NewsHero

Viber introduces Secret Messages, a snapchat-like feature of self-descructing photos and videos

NewsHero;

I guess, its never too late to clone a Snapchat feature, because Viber just introduced Secret Messages, a feature that allows a user to set a timer so that messages will self-destruct once it has been viewed or the time limit has expire.

Grab

GrabBae this Valentine’s Day!

Grab Ph;

Got no bae this Valentine’s Day? We’ve got you covered, as always. 😉

Calling all single ladies out there, will you be our Valentine?

On February 13 and 14, you can book your very own #GrabBae! Yup, this is legit. With just a few taps on your phone, prepare to feel the love from our cute #GrabBaes while they serenade you for FREE!

Here’s how:

  1. Open the Grab App.
  2. Tap on the “GrabBae” special icon from 11AM – 3PM.
  3. Input pick-up and drop off locations (must be the SAME) and within Makati Central Business District or BGC areas.
  4. Input promo code “GRABBAE” to qualify for the promotion. This promo is FREE!
  5. Wait for confirmation that you have booked a #GrabBae already.
  6. A Grab attendant will get in touch with you.
  7. Get ready to be serenaded and to receive flowers for free from our partner, Linea Fiori!
  8. Don’t forget to share your Valentine’s experience by using the hashtag #GrabBae.

Tech in Asia

Digital in 2017 Global Overview

Digital in 2017 Global Overview from We Are Social Singapore

Interesting numbers and this shows that majority of the growth will be in Asia particularly in China.

e27

Facebook Lite launching in four more countries, including South Korea, Israel

Geektime, contributing to E27;

Facebook, the ever-growing social media giant, has doubled its number of users for its bare-bones product Facebook Lite in less than a year and serves 200 million monthly active users.

The app supports 55 languages and is popular in over 150 countries but mainly in Brazil, India, Indonesia, Mexico, and the Philippines. Today it’s being launched in four additional countries: Israel, Italy, South Korea and the United Arab Emirates.

Here’s a description of Facebook Lite;

This version of Facebook uses less data and works in all network conditions.
Facebook Lite:

  • Installs fast – the app is smaller, so it’s quick to download and uses less storage space.
  • Works on old Android phones – you can use it on older Android phones not supported by the regular Facebook app.
  • Uses less data – be more efficient with your mobile data. Save money by using less data.
  • Loads quickly – it is our fastest app. Upload photos faster and see updates from friends.
  • Works on all networks – it is designed for 2G networks and areas with slow or unstable internet connections.

Compatibility:
Android 2.3 or higher

Google

Google launches Android Wear 2.0, will come to all supported watches

Google;

Today, we’re announcing Android Wear 2.0 to give you more informative watch faces, better workouts, new ways to use apps, more ways to stay in touch and on-the-go help from the Google Assistant. We’re also introducing two new watches that run Android Wear 2.0.

Here are the supported smartwatches that will be getting the Android Wear 2.0;

  • ASUS ZenWatch 2 & 3
  • Casio Smart Outdoor Watch
  • Casio PRO TREK Smart
  • Fossil Q Founder
  • Fossil Q Marshal
  • Fossil Q Wander
  • Huawei Watch
  • LG G Watch R
  • LG Watch Urbane & 2nd Edition LTE
  • Michael Kors Access Smartwatches
  • Moto 360 2nd Gen
  • Moto 360 for Women
  • Moto 360 Sport
  • New Balance RunIQ
  • Nixon Mission
  • Polar M600
  • TAG Heuer Connected

Startups

CXA

CXA is an insurance and wellness marketplace startup. Founded by Rosaline Chow Koo 2013. The startup is based in Singapore and has office in Hong Kong.

About

CXA Group is a technology startup founded in 2013 by industry veteran Rosaline Chow Koo. CXA brings evidence-based wellness into the workplace to improve employee health and control healthcare costs.

Prior to establishing CXA, Rosaline led Mercer Marsh Benefits, the largest employee benefits brokerage and HR benefits consultancy in Asia Pacific, overseeing a 14-country operation with over 400 staff and growing the business eight-fold during her eight-year tenure.

Clearly seeing the benefits that technology could bring to the workplace in Asia, where chronic disease is hitting 10 years before the West, Rosaline tried to persuade her employer to invest here. After five years of failed attempts, she left to build the CXA platform on her own.

Convinced that the antiquated paper-based industry was ripe for disruption, Rosaline invested her entire life savings of $3.5 million, and borrowed $3.5 million more, to found CXA. She recruited a world-class team to build Asia’s first benefits and wellness marketplace platform and acquired Singapore’s largest homegrown employee benefits brokerage.

