Archive for January 2012

Microsoft Explorer Touch Mouse and Touch Mouse Trade In

We all heard about laptop trade in or jeans trade in. This is perhaps the first time I heard about mouse trade in. But hey, the offer is pretty good.

Microsoft Singapore is having a mouse trade in program now. Just bring any old computer mouse (any condition or brand) to a participating retailer, drop them in a specially designed recycling boxes to receive special discount off the Explorer Touch Mouse and Touch Mouse.

The Microsoft Explorer Touch Mouse cost S$49 after trade in. (suggested retail price S$59 before trade in)

The Microsoft Touch Mouse cost S$79 after trade in. (suggested retail price S$99 before trade in)

The trade in program will end on 31st March 2012 or while stocks last.

UOB Mobile Banking App

UOB launched their Mobile Banking App last month on the iOS App Store.

For a start, the UOB Mobile Banking App allows customers to easily check the interest rate for Deposit, Foreign Exchange, Gold & Silver prices and Unit Trust. There is also a Currency Converter, Home Equity Finance Calculator, Interest Free Installment Loan Calculator and a Financial Goal Calculator.

My favorite feature on the UOB Mobile Banking App is the UOB Credit Card Promotion locator. Pretty useful for a UOB Credit Card holder. It can locate the latest promotion and nearby promotion. You can also search for promotion by keywords or category.

Besides locating UOB Credit Card Promotion, the app can also help you locate the nearest UOB ATM and Branch. You can view the nearby UOB ATM or Branch in a list, map or Augmented Reality (AR). OK, AR is pretty cool but honestly, it’s just a fancy gimmick. Good for showing off to friends when demonstrating the mobile app. But in reality, I still prefer to use the good old traditional map view to locate the nearest UOB ATM or Branch.

The most important feature on the UOB Mobile Banking App is the Online Banking portion. The Mobile App’s Online Banking portion works just as well as the Online Banking on UOB’s website. You can easily check your account balance, including your Credit Card account. You can also easily transfer funds or pay bills from the comfort of your iPhone (or iPad). This is very convenient for people like me who always forget to pay my bills until the very last minute. But like the normal internet banking, you need to add and authorize Bill Payee or Funds Transfer Payee first before you can perform these function.

One thing that sets the UOB Mobile Banking App apart from the other Mobile Banking App is the Mobile Cash feature. Mobile Cash allows you to transfer cash to anyone with a mobile phone. The recipient will get a SMS instruction on how to withdraw the money at any UOB ATM machine. Pretty neat feature. Useful if you need to transfer money to someone urgently. Actually, this feature deserves a separate blog entry by itself. I’ll blog about the Mobile Cash feature in detail soon.

As a whole, the UOB Mobile Banking App is a must have for all UOB customers who owns a iPhone. Pretty convenient now that you can do all the internet banking stuff on your iPhone. The only thing I hate about the App is the irritating animation when switching from one screen to another. Not really a big deal but I hope they’ll change it in the future updates.

Oh, and I heard that they are working on the Android version.

Apple Store Challenge

They say that you can do just about anything in a Apple Store. (NOTE: They mean the official Apple Store. Not the authorized reseller store that you see in Singapore) Well, someone did a test to find out if that is real.

I haven’t visit any of the official Apple Store. But I’ve heard a lot of cool stories about them. If I ever go to the US for a holiday, I’ll make sure a visit to the Apple Store is in the itinerary.

Nokia Lumia 800 new firmware update now available

Nokia is now issuing its second software update for the Nokia Lumia 800. That’s pretty fast for a new phone like Lumia 800.

The new update includes enhancements to battery performance and better Wi-Fi connectivity.

Nokia Lumia 800 owners will get a new software update prompt on their phone over the next few weeks. This update will be delivered using the Microsoft Zune software (For Windows users) or Windows Phone 7 Connector (For Mac users). Just plug your Lumia 800 to your computer when you receive the new update notification.

Visit Nokia’s website for more info about the update.

On other news, Nokia reports that it has sold more than a million Nokia Lumia phones. Not a bad start.

Twitter to delete tweets if countries request it

Twitter announced recently that it will delete tweets if countries request it. This move sparked outcry and protest from Twitter users. A growing number of Twitter users are organising a #TwitterBlackout on 28 January (US Time I supposed).

But is Twitter turning evil? Is this a bad move? Or are we barking at the wrong tree?

Firstly, Twitter has been censoring illegal Tweets since day one. This is nothing new. In the past, when Twitter remove a tweet due to complaints, it will have to remove the tweet entirely from Twitter. From now on, Twitter has the ability to only remove the Tweet in countries that requested for it to be taken down. So only Twitter users in that country will be censored. The rest of the world can still see that tweet. This, I feel, is much better than simply removing the tweet entirely.

And why is Twitter doing this? Well, whenever Twitter gets a request from a Government to remove a tweet, it has 2 options. Either comply with the take down notice or have Twitter blocked entirely in the country. So to prevent itself from being blocked entirely, Twitter will remove the tweet just for that country. And they are doing it in a very open and transparent way. If users are located in a country where a Tweet or account has been withheld and they try to view it, they will see a alert box that says “Tweet withheld” or “@Username withheld” in place of the affected Tweet or account.

I think this is a good move. Why is everyone blaming Twitter for doing this? If you want to blame, blame the government for forcing Twitter to censor you. Besides, there are ways to get around the censorship.

So relax everyone. The Tweets will still flow. In fact, with this new policy, maybe China will consider allowing Twitter back the country again.