News

Buy from the App Store without a credit card with Smart

iTunes, Apple Music, App Store purchases simplified

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For the longest time, if you want to purchase an app in the App Store, you have to use your credit or debit card to complete the payment process. The same story goes when you want to subscribe to Apple Music. Smart Philippines would like to change that by introducing a new form of payment for Apple services: your mobile number.

Starting August 15, Smart is extending its carrier billing for purchases made in the App Store, Apple Music, iTunes, and iCloud. This means you can now use your Smart mobile number as an option to pay for all Apple services. The purchase will be directly deducted from your prepaid load or automatically charged from your monthly postpaid bill.

To enable this option, you simply need to do the following:

  1. Sign-in to your Apple device using your Apple ID. If you don’t have one yet, create an Apple ID first.
  2. Select “Mobile Phone” as your payment method from your account settings in App Store, Apple Music, or iTunes.

Once you’ve done all the steps, you’re good to go. Your payment will be automatically processed and configured. With this payment option, you can pay for your favorite apps, games, music, movies, TV shows, along with Apple Music subscriptions and iCloud storage plans.

Apple services include the popular iTunes, Apple Music, iCloud and the App Store. This year, Apple is doubling down on its services in light of declining iPhone sales. Last March, the company introduced Apple News+, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, as well as the Apple Card.

News

Taiwan suspends sale of three Huawei phones

Includes the P30 Pro

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2019 has been a terrible year for Chinese telecommunication giant Huawei. The U.S Government has accused it of compromising user’s security and in turn, blocked the sale of all Huawei-made equipment including smartphones within the country.

Now, Taiwan has suspended the sale of three Huawei smartphone models that listed it as “Taiwan, China” for time zones and contacts. Taiwan’s National Communications Commission (NCC) said the sale of Huawei’s P30, P30 Pro, and Nova 5T models will be banned until the brand tweaks its operating system.

China considers Taiwan to be a part of its territory awaiting reunifi­cation. This is despite the fact that the two sides have been governed separately for the past seven decades. These minor ambiguities are often seen as indirect Chinese aggression against the region of Taiwan.

Taking a step further, Taiwan has threatened to permanently ban these phones if the issue isn’t fixed soon. “The labeling in these phones does not reflect the facts and has even hurt the dignity of our country,” the NCC said, adding it had “taken strict measures to maintain national dignity”.

Interestingly, Huawei has come under fire on the other side of the border for similar reasons. The phones being sold in China have to mark the territories of Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macau as an integral part of the nation.

Hong Kong has been protesting rising Chinese influence within the autonomous region and the U.S. has added Huawei to a special blacklist.

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India

Motorola razr will soon come to India

Will mostly be an unlocked variant

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There’s no doubt that 2019 has been one of the most exciting years in consumer technology. For a long time, we’ve been fantasizing about foldable displays and many brands were in a race to be the first one to grab the spot. Samsung’s Galaxy Fold was unveiled some time back and is now available for purchase in many markets.

Lenovo-backed Motorola brand has been making affordable as well as midrange phones for quite some time. Now, it’s aiming for the premium market and their first product has revolutionary next-gen technology along with old-school nostalgia.

Resurrecting the razr lineup, the all-new phone comes with a retro, yet iconic, flip-phone design that incorporates a foldable display. It has two screens — one on the outside and one that bends on the inside. Once unfolded, you’ll see a 6.2-inch flexible OLED that can completely bend without a bump.

Around the same time as the announcement, Motorola’s Indian social media handle posted teasers of the razr, hinting at its possible arrival to India in near future. Those teasers now have been confirmed.

Motorola India’s website has a dedicated page for the phone where interested folks can register their interest. This confirms that it’ll be launching in the country soon. Additionally, this will also mean that interested users around the globe could have an opportunity to buy an unlocked variant of the phone.

Currently, razr is available exclusively via Verizon in the U.S. On the other hand, the Indian market consists of unlocked phones only.

The Samsung Galaxy Fold is the only foldable smartphone currently on sale in India and has sold out in each of the sales rather quickly. The razr could act as a slightly cheaper alternative for anyone specifically looking for a foldable option. The Fold is locally priced at INR 1,64,999 (US$ 2,290).

The global pricing is US$ 1,499 (INR 1,08,000), though we expect the launch price to be higher because of additional import duties and dynamic currency conversions.

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Automotive

There’s a new MX-5 Miata built for the track

Offering the joy of car racing at a reasonable cost

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A favorite sports car of many, the Mazda MX-5 just got a serious upgrade as a track car.

This coming 2020, RaceGAS Dynamics will be introducing a new one-make sports car racing series called the Miata Spec Series. It’s the country’s only rear-wheel-drive sports car racing championship that features the latest edition of the fourth-generation Mazda MX-5 Miata.

Latest edition of the 4th-gen MX-5 Miata

Developed for the track, the updated MX-5 is designed as an affordable car that will be equipped with custom competition parts to bring out its on-track full potential while still being street-legal.

We were able to review the MX-5 RF Club Edition roadster a few months back, and the performance of the stock MX-5 is already impressive enough.

There is an array of new upgrades including brand new Cusco coilovers and sway bar suspension components, a Sparco steering wheel, racing seat and racing harness, a six-point roll cage that allows operation of the soft top assembly, a full cat-back exhaust system, one set of 17×7.5-inch Concept One wheels and 215/45/ 17 Nitto tires, and finally, a full set of apparel which includes racing suit, shoes, and gloves.

Major engine, drivetrain, and electronic components will be sealed by the organizer prior to customer handover to ensure the cars’ conformity to the one-make racing formula.

President of RaceGAS Dynamics Allan Uy shares, “Ever since I began my racing career, I have always wanted to create a sports car series that allows the cars’ owners to enjoy their rides whether on the track or on the road. With the Mazda MX-5, we are able to realize this dream.” He further adds that the Miata Spec Series offers its participants the enjoyment of sports car racing at a reasonable cost.

Set to be released in May next year, Interested buyers may reach out to RaceGAS Dynamics through email ([email protected]) for inquiries about the cars and the upcoming 2020 Miata Spec Series season.

The expected introductory price is at PhP 2,500,000 for the brand new MX-5 Soft Top Manual Transmission unit by RaceGAS Dynamics.

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