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!

 

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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.

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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.

 

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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

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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.

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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…

Pay More Attention to the Photos You Attach to Your Tweets

 

The nature of Twitter as a social network has always been about broadcasting and while I’m sure there are some stats to back my next statement up, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that a regular twitter user will be following quite a number of accounts, that tweet quite a number of times in a day. I doubt there is anyone, or at least, that it IS the norm to read a tweet, click through a link and move on to the next tweet. Most of the time for me, I’m constantly scrolling through the feed and scanning for things that interest me. I’m not sure whether there’s a psychological reason behind it but i tend to scroll past posts with images that are cropped, i don’t even bother reading the caption that comes with it.

 

This is how I process my twitter stream:

1. If tweet is all characters – read the first few words and see if it interests me, if not, move to next tweet. If i make it to the end of the tweet and there is no mystery, move to next tweet. Otherwise, click the article that comes with it. If I’m still bored after that, move to next tweet, start over.

2. If tweet has an image – if it piques my interest, read the copy (refer to 1). If not, move to next tweet.

 

Here are some screenshots i took of my current twitter timeline and the live commentary you would hear if i was processing out loud.

 

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MEDI-move to next tweet…

 

 

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A post about creating games, promoted? must be a contest, not really in the mood for that now, maybe next time. 

a side comment on this one, if the intent of the campaign was partially brand awareness (since the logo was placed in the image), well, they’ve succeeded on that.

 

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Great image! I actually spend some time reading everything on this image.. learning stuff from people who look like they’re real and happy. *reads caption* oh and here are their twitter handles, let me click through their profiles, maybe i follow the happy people. Or Maybe next time, move on to next tweet.

 

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Gross! what the heck is that?? Go to 1.

 

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Interesting… *clicks link*

 

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Huh? Move on to next tweet

 

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Interesting *clicks link*

 

So, you get the gist. Obviously, the above was how i would personally react, and your audience may react differently. Some images may compel one person more than the next.

It’s important to understand the context in which your audiences are consuming most of the content that you put out, but in the realm of twitter, we need to keep ourselves updated on how they deliver different types of media to the twitter stream (in this case, images).

Key take-away? Let’s stop putting images for the sake of putting images. The rest of what you say may be overlooked if you don’t pay attention to these details.

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Surface Pro 3: Fixing the Inaccurate Stylus

Over the weekend I got the i5 128GB version of the Surface Pro 3. It’s taken a few days for me to install my software, apply updates but when I finally had everything updated, I noticed that writing on OneNote wasn’t very accurate when I was zoomed it. It was more obvious when writing towards the left side of the device. A lot worse on the lower left corner. I did a few rounds of calibration and still experienced the same issue. Whenever I hover the stylus over where the start button would be in desktop mode, the pointer would jump, and worse, sometimes go the opposite direction.  My husband wasn’t experiencing these issues then I realized he had installed the wintab driver as he was using some pressure sensitive apps that weren’t supporting the Surface Pro 3’s built in pressure detection. After I installed that, I ran the calibration tool again. This time,  instead of the 4 points i got 16 points and that made the accuracy of the pen perfect for me. At least it wasn’t awkward to write in one note anymore.

I have to say, the support pages of the Surface are pretty detailed and so far, they’ve been very helpful in resolving common issues I’ve run into so far. 

Nokia Storyteller: A Parent’s Best Friend

I saw this preview of what to expect on the new Nokia Camera + Storyteller combo, I’ve been looking forward to getting my hands on the Cyan update.

Nokia Camera + Storyteller Demo

To my delight, the Storyteller app has been updated over the weekend. (I just love waking up to app updates).

Prior to the Windows Phone 8.1 Developer Preview, I was happy that Storyteller allowed me to group and view my photos by date and event. I have an enormous amount of