Community Tech

Smart LTE up in more mountain sites in Cebu

More mountain barangays are now enjoying fast, reliable, and affordable mobile internet connection with the activation of Smart Communications Inc. LTE cell sites. The latest is Barangay Linut-od, 24 kilometers from the Argao town center in Cebu, or about an hour by motorcycle on rough road.

Improved connectivity is boosting livelihood, community efficiency and the general wellbeing of residents of this farming and coal mining village.

Seventy percent of households have members living elsewhere, and residents had to move from one place to another in search of a signal just to keep in touch, said former Argao Mayor Stanley Caminero. “So, when Smart fired up its new LTE cell site, people were ecstatic!”

LTE NOW AVAILABLE. LTE is finally in Linut-od, Argao after Smart fired up their LTE cell site in the mountain barangay. Leading the ceremony to mark the availability are former mayor Stanley Caminero (3rd from left) and Atty. Maria Jane C. Paredes, AVP and Center Head of SMART Public Affairs Visayas and Mindanao.

Contact family members

Among them were farmer Luciano Zamora and wife Lorenza, who see their three grown children only on special occasions. “We are thankful that now the signal is strong even up here in the mountains. We can contact our children anytime, and we don’t even have to leave the house,” said Luciano. It is a comforting thought, in case of an emergency, he added.

Now the couple even get to see their grandchildren, by making video calls using smartphones provided by their children, along with an “allowance” of credit load.

Farmers like Zamora are also learning to search the internet for new and better farming methods, Caminero said. Improved connectivity could also help boost upland tourism through social media, he added.

With better connectivity, families in Linut-od can stay in touch with relatives working far away.

Information dissemination

Councilor Resurreccion Gonzaga of barangay Cabantug said the new technology helps facilitates information dissemination and processing of documents, thus improving efficiency of local government units.

Aside from Linut-od, Smart has also fired up LTE sites in the mountain barangays of Colawin in Argao, and Guba and Bonbon in Cebu City.

LTE can be quickly upgraded to LTE-Advanced (LTE-A), which can provide even greater capacity and speeds to users with capable smartphones. In Cebu, major cities like Cebu City, Lapu-Lapu City, and Mandaue City already have LTE-A sites.

Better connectivity also means peace of mind for Linut-od residents, who can easily contact family especially in times of emergencies.

Fiber backbone

To date, Smart has fulfilled its commitment to the National Telecommunications Commission to cover at least 90 percent of cities and municipalities to address the growing demand for broadband infrastructure and internet access in the country. Supporting Smart’s mobile network is PLDT’s fiber infrastructure, now extending over 259,000 kilometers.

PLDT and Smart’s nationwide network transformation efforts are backed by a historic-high capital expenditure of P78.4 billion this year. The capex investments are to further expand coverage and to increase capacity to handle the exponential growth in data traffic, with the ultimate aim of delivering the best data customer experience.

Linut-od residents can use this improved connectivity to stream videos online and share photos via social media.


Xiaomi launches Mi 9T flagship in Philippines

Xiaomi announced the arrival of Mi 9T, the latest smartphone in its highly popular flagship Mi 9 family, in the Philippines today.

Mi 9T will be available on July 12, 2019 with prices starting at P15,990. The device sports the latest Qualcomm SnapdragonTM 730 Mobile Platform, a 6.39-inch Full Screen Display, a 20MP pop-up front camera and a rear 48MP triple camera setup.

“We’ve seen an incredible reception for Mi 9’s current flagship series, including Mi 9 and Mi 9 SE. With Mi 9T bringing features like a massive 4000mAh battery and true full screen display, we are demonstrating our philosophy of bringing innovation to every Filipino consumer at honest prices,” said Steven Shi, Head of Southeast Asia, Xiaomi

35% increase in CPU performance

Mi 9T features the best-in-class Qualcomm SnapdragonTM 730 mobile platform, offering an increase of 35 percent for CPU performance, and of 10 percent for GPU, as well as twice the AI performance, compared to its predecessor SnapdragonTM 710– all enabled an octa-core KryoTM 470 chip processor based on the 8nm process for extreme power efficiency, along with the 4th generation AI smart engine for delivering powerful AI performance.

Xiaomi Mi 9T

The smartphone comes with the new Game Turbo 2.0 for an ultimate gaming experience by optimizing touch response, display, sound quality, network and in-game calls. Touch response rate goes up to 180Hz, while click and touch response times are reduced to about 70 milliseconds, the new Mi 9 family member is able to offer an esports-level gaming experience.

Featuring a 6.39-inch AMOLED screen without a notch, the display of Mi 9T supports Reading and Sunlight mode 2.0, low-brightness color grayscale optimization, and 256-scale eye protection technology, delivering an incredible immersive viewing experience. It has also received low-blue-light eye protection certification by Germany’s VDE Testing and Certification Institute. By adopting an elegant pop-up selfie solution, Mi 9T is able to achieve a true full screen display.

Mi 9T applies a nano-holographic technology to produce a unique flame design on its four-sided curved glass back. The combination of 3D-glass and extremely narrow frame gives the phone an incredibly comfortable hand-feel.

The device is equipped with the 7th-generation in-screen fingerprint technology. The dual optimization of hardware and software significantly improves the fingerprint recognition rate and speed.

48MP AI triple camera

Offering an AI triple camera setup, Mi 9T features a main 48MP camera with a 1/2″ Sony flagship IMX 582 sensor that can produce ultra-high resolution photos. For night portraits, the camera sensor supports merging four pixels to form large 1.6μm pixels to capture more details in low-light conditions.

In addition to the 48MP main camera, the Mi 9T also features a 13MP ultra wide-angle lens with a 124.8-degree field of view, and an 8MP telephoto lens. The options offered by the combination of these three lenses can cover most settings, delivering an SLR-like photography experience.

Mi 9T sports a 20MP pop-up front-facing camera with a sapphire glass cover. When the front camera is raised, it will display lighting effects and is accompanied by one of six sound effects. The light ring on top acts as a notification light for incoming messages and charging status. Group selfies taken with the panorama feature, which allows panning the 20MP selfie camera, will let you include all your friends in a single shot.

Xiaomi Mi 9T

Power to last through day

Featuring a large 4000mAh battery and an AI energy saving mode to automatically adjust screen brightness and for activating sleep mode at night, Mi 9T has power to last through a day of heavy use. Mi 9T supports up to 18W charging.

Mi 9T offers multi-function NFC, with payment transaction speeds increased by up to 30 percent. It also offers superb audio quality, featuring 1217SLS speakers and Smart PA as well as a 0.9cc large sound chamber for powerful playback. The device retains a 3.5mm headphone jack, and has received Hi-Res Audio certification.

Pre-orders for the Mi 9T will be from June 24, 12 noon, until June 30, 2019 at Xiaomi’s official store on Lazada and at Mi Authorized Stores. It will first come in Carbon Black at a retail price of P15,990 for 6GB+64GB, and P17,990 for 6GB+128GB. The Mi 9T will be initially be exclusive on Lazada and will soon roll out on Mi Authorized stores. (Press Release)

Product sheet

Community Tech

Adult learning gets boost with Learning Center, Smart School-in-a-Bag

When the Department of Education (DepEd) conceptualized the Alternative Learning System (ALS) over 15 years ago, its primary goal was simple: to assist out-of-school youth and adult learners who haven’t completed basic education.

Years later, the government agency realized the need to further enhance ALS education interventions. This led to the development of ALS-Education and Skills Training (ALS-EST), an initiative that combines the ALS curriculum with technical, vocational, and other skills training.

The integrated program aims to produce completers who are not only able to catch up with basic education, but have also acquired technical competencies for immediate employment. “The program was developed based on the assessment that ALS learners showed they were more likely to stick with the program if they also learned work skills along the way,” said DepEd Undersecretary Nepomuceno A. Malaluan.

Improved employability for ALS learners

While the ALS-EST is already implemented in 98 volunteer DepEd schools and five non-DepEd partners, the recently completed pilot ALS-EST Learning Center in the town of Lawaan in Eastern Samar is expected to further promote the effectiveness of alternative learning.

Located within the Lawaan National School of Craftsmanship and Home Industries, the facility has a large hall for lectures and workshops that can be divided or merged. The structure also takes into account the needs of student mothers and learners with disabilities, which would help remove the misconception that non-formal schooling equates to second-class education. “ALS is just another modality or pathway to literacy and – for many learners of special circumstances – it is their prized chance at basic education,” he said.

The first-ever ALS-EST Learning Center was funded by the Australian government through its Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and implemented by the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP). The partnership intends to construct four more identical facilities throughout the Philippines as they believe that education is the most effective solution against poverty.

“We hope that this donation will provide a conducive environment for learning and ensure that young people will get access to relevant skills,” said Australian Ambassador Steven J. Robinson.

DepEd Undersecretary Nepomuceno A. Malaluan with Smart’s Head for Education Programs Stephanie V. Orlino at the inauguration of the pilot Alternative Learning System - Education and Skills Training (ALS-EST) facility in Lawaan, Eastern Samar.

DepEd Undersecretary Nepomuceno A. Malaluan with Smart’s Head for Education Programs Stephanie V. Orlino at the inauguration of the pilot Alternative Learning System – Education and Skills Training (ALS-EST) facility in Lawaan, Eastern Samar.

“The end goal is to improve the employability of ALS learners and provide them with the expertise to start microenterprises,” he added.

