Saturday, 17 May 2014

how smart is your phone in the big6 context

it felt that time was still when i lived in sheepland. everything moves at its own pace.
people actually take breaks from work, from life, from taking a break...

but here in big6, everything moves so quickly that if you're not always running along, you'd be out within a very short time period. 

it all sounded very scary before i actually lived here, but now i can tell you, the above statement is true.

well, if you are about to relocate to big6 and come across this piece, here's some of my personal experience...

1. w3ch@t 
yes i know what you think - cheap copy cat of whatsapp, and maybe you're a fan of line, thinks that it lacks imagination with so limited choices of emoticons.
a) it serves more than a tool for communications. everything whatsapp has, like audio, video calls. the newer version enables you to make calls for free via this app like what line offers.
b) it functions as a "google reader". you can subscribe an official account, messages get pushed to your subscribed service account. but the good thing is, if you don't want to read it, you can just leave it there. well, if you have OCD, then you might have a slight problem there.
c) it functions as a shopping/service portal. you can subscribe to your bank portal, your favourite shop portal, then it provides you automated services, instantaneously. you don't even have to turn on your computer to do your online banking. or download a standalone app from the bank. i have this SF express account, it tracks all my parcels and tells me where my parcel is when it gets scanned en route to the destination. when the parcel is about to arrive, it shows a picture of my parcel courier man... 
d) photo sharing functions. this is much like instagram in a way. but it gets annoying when you need to group different people for different content broadcasting. still a good socialising tool if you like sharing pictures of food before you actually eat.

2. taob@o
man, it's like my best friend. even more so than ebay. with taob@o, you can get all sorts of things from all over the world. did i mention that now i get my snacks straight from japan without even walking out of my office/apartment?
anything you can imagine, you can get it off tb. we even bought a full size foosball table off tb. Yes the same kind Joey Tribianni from "friends" had in his apartment.
i even got my broken blackberry fixed via a tb seller! he runs a shop that repairs only blackberry - a real fan that, i tell you.
you will ask how you know what you're buying if you haven't seen them. well, there's always reviews and comments you can read, and ratings. if you are not satisfied, you can always return and ask for refund. 
competition on tb is fierce. so fierce that one bad rating you gave, would lead to a few calls from the customer service reps calling to ask nicely about exchanging for free with no charges for shipping. things like that...

3. @lipay
again, chinese version of paypal, but like the previous 2, absolutely no extra charges! what's more than that, you can do literally everything using @lipay. it even hooks you up to a small investment tool which generates about 4% annualised interest rate...the central bank is not happy with it, so the interest rate is getting lower and lower... but still, the imagination of creating such a thing, is so chinese. how it works is to raise fund through @lipay, you put a deposit, say 100 rmb, then @lipay, as a platform, gathers all these funds together to invest in hedge funds etc. you will get a payback on a daily basis. e.g. 15 cents (may not be the actual number). then it accumulates depends on the performance of the investment. i admire the entrepreneurial spirit of the people behind this thing.

4. did1
it's an app that helps you to book cabs in advance. you would say that this kind of app already exists elsewhere. true, but the good part of this is that if you have a successful ride, you can get 5 rmb refund upon making the payment, the cab driver upon completing one ride also gets a subsidy of 10 rmb for using this app. they have burnt 200 million rmb on "subsidising" the users. but everybody has been using it. a good way to save money. although it also creates problems for certain groups of people, the elderlies who need a cab but don't have a smartphone, or have smartphones but without such app installed, and those who refuse to use smartphones.
come to this point, app number 1 also has a function of cab-booking service, i haven't used it, so...

the above 4 are the most frequently used apps on my phone. and oh, let's not forget the AQI index app. well, it just makes you feel more depressed reading the numbers... but better knowing than not. the only drawback is that i stopped jogging after the installation, the air quality is appalling, i can't kill myself like that. i had this burning feel in my throat when i tried to breathe... so, no more outdoor jogging. no gym either. 

oh well, i've planned to write something about this for a while. now here they are, maybe they will come in handy someday. or have your fingers crossed that you will not. ever. (smirk)

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