edition. YouTube Go is designed to be offline-first because it asks to download the video instead of streaming it instantly. You can re-watch the saved video after without spending your data allowance.

Download on Google Play Store

With Android Oreo (Go edition) already on its way to manufacturers, these lightweight apps list will soon have more names. Which app should be next?

SEE ALSO: 10 offline free-to-play mobile games on iOS and Android

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Apps

Spotify Premium Mini launches, removes ads with limited downloads

Can be billed through your carrier

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Spotify Premium Mini

It’s now cheaper to get rid of those Spotify ads. Sure, the voice overs sound good but it just ruins the mood when your jamming to your favorite tracks only be interrupted. Spotify Premium Mini is here for all of us.

What you’re getting with Spotify Premium Mini

Ad-free individual music listening on mobile with unlimited skips — Listeners can access over 70 million music tracks and over 2.9 million podcast titles on the world’s largest audio streaming service

Download and play up to 30 songs offline on one mobile device — This allows a user to be on-the-go and stay connected to their favorite artists and creators without the need to connect to WiFi or tap into their mobile data.

Flexibility at its best –– Whether it’s for a morning exercise or simply seeking a motivational podcast to kick start the week, users have the option to immediately subscribe for just a day or a week at any given moment.

Hassle-free and seamless payment methods — Beyond the credit card option, users can choose to make payment through Carrier Billing or via digital wallets (GCash, PayMaya in the Philippines)

Better together — Premium Mini Listeners also have the ability to tune in to the same playlist or podcast with up to five friends via Group Session in beta.

How to sign-up?

  1. Download Spotify’s mobile app or head over to Spotify’s website on desktop.
  2. Click the ‘Premium’ section at the top right of the website or at the bottom right of the Spotify app.
  3. Choose ‘Get Mini’ and choose ‘daily’ or ‘weekly’ plan. This is a prepaid offering.
  4. Choose payment methods
  5. Register or log in to the Spotify account.
  6. Users can start enjoying Spotify’s Premium Mini experience for the day or week.

Here are the the rates:

Philippines — PhP 7/day and PhP 26/week
Malaysya — MYR 1/day and MYR 3.90/week

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Apps

Why you should get iQiyi

We got it so you don’t have to

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iQiyi

Pan-Asian content, duh

There’s a ton of streaming services out there. But, none embrace that Asian representation like iQiyi. They’ve got films, variety shows, and series from China, South Korea, Japan, Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, and more. If you’re having a tough time finding shows and films you grew up seeing or just want somewhere you feel represented, check iQiyi out. It’ll surprise you.

Classic Hong Kong movies

If you’re a cinephile or know someone who is, this might just be the streaming service for you. Most classic Hong Kong films are a tough find. From Infernal Affairs to A Chinese Ghost Story, you’re sure to find the good, the bad, and obscure classics. iQiyi, no joke, lays out a ton of these Hong Kong classics on their platform and you’d be remiss to skip out on watching them.

Find the good-good

There’s a number of really good Asian series and films on iQiyi. Shows like Youth with You, Chuang, The Penthouse: War in Life 3, and Tokyo Revengers are just a few on the platform on most people’s must-watch and favorites. iQiyi is never short of surprises.

The absolute absurd finds

There’s no lack of decent, obscure, and downright bizarre tv series, films, and variety shows on here. Just note that most shows don’t age well and are a great watch in irony. Just keep an eye out on the obscure ones, they sometimes don’t have subtitles. And remember, these silly finds don’t take away from the unapologetically good shows on the platform.

Free shows you’d pay to watch elsewhere

iQiyi is a free streaming app with paid VIP access to a ton of exclusives. But, not everything is behind that paywall making this a huge game-changer. There’s a long list of free-to-access shows, K-dramas, and anime you’d normally find behind a paywall so, do yourself a favor. Get it.

It’s got interactive features

The platform showed off its new features with Game of Shark, a reality show where celebrities form teams and participate in murder mystery role-playing games. If you pick Rhythm Mode, your phone vibrates in time to events in the show. On top of that, Shark Mode allows users to directly take on the identity of characters. With it, you get to join your favorite celebrities in collecting hidden clues and identifying the murderer.

Having launched the world’s first Interactive Video Guideline (IVG) and IVP, iQiyi have pioneered a one-stop platform of assisted production tools that helps content creators produce and publish interactive videos efficiently and conveniently!

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Apps

I’m missing the Olympics because I don’t have cable

And it sucks

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It’s 2021. The Tokyo 2020 Olympics, which was delayed due to the Coronavirus pandemic, is in full swing as of writing. However, as someone whose primary source of media entertainment all comes from streaming, there’s no easy and convenient way for me to watch the games. Major bummer.

I like to enjoy my media a certain way; I prefer to stream them on my TV. Which is why majority of the content I consume come from YouTube, Netflix, and the occasional Amazon Prime, HBO Go (Yep, not even HBO Max), and Apple TV.

I find it incredibly baffling that the stakeholders involved in bringing the games to the people failed to come to an agreement to make it easily accessible on the aforementioned platforms. It’s 2021. Why on earth am I not able to watch the greatest sporting event on the planet the way I want to?

Believe me, I hear the privilege in my words. Regardless, I still feel marginalized.

So how can you watch the Olympics right now?

I asked a friend who’s been covering the games. He watches through cable and had to pay a PhP 150 fee (around US$ 3/ SG$ 4) to avail of the Tokyo 2020 Premium from a particular cable provider.

Thing is, the whole Olympic coverage in the Philippines is locked to the MVP group of companies. You wanna follow the games, you’re gonna have to do it on one of their platforms.

Here’s an excerpt from their press release on the Tokyo 2020 Olympic coverage:

“Sports fans will have comprehensive access to the Olympic Games — from the Opening Ceremonies all the way to when the games conclude — on free to air via TV5 and One Sports. One Sports+ on Cignal TV will also dedicate a significant amount of their daily hours to broadcast the events, with Cignal also opening up two exclusive channels dedicated to broadcast the games 24/7. Cignal Play, in addition to live channels TV5, One Sports & One Sports+, will be offering exclusive channels broadcasting live updates to its subscribers, along with exclusive content not available on the TV broadcast. Cignal TV’s One News leads the group’s round-the-clock news coverage, featuring results, updates, and highlights.”

Comprehensive? Maybe. For platforms within the MVP group of companies. If you’re not subscribed to any of these, well, that’s just too bad. It’s good for business and I completely understand how the whole thing works. Doesn’t mean I have to like it.

The coverage also missed to televise or showcase Hidilyn Diaz’s historic gold medal win in the Weightlifting competition. If you’ve been following sports news, the Philippines was expected to get a medal in this event. Sadly, the moment was only known following updates from reporters on the ground.

How I wish it was handled

I’m sure there’s a lot more that goes into it in terms of TV and broadcasting rights, but we’re literally at an age where plenty of folks have decided to cut the cord and rely on streaming for content.

On YouTube, you can buy and/or rent movies and shows. The platform and structure exists for pay-to-watch content. They could have even made tiers or packages like charge a certain amount to gain access to all the games, a different and lower amount if you just want to follow a certain sport and/or a certain event.

Maybe the potential earnings to do so didn’t justify the costs to implement it. Whatever the case, it’s still incredibly frustrating.

Sure, I can go through the hoopla of setting up a VPN and look for streaming sites. But that’s more even more cumbersome. I don’t mind paying a convenience fee if it means that after a long day of work I can kick back, relax, and watch some damn sports.

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