Apps

Everything Globe announced at WWGX

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Okay, real talk: We didn’t expect to hear about a lot of exciting stuff when Globe held its first Wonderful Wold with Globe event for the year, for reasons that would probably resonate with local tech insiders.

Fortunately, we were wrong. It turned out that Wonderful World with Globe 10, abbreviated as WWGX, was an eventful affair that featured a Tony Robbins quote about us living in an “entertainment age” and announcements that kept us from dozing off or standing idly on the sidelines while conducting mini-interviews with company executives. (Full disclosure: We did conduct interviews, but only after the show.)


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Globe made a lot of noise and a lot more sense the other night, and we were all ears. Here’s a quick recap of yesterday’s highlights.

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Globe kicked off WWGX by reminding the audience of its ambitious broadband goal for 2020: 20 million households and 20,000 barangays — nearly half the number of barangays in the Philippines — connected through fiber. That’s a rather tall order considering the few fiber-ready areas Globe currently has in place. Still, it was good to hear that more people in the part of the world where fast internet is an exception to the norm would eventually have access to fiber-optic speeds sooner rather than later.

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Speaking of fast internet, Globe gushed about its subscribers getting double-digit download speeds on LTE networks using the 700MHz spectrum it acquired from San Miguel Corporation. The telecommunications company also announced a part of the Philippines’ capital city that now enjoys a high-speed internet experience with its fiber plans.

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Globe got the audience up to speed with its recent deal with Disney Southeast Asia, which brings Watch Disney Channel apps for mobile devices to paying customers. The app themselves live up to their names, offering live and video-on-demand content from one of the largest and most enduring media companies in the world.

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In keeping with its continuing transition to an entertainment company, Globe announced a partnership with U.S. media conglomerate Turner Broadcasting, whose IPs include CNN, TNT, and Cartoon Network. We’re told the latter will benefit most from the deal, meaning more Cartoon Network shows will be available for those who pay a monthly fee.

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It also took to the stage to announce a new partner in Smule, a San Francisco-based startup whose claim to fame is a karaoke app for Android and iOS. The app has seen 50 million downloads on Android’s Play Store since launching in October last year.

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Also joining the fold is eGG, a dedicated eSports channel that brings coverage of the world’s biggest video-game events and more. For Globe subscribers, eGG will be available via the Astro app.

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Sports Illustrated, meanwhile, will offer news, event coverage, and live sports programming, as well as original content from SI sites FanSided and SI Kids.

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The last but certainly not the least addition to Globe’s expanded portfolio is Netflix. We’re unsure what the agreement entails, and whether Netflix’s “first partner in the Philippines” has indeed something delightful to offer, but in an interview with GadgetMatch, Globe senior advisor Dan Horan revealed it has something to do with exclusive offerings, possibly tied to new or existing data and broadband packages.

One of the biggest announcements at WWGX was the unveiling of the second phase of Globe’s modern retail push. Central to this effort is the Tim Kobe-designed Globe Iconic Store that will soon open its doors at Bonifacio Global City in Taguig, alongside two giant high-res outdoor screens hanging from the store’s glass bridge. It’s unlike anything we’ve seen from a telco player — or any retailer, for that matter — and true to the hype, the Iconic Store may be the most memorable retail location in the Philippines for years to come.

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At WWGX, Globe retail boss Joe Caliro announced Globe Live (which he also now heads). “We’re not going down the path of sponsoring anymore,” he said, before detailing Globe’s commitment to collaborating with artists and creative professionals to produce quality musicals and live performances. The company’s first production is “Green Day’s American Idiot,” a musical based on the punk-rock band’s album of the same name.

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Globe has looked to expand its footprint in the entertainment space and recently launched its own production house, Globe Studios. The company has already begun the early stages of developing shows and films top-billed by a talented bunch of contemporary directors.

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To close the show, Globe unveiled new broadband bundles that include a TV, a peripheral, or a video game console, depending on the subscription.

[irp posts=”9513" name=”Globe Prepaid Home WiFi review”]

Apps

Google rolls out Dark mode to G Suite apps on Android

A feature meant for Android Q

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Image credit: Google

With Android Q‘s release already on the horizon, Google has started making changes to its core apps to support it. One of its anticipated features is the system-wide Dark Theme. Thankfully, even Google’s first-party apps will have their own Dark mode.