Platform for offsite learning

According to USEC Malaluan, many alternative learners are unable to regularly show up for school, thus preventing them from completing their basic education. This is where Smart Communications (Smart) was able to support ALS-EST, as it provides a platform for offsite learning through the Smart School-in-a-Bag.

The flagship education program of the Philippines’ leading wireless services provider, Smart School-in-a-Bag is a portable digital classroom designed to provide access to technology to help deliver 21st century education even to remote schools without access to electricity. The 2×2 feet backpack contains a solar panel and battery, teacher’s laptop and tablet, Smart pocket WiFi, projector and screen, DVD player, TV, and student tablets that are pre-installed with literacy apps developed by Smart together with its community partners. Teacher training and program evaluation are also conducted.

With over 110 kits donated as of May 2019, the School-in-a-Bag program has benefitted over 30,000 learners and over 1,000 teachers in communities nationwide. These numbers are expected to grow with the use of the technology package in Lawaan ALS-EST.

“Having access to technology tools provided by School-in-a-Bag will surely motivate ALS-EST learners to attend sessions, since there are no limits to the resource materials that we access on the internet,” said Vicente R. Antofina Jr., a teacher for over 14 years.

More skills trainings

Aside from the School-in-a-Bag donation tailored for the program, Smart also plans on supporting ALS-EST by providing technology support and digital skills training, where needed,” said Stephanie V. Orlino, Head for Education Programs, Smart.

To learn more about the Smart School-in-a-Bag and Smart’s other CSR initiatives, visit or send an email to [email protected]. (Press Release)

Business Tech

GCash innovations foster growth of Philippines’ gig economy

With its 20 million users composed mostly of young, working Filipinos, GCash has tailored its mobile financial platform to fuel the growth of the country’s gig economy.

Anthony Thomas, president and chief executive officer of Mynt (Globe Innovations, Inc.), which operates GCash, said the company sees a huge opportunity in the gig economy and continually innovates to address the needs of freelancers and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

“Most of our businesses are micro-businesses, and the gig economy is alive and well. A lot of opportunity comes from freelancers or businesses that employ just a few people. GCash could be a very convenient disbursement platform for them,” Thomas said at the IN_PACT Asia 2019 forum held on May 28 at the ADB headquarters in Manila.

GCash solutions

The Philippines’ leading mobile wallet and a pioneer in fintech services, GCash provides an efficient end-to-end payroll to payout solution for Filipinos operating outside the usual employment schemes, Thomas said. It also allows payment acceptance through QR transactions, and InstaPay transfers, which lets users send money to any banks in the Philippines for free.

“We make it very easy to accept payments offline through QR codes, or online with minimum to no cost so entrepreneurs, small businesses and freelancers can really focus on what they need to do rather than worrying about administrative problems in their lives and businesses,” he said.

The Mynt CEO was one of the speakers representing the fintech sector at the IN_PACT Asia forum, which this year centered on “Convening for Collective Impact.” The event gathered more than 300 social designers and innovators, and over 30 thought leaders and experts on social innovation and impact.

Anthony Thomas speaking at the ADB In_Pact Asia 2019 - Convening for Collective Impact

Anthony Thomas speaks at the ADB In_Pact Asia 2019 – Convening for Collective Impact.

Financial inclusion

The Philippines, which has one of the youngest workforces in Asia, is an emerging hub for social entrepreneurs, numbering nearly 165,000, and online freelancers, estimated to be around 1.5 million. Self-employed Filipinos make up 26.9% of the country’s 41.2 million labor force, the second biggest category of employed workers, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority.

Still, financial inclusion remains a challenge as 2 out of 3 Filipinos do not have access to bank accounts, and 9 out of 10 do not have access to loan credit.

“But the smartphone penetration is good, and the Philippines is an increasingly social media savvy country… What we’re doing is incentivizing people to go online,” Thomas said, presenting GCash’s financial services, which include GScore, GCredit, GSave and GInvest.

Financial services platform

“We’re not stopping at just creating payment convenience in your day-to-day lives. We are ultimately a financial services platform where we collaborate with lenders, asset managers, banks, and insurance companies. And we’ve already launched a way where we’re giving people a digital identity,” he said.

UNDP resident representative Titon Mitra, who was also a guest speaker at the forum, recognized that the most impressive social innovations were coming from emerging economies, citing fintech companies like GCash.

“In a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world, innovations are imperative,” Mitra said. “It’s not just about fostering social innovations but fostering social innovations with a coherent purpose. If we’re going to drive social innovations the right way, we have to make it everyone’s responsibility.” (Press Release)

Community Tech Uncategorized

Smart literacy apps named sole Filipino finalist in GSMA’s Asia Mobile Awards 2019

The roster of mother tongue-based literacy apps developed by leading wireless services provider Smart Communications (Smart) has been shortlisted in this year’s Asia Mobile Awards (AMO 2019).

Organized by mobile network operators group GSMA, AMO 2019 serves as the Asia Region’s leading stage for the latest and most innovative mobile products, apps, devices, services and initiatives.

Outstanding Mobile Contribution to the UN SDGs in Asia

Smart is in the running for its #LearnSmart Mother Tongue-Based Literacy Apps that were developed in partnership with the Department of Education (DepEd) and academic institutions nationwide. The PLDT subsidiary initiated the local content development program in 2018 as a response to the lack of interactive local content for education and is the only finalist from the Philippines among the 50 contenders shortlisted by the AMO.

#LearnSmart app

The apps are nominated under the category of Outstanding Mobile Contribution to the UN SDGs in Asia. Other finalists include edotco Myanmar for Sustainable Connectivity Solution, China Mobile, Huawei Technologies & The 301 Hospital for The World’s First Successful 5G-Enabled Remote Surgery on a Living Human Patient, KaiOS for the emerging OS, KT & UNEP for Air Map Korea, and Mahindra Comviva for AsiaHawala.

The presentation of the Awards will take place at this year’s Mobile World Congress-Shanghai from June 26 to 28, 2019.

First of its kind

The LearnSmart mother tongue-based literacy apps feature lessons on local alphabet and numbers, videos showcasing local stories and songs, and games that help develop a learner’s essential memory and thinking skills. The mobile tools were designed to be interactive to make teaching and learning basic literacy in the local language more interesting and encouraging for both the teachers and the learners.

To-date, Smart has launched nine #LearnSmart literacy applications: Bahay Kubo (Filipino), Kaalam (Cebuano), Ta’allam and Tahderiyyah (Arabic), Matisalug (Matigsalug indigenous peoples Tribe of Davao and Bukidnon), Kaaram (Waray), Katao (Inabaknon), Singsing (Kapampangan), and Sanut (Ilokano). To-date, the suite of apps are the only mobile tools in the Philippines that feature localized educational content. In the case of Matigsalug, it is the first tribal app of its kind in the country, while Tahderiyyah is the first literacy app for the Bangsamoro children.

The main delivery pipeline of the apps is through the Smart School-in-a-Bag program, which are portable digital classrooms that are donated to remote and under-served schools in the Philippines with intermittent to no power. With more than 110 learning packages deployed as of end-2018, over 30,000 students around the Philippines have been given the opportunity to improve their performance in school though Smart’s flagship education initiative.

Aside from School-in-a-Bag beneficiaries, anyone can also download the #LearnSmart apps for free via Google Play.


Game-changing mobile devices and technologies

Prior to being named as a finalist in AMO 2019, the roster of mother-tongue literacy apps was previously awarded by the Public Relations Society of the Philippines with Silver citations at the 54th Anvil Awards. The nods were for Best PR Program Directed at Specific Stakeholders and Best PR Tool – Mobile Application.

Now on its fourth year, the AMOs recognize game-changing mobile devices and technologies, to applications and services developed for, or available in Asian markets, showcasing the ever growing value that mobility brings to users, industries, businesses, communities and economies across Asia’s countries and regions.

Smart’s previous AMO nods include a nomination in 2018 for SHINE OS+ (Secured Health Information Network and Exchange), an electronic medical record and referral system spearheaded by Smart and the Ateneo Java Wireless Competency Center. From 2007 to 2009, the company also won AMOs for several Mobile Money and Advertising-Marketing initiatives, as well as a nomination under the Green Mobile Award for the company’s tarpaulin recycling initiatives. (Press Release)

Business Feature Tech

Tap social media, digital tools to grow your business, Facebook tells Cebu companies

Businesses that embrace technology and social media grow at incredible rates, according to an official of Facebook Philippines.

With platforms like Facebook, there has never been a better time to have a business idea or solution and connect that idea with someone who will need it, Facebook Philippines Client Partner Chay Mondejar-Saputil said in a media briefing last Friday in Cebu City.

Facebook Philippines held last Friday an Accelerator Workshop to train Cebu businesses on online marketing, branding, and digital tools provided by the platform. Saputil said the business tools offered by the social media giant “level the playing field” for small and medium-sized businesses (SMB).

Reach potential customers

“Whereas before only big businesses were able to reach out to a large number of people, now even small businesses can reach hundreds of thousands” of potential customers using Facebook and its tools, she said.

More than 50 million Filipinos are connected to an SMB page on Facebook, the company said in a press statement. About 130 million people outside the country are connected to a Philippine-based SMB on the platform, it added.

The biggest shift right now is how we are so connected to our mobile phones

Chay Mondejar-Saputil, Client Partner, Facebook Philippines

Saputil said a survey of small businesses showed that by using technology and social platforms, 86% were able to sell their products outside their geographic boundaries and to customers in other provinces and even abroad. The same survey also found that 91% of businesses saw these tools as having helped them attract customers and 73% said they were able to hire more people. She said 82% of businesses reported increased sales because of the Facebook platform. She also said that 60% of these companies built their businesses on Facebook.

