As the Coronavirus pandemic wraps the world, WhatsApp has seen a 40 percent increase in usage, according to a study by Kantar, a data and consulting company. WhatsApp is the social media app experiencing the greatest gains in usage as people look to stay connected.
The Facebook-owned instant messaging app is people’s go-to option in many markets, India being the largest. The country is on complete lockdown for 21 days, that’s until April 15. While everyone stays indoors and practices social distancing, the only way to communicate is through the internet. Naturally, WhatsApp has seen the highest surge since it’s used by literally everyone in the country with a smartphone.
WhatsApp usage increased to 27 percent during the early stage of the pandemic. This rose to 41 percent during the mid-phase and then shot to 51 percent in the late phase. Keep in mind, these are global figures, not just a particular market. The report doesn’t provide region-wise numbers but highlights that Spain witnessed an unprecedented rise of 76 percent.
Further, the report mentioned that WhatsApp, Facebook, and Instagram saw an over 40 percent increase in their usage from users below the age of 35. It’s evident that the younger generation is more tech-savvy and habituated to social media. When there’s no option to venture out, the internet is their comfort zone.
The report also highlighted that these apps were surely the preferred means of communication but not in providing trustworthy news. WhatsApp is infamous for being the top medium to spread misinformation. The Government of India has launched a mass-scale advertising campaign to educate citizens about spreading forwarded messages responsibly.
Workplace-messaging service Slack also disclosed it had added paying 7,000 customers between February 1 and March 17. The same day, Microsoft said its rival Microsoft Team service had gained 12 million active daily users in seven days.
Similarly, video streaming services have also experienced a massive surge in usage. This prompted them to reduce default video streaming quality to ensure too much bandwidth isn’t consumed. Higher bandwidth usage would mean more stress on a telecom carrier’s infrastructure, leading to slower transfer speeds and high latency.
As general rules, the CDC or The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention listed these to help with preventing the spread of COVID-19:
- Stay home when sick
- Cover coughs and sneezes
- Frequently wash hands with soap and water
- Clean frequently touched surfaces
Nickelodeon Pixel Town: Another game to play while on lockdown
They’ve got adorable pixel art!
Nickelodeon is serving up a new mobile game for us: Nickelodeon Pixel Town. A mobile game we can all sink our teeth into as we try to cope with everything that 2020 has been throwing at us so far.
So, what is it exactly? Nickelodeon Pixel Town is a city building game. The name of the game is building your own Nickelodeon city where you can collect characters, costumes, iconic buildings, and items from different Nickelodeon series. The most charming bit? It’s all drawn in highly stylistic retro pixel art.
For your city inhabitants, you get to collect characters from SpongeBob SquarePants, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Invader Zim, CatDog, The Fairly OddParents, Danny Phantom, Rugrats, The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, Avatar: The Last Airbender, Avatar: The Legend of Korra, Rocko’s Modern Life, Hey Arnold! and The Wild Thornberrys.
Honestly, if you don’t have a Switch and have been gritting your teeth through the lockdown while people have been playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons, this is a decent mobile game to bring back some nostalgia. Because with all the hellish news lately, don’t we all just want to curl up into a ball and go back to a time when times seemed so much simpler? Not any better of a place and time perse, sure. But, just a time when we were too young to know any better.
Want to give this game a go?
Nickelodeon has an official launch celebration for the Pixel Town. You can use the code PIXELTOWNHL to redeem 500 Gems for free! To redeem it, you can go to their website, click redemption, and fill up the necessary info.
If you want to build up a reason to disconnect and play like me, you can. The freebies are valid until 30 June 2020, 11:59PM (GMT+8). That’s a pretty good amount of time to be rally up enough pent up emotions to need some time away to hop back fiercer. Nickelodeon Pixel Town is available in Vietnam, Thailand, and Indonesia on Google Play and Apple App Store.
GrabPay Card launches for hassle-free online payments
In partnership with MasterCard
Grab partnered with MasterCard to make this happen. MasterCard’s research showed that in April 2020, 40% of Filipinos resorted to contactless payments. Hardly surprising given the health crisis, but important information to act on nevertheless.
Which brings us now to the GrabPay Card. So what exactly does it do? Its aim is simple: to bring financial inclusion to the millions of underbanked and unbanked in Southeast Asia.
What does it do?
- Pay for everything online. The GrabPay digital card vastly expands Grab’s online merchant ecosystem, allowing users, regardless of whether they have a bank account, to transact securely and easily online at nearly 53 million merchants worldwide that accept Mastercard cards.
