Category Archives: Tech

Clean Install on a Yoga Book

I was recently trying to get my Yoga Book to an ideal state trying to maximize how much space I am using that I think I did something to wreck the recovery partition.

After resetting twice, i found an issue where the start menu wasn’t showing my installed Store apps in the search results, which annoyed me as that was my primary way of launching apps. 3rd time I tried to reset, it kept failing. I even tried creating a recovery disk, which it finished creating but when i ran the recovery, that really crashed my machine. Seemed like the files were incomplete and i ended up with a non-booting device. Clean install it is!

Things i used:

* OTG cable

* USB hub

* USB Keyboard (and mouse)

* Fully charged Yoga Book

* 16 GB usb stick

1. Use media creation tool to create a USB installer for windows 10 https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/software-download/windows10

2. at the time of writing, there are no official drivers on the lenovo site but this forum thread links to a site with the drivers from factory settings https://forums.lenovo.com/t5/Windows-based-Tablets/Yoga-Book-Tips-Driver-download/td-p/3498257 important really is the wifi driver. Once that’s connected, using device manager to search online for drivers could probably work. I installed all the drivers on the site anyway, and for the rest of the unknown devices, used the search online function in device manager.

Now I am thoroughly enjoying this device!

Twitter Fixes the Quote Tweet Button for End Users, but Breaks it For the Brands

 

 

Posting this online because i don’t seem to see any conversations about this anywhere and I’m curious how others are measuring the impact of quoted tweets.

Twitter made a recent update to how they render quoted tweets on twitter, read more here:

http://thenextweb.com/twitter/2015/04/07/twitter-is-finally-fixing-the-quote-tweet-button/

 

As an end user this is great because it makes my feed less messy, and it gives me more space to add commentary to tweets. But putting my work hat on, I’m really hoping that twitter has a plan for supporting the 3rd party tools that marketers use to listen and measure the impact of their brands’ tweets.

 

Even when using their own tool, Tweetdeck, there’s no way to surface any comments to the original quoted tweet. Just as example, [1] I quote Tweeted a post from Lenovo around the #VibeShot Campaign.  In [2], I have a column setup to monitor the #VibeShot hashtag, which is in the original tweet. Here we start to see the problem.

 

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As a marketer, I love the new quote tweet style because it encourages people to add their comments to the brand posts instead of just passive sharing. It’s the kind of behaviour that would benefit us since it’s a chance to get qualitative feedback from the audience (vs the quantitative in measuring retweets).

The problem is that currently, there doesn’t seem to be a way to capture any conversation that happens once someone starts quote tweeting our posts. It’s true for TweetDeck, and true for some of the listening tools that our team internally have managed to test out.

Apart from being unable to measure the direct conversations that come out of the brand tweet, another challenge would be measuring the influencer impact when they quote tweet our posts. Any replies, favorites, retweets (not even the quote tweets but the original, “raw” retweets) won’t be measured unless that influencer also uses a hashtag, keyword in their comment. That’s okay with collaborative campaigns where the quote tweet is planned, but every marketer works toward getting someone with a lot of  followers to organically RT or  comment. The new quoted tweet display might give the impression that the original text of the tweet already contains the hashtag, and it would be redundant to use it again in the comment.

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Curious to know which tools in the industry are already supporting twitter’s new feature to measure impact of quoted tweets? Especially since this is becoming the default quote tweet option on android and iOS, and some users are enabled with this as a default on the web interface as well.

3 Things That Help Me Be a Smart Phone Drifter

 

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UPDATE: There’s been issues with Outlook.com since 27th March, which stopped my contacts from syncing using the native phonebook. I’m still able to sync my contacts via the outlook android app though adding contacts isn’t supported with the current version. Breaks my system temporarily.. hopefully they fix it, or enable support for contacts sync on the outlook.com app.

 

Over the years, I’ve been switching around different phones from iOS, Android, and Windows Phone. Lately I’ve also had simultaneous devices from different ecosystems (e.g. Windows phone + android tablet, android phone + iOS tablet, etc). Personally, I don’t want to be 100% dependent on 1 ecosystem, and invested so much that it would be too taxing to even think of switching OS.

After going through a few rounds of switching between windows phone and iOS and android, I’ve found a setup that works for me. I used to be averse to the idea of going into the Android space simply because i thought it was too much to have to learn. And the thought of migrating data around was also quite daunting. Having a system that helps me be fluid with the most important things made the decision to make a switch a lot easier.