Out of her living room, the pioneering team worked closely with senior HR practitioners to understand their needs and test prototypes to address major unresolved HR pain points: escalating health care costs due to worsening employee health, unappreciated benefits, burdensome HR administration and the lack of ROI to justify wellness interventions. CXA launched with three Fortune 500 clients from the financial services, manufacturing and technology industries. Within a year, twenty additional Fortune 500 companies were using the platform and CXA raised $8M in institutional funding.

Employers use the CXA platform to consolidate their vendors into a one-stop marketplace, and to digitize claims, health data and payment flows between employees, employers, insurers and providers. Instead of purely offering advice, CXA delivers solutions to companies by using data to make targeted recommendations, and by bringing the best wellness and disease management providers.

With another capital injection of $25 million in 2017, CXA will be expanding its operations across China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand and South Korea.

CXA is starting 2017 on a very exciting note with recognition for innovation from the healthcare, insurance, and HR communities.

Today, CXA has grown into a $100 million company working with employers to transform current healthcare spending from treatment into benefits and wellness programs where employees in Asia choose their path to good health.

Tech in Asia

Eduardo Saverin in $25m funding for insurance and wellness marketplace

Judith Balea, reporting for Tech in Asia;

CXA today announced it has become a US$100 million company following a US$25 million series B investment, co-led by Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin’s B Capital Group and Singapore-based EDBI. Global life and health reinsurance company RGA, Philips Healthcare, maker of data-driven medical devices and disease management programs, and existing investors NSI Ventures and Bioveda Capital also put in some cash.

LG

LG and Google Partner to develop first Android Wear 2.0 Watches

LG;

LG Electronics (LG) and Google will officially unveil the world’s first smartwatches to come preloaded with the Android Wear 2.0™ operating system. LG Watch Sport and LG Watch Style begin their global rollout in the United States starting February 10th and will be followed by key markets in Europe and Asia via the Google Store and select retail stores later this month.

The LG Watch Sport and LG Watch Style, powered by the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ Wear 2100 processor for next-gen wearables, are the first watches running Android Wear 2.0, Google’s newest wearable OS. Both watches have the Google Assistant built-in, and the LG Watch Sport supports Android Pay™ with NFC technology. In addition, these two smart devices provide an improved user interface, enhanced messaging and advanced fitness features with Google Fit.

First Watches Running Android Wear 2.0

Android Wear 2.0 brings the Google Assistant 1 to the wrist. Users can reply to a message, set a reminder, or ask for directions by holding the power button or saying “Ok Google”. With Google Fit, users can reach their fitness goals through activities tracking, strength training and coaching. User can also download their favorite apps directly from the on-watch Google Play Store.

The LG Watch Sport and LG Watch Style feature circular displays with a rotating side button for easy and convenient navigation. Users can turn the button with a finger to read messages or scroll through the app menu and notification. Customizable watch faces allow up to eight complications so users can see important information at glance. Android Wear 2.0 improves the messaging experience on the watch. Users can now handwrite or swipe on a keyboard to respond, or choose a response generated by Smart Reply, powered by Google’s machine learning technology.

And their specs;

LG Watch Sport notable specs:

  • Chipset: Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ Wear 2100 featuring 4G LTE
  • Operating System: Android Wear™ 2.0
  • Display: 1.38-inch P-OLED Display (480 x 480 / 348ppi)
  • Size: 45.4 x 51.21 x 14.2mm 4
  • Memory: 4GB eMMC / 768MB LPDDR3
  • Battery: 430mAh
  • Network: LTE / 3G /Wi-Fi 802.11 b, g, n / Bluetooth 4.2 LE / NFC
  • Sensors: 6-Axis (Accelerometer / Gyro) / Barometer / PPG / GPS / Ambient Light Sensor
  • Color: Titanium / Dark Blue
  • Other: Dust and Water Resistance (IP68) / Speaker / Microphone / Wireless Charging

LG Watch Style notable specifications:

  • Chipset: Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ Wear 2100
  • Operating System: Android Wear™ 2.0
  • Display: 1.2-inch P-OLED Display (360 x 360 / 299ppi)
  • Size: 42.3 x 45.7 x 10.79mm
  • Memory: 4GB eMMC / 512MB LPDDR3
  • Battery: 240mAh
  • Network: Wi-Fi 802.11 b, g, n / Bluetooth 4.2 LE
  • Sensors: 6-Axis (Accelerometer / Gyro) / Ambient Light Sensor
  • Color: Silver / Titanium / Rose Gold
  • Other: Dust and Water Resistance (IP67) / Microphone / Wireless Charging

e27

CarTrade raises US$55M to grow through acquisitions, expand to new areas

Sainul Abudheen K, reporting for E27;

CarTrade, a leading online automobile classifieds platform in India, has raised US$55 million, led by existing investor Singapore-based Temasek Holdings, with participation from a large family office in the US.