Saputil also shared what she said were the four Cs that are important to do well online: community, curation, conversation, and commerce.

Facebook Accelerator Workshop Cebu

Empower SMBs with training

Facebook Philippines said the digital skills training they conducted for SMBs started in 2017 and have trained over 5,000 small businesses in 23 cities all over the Philippines.

“We are glad to be working with Facebook in helping create inclusive, innovation-led growth for Philippine SMBs. Ninety-nine percent of businesses in the country are SMBs and they are the backbone of the Philippine economy. Together with Facebook, we will continue to empower SMBs as their success ultimately translates into more jobs and economic opportunities for Filipinos,” said Department of Trade and Industry Central Visayas OIC Assistant Regional Director Ma. Elena Arbon.

Jackie Morales of Digital Printing PH said platforms like Facebook allowed their company to operate fully online. Digital Printing PH started with two physical locations in Manila. Morales said that with the shops, they were limited by their location and their customers were mainly students. By going online, they were able to attract corporate customers from all over the country and even abroad.

Fully online, relocate to Cebu

She and her husband eventually decided to go fully online and relocate to Cebu, having been attracted to the province after spending their vacation here. Morales said her biggest consideration in going online is her being a mother. With the physical stores, she barely had time with the responsibilities of running their operations while raising a child. By going fully online, she now has more time for the family and for herself. She said she was able to travel more since she could run the business from anywhere.

EMPOWERING ENTREPRENEURS. (From left) Jackie Morales of Digital Printing PH; Gina Romero, CEO and co-founder of Connected Women; Facebook Philippines Client Partner Chay Mondejar-Saputil; and Facebook Philippines Communications Manager Michelle Fojas brief reporters and bloggers about Friday’s Accelerator Workshop for Cebu businesses.

EMPOWERING ENTREPRENEURS. (From left) Jackie Morales of Digital Printing PH; Gina Romero, CEO and co-founder of Connected Women; Facebook Philippines Client Partner Chay Mondejar-Saputil; and Facebook Philippines Communications Manager Michelle Fojas brief reporters and bloggers about Friday’s Accelerator Workshop for Cebu businesses.

Gina Romero, CEO and co-founder of Connected Women, said technology is empowering to women and allows them to connect with other female entrepreneurs and share tips and experiences. Romero used to be a flight attendant while selling used laptops on eBay. With technology, she was able to run the business wherever her assignment was. She later on started organizing sessions for women entrepreneurs. She has brought that online by tapping Facebook and her community now has 35,000 members.

Saputil said tools like Messenger foster interaction with the community and potential customers. She said this “conversational commerce” drives business and will be increasingly contributing to transactions in the coming months.

Mobile is biggest shift

Romero said they had to hire a dedicated employee to handle chats and would be adding another person soon. She said people prefer to use Messenger chat than other avenues like email and contact forms. Morales said she often has a deluge of chat messages that she has to use the “away” option because she is unable to deal with all messages.

Saputil said tools like chatbots will enable entrepreneurs like Morales to deal with the volume of customer inquiries.

Romero said platforms allow her members to interact with each other. She shared how a post or question by a member would often generate hundreds of answers by others in the community by the time she reads it when she wakes up in the morning.

Saputil also emphasized the importance of thinking mobile in doing business in today’s digital and connected world.

“The biggest shift right now is how we are so connected to our mobile phones,” Saputil said, citing a study by We Are Social that indicated Filipinos spent up to 10 hours a day online, mostly via phones.

“Most of our users are on the phone. Think of what your photo will look like on the phone, if you can’t read what’s on the photo on the phone then I would say 90% of our users won’t be able to read it as well. If it’s on the phone, the rule is the bigger the better,” she said.

Saputil also said that based on feedback and their experience in attending and holding events in Cebu, “I feel and I see that digital transformation is happening here.”


Smart fires up LTE in Eastern Visayas

PLDT wireless arm Smart Communications, Inc. is ramping up the rollout of Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology across the Eastern Visayas to improve the mobile data experience of customers in one of the country’s biggest regions.

Smart LTE is already available across the region’s major cities of Tacloban and Ormoc in Leyte, and was recently fired up in the Eastern Samar capital city of Borongan, the tourist town of Guiuan, Northern Samar capital of Catarman City, and Western Samar cities of Calbayog and Catbalogan.

For veteran Borongan-based broadcast journalist Daisy Belizar, better connectivity would be a boon to her city, where almost all of the families have at least one member working abroad. “With LTE in Borongan, we will now be connected to the rest of the world,” she said.


This year, Smart will continue upgrading all its Eastern Visayas sites to LTE, as well as add more LTE capacity by deploying multi-band base stations. Doing so will enable Smart to cater to more subscribers and improve speeds with the activation of LTE-Advanced and carrier aggregation.

Carrier aggregation is a feature of LTE-A which allows the combination of two or more radio frequency bands in order to deliver much faster data speeds to customers using capable phones.

In Eastern Visayas, particularly in Leyte and Eastern Samar, around half of Smart subscribers are already smartphone users, bulk of whom are also already using LTE devices. Compared to a year ago, the number of customers in the region who use mobile data on LTE devices with LTE SIMs has also increased significantly.

Aside from upgrading its existing sites, Smart is also rolling out additional sites in the coming year, particularly to provide seamless network coverage from Tacloban City to Ormoc City and from Baybay to Abuyog, as well as to improve connectivity in heavy foot-traffic areas such as airports in Calbayog, Catarman, Ormoc and Tacloban; in malls and hospitals; and in dense residential and resettlement areas, among others.

World class internet

“With our continuing rollout across Eastern Visayas and in the rest of the country, we are bringing the benefits of world class internet closer to Filipinos nationwide,” said Mario G. Tamayo, PLDT-Smart senior vice president for Network Planning and Engineering.

“Improved connectivity in the region will enable our Waray customers to access services like online banking and e-commerce while on-the-go, stay in contact with friends and family through messaging apps, and share photos and videos of their beautiful beaches and historic spots to help boost tourism in the area,” Tamayo added.

Underpinning PLDT and Smart’s fixed and mobile network roll-out is the expansion of PLDT’s fiber optic transmission and distribution network. PLDT’s fiber footprint, now the most extensive in the country at more than 259,000 kilometers, also supports Smart’s mobile network by providing high-capacity fiber connections for LTE base stations.

PLDT and Smart’s network transformation efforts are backed by a historic-high capital expenditure of P78.4 billion this year. The capex investments are to further expand coverage and to increase capacity to handle the exponential growth in data traffic, with the ultimate aim of delivering the best data customer experience. (Press Release)

Business Tech

Miss Universe Catriona Gray is the face of the new Smart Signature Plans

Catriona Gray’s journey to the Miss Universe crown is an inspiring story of a woman who has reimagined herself to win the most coveted beauty pageant title, bringing pride and honor to our country.

Make no mistake about it, Catriona could have simply rested on her laurels with her Top 5 finish in Miss World 2016, plus a flourishing career as a commercial model. But, fueled by the support of family and friends, the now 25-year old beauty queen decided to embark on a much bigger dream that revealed the goal slayer in her – someone who is confident with her vision, and put every ounce of her energy to realize it. The rest, as they say, is history.

Fast-paced digital lifestyle

“Catriona’s inspiring story and her disposition as the ultimate goal slayer makes her the perfect ambassador for Smart Signature, a new mobile experience that prioritizes customers,” said Oscar A. Reyes, Jr., PLDT-Smart SVP and Consumer Business Market Development Head.

“Designed to cater to a new generation of goal slayers like Catriona, Smart Signature keeps up with the fast-paced digital lifestyle of our customers and empowers them as they tick off more milestones in their career or life,” he added.

“I’m very goal-oriented, and once I’ve set my mind on something, I put my heart and soul to it, and make sure I have all the tools to make it happen,” said Catriona, whose dedication showed in her hands-on approach to preparing for an international title: from putting together her own team or designers, trainers and creatives to displaying her proud Filipino heritage in her captivating national costume and now iconic gowns.

“This is why I am thrilled to represent Smart Signature, which empowers everyone with the digital experience they need to achieve more and realize a much better version of themselves. With Smart Signature, we have one less thing to worry about while pursuing our goals and making a difference.”

Tech-savvy beauty queen

Catriona uses digital platforms not only to connect with family, friends, and fans, but as an effective way to get her voice out there as an advocate for educating the youth and raising HIV/AIDS awareness.

But what else does the most beautiful woman in the world do when she’s online? For starters, she listens to music. “I never like it when it’s quiet. So, I stream music all the time,” she shared. She also enjoys watching videos, especially during her downtime. Here’s a fun fact: She likes watching beauty and make-up videos online, and even trained to do her own make-up as part of her preparation for the MISS UNIVERSE competition.

As an only child who lives away from her parents, and with a hectic travel schedule, she also heavily relies on mobile apps to constantly keep in touch with family and friends.

Always a go-getter, Catriona is ready to embark on her new role as endorser for Smart Signature. It’s going to be a hectic reign, but it’s a journey that she has prepared for all her life, and one that she hopes will inspire more Filipinos.

“I would love to share to people that my story is not an overnight success, and there were years that I really struggled. But I never gave up,” she revealed. “I always play to my own strengths. You need to find a circle of people that believe in what your goals are. And in this digital age, you need a mobile partner that will always prioritize your needs.”