In a blog post, Google announced the rollout of Dark mode for two of its Android apps: Calendar and Keep. Basically, the brightly made Calendar and Keep apps will now be friendlier to use in dim environments with less strain to the eyes.


To activate the Dark mode for Google Calendar, just head over to Settings > General > Theme, and select Dark mode. On Google Keep, simply go to the app’s Settings menu and select Enable Dark Mode.

Dark mode for Calendar is only supported on devices running Android 7 Nougat and higher, while Keep’s Dark mode will work on older phones running Android 5 Lollipop and newer.

Those who have Android Q Beta with Dark Theme activated will have Dark mode for both Calendar and Keep apps turned on by default.

The update will be rolled out to compatible Android devices over the course of 15 days, according to Google.

SEE ALSO: Latest Android Q Beta is now available on Pixel phones and 15 other devices

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Minecraft Earth is like Pokémon Go but with building blocks

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In a move that makes loads of sense, Minecraft is coming to mobile though an augmented reality app similar to Pokémon Go.

It’s called Minecraft Earth and it’s arriving later this year with a beta phase happening during summer. The developers offered this trailer, but it does little to explain how the system would work.


Check it out:

The official website’s FAQ section, however, delves into more of the info we actually care about.

For one, it’ll be free to play and will include several of Minecraft‘s traditional features including world building and discovering/fighting mobs.

Concerning regional availability, the developers aren’t confirming these details just yet. If it’s anything like the issues Niantic experienced with Pokémon Go before, chances are this rollout will be gradual, too.

Finally, for the “Will Minecraft Earth have loot boxes?” question, the website has a definite “No” to answer that.

Minecraft Earth will be available on both Android and iOS. Fingers crossed that there’ll be no delays. 🤞

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Apps

The Statue of Liberty Enlightening the World through augmented reality

A new way to experience Lady Liberty on your iPhone

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The quintessential American landmark, the Statue of Liberty is a shining beacon that enlightens the world. Despite today’s polarizing times, she has become a true symbol of liberty throughout the years, not just for Americans but for citizens of the world.

Today on the same island where she is perched, the new Statue of Liberty Museum opens its doors to the millions of tourists that come to see her each year. But in recognition that not everyone can visit, the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation is also unveiling an AR app for your iPhone. Anyone, anywhere, can experience the statue’s grandeur.


A grand view of Libertas’ torch

On her right, the Statue of Liberty holds up a torch which symbolizes enlightenment and the path to liberty. Though visitors could originally climb up and experience the statue from the torch, it has been closed off to the public since 1916. The Statue of Liberty app will allow us to once again enjoy the breathtaking cityscape from this vantage point from sunrise to sunset.

The makings of the statue

Designed by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi with the framework by Gustave Eiffel, the Statue of Liberty is an engineering marvel. 125 tons of steel and 31 tons of copper comprise the statue which used to glisten like a penny. The current patina green coating comes from copper oxidizing.

See everything with your own eyes via the Statue of Liberty AR app: how the color changed, how the insides were built, and even a life-sized model for scale.

A look throughout the years

Strategically built at the “gateway to America”, the Statue of Liberty has born witness to a significant chunk of New York’s history. On the app you can look through her eyes in an almost 180-degree field of view and watch the changing of the times from 1886 to the present day. Watch the Manhattan skyline rise and fall including that poignant moment from 2001. It’s all there, 200 years of change and progression from the viewpoint of Lady Liberty.

The hows and the whys

The creation of the Statue of Liberty was no easy feat. A private venture that maximized crowdfunding efforts not just from the elite, the statue is truly an icon that each American can call their own. Exclusive content on the app tells us the story in detail and narrates the journey from inception, to France, and finally to America.

If you can, you should also check out the 3-part short film at the new museum’s Immersive Theater. One will surely walk away with a better appreciation for Lady Liberty and all she stands for.

Raising the Torch, a limited-series podcast narrated by Diane von Furstenberg, is also now available for your listening pleasure. The saga tells the Statue of Liberty’s history, continuing story, and evolving significance.

You can download the app on the App Store here.

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