Apps

5 free apps for amazing deals in the Philippines

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Being cheap doesn’t mean getting the worst; you just have to be practical to get the best deals in town. You don’t even have to look too far, because your smartphone is just waiting for you to download these apps to get discounts and freebies.

We personally use these apps, so we’re a living testament to how great they are. From commuting to eating, watching movies, and staycations, we’ve got you covered!

Angkas

When Uber was suspended in the Philippines, we turned to other ride-sharing and booking services. One of them was Angkas — a motorcycle passenger service. Riding on a motorcycle through major thoroughfares is not everyone’s cup of tea, but it gets us to our destinations faster! We also get discounts every week, ranging from PhP 20 to PhP 40 from user-exclusive promo codes. We use Angkas during rush hour traffic since it’s cheaper compared to Uber or Grab’s spiked-up rates.

Download: iOS / Android

Booky

You gotta love Booky for their amazing Buy One, Get One deals! The app started off as your go-to restaurant finder that works even when you’re offline. It then offered table reservations with discounts of up to PhP 500, and now, they have a wide selection of buy one, take one promos. You can get two Potato Corner jumbo fries for the price of one, and more!

Download: iOS / Android

GMovies

If you love going to the cinemas, you should have GMovies on your phone. With this app, you get to check out current show times from popular movie theaters, join other movie buffs with their discussion, and most importantly, get rewards and discounts. You receive an initial PhP 100 off your first ticket purchase, and earn points which you can convert for a movie ticket. GMovies also gives out discount codes for new movie releases every week, plus surprise deals for movie festivals.

Download: iOS / Android

TravelBook.ph

While there a lot of online hotel booking services, TravelBook.ph always give us the best deals in the Philippines. When trying a number of similar services, we always end up with TravelBook.ph since they have the cheapest prices. Not only that, you also get generous points (one point = one peso) every booking, plus seasonal discount codes that you can apply. You even get bonus points for providing an honest review and by being loyal to the service.

Download: iOS / Android

Zen Rooms

If you’re traveling abroad or even locally, you should check out Zen Rooms. We first discovered Zen Rooms when their service was limited to selected places, but now, they cover more Asian countries and Philippine cities like Cebu, Bohol, and Boracay, to name a few. While their quality-assured rooms are already cheap, you also get discount codes through their newsletters. Additionally, you can search for more Zen Room coupons online that you might have missed.

Download: iOS / Android

SEE ALSO: Five Uber app alternatives for your daily commute

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Apps

Google’s Hold for Me feature will kill annoying delivery jingles

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If you were like us during this tempestuous lockdown season, you love (and still love) getting stuff delivered, whether it’s food or something new for the house. Unfortunately, despite our love for new things, one thing we still hate is an unending delivery hotline call. Yes, we mean those annoying-but-needlessly-catchy marketing jingles. (In fact, Sarah Geronimo’s Jollibee jingle is still ringing in my ears as I write this.)

Finally, Google has a solution for this work-from-home nightmare. Announced earlier today, the company is introducing a new functionality for calls on hold. The new Hold for Me feature will place Google Assistant in line for you whenever a hotline places you on hold. You don’t need to listen through 40 loops of hold music anymore.

Using Google’s Duplex AI, the Hold for Me feature will alert you — through a sound, a vibration, or a notification — when the call is ready for you. According to Google, Duplex technology can accurately detect if the hotline finally responds with either a recorded message or a human representative. Despite the need for AI processing, Google assures users that the company isn’t storing call data. All call data will remain inside the phone.

The feature is launching inside Google’s Phone app. Users can toggle the feature on or off through the Settings and activate it manually during calls.

For now, Google is launching the feature through an early preview in the new Pixel 5 and Pixel 4A 5G. Both smartphones will launch sometime in October and November.

SEE ALSO: Google is officially launching Android 11 today

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Apps

How to get NBA League Pass with your telco provider

There are two package options

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NBA action is in full swing. In fact, it has been since August when the season restarted following a shut down that was caused by the dreaded Coronavirus pandemic. As of writing, we’re in the thick of the Conference Finals series. If you want to catch all the action, here’s how you can get NBA League Pass through different telecomm providers in the Philippines.

It’s now easier than ever to get access to the games legally. All of Smart, PLDT, and Globe are offering the same price packages.

PhP 85 — Watch any three games of your choice
PhP 485 — 30-day pass for all games including live and on-demand

Here’s how to get the subscription for each provider.

Smart Postpaid and Prepaid
(Also works with TNT and SUN Postpaid)

  • Download the NBA app (iOS / Android /APKPure)
  • On the app, click on the icon at the top-right corner
  • Click sign-in
  • A banner on top of the page will appear for Smart, Sun and TNT subscribers
  • Click ‘Get Started’
  • Enter mobile number for verification and a one-time PIN which will be sent to your mobile number
  • Choose your provider: Smart, TNT or Sun.
  • Choose your NBA League Pass Package (3-game or 30-days) and enter mobile number
  • Confirm your payment by entering the one-time PIN sent to your mobile number
  • Click NBA logo and start watching

PLDT Home

  • Go to pldthome.com/nbaleaguepass
  • Select your preferred package
  • The amount will be added to your next bill
  • PLDT will give a voucher
  • Download and sign-in to the NBA app
  • Enter the voucher in the promotion code field
  • Click NBA logo and start watching

Globe

  • Open the GCash app
  • Go to Buy Load
  • Look for the PayTV tab
  • Choose your preferred package. (Note: The chosen package is valid for 90 days).
  • Confirm payment
  • Open the NBA app and enjoy!

As mentioned earlier, we’re no in the Conference Finals with four teams remaining. Dueling in the West are the Los Angeles Lakers and the Denver Nuggets. Meanwhile in the East, it’s a battle between the Miami Heat and the Boston Celtics.

A new NBA champion will likely be crowned in the next 30 days so now is the best time to subscribe!

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Twitter is probing its AI’s racial bias in picture previews

They’re working on improving it

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Twitter uses a neural network to show you relevant previews of all the pictures that are posted on the microblogging platform. If the image contains text, the area is prioritized for a preview. Similarly, human faces are also given preference.

The preview makes it easier for the viewer to get a gist of the tweet without the compulsion of opening the entire picture. Although, the feature isn’t up-to mark since a lot of users have complained about the AI’s racial bias.

Several users posted a picture that has both, a white man and a black man’s face. But the preview often shows the white man’s face only. Users noticed the difference after a similar anomaly was observed on Zoom, where the facial recognition technology failed to identify a black man’s face, but had no trouble when the skin tone was changed.

 

Liz Kelley from Twitter’s communication team said they had tested the neural system for bias, but didn’t come across gender or racial bias during testing. She also confirmed that they’ve got more analysis to do and shall be open-sourcing all the work for others to review and replicate.

Twitter’s Chief Design Officer Dantley Davis and Chief Technology Officer Parag Agrawal were quick to acknowledge the shortcoming and said they’re “investigating” the neural network.

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