Postpaid reimagined

Smart Signature prioritizes subscribers on the Smart LTE network, the country’s undisputed fastest mobile network as awarded by world-renowned firms including Ookla, OpenSignal, Tutela, and P3. This prioritized network experience makes sure that you can enjoy consistent data to connect to their favorite apps, sent messages in real time, and make uninterrupted calls – even during peak hours.

Smart Signature comes in four plans – Plan S, Plan M, Plan L and Plan XL – with generous data allocation; worry-free unlimited calls to Smart, Sun, and TNT; worry-free AnyNet call minutes to PLDT landline and other networks; and unlimited texts to all networks – so you never have to worry about connecting with family, friends, and colleagues on any network.

Experience a reimagined postpaid and achieve more with Smart Signature Plans now! Sign up as a new subscriber, or upgrade your current Smart Postpaid Plan for free, at select Smart Stores nationwide.

Learn more about the Smart Signature Plan perfect for your lifestyle at (Press Release)


Better video experience on Smart LTE: Opensignal

Customers of PLDT wireless subsidiary Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) experience faster video loading times and fewer video stalling occurrences while on Smart’s LTE network, according to the latest analysis by Opensignal.

The analysis, which is available on Opensignal’s website and covered the period Nov. 1, 2018 to Jan. 29, 2019, showed that Smart scored a ‘good’ video experience score of 56.6 points on Opensignal’s 4G Video Experience scale, well ahead of competition’s ‘poor’ score of 34.9 points out of 100. This score includes video loading time and video stalling metrics.

In terms of video load times, Smart customers experienced faster load times at 5 seconds, compared to competition’s 8.3 seconds. Opensignal’s 4G Video Load Time represents the average period of time mobile users have to wait for a streamed video to begin playing over an LTE connection.

Meanwhile, 4G Video Stalling Occurrence measures the proportion of users that experience an interruption in playback after a video begins streaming.

“Again, we observed a big gap between the two operators with 15.7% of Smart’s users and 40.3% of Globe’s experiencing stalling when streaming video to their smartphones,” Opensignal’s Francesco Rizzato wrote.

OpenSignal Faster load times Smart
FASTER LOAD TIMES. In terms of video load times, Smart customers experienced faster load times at 5 seconds, compared to competition’s 8.3 seconds.


“Many network operators that achieved Very Good Video Experience scores have just one in every ten users experiencing interruptions when playing video on an LTE connection. Having four out of ten users seeing their screen freeze during playback is definitely one of the reasons why Globe achieved a Poor score,” Rizzato added.

“Now that 4G access in the Philippines is becoming more and more of a commodity, all operators will need to focus on improving their subscribers’ experience in other areas beyond LTE reach. Our analysis shows that Smart has been doing its legwork, but it also raises the question of whether we will need to wait for 5G to see any improvement in Globe’s network experience,” Rizzato said.

Best network for video

These results come amid studies that show Filipinos are among the world’s most avid online video viewers. In 2018, online video viewing on Smart’s LTE network surged, leading to an over 100% increase in mobile data usage in 2018, and a 62-percent jump in mobile data revenues year-on-year.

This award is the latest in Smart’s string of network superiority citations from several independent third-party firms, including Ookla, Tutela, and global benchmarking leader P3 communications GmbH

“These awards are a testament to our continuous network upgrades across the country,” said Mario G. Tamayo, PLDT-Smart senior vice president for Network Planning and Engineering.

“We are continuously expanding and improving our network to provide the best mobile data experience to our customers—whether they use it for streaming online video, for keeping in touch with their loved ones, or for accessing other online services, such as email, mobile banking and e-commerce,” he added.

Underpinning this network performance is PLDT’s expansive fiber network, which now spans over 244,000 kilometers and also supports Smart’s mobile network by providing high-capacity links to cellular base stations. To push further the already significant network advantage of PLDT and Smart, and to support an active campaign for more revenues, PLDT and Smart are undertaking yet another massive capital expenditures program for 2019 by allocating up to P78.4 billion budget this year. (Press Release)


Budding teacher in Cebu develops award-winning tutorial app

Cris Militante was still in college when he realized how much he wanted to teach. The computer science and information technology student said 3 of his classmates at the University of San Carlos (USC) in Cebu City had asked him to tutor them in programming lessons, which they struggled with. The 3 subsequently passed the courses.

The positive results encouraged Militante to tutor other students who needed help with complex, specialized classes. Even though student organizations offered tutorials, not everyone could be accommodated.

That inspired Militante and classmates Patrick Dave Woogue and Gabriel Andrew Pineda, with mentor Patrick Wilbur Aldueso, to come up with an online tutorial system. The application leverages on a mobile platform that allows users to act as student-tutors to those having difficulty with their lessons, thus stimulating collaborative learning within the school.

The team called the app Eryl, a Welsh unisex name that means quiet, discerning, observant, seeking new challenges and opportunities.

Cris Militante Seeds for the Future
TRAINING. Cris Militante during the Seeds for the Future graduation.


Collaborative learning

“Eryl is the brainchild of college students with common academic challenges, especially with major subjects,” explained Militante. With the solution, users can select from a pool of tutors, sort out schedules, and negotiate tutoring fees.

Last year, Militante’s team entered Eryl in the 14th SWEEP Innovation and Technology Awards competition organized by Smart Communications – and won top honors. SWEEP stands for Smart Wireless Engineering Education Program. Launched in 2004, the competition draws out students’ ingenuity in developing wireless applications.

The first prize, also called the Huawei Prize for Excellence, came with P300,000 cash and support from Smart, thus enabling USC to develop Eryl into a full-blown application.

Life-changing experience

As team leader, Militante also received an additional perk: a visit to the head office of Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. in China, to participate in the Seeds for the Future training program of the telecommunications equipment and consumer electronics manufacturer. The elite ICT skills initiative seeks to develop local ICT talent, enhance knowledge transfer, promote greater interest in the telecommunications sector, and improve regional building and participation in the digital community.

“I enjoyed the technical and practical IT lessons on the cloud and 5G, especially as Huawei shared extensive expertise and equipment for us to experience how these new technologies work,” Militante said. Initiated by Huawei in 2008, Seeds for the Future program has had 3,600 top college students from over a hundred countries and regions.

Militante, who was in China for nearly a month, said he was privileged to interact with other students from other countries who shared his passion for ICT. “They were the most amazing individuals I’ve ever met,” he exclaimed. “I am forever grateful for such a life-changing learning experience.”

Cris Militante Seeds for the Future
SWEEP representative Cris Militante (back row 2nd from left) with other Seeds of the Future delegates.


Lessons for future developers

Amid all his good fortune in being able to further develop Eryl and work on projects as an IT consultant, Militante never lost sight of his goal: to teach. He is now a computer science instructor at USC, where he shares with his students the insights he acquired from SWEEP and the Seeds for the Future program.

Militante will also return to the SWEEP Awards this year, but will be on the other side of the annual competition – as a coach. More than technical knowledge, he hopes to impart three important lessons to future developers: envision, collaborate, and persevere. “Envision and set the goals you want to achieve, collaborate with people who share your vision, and persevere until everything becomes a reality,” the now 22-year-old professional explained.

The SWEEP alum admits that teaching is not easy, with various roadblocks to fully understanding a fast-paced industry such as ICT. Nonetheless, he is encouraged whenever he sees firsthand the smiles of the students who have been enlightened by a lesson he taught. “My goal is to encourage these future innovators to keep pursuing their dreams and help them learn more about the field they have chosen – the same way winning the SWEEP Awards helped me reach my goals,” he said.

It is a timely message, with this year’s SWEEP Awards in full swing. With the theme “#FutureReady: Creative Innovations Beyond Imagination,” it includes advanced categories for IoT and 5G solutions.

The revolutionary concepts of the top 20 finalists will be developed into full-blown applications at a SWEEP Boot Camp to be held in Metro Manila this month. These include bids from Asia Pacific College, Batangas State University, Bicol University Polangui Campus, Camarines Sur Polytechnic Colleges, Malayan Colleges Laguna, Mapua University, Polytechnic University of the Philippines – Sto. Tomas Branch, Technological University of the Philippines, National Teachers College, and University of the Cordilleras (Luzon); University of Cebu – Banilad, University of San Carlos, University of San Jose – Recoletos, Holy Cross of Davao College, University of Southeastern Philippines, and University of the Immaculate Conception (Visayas and Mindanao).

Final judging and awarding of cash prizes totaling over one million pesos will be held in May.

For more information on SWEEP, visit or

Business Tech

Xiaomi launches stunning Redmi Note 7 in the Philippines

Xiaomi recently launched Redmi Note 7, the latest smartphone in the highly popular Redmi Note series. Redmi Note 7 continues the series’ tradition of featuring a large display and excellent battery life, and pushes smartphone photography to a new level in this price range. Redmi Note 7 will be available from March 27, with prices starting at P7,990.

“We are marking our second year in the Philippines inspired by our Mi Fans’ strong love of Xiaomi, which propelled us to become the best-selling brand in the biggest online sales events last year,” said Steven Shi, Head of Southeast Asia, Xiaomi Global.

“As we update our multi-brand strategy in January with Redmi becoming an independent smartphone brand, we are strengthening our commitment in the Philippines by launching the latest device under the superior quality yet extremely cost-effective Redmi brand, the Redmi Note 7. This comes with an 18-month warranty, making sure that Filipino Mi fans will be able to get the best out of the device,” he said.

Redmi Note 7 Nebula Red.
Redmi Note 7 Nebula Red.