I Use Outlook.com to maintain My Contact List

The problem with iOS and android is that by default they make you use their service to back up your contact list but you’ll find that should you ever decide to switch platforms, you’ll have a hard time migrating your contacts with some other platforms.

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Of course you could always port your contacts across but that means you have to do this every single time you want to switch OS. I’ve found that it’s so much easier to just go with a service that allows you to add and maintain contacts regardless of the OS you are using.

 

You can set up a new account at http://outlook.com and find out how to set your phone up at http://windows.microsoft.com/en-sg/windows/outlook/to-go TIP: don’t use the outlook.com app as advised in the article, instead go with the native email client as it seems the new app they have no longer syncs contacts with the web service (at least, not at the time of this writing)  Make sure you set it up as your default address book as well.

 

I Use Google+ AND OneDrive to Back up your Photos and Videos

When talking about Photos and Videos, 2 things are important: storage and accessibility.

OneDrive is a cross platform photo and video back up service but I find that for video play back on the mobile device, it’s just really bad. When I’m on a windows phone, i can’t delete a video if i know i want to share this with people in the future because streaming the video from onedrive on the phone is horrible. With Google+, it’s pretty much like streaming a video from youtube, even on a slow connection, you can buffer up the video so that it’s at least continuously playable. Unfortunately this is only available on iOS and Android, so for viewing, i’m out of luck till OneDrive betters its video streaming on phones.

Because I always back up all my photos and videos, I haven’t had trouble with phones that only have 16gb of storage even though I take TONNES of pictures of my kids (I have 107 gb of photos backed up on OneDrive). If you don’t take too much video, then OneDrive is more than enough. Dropbox is a comparable service, depends on which one you prefer I guess. If you take a lot of videos though, i would recommend using the google+ app in for that additionally (only on android and ios).

The other bonus thing you get with Google+ is the year in review and auto awesome videos that they create for you. Although a lot of phones have this feature to create a highlight reel for you, it’s a nice touch when you have just so much content and you don’t have the energy to pick which ones you want to share.

Obviously desktop accessibility is another bonus that you get for storing all your media in the cloud.

 

The Extra Mile: Keep an online note of a list of your must have apps

I use a service like OneNote or Evernote that have apps across devices and maintain the store links of my most frequently used apps, the ones i want to install straight away when i first get my phone. It’s tedious but it saves a lot of time having to think about what apps i should install on my phone when i first get them. I just have to remember to install OneNote first and go from there.

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What other tips do you have that enable you to switch devices with ease?

NQMS2 auto-sent SMS

Not sure what happened but my phone just suddenly sent an SMS. Not sure if i clicked on an ad or if it was something in an app. The automated message was NQMS2 N242044526QA. Posting it in case someone else tries to google it. Still not sure what the culprit is.  The automated SMS triggered a subscription and based on the message, it seems i have purchased an “NQ Mobile Service” looking at their site http://www.nq.com/ ironically, it seems like it’s a security app. I am not sure what i did to trigger this, but this was definitely not intentional. Not sure if i accidentally clicked on an in-app add or something, if i did, i don’t even remember being prompted to send an SMS. I’ve emailed the customer support email indicated in the message, and thankfully they seem to be helpful. I’m just glad it wasn’t some shady company taking advantage of whatever method was used to send this automated email. I’m going to monitor my apps more closely and see if this happens again. If you stumble onto this blog from googling the code above because you’ve experienced something similar, let me know!

 

Screenshot_2015-01-15-07-42-50

Vibe X2: Photos from SNAPit Camera not getting backed up on Google Plus

Phone: X2-AP_ROW_S122_141127
Lenovo SNAPit: v 4.1.13.141104.52a7c22_super_row

 

I’ve been using the phone for a while now, I’ve noticed an annoying quirk. For some reason, photos taken with the Lenovo SNAPit app doesn’t get included with Google+ auto backup, even though I have no problems with OneDrive backing the files up. When I take photos and videos with a third party camera app (such as Google Camera and Camera360), the photos upload with no issues. I have tried to reformat my phone, still the issue persists.

 

While i don’t mind OneDrive backing up everything, I prefer Google+ autobackup because the videos stream better when viewing them on your phone, so i can literally delete the video and photos from my phone once it’s backed up and i can still quickly show it later on even on my phone. With OneDrive, i found that while video streaming works pretty well on the desktop experience, mobile streaming is still pretty bad.