Tech in Asia

Samsung Pay launches in Thailand

Michael Tegos, reporting for Tech in Asia;

Samsung Pay, the Korean mobile giant’s cashless payment service, has officially landed in Thailand, the company announced today. The service has been running in the country in an “early access” fashion for a limited number of users since October last year.

Samsung Pay works with MasterCard, Visa, KCC, Bangkok Bank, Citibank, KasikornBank, KTC, and Siam Commercial Bank. Samsung says that department stores and shops in the country will also accept payments through Samsung Pay.

The Verge

Sony confirms new PS4 Pro ‘Boost Mode’ will help some older games run faster and smoother

Chris Welch, reporting for The Verge;

Sony is rolling out the beta preview of the PlayStation 4’s latest firmware update, version 4.50, and it includes a pretty great new feature for early owners of the PS4 Pro console. In short, many older PS4 titles will run better on the new hardware — even if they’ve not been optimized to do so by developers. Once you’ve installed the software upgrade, you’ll find a new “Boost Mode” option in the settings menu. This is exclusive to the more powerful Pro console and won’t appear on the regular PS4.

Tech in Asia

Uber shuts down ride-hailing in Taiwan

Steven Millward, reporting for Tech in Asia;

Four years after launching in Taiwan, Uber is halting its ride-hailing services in the country, the company announced today. Describing it as “pressing pause,” Uber said its rides will not be available in Taiwan from February 10.

Facebook

Facebook Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2016 Results

Facebook;

Here are some noteworthy stats;

Full Year 2016 Operational Highlights

  • Daily active users (DAUs) – DAUs were 1.23 billion on average for December 2016, an increase of 18% year-over-year.
  • Mobile DAUs – Mobile DAUs were 1.15 billion on average for December 2016, an increase of 23% year-over-year.
  • Monthly active users (MAUs) – MAUs were 1.86 billion as of December 31, 2016, an increase of 17% year-over-year.
  • Mobile MAUs – Mobile MAUs were 1.74 billion as of December 31, 2016, an increase of 21% year-over-year.

Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2016 Other Financial Highlights

  • Mobile advertising revenue – Mobile advertising revenue represented approximately 84% of advertising revenue for the fourth quarter of 2016, up from approximately 80% of advertising revenue in the fourth quarter of 2015.
  • Capital expenditures – Capital expenditures for the full year 2016 were $4.49 billion.
  • Cash and cash equivalents and marketable securities – Cash and cash equivalents and marketable securities were $29.45 billion at the end of the fourth quarter of 2016.

Bottom line, Facebook still has room to grow not that much though, and imagine if Facebook is not blocked by the Chinese Government.

TechCrunch

Report: Pokémon Go has now crossed $1 billion in revenue

Jon Russell, reporting for TechCrunch;

Pokémon Go was 2016’s rocket ship — it broke download records and it raced to $500 million in revenue quicker than any app in history. Now it won yet another accolade, the fastest game to reach $1 billion.

Unicorn (mobile) games?

e27

Samsung to roll out online payment service for Android phones

Yon Heong Tung, reporting for E27;

Samsung has announced it will roll out its mobile online payment service for non-galaxy Android smartphones in South Korea, according to a report by Reuters. The app, Samsung Pay Mini, is expected to be available in the first quarter of this year.

Samsung did not disclose when, if ever, Samsung Pay Mini will be launched in other markets.

So Samsung Pay will exclusively be for Samsung smartphone, while Samsung Pay Mini will be non-Samsung android smartphones.

e27

Indonesian crowdfunding platform Wujudkan to shut down in March

Anisa Menur A. Maulani, reporting for E27;

Indonesian crowdfunding platform for creative projects Wujudkan announced yesterday that is going to shut down its business, according to an official statement on the platform’s blog.

Citing March 31 as the last day of the plaform’s operation, Wujudkan Founder and CEO Mandy Marahimin wrote that the company’s inability to generate income through the campaigns that it successfully funded is the main reason why they decided to end it.