Stunning all-new design

Redmi Note 7 marks the greatest shift in design in the series, sporting a new premium style with the front and rear covered in Corning Gorilla Glass 5. The gorgeous 19.5:9 Dot Drop display measures 6.3 inches diagonally and has an FHD+ resolution of 2380 x 1080. The Redmi Note 7 screen’s high pixel density and accurate colors (84% NTSC color gamut) offers one of the finest visual experiences in its class.

Class-leading camera for amazing photos even in low light

On the back, Redmi Note 7 sports the Samsung ISOCELL Bright GM1 backside illuminated CMOS sensor that has 48 million physical pixels. When taking pictures, the sensor uses Samsung’s Tetracell technology that merges four pixels to work as one large 1.6µm pixel. This greatly increases light sensitivity and makes the resulting 12MP image much brighter and clearer, even in low-light conditions.

Xiaomi couples Redmi Note 7’s cameras with the latest AI features, including the night mode photography feature that was introduced along with Xiaomi’s flagship Mi MIX 3, as well as AI scene detection, AI beautify and AI portraits that allow users to create amazing photos with ease.

Mr. Peaker Gao, Country Manager, Xiaomi Philippines
Mr. Peaker Gao, Country Manager, Xiaomi Philippines


Uncompromised performance and battery life

Redmi Note 7 is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 AIE SoC, with a 2.2GHz maximum clock speed, ensuring uncompromised peak performance when playing games and processing data.

Redmi Note 7 carries on the Redmi tradition of excellent battery life with its large 4000mAh battery, which will last over a day for almost all users. Recharge via the USB Type-C port, and enjoy shorter charging times thanks to support for Qualcomm Quick Charge 4. Redmi Note 7 also includes an IR blaster capable of controlling numerous home appliances, such as televisions or air conditioners. In addition, it comes with Smart PA audio for louder and higher-quality sound.

Redmi Note 7 Philippines


Built to last

Redmi Note 7 is built to be reliable, designed to last so users can use it worry-free for longer. It features Gorilla Glass 5 on the front and back, making it less vulnerable to damage from drops. Corners on the chassis are also reinforced, further improving durability. In addition, buttons and ports come with watertight seals to lessen the impact of accidental splashes that may occur in everyday use.

Redmi Note 7 will come in Space Black, Neptune Blue, and Nebula Red, and will retail at P7,990.00 for the 3GB+32GB version, P9,990.00 for 4GB+64GB, and P11,490.00 for 4GB+128GB. The first 100 customers who will purchase the device online will get Mi in-ear basic earphones and t-shirts. It will be available on Lazada and Mi Authorize Stores. (Press Release)

Redmi Note 7 Philippines

Business Feature Tech

POSIBLE brings digital payments, financial tech to neighborhoods

Rather than drive to a mall and get stuck in traffic to pay your VECO dues, you can soon just go to your nearest sari-sari store that has a POSIBLE system in place and settle your electricity bill there.

POSIBLE is a Filipino financial technology company that seeks to drive financial inclusion by bringing these services to communities by working with micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

“We are talking micro – sari-sari stores, your neighborhood bakeries, auto shops. We are community-based as opposed to those that you can see in the mall. Our thrust is inside the community, your neighbor,” said POSIBLE CEO JG Puzon.

DIGITAL PAYMENTS. POSIBLE CEO JG Puzon demonstrates the use of their digital payments device in an interview with Cebu journalists.


Digital payments centers

Puzon was in Cebu last February 19 to formally launch the system here.

POSIBLE is a system that allows small neighborhood businesses to become digital payments centers.

Those interested to become agents can sign up by paying P45,000 for the package, which comes with the device and marketing materials. After that, they will need to pay P150 as monthly fee.

The device is “Filipino-developed and very localized. It was designed to work with how small Filipino entrepreneurs do business,” Puzon said.

The device offers more than 300 services from bills payment, remittances, prepaid loading, bus ticketing, bank deposits and even government transactions for NBI clearances, SSS, birth certificate and passport payments.

PAY VECO. Among the utilities you could pay using the POSIBLE device is VECO, the power company servicing Metro Cebu.


Bridging the gap

“We want to make the digital world accessible to people who do not necessarily have access to digital. A lot of people have smartphones but they don’t have bank accounts. This bridges that gap,” Puzon said.

He said the system allows stores to become online shops because they are able to sell via a catalogue and purchases are then delivered to their location.

Puzon said there are 3,200 POSIBLE agents nationwide, mostly concentrated in the General Metro Manila area, where they started in 2016. There are 50 agents in Cebu and, after last week’s formal launch, they are targeting 100 in the next 3 months. They are then planning to get 30 to 40 new agents per month as well as expand to nearby areas like Bohol and Dumaguete.

Puzon said they are confident with the prospect of the system in Cebu, which shares a lot of problems with Manila, especially on traffic. He said the ability to pay and transact in your neighborhood will be a big help to consumers.

Like any business, Puzon said potential earnings depend on things such as location and efforts put in by the business owner. The average earnings of their agents run to P4,000 to P5,000 a month. Some, however, earn as high as P30,000, he said.

CEBU LAUNCH. POSIBLE CEO JG Puzon during the launch of their financial technology platform in Cebu City.


Expand quickly

POSIBLE has now processed more than P5 billion worth of transactions, the company said in a statement.

Partnering with POSIBLE will help companies expand quickly throughout the country, Puzon said.

“It’s like having 3,200 branches right away. You can imagine how much it costs them to put up a branch – you rent a place, put a security guard, pay workers, put up aircon, etc. If they go on board with us, they are immediately nationwide,” Puzon said.

“It works both ways, it helps the small entrepreneurs, it also helps the big service providers,” he added.

Business Feature Tech

If everyone has gone digital, how do you stand out? Accenture report points way

Digital is no longer a differentiator for enterprises but “the price of admission to do business,” a top official of a global technology company said in a briefing on Tuesday.

Digital technologies are already an expectation and no longer a differentiator, said JP Palpallatoc, Managing Director and Accenture Digital Lead in the Philippines in a briefing for media.

“Now that everybody is doing digital, what will differentiate you?” Palpallatoc said in a briefing in Manila and connected via video conferencing with one of their offices in Cebu City.

Palpallatoc gave an overview on key technology trends in the next few years as identified by the Accenture Technology Vision 2019 report. He said the time we are in is “post-digital,” because using technologies is already a given in the enterprise.

“Just as people no longer say they live in the “age of electricity,” the days of calling something digital to insinuate that it is new and innovative are numbered,” Accenture said in its report.

The company said the “post-digital” era means companies need to “double down on completing their digital transformations to get the most value from those investments—and at the same time, turn a strategic eye toward what’s next.”

What’s next, Palpallatoc said, are a new set of technologies that will make a major impact in the next 3 years.

Accenture Tech Vision 2019


1) New technologies

Accenture lists these technologies as DARQ for Distributed ledger or blockchain, Artificial intelligence, extended Reality, and Quantum computing.

“Future-minded leaders know that mastering the next set of technologies will give them every advantage,” the company said in a video clip explaining DARQ.

Palpallatoc cited as example Volkswagen, which “uses quantum computing to study traffic flow optimization analysis and looking into the chemical structure of batteries to find out how to make better ones.” He said they are also using AI for its vehicles and extended reality through googles that guide its workers in repairing units.

Volkswagen also extensively uses the blockchain to increase the security of its system as well as for payments. Palpallatoc cited UnionBank of the Philippines as a local company “deep into the blockchain,” using it to connect rural banks and for internal processes.

2) Technology identity, individualized experiences

People’s use of technology creates an identity that enriches their demographic, which can then be tapped to created individualized experiences, Palpallatoc said.

“In the past, what we talked about in getting to know your consumer was called personalization. We used traditional demographics – are you female are you male do you live here, etc? ” he said.

“What we’re seeing from a post-digital area is going beyond personalization to individualized experiences and leveraging technology identity. These are the technology choices that individuals make as well as how they are using those technologies. That information is being used to enrich the demographics,” he said.

The Accenture report said 83% of respondents found that digital demographics allow them to identify unmet needs of customers.

Palpallatoc cited as example the SlicePay lending platform in India that targets unbanked students. By going over their social media for information on the vacations that they take or the restaurants they visit, they are able to identify to whom they lend money.

Another use case is the John Hancock Vitality Program, an insurance package that uses wearables like smartwatches to offer consumers discounts on their premiums if they meet fitness goals.

3) Empowered human workers

Empowered by technology and with improved skills and expertise, workers are becoming “human+,” said Palpallatoc.

“In a post-digital era, people are still central to the innovation agenda. We need to keep people front and center,” he said.

He said technologies like AI, analytics, extended reality are extending the capabilities of employees. Companies, however, “still recruit, hire and manage for the workforce of years past,” according to the Accenture study.

Palpallatoc said, “71% of respondents said digital workers are more mature now compared to their organizations. Workers are waiting for the company to catch up. There is a need for company to change the way they organize their work to be able support the human+ workers and enable them.”

He cited as example the use by Unilever of technology and AI for interviews and assessment of entry-level hires. This resulted in a 90% increase in job applications and the shortening of time it took to fill the job from 4 months to a few days, he said.

Accenture Technology Vision 2019
TECH VISION BRIEFING. Reporters in Cebu join via video-conference a briefing on the Accenture Technology Vision 2019 by Managing Director and Digital Lead in the Philippines JP Palpallatoc.


4) Ecosystem security

Enterprises have found that security today requires that they also keep an eye out beyond their premises.