 

I guess the other option is to use a 3rd party app as a main camera.

My Unanswered Android Questions

 I’d been using the Windows Phone for a while so as expected, there are teething pains between me and Android. The downside of Android being so customizable is the fact settings can be different from one OEM to the next, even though you have the same android version on it. I have asked great and mighty google but all it has given me so far are answers to these questions but for a different OEM, that are not applicable to mine. 🙁 I’m making this post in the hopes that i’ll be able to update it in the future with some answers. Meanwhile…

1. “Sync is Off”

I’d finished setting up my phone with all my apps and mail when I realized my corporate mail wasn’t always syncing.  The icon was greyed out, even though i could sometimes sync my mail.

Screenshot_2014-12-02-12-21-38

 

I was looking online and everyone was pointing to Data Usage –> Menu –> Auto-sync Data. I couldn’t find this option anywhere in my settings. After a while, I got frustrated and just reformatted my phone. After adding all my accounts back in, I finally got the icon to display green. This was regardless of whether I chose manual or push mail. This was also the same for the other accounts that I have on the phone (twitter, whatsapp, etc), all of them had “Sync is Off” even though i was receiving messages, etc from those platforms.

 
UPDATE: I finally figured out how I managed this. I had downloaded a 3rd party app to manage my battery settings and I forgot that it had a the also missing Sync button. As an aside, this app also has a link to the battery details graph. Still missing is the background data toggle.

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2. Is there a way to ensure apps don’t use data in the background? I have apps that do auto backup in the background. When I’m roaming, I’d like to be able to turn off the onedrive/google+/dropbox autouploads that happen in one go, and maybe have the option to turn off background data all together. I still haven’t been able  to find where the switch is for this. Google says there should be 3 dots in the Data Usage screen. this doesn’t seem to be present on mine.

 

Screenshot_2014-12-02-17-46-31

Nokia Lumia 930 Hardware Woes

I recently sent my lumia 930 for repair because the screen was going blank intermittently whenever I made calls.


This issue is apparently because of the loose proximity sensor. It was annoying because i pretty much couldn’t end calls. I discovered later on that double clicking on the power button brings the display back on. That was an ok fix for a while but i noticed later on that the upper right part of the LCD was getting more and more loose. I sent it in for repair and I got my device back today. I didn’t get to inspect it properly when I picked it up because I had 2 kids in tow. The attendant explained that they had replaced the LCD which was great news to me. I saw that the screen and the metal frame still had it’s protective plastic so I was quite happy.

When i got home however, once I took out the plastic of the frame, I noticed two things wrong.

1. The metal frame by the charging port was bent. I’ve always used wireless chargers at home so i don’t think this was caused by me. Also, I’m not sure if the lcd replacement includes the metal frame, if it did, that means that the replacement part used was defective? In the service report, it says the part used is N00812K8 – Care UI Assembly Silver

WP_20141011_18_18_55_Pro

 

2. On inspecting the phone further, I noticed a bulge where the camera button is. I tried pushing the plastic and it does bend into place but it doesn’t “click” and stay there. I’m a bit concerned as that’s the same spot that heats up whenever i use the phone intensively. Wondering whether there’s some internal warping going on.

WP_20141011_18_19_22_Pro

 

The nokia care center is on the opposite side of the city for me, plus, I’ve really missed using my phone, so maybe I’ll see whether the bulge is actually causing any real issues or is it just aesthetic. It’s annoying but i guess i can live with it. Will probably sending it back in within the warranty period though. Right now, i just want to use my phone.

UPDATE: 15/11/2014

A few things have happened since then, a few days later, i found that my phone was no longer charging wirelessly so i decided to send it in for repair. When it came back, the phone was loose on both the upper right corner, in addition to the part near the camera button. I was furious, it seems like my phone’s condition deteriorates everytime i send it in for repair. I asked the lady whether she really thought it was normal, for the phone to have a bulge like that. She said “Yes, that’s normal”. I gave up because if i send it in again, I would have had to pick it up all the way at Jurong as they were moving operations there. That, plus I really wanted to have my phone with me during my then upcoming trip. The last trip i went on, i was stuck with their replacement phone (a 520) which didn’t take decent pictures.

Now I have discovered that the flash on my camera hasn’t been working (I’ve never had to take night time shots till recently). So yes, the saga continues…