- Safe and secure cashless payments. As a digital-first card, its details are stored securely within the Grab app. It has an in-app card lock function enabled by Face ID and fingerprint biometric security, and PIN-protection that allow users to instantly suspend payments in case of lost cards or suspicious transactions.
- More ways to earn GrabRewards. Whether you are using it to purchase an item online, pay for digital subscriptions, or transact locally and globally, users can earn GrabRewards points for transactions made in millions of merchant-partners that accept Mastercard.
- Unique benefits for users. GrabPay Card users get Mobile protection insurance allowing them to pay for mobile postpaid phone bills using the GrabPay Card and receive protection against accidental damage or theft. The card is also equipped with E-commerce protection that allows users to receive coverage for online transactions in the event that a wrong and/or defective item is delivered, and incomplete or non-delivery of the item.
Worried about security? GrabPay Card is regulated by Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas or BSP. It comes with a 24/7 fraud detection engine so you can sleep soundly knowing your transactions are encrypted and protected.
How to get the Card
To use the GrabPay Card, you first need to upgrade the GrabPay wallet by following the in-app verification process. After verification, follow these steps:
- Tap ‘Payment’ icon at the bottom of your Grab homescreen
- Ensure you have activated and upgraded your GrabPay Wallet
- Tap ‘Get your GrabPay Card now’ to access your card details
- Enter your PIN to secure your card
- Start using your digital card details for your online transactions
What can you do on the Huawei P40 Pro?
Pretty much everything
Still on the fence about the Huawei P40 Pro? Let us tell you that it’s as sleek and sexy as you see in the photos. It’s probably one of the best phones to hold today. But of course, there’s more to it than what meets the eye.
Is it just a glorified smartphone camera or is it actually a smartphone? The short answer is yes, it most definitely is a smartphone. Huawei has done a good job at beefing up the AppGallery and providing other means to get apps on their new flagships.
So here’s some of the things you can do on your Huawei P40 Pro.
Play your favorite mobile games
The Huawei P40 Pro is stacked on the specs department. It’s running the company’s latest — the Kirin 990 5G SoC along with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage.
That’s more than enough power and memory to run your favorite games. A lot of which you won’t have trouble accessing. Hard core racing game Asphalt 9 is available via the AppGallery. If you want something more casual, there’s also the classic Candy Crush.
What about other games? Popular titles like Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, PUBG Mobile, and many others are accessible through the web or through third party apps.
Watch your beloved shows
Maintaining some semblance of work-life-balance at a time when most of us are asked to work from home can be challenging. Winding down after a long day to watch your favorite show is one way to do it.
Get your K-Drama those via Viu or choose from a wide selection of local and foreign shows and movies on iFlix. Both apps are available on the AppGallery.
Not enough for you? You can get Netflix on the Huawei P40 Pro also through a third party app. If you want to just get lost in a YouTube rabbit hole, you can get to it through the Huawei browser.
For quicker access, you can add YouTube to your home screen. On the Huawei browser, simply tap on the three dots right next to address bar. It’ll show the menu. Just tap “Add to home screen” from there.
The 6.58-inch AMOLED display along with its relatively small footprint and good grip makes the P40 Pro great for this activity. The screen is fantastic and you won’t wear your arm out holding it up for an extended period.
Be a responsible social media user
The being responsible part is entirely up to you, but we highly encourage it. On the AppGallery or through third party apps, you can get access to the top social media apps like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and Kumu.
Browsing on social media and using your phone in general is easier on the eyes thanks to the 90Hz screen refresh rate. It’s a smoother experience that you will definitely notice.
But don’t just share anything. Make sure the stuff you’re posting, especially when it’s news, is from a reputable source. On the AppGallery you can get the CNN Breaking US & World News app. If you need something that’s local to the Philippines, there’s the GMA News app.
While you’re at it, make sure you brush up on your vocabulary. The Merriam-webster dictionary is available for download on the AppGallery. So when you encounter a word you’re not familiar with, you can simply look it up.
Discover your inner photographer
You might also be inclined to share your quarantine food of the day. You’ve been adding skill points to your culinary abilities and what better way to show them off than through photos.
The camera set on the P40 Pro will make sure your FOTD is high quality. After all, you get a 50MP main shooter. If you want to get closer, there’s the 12MP telephoto lens. To get a wider perspective, you have the 40MP wide angle camera. There’s also a TOF 3D lens for good measure.
The P40 Pro is also home to new features that we’re sure you’ll find useful. For instance there’s AI Remove Reflection. Say you wanted to get a shot of the sky through your window. Inevitably, you’ll capture part of your window glass. The new feature will magically take that away for you. That same magic works on the AI Passersby feature. The phone will let you crop out unwanted object from your shot. Neat!