“In the past, their approach to security was my company first, secure your walled garden, make sure nobody gets in,” Palpallatoc said. “What we’ve seen with the advent of ecosystems is that you cannot just protect yourself, you need to protect each one of your ecosystem as well.”

Security is a team sport and enterprises have to protect each other, he said.

He cited as example the decision by Netflix to open source its security tools.

5) My Markets

Technology and data now allow companies to customize products and services and deliver them fast and on demand, Palpallatoc said.

This trend is “about using technologies like IOT (internet of things) on being able to capture the reality at that point in time and being able to respond,” he said.

“Technology is creating a world of intensely customized and on-demand experiences, and companies must reinvent their organizations to find and capture those opportunities,” Accenture said in its report.

The company reported that 85% of executives they surveyed said “that the integration of customization and real-time delivery is the next big wave of competitive advantage.”

Palpallatoc cited as example of hyper-customization a beverage company in India that offers different flavors depending on where these are sold. He said the company even has a custom flavor sold only for a few days a year – during a festival.


Nokia 3.1 Plus offers big screen, dual cameras, 2-day battery life

A large HD display, 2-day battery life, dual cameras, and an affordable price: that’s what the Nokia 3.1 Plus offers consumers.

HMD Global, the home of Nokia phones, has announced the availability in the Philippines of the Nokia 3.1 Plus. It is the most affordable Nokia smartphone with dual cameras and is the latest device to join the Android One family, delivering the best of Google with monthly security patches.

“We went big in a more accessible category to deliver premium experiences at an exceptional value. The Nokia 3.1 Plus delivers a large display, dual cameras, two-day battery life and the power of an octa-core processor – all in an affordable package,” said HMD Global Chief Product Officer Juho Sarvikas, “And we didn’t stop there. The phone is encased in a metal body with die-cast metal interiors and the craftsmanship and attention to detail you expect of a Nokia smartphone. In short: with the Nokia 3.1 Plus go big without having to spend big.”

Nokia 3.1 Plus


Great viewing experience

HMD Global Country Manager for the Philippines Sancho Chak said “I am more than thrilled to begin my journey in the Philippines with the introduction of the Nokia 3.1 Plus to our beloved Filipino Nokia fans. We will continue playing in the ever-competitive Philippine smartphone market, with its constant growth and rising demand for new models featuring enticing innovations. With the Nokia 3.1 Plus, Filipinos can get refined performance without compromising on the experience.”

The Nokia 3.1 Plus delivers great viewing experiences in its category, thanks to its 6-inch HD+ display and 18:9 aspect ratio, which enables users to view more content on their screen. All these make social media browsing through favorite newsfeeds, apps and videos ideal and more fun.

With its 3500mAh battery that lasts two days between charges, the Nokia 3.1 Plus can also effortlessly get you through your Netflix binges without needing a top-up.

Nokia 3.1 Plus


Crisp images, fast focus

Bringing crisp images with fast and accurate focus even in low light, the Nokia 3.1 Plus steps up the photography game with its 13MP Phase Detection Auto Focus main camera. The rear camera also includes a 5MP sensor for rear depth sensing imaging, making professional studio style shots possible. The selectable bokeh blur feature allows users to adjust blur even after the image has been taken.

On the front is an 8MP camera designed to make selfies stand out. With its high-quality dual camera photography and AI-accelerated experiences powered by the octa-core chipset, the Nokia 3.1 Plus makes premium photography features available at an affordable price point.

With the MediaTek Helio P22 octa-core processor’s perfect balance of high performance and power efficiency, the Nokia 3.1 Plus delivers only the necessary power by using fewer cores during basic tasks for optimal efficiency. The chipset also provides a boost during intensive tasks such as watching videos to ensure sustainable high performance and a consistently reliable experience.


Android One

The phone’s precision-fit, CNC-machined rear aluminium cover delivers a seamless, pure design which, combined with a die-cast metal structure, provides impressive solidity. The Nokia 3.1 Plus’s matte, highly tactile finish with diamond cut detailing and curved 2.5D glass offers a precision-crafted feel in the hand expected of a Nokia smartphone.

The Nokia 3.1 Plus joins the comprehensive lineup of Nokia smartphones in the Android One family, delivering high-quality experience endorsed by Google. Nokia smartphones with Android One offer great storage and battery life out of the box but also come preloaded with the very latest in AI-powered innovations developed by Google.

The Nokia 3.1 Plus will receive three years of monthly security patches and two years of OS updates as guaranteed in the Android One program. This ranks the Nokia 3.1 Plus amongst the most-secure phones out there and is kept always up-to-date with the latest Google services, including Google Assistant and Google Photos with free unlimited high-quality photo storage.3

Nokia 3.1 Plus availability

The Nokia 3.1 Plus ships with Android Oreo preloaded so you’ll immediately be able to enjoy the latest and greatest features, including Google Lens, picture-in-picture for multitasking and Google Play. Discover and run new apps whilst enjoying the phone longer through Android One’s AI-powered battery-saving features that intuitively limit background usage.

The Nokia 3.1 Plus comes in Blue, White or Baltic, and may be availed at all authorized Nokia mobile resellers, MemoXpress and Megacellular, and at Nokia mobile-branded stores, kiosks and exhibits for P9,990. (Press Release)


Nokia 3.1 Plus datasheet


Nokia 3.1 Plus datasheet

Community Tech

Stronger signal improves life in mountain barangays of Cebu City

From being able to quickly call for emergency vehicles to bring patients to bigger hospitals to being able to receive orders for flowers, residents of Barangay Guba and Bonbon in Cebu City say their lives have improved with the stronger cellphone signal in their area.

The two mountain barangays that are an hour’s drive from the central Cebu City business district now have better connectivity after Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) turned on 2 4G LTE cell sites in the area.

With the improved signal coverage, residents can now tap mobile services to improve their lives and boost their livelihood and businesses. Vital facilities like schools and hospitals also benefitted from the improved connection.

Smart LTE Cebu City
IMPROVED SPEEDS. The connectivity in Barangay Bonbon, a mountain barangay in Cebu City.


Emergency communications

Fr. Peter Necesario, parish priest of St. Niño Parish in Guba, said that with stronger signal, they no longer feel isolated, especially during emergencies.

“In times of emergencies such as storms, it is easier for us to communicate and be updated about the weather through the internet,” Fr. Necesario said.

He added that Guba is a strategically located barangay with a community hospital and church, so communications is very important.

Resident Gemma Sandigan, 40, said that the better mobile phone service helps them address the needs of the community, especially on health care. Her father was the former head of Guba Community Hospital. Since the community hospital is small, it can’t cater to complex medical procedures and has to refer patients to bigger hospitals. However, there are times when no vehicles are available to transport the patients.

LTE Cebu City
LTE CONNECTION. The improved connectivity allows residents of Barangays Guba and Bonbon to tap online services like live streaming of community events.


Contact family members

“With better signal, we can call for vehicles and ask for help in transferring patients to bigger hospitals faster,” Gemma said.

The activation of 2 new cell sites is part of a larger rollout plan covering several more mountain barangays of Cebu City at the request of Mayor Tomas Osmeña. The city government plans to deploy new services for these communities that require improved mobile phone coverage and data services.

For Gemma’s mother, 62-year-old Emerlisa Veloso, the benefits are personal. She is thankful for the stronger signal because she can now contact her children who work away from home.

“Before, we really have to get out of the house just to get signal. Now, we can just stay indoors to contact my children. This is a huge help,” Veloso said.

In terms of education, better signal also means improved learning.

Research, school work

For 14-year-old Grade 8 student Faith Mae P. Tabal, communication with teachers and classmates for school-related activities has become easier, now that she can use LTE for research and other school work.

In Barangay Bonbon, meanwhile, farmers are reaping the benefits of good signal and data connection.

Flower farmer Donyo Tapia, 71, said that the better Smart signal has helped him a lot with his flower deliveries.

“Stronger signal is a huge help. They (customers) can just call us when they order flowers. Even if we don’t have the flowers, we can still look for them,” he said.

Tapia also said they have the phone numbers to the local market and the customers can now call them for orders anytime and anywhere.

LTE in Guba, Bonbon, Cebu City
STRONGER CONNECTION. The new LTE connectivity allows students in Barangays Guba and Bonbon to use the internet to research and to link up with family, friends, and classmates.


Strong signal anywhere

“We can make sure to deliver flowers immediately, especially rush orders, now that the signal is stronger. Unlike before when we still have to go to higher places just to look for signal. It was hard. Now the signal is very strong anywhere,” he added.

Another thankful resident of Barangay Bonbon is 50-year-old micro-entrepreneur Marites Cabos. Upon experiencing stronger signal for calls and LTE for mobile data, she now sells Smart SIM cards in her store.

“Before we didn’t have network signal from Smart, now we finally have it. We are very thankful because this is a huge help for us here in Bonbon, especially because our children live far away. Now I am also a retailer here because the signal is faster. The LTE data (signal) is now very fast here in Bonbon,” she said.

Over 80% of cell sites across Cebu now have LTE.

This continuous expansion of LTE services across Cebu is part of efforts to provide the best mobile data experience across the country.

LTE is the best technology to help bring fast, affordable and reliable mobile internet services to as many customers as possible. It is also quickly upgradable to LTE-Advanced (LTE-A), which can provide even greater capacity and speeds to users with capable smartphones.

In Cebu, major cities like Cebu City, Lapu-Lapu City, and Mandaue City already have LTE-A sites.

LTE in Guba and Bonbon
IMPROVED LIVES. The stronger Smart signal in Barangays Guba and Bonbon have improved the lives of people in the community.