Tech in Asia

Grab to invest $700m into R&D, talent development in Indonesia

Nadine Freischlad, reporting for Tech in Asia;

At a star-studded press conference today, Southeast Asian ride-hailing startup Grab announced its plans to allocate US$700 million into a “2020 master plan” for Indonesia.

Over the next four years, the company pledges to invest heavily into R&D as well as tech talent development.

Grab wants to hire 150 engineers over the next two years, and set up a US$100 million fund for investing in startups focusing on social issues, like financial inclusion, among other targets.

Google

Chrome for iOS is now open source

Chromium Blog;

Historically, the code for Chrome for iOS was kept separate from the rest of the Chromium project due to the additional complexity required for the platform. After years of careful refactoring, all of this code is rejoining Chromium and being moved into the open-source repository.

Due to constraints of the iOS platform, all browsers must be built on top of the WebKit rendering engine. For Chromium, this means supporting both WebKit as well as Blink, Chrome’s rendering engine for other platforms. That created some extra complexities which we wanted to avoid placing in the Chromium code base.

Given Chrome’s commitment to open-source code, we’ve spent a lot of time over the past several years making the changes required to upstream the code for Chrome for iOS into Chromium. Today, that upstreaming is complete, and developers can compile the iOS version of Chromium like they can for other versions of Chromium. Development speed is also faster now that all of the tests for Chrome for iOS are available to the entire Chromium community and automatically run any time that code is checked in.

We value the open source community and all of our contributors, and we’re glad that Chrome for iOS can finally join in.

Articles

Apple WatchOS 3.1.3 Update

Another boring Apple update, since its more on “bug fixes and performance improvements.”

If you have not updated your Apple WatchOS, on the Apple Watch App, go to General > Software Update. Your Apple Watch and iPhone should have more than 50% of battery or connected to a charger and Wifi.

Apple

Apple Reports Record First Quarter Results

Apple;

Apple today announced financial results for its fiscal 2017 first quarter ended December 31, 2016. The Company posted all-time record quarterly revenue of $78.4 billion and all-time record quarterly earnings per diluted share of $3.36. These results compare to revenue of $75.9 billion and earnings per diluted share of $3.28 in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 64 percent of the quarter’s revenue.

Order of contributors to Apple’s revenue in Q1 of 2017;
1. iPhone
2. Mac
3. Services
4. iPad
5. Other Products – most likely include Watch, TV and other Apple hardware

GMA News

DOST: Project NOAH tech to be turned over to PAGASA

TJ DIMACALI, reporting for GMA News;

Ill-fated disaster risk service Project NOAH is set to be turned over to the national weather agency, according to DOST Sec. Fortunato de la Peña. – See more at: http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/597649/scitech/science/dost-project-noah-tech-to-be-turned-over-to-pagasa#sthash.hNye9I5a.dpuf

PAGASA is the perfect agency to continue Project NOAH. Yesterday, Emmanuel Pinol Agriculture Secretary said that are interested in taking over the project.

Articles

It’s the 10th Year Anniversary of OLX Philippines

Before OLX Ph, the company was known as Sulit.com.ph, a free classfied ads website founded by RJ David and his wife Arianne David.

Checkout their story and company from the video below.

GMA News

BOC seizes smuggled gadgets from online shop depot

A Bureau of Customs agent takes photos of high-end communication and electronic gadgets worth millions of pesos, all believed to be smuggled into the country, after the items were seized in a building in Lakandula Street, Tondo, Manila on Monday, 30 January. The BOC acted on intelligence reports that an online shop identified as Kim Store sells imported high-end communication gadgets under suspicious importation schemes and processes. (Photo: BOC)

A photo posted by GMA News (@gmanews) on

Yugatech

Razer acquires Android smartphone manufacturer Nextbit

Louie Diangson, reporting for Yugatech;

Razer has made another acquisition, this time the company behind the Robin Android smartphone – Nextbit.

Three months ago, Razer acquire audio tech company THX.

Google

Google to roll out public beta of Android Nougat 7.1.2

Dave Burke, VP of Engineering at Google;

The next maintenance release for Android Nougat — 7.1.2 — is just around the corner! To get the recipe just right, starting today, we’re rolling out a public beta to eligible devices that are enrolled in the Android Beta Program, including Pixel and Pixel XL, Nexus 5X, Nexus Player, and Pixel C devices. We’re also preparing an update for Nexus 6P that we expect to release soon.

Android 7.1.2 is an incremental maintenance release focused on refinements, so it includes a number of bugfixes and optimizations, along with a small number of enhancements for carriers and users.

You can apply for the Android Beta Program here.

Bad Behavior has blocked 1555 access attempts in the last 7 days.