Speaking of magic, you don’t have to worry about missing magical moments with the AI Best Moment feature. It’s almost self-explanatory. Not all of us are skilled with capturing the right moment at the right time. What the P40 Pro does is it analyzes the frames taken before, during, and after a photo is taken to give you the best possible shot. It’s also perfect for when you’re taking a shot of moving objects or movement in general.
Spice things up using various photo editing tools on the AppGallery like PicsArt or Photogrid. Alternatively, you can also download our personal favorite — Snapseed through third-party means.
Be a TikTok star
Or not. It’s really up to you. Just putting the possibility out there. That said, on top of the rear camera set already mentioned above, you also have a 32MP front-facing camera.
So whether you’re dancing in front of your phone or you’re shooting a set of clips for a nice little skit, you have quality cameras that can help elevate the quality of your videos.
TikTok, of course, is readily downloadable on AppGallery.
Manage your finances
But how do you pay? Funny you should ask. E-wallets like GCash and PayMaya are downloadable on the AppGallery. You simply need to set up either one (or both. Pro tip: You should have both), to help handle online payments. In this age of social distancing, the less we contact we have with other people, the better.
Banking apps like BDO, Citibank, and Landback are also available on the AppGallery. For everything else, you can access through third party apps or through their web version on the Huawei browser.
Develop a quaranfling 😉
We get it. You’re stuck at home. It can get lonely. But it doesn’t have to be. If your crush isn’t responding to your multiple attempts to slide in his/her DMs, perhaps it’s time to look elsewhere.
Bumble is available on the AppGallery so you can swipe away to try to find a connection online with someone who you know would already be interested in you in some shape or form.
Other dating apps like Tinder and OKCupid aren’t there yet, but they are in the pipeline so you’re not totally missing out.
Stay connected with family, friends, and loved ones
If a fleeting romantic connection isn’t your thing, then just make sure you reach out to the one’s closest to you. Human beings are social butterflies, and this self-isolation is putting that quality to the test.
Keep your connections strong through various messaging apps like Messenger, Viber, and WeChat. All of which are available via the AppGallery or through third party apps.
Additionally, you and your friends can all get a P40 series phone and hop on a MeeTime call. Sometimes chatting just isn’t gonna cut it. Seeing and talking to each other in real time through video calls can help bridge that communication gap.
If you happen to have a 5G SIM with 5G coverage in your area then you’re in luck! The Huawei P40 Pro is 5G-capable. That tech is still developing but when it’s ready, you know for sure you’ll be ready.
It can help fill that gaping hole brought about by the gloom and doom of this pandemic. Dark. But it doesn’t have to be. MeeTime can help.
Certainly a capable smartphone
The Huawei P40 Pro gives you access to pretty much everything you’ll need and expect to get access to on a smartphone. The apps you use on the daily, and other new ones that you might find helpful are available on Huawei’s on AppGallery or through other means.
It’s not just a camera with smartphone features. It’s a smartphone full stop. And quite a really good one at that.
This feature is a collaboration between GadgetMatch and Huawei Philippines
realme 6 Pro review: A step up from the competition
Has realme perfected the midrange formula?
realme 6 review: Perfect gaming phone for the lockdown?
Let's play to cope
One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 review: A fun beat’em up
Relive the story without having to replay hundreds of episodes
Samsung, BTS will launch a custom Galaxy S20
CES 2021 will still push through with an in-person event
The Last of Us Part II Preview: Nimble and off to the races
realme 6 Pro review: A step up from the competition
Acer launches Learn from Home program
Best Midrange Smartphones in the Philippines from P10,000 to P20,000
Best Budget Smartphones in the Philippines below P10,000
Best Upper-Midrange Smartphones in the Philippines from P20,000 to P30,000
Best Midrange Smartphones from $200 to $400
Best Premium Smartphones in the Philippines above P30,000
Features2 weeks ago
7 blue smartphones worth giving a try
News2 weeks ago
Australia breaks internet speed record, topping at 44.2Tbps
News7 days ago
PLDT hacked, hacker threatens Globe is next [Updated]
Gaming2 weeks ago
ASUS TUF Gaming A15, A17 now official in the Philippines
Gaming2 weeks ago
The ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 arrives in the Philippines
Apps1 week ago
Nike’s ‘You Can’t Stop Us’ campaign will help you stay active at home
Best Smartphones1 week ago
Best Smartphones for Gaming in 2020 (so far)
Her GadgetMatch2 weeks ago
Breakfast Diaries: No-Frills Baking with the Panasonic Croustina Breadmaker