Award-winning network

Smart has also already fulfilled its commitment to the National Telecommunications Commission to cover at least 90 percent of cities and municipalities to address the growing demand for broadband infrastructure and internet access within three years from the grant of the use of frequencies by the NTC in 2016.

Smart has increased its total LTE base station count across the country by 65% in the first three quarters of 2018. PLDT’s fiber optic transmission and distribution network, the country’s most extensive fiber network at 221,000 kilometers, meanwhile, provides high-capacity fiber connections for these LTE base stations.

For these continuous network upgrade efforts, both PLDT and Smart have been cited by third party firms for being the country’s fastest networks. Earlier this year, PLDT and Smart were cited for being the country’s fastest fixed and mobile networks for Q1-Q2 2018, respectively, by Ookla, the global leader in internet testing and analysis. Mobile analytics firm OpenSignal has also consistently cited Smart for having the country’s fastest LTE network for its past four study rounds.

Parent company PLDT has committed historic levels of resources for network transformation. For 2018, PLDT capex was expected to reach P58 billion.

Community Tech

Disaster preparedness, response in communities boosted via tech, partnerships

Communication services, technological innovations and partnerships with various organizations—these factors have helped communities all over the Philippines bolster disaster preparedness and response efforts.

As the Philippines faced typhoons, volcanic eruptions and other hazards in 2018, several communities weathered the storm with the help of solutions initiated by PLDT wireless unit Smart Communications.

As part of its #SafePH advocacy, Smart ensured the availability and quick restoration of its services in areas hit by calamities. These areas include Albay, which was affected by the eruption of the Mayon Volcano; Benguet and other provinces in the Northern Luzon, which bore the brunt of Typhoon “Ompong” (Mangkhut) and “Rosita” (Yutu); and other areas all over the country that experienced heavy rains, strong winds and floods.

Smart disaster response Ompong
A resident from Benguet (left) uses the free charging station put up by Smart and Vodafone Foundation at the Typhoon Ompong command center in Itogon.


Free calls, charging, Wi-Fi

In areas where communication services were limited because of damage to infrastructure and power lines, Smart offered libreng tawag (free calls), charging and Wi-Fi services to both affected residents and responders.

Smart also forged cooperation with international organizations to further enhance its emergency communications services and enable these solutions to serve more communities.

When Ompong hit Northern Luzon and triggered a deadly landslide in Benguet, Vodafone Foundation teamed up with Smart to provide emergency solutions for those affected by the typhoon. Smart and Vodafone set up free charging and Wi-Fi stations at the command center and the retrieval site in Itogon for the use of both responders, evacuees and family members of landslide victims and others in need of assistance.

Nokia drone disaster response
Representatives of Smart, Nokia and PRC during the drone and network solutions presentation. They are (from left) Thomas Eder (Nokia), Leonardo Ebajo (PRC), Ramon Isberto (Smart), Nicolas Bouverot (Nokia), Christina Cabrera (Nokia), Elizabeth Zavalla (PRC), Colin Von Hardenberg (Nokia), Ana Mariquina (PRC), Dullip Tillekeratne (GSMA) and Alvin Ilano (Smart).


Nokia drones

Nokia also tapped Smart to be its connectivity partner for a program that employs drones and network solutions for disaster response. The Nokia Saving Lives program seeks to provide communications technology and technical assistance to emergency response teams. In the Philippines, Smart will provide high-speed connectivity to the drone system to help boost the disaster response efforts of the Philippine Red Cross.

For its pioneering and collaborative system, the Nokia Saving Lives project received funding from GSMA, the organization representing mobile operators globally. Early this year, GSMA selected Nokia Saving Lives as a recipient of its Humanitarian Innovation Grant.

On the local front, Smart joined forces with the academe and local government units to help bring disaster preparedness closer to the youth. Through its TNT brand, Smart brought its Tropang Ready disaster preparedness caravans to more state colleges and universities all over the country. TNT Tropang Ready aims to train the youth and their friends (tropa) on disaster preparedness. With their agility and technological know-how, the youth are best suited to mobilize their communities in times of calamities.

The Tropang Ready program recently won in the Community Engagement category at the prestigious Golden World Awards, which recognizes public relations practices that meet international standards of excellence.

Smart Vodafone response Itogon
Vodafone volunteers (in red) get help from Itogon residents as they set up the free charging and Wi-Fi stations for responders and affected residents near the area hit by landslide in Barangay Ucab.


TNT Tropang Ready

Since 2016, the TNT Tropang Ready program has covered more than 10,000 students and school personnel in more than 10 state colleges and universities nationwide. Joining the roster of Tropang Ready schools this year are the following universities: Holy Name University in Tagbilaran, Bohol; University of Southeastern Philippines in Davao City; Mariano Marcos State University in Ilocos Norte, and Mindanao State University in Marawi City. The students were trained to cascade their learnings to their extension communities, bringing the lessons to more residents and amplifying its benefits.

Smart Naga landslide free calls
A resident of Naga, Cebu, uses Smart’s free calls service to contact a relative following the landslide that hit their community.


Smart also extended support during nationwide earthquake drills by providing various emergency communications facilities, allowing residents and responders to experience first-hand the solutions that are available to them as the need arises. The drills were held in San Mateo, Rizal; Davao City; and in various locations all over Metro Manila.

As Filipinos gear up for 2019, Smart also recognizes the importance of being prepared for the year ahead. Smart continues to ensure the reliability of its services and, in times of distress, offer communications as relief, as part of its commitment to a #SafePH. (Press Release)

Lifestyle Tech

Fitbit enhances health, fitness smartwatch experience with software update

Fitbit, the leading global wearables brand, announced advancements to the on-device Fitbit user experience for its popular smartwatches:

  • Fitbit OS 3.0 for Fitbit Ionic, Fitbit Ionic: adidas edition and Fitbit Versa smartwatches lets you see even more personal data at-a-glance, including sleep and expanded exercise view. It also adds quick logging for weight and water intake. With these, it’s easier than ever to take action based on data right from your wrist.
  • 10 new popular brand apps across health, fitness, smart home and lifestyle brands were announced, including achu health, Couch to 5K, Genius Wrist and MySwimPro. Others like FitBark, MINDBODY and TRX are coming soon to the Fitbit App Gallery, offering more tools to help maximize your health and simplify your life.
  • New Fitbit Exercise API and open-source developer tools provide Fitbit’s global developer community with faster, more efficient ways to build complex and innovative health and fitness apps and clock faces for Fitbit smartwatches; new developer apps Alpine Snow and Skateboard launch starting today.
  • Female Health Tracking trends will arrive in the Fitbit app in early 2019, offering a comprehensive view of menstrual cycle data including symptom trends, over time.

“We are excited to announce these software and app updates as they provide Fitbit smartwatch users with more ways to take action based on their personal data to achieve their health and fitness goals,” said Jon Oakes, Senior Vice President of Product at Fitbit.

Fitbit OS upgrade
QUICK LOGGING. With quick-logging on-device, keeping track of your weight and water intake is now easier than ever.


Take action right from your wrist with more health data and quick logging

The Fitbit OS 3.0 update delivers an expanded on-device dashboard to easily view additional and expanded stats and data, including sleep, log water intake and weight, with expanded exercise stats, heart rate and hourly activity, allowing you more ways to take control of and manage your important personal health data right from your wrist. Goal-based exercise modes have been added to Ionic, Ionic: adidas edition and Versa, so you can set a goal for calories burned, distance or time for 15+ exercises, including running, biking, swimming and more, and see real-time stats, progress and celebrations when goals are reached.

Fitbit OS upgrade
New health, fitness apps.


New health and fitness apps from popular brands

Fitbit is expanding its Fitbit App Gallery with 10 new popular brand apps to deliver enhanced health and fitness experiences and provide you with more unique ways to simplify your every day. These apps integrate with Fitbit data to offer guidance and insights to help track your progress and motivate you along your health and fitness journey.

Available in the Fitbit Featured App Gallery are four new popular brand apps and clock faces:

  • achu health: This clock face transfers your Fitbit data to achu’s illness prediction technology to help you evaluate potential illness, providing alerts when your body show signs of sickness before it happens.
  • Couch to 5K: Pulls your Fitbit data including distance and calories burned to provide you with insights and training programs for races ranging from 5K to a marathon.
  • Genius Wrist: Features four apps (Gym Genius, Gym Time Pro, Workout Builder and Workout Genius) which provide structured on-device workouts, productivity and visualization tools, offering different ways for you to view your Fitbit data and workout anywhere, anytime.
  • MySwimPro: Offers custom guided swim workouts, training plans and video coaching for all levels, using real-time heart rate from your Fitbit device to help you improve your swim performance. Post-workout analytics pull personal workout data to track progress and measure improvement.

“We are partnering with some of the most popular health and fitness brands to develop apps that leverage Fitbit data to offer unique experiences and deliver more valuable and personal insights to help our users to live healthier lifestyles,” said Tim Rosa, Chief Marketing Officer at Fitbit. “For example, apps like achu health pairs your Fitbit data with illness prediction technology to help you manage signs of sickness, and MySwimPro helps you improve swimming performance with personalized coaching plans based on your heart rate data during swimming workouts.”

Fitbit OS upgrade
GOALS. You can now set goals and get real-time stats during your workout for 15+ exercises including running, biking, yoga and swimming.


Additional third-party apps coming in early 2019 include:

  • Charity Miles: Syncs with your Fitbit activity data to raise money for 40 of the world’s top charities for every mile logged.
  • FitBark: Helps you and your dog get healthy together by showing your daily Fitbit stats such as activity, distance and calories burned alongside those of your canine companion.
  • MINDBODY: Keep your fitness and wellness top of mind with the ability to check the schedule at your favorite studios and view your upcoming MINDBODY classes from your wrist.
  • TRX: Guided workouts coach you through quick and effective TRX Suspension Training workouts that track biometrics using your Fitbit data, helping you get stronger and reach your fitness goals.

Advanced developer capabilities and innovative new apps

Since Fitbit launched its App Gallery in late 2017, its growing global community of more than 44,000
developers will now have access to more advanced capabilities, including a new Exercise API that makes it faster and easier to create, build and innovate more complex, high-quality apps for Fitbit smartwatch users. A new Scientific API helps developers and researchers perform advanced data processing through a more efficient collection of math, statistical and digital signal processing functions.

Fitbit Versa
Fitbit Versa


Developers can now use their own algorithms when building health and fitness apps, in order to create more intricate apps in less time, and can easily record custom exercise sessions on the Fitbit platform. This allows developers to design Fitbit smartwatch apps for more complex activities like snowboarding, skiing and skateboarding, so you can keep track of more specific activities that aren’t necessarily step-based.

For example, starting today are two innovative developer-created apps leveraging the latest APIs that will appear in the Fitbit Featured App Gallery:

  • Alpine Snow: Take your Fitbit device on the slopes with the ability to track distance travelled, number of runs, speed, altitude, weather conditions, calories burned and heart rate in real-time, with the session available to view in the Fitbit App along with your GPS route.
  • Skateboard: Track your speed, heart rate, calories burned, and distance traveled while you skateboard, based on your Fitbit data.

All new popular brand and developer apps will be available in addition to the existing suite of 15+ Exercise Modes and more than 1,200 apps and clock faces currently accessible to Fitbit smartwatch users.

Period trends coming to Female Health Tracking

Last, Female Health Tracking, a highly engaged feature by women in the Fitbit app , will introduce menstrual cycle trends in the Fitbit app, allowing you to see your menstrual cycle data, logged symptoms and trends all in one place no matter what Fitbit device you use.


Realme C1 ready for its first flash sale on December 5

Realme Philippines, the newest smartphone brand in the Philippines, recently unveiled its first smartphone in the country, the Realme C1. Designed to be the Philippines’ #RealEntryLevelKing, the C1 defies the expectations of affordable smartphones with its enticing performance, design and affordable price of P5,490 on Lazada this December 5, 12pm.

Realme C1 offers an Octa-Core Snapdragon 450 processor, 6.2” Full Notch Display, Corning Gorilla Glass 3 and a mega 4,230mAh battery on an entry level device. This created waves in the local smartphone scene due to its strong value proposition and competitive price, giving Filipinos the best experience in its price point.

Realme C1

Realme Philippines aims to elevate the confidence of e-commerce in the Philippines with Lazada Philippines. Through a special online flash sale on December 5, 2018, 12pm, the brand will offer the Realme C1 for a discounted price of P5,490 instead of the original price of P5,990.

“We encourage the Filipino consumers to experience today’s king in the entry level smartphone segment, the Realme C1. For P5,490 on Lazada this December 5th, 12NN, you can already experience a highly competitive smartphone for a lot less as compared to others,” said Jacky Chen, Chief Operations Officer of Realme Philippines.

Realme C1

Designed to last more than a day with its mega battery and shoot IG worthy shots using its Dual-Rear camera, you’ll have more ways to be creative in your social media feed and always ready to share.

Check out young achievers @dgrazon @janinamanipol and @appledavid in their posts in the upcoming days with the Realme C1 to see its full potential.

You may start adding the Realme C1 to your carts by visiting Realme’s official Lazada shop here. For more information about Realme Philippines and its products, you may follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. (Press Release)


PLDT, Smart fire up PH’s first 5G cell sites in Makati and Clark

Leading telecoms company and digital services provider PLDT and its wireless arm Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) have fired up the country’s first 5G cell sites in the Makati Central Business District and at the Clark Freeport Zone (CFZ) in Pampanga.

PLDT and Smart on-aired the first 5G cell site at the PLDT headquarters in Makati City with technology partner Huawei, while it also activated the first 5G cell site at the Clark Smart 5G City in the CFZ with technology partner Ericsson. The 5G cell sites are 3GPP standard compliant and are the first to be activated in the Philippines.


Among top global operators

“I am happy to announce that PLDT and Smart just fired up the first 5G cell sites in the country, putting the company alongside the first-tier operators in the world to have deployed live 5G base stations. This is part of our commitment to bring the most advanced technologies to the country,” said PLDT and Smart chair and CEO Manuel V. Pangilinan.

By firing up a 5G cell site in a central business district, PLDT and Smart are looking to pilot 5G solutions catered to densely populated areas.

“With 5G resources now in place, we are looking at developing 5G solutions and applications for central business district areas like Makati, which host a dense population of businesses, people and advanced devices,” said Ernesto R. Alberto, PLDT and Smart Executive Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer.

This is in line with PLDT and Smart’s recently signed memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Clark Development Corp. to transform the CFZ into the country’s first Smart 5G City.

Powerful platform for solutions

“With 5G cell sites now live and on-air, we are now set to test 5G’s powerful platform to develop solutions such as autonomous vehicles, connected fleets, and smart buildings and factories, and be able to deliver 5G services to our customers soon,” said Joachim Horn, PLDT-Smart chief technology and information advisor.

According to Mario G. Tamayo, PLDT-Smart Senior Vice President for Network Planning and Engineering, Smart is continuously upgrading its network’s Core and Transport elements, including upgrading to fiber the backhaul connecting the network’s cell sites around the country and deploying 5G-ready equipment in its ongoing nationwide LTE roll-out. In the CFZ, PLDT and Smart are also ramping up the roll-out of LTE in key areas and equipping all of them with 5G facilities in the coming months.

“I would like to congratulate PLDT and Smart for this momentous occasion as they lay the foundation for the network infrastructure, to take it to the next level as it enables the country to fully realize its ambition toward a more digitalized economy. I am very happy to be part of this partnership as we enable 5G capability in Smart network today,” said Ericsson’s Nunzio Mirtillo, Market Area Head for South East Asia, Oceania and India.

According to Arthur Wang, director of Huawei Philippines’ PLDT group account: “We are happy to partner with PLDT and Smart in helping bring 5G to PLDT-Smart. Through this partnership, we hope to continue developing more innovations to deliver digital services to PLDT and Smart customers.”

Powered by PH’s most extensive fibver network

Armed with both fixed and wireless infrastructure powered by the country’s most extensive fiber network now at over 221,000 kilometers, PLDT and Smart are best positioned to deploy 5G in the country.

5G opens up exciting possibilities for Internet of Things (IoT) applications and smart cities for Filipinos, particularly for the transport sector, traffic management, manufacturing, airport and mall operations, logistics and warehousing, retail, customer support, and smart homes, among others.

Apart from ultra-high speeds, the key features of 5G include enhanced mobile broadband services, massive machine type communications, and ultra-reliable and low-latency communications. (Press Release)


Working on a desktop? You must install this app

When you look into how you work on a desktop or laptop nowadays, you’d probably find you do most of your work on a browser.

When before we used to send emails via software like Outlook, now many of us work on emails using browser via products like GMail and custom domains running on online services provided by Google and Microsoft.

When before we had to work on documents and share files through local company networks or via USBs or CDs, now many of us use office suites online like Google Drive or Office 365. Apart from the ability to work from anywhere, these services also have built-in collaboration and file sharing.

Station OneNote
ONENOTE. Station allows you to use services like Microsoft OneNote in a single app and then quickly switch among the different work windows.


When before we used to call up colleagues through internal company phone systems or PBX (remember extension numbers?), now we collaborate via chat systems like Slack or even Facebook Messenger.

With all these services going online, many of us end up working with several browser tabs or windows open. At times, you might end up accidentally closing a tab because it occupies the same browser instance of a site you want to leave. The arrangement also leaves your work windows alongside productivity sinkholes like Twitter or Facebook.

That is where the Station app is useful. It organizes hundreds of web applications and services into a single app and makes them accessible via a smart dock.

Station was also built as “as a work only, distraction-free platform.” Apart from the interface that encourages you to focus on your work window, it also centralizes the notifications, the bane of modern connectivity.

Rather than get buzzed every time somebody shares a file on Google Drive or sends an email or even a chat message, your notifications are listed in a single central window. You also have the option to snooze notifications for a period of time or turn these off by toggling a Do Not Disturb button.

SHARED SPACE. Station simplifies the on-boarding of co-workers based on shared apps via company email addresses.


Station has all the important work web apps that your company probably already uses: GMail or the soon-to-be-sunsetted Inbox by Gmail, Outlook, Microsoft Teams, Google Calendar, Google Drive, Facebook Workplace, Hangouts, Trello, Asana, among hundreds of others.

Tools like Google Keep, Evernote, Microsoft OneNote, even SimpleNote are there. For messaging, there’s Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Google Chat, Skype, WeChat, and even Telegram.

Station also supports Android Messages, which allows you to send and receive messages on your computer via a connected Android device.

Station is available on Windows, Mac, and Linux. I work on all three platforms and this makes Station indispensable. Whereas before I’d use different apps to use the same set of online services on different operating systems, now I just use Station. This is how I use OneNote, which has native apps for Windows and Mac but not for Linux.

It also allows you to use multiple accounts for services that allow it. That way, you can have Station open your personal email along with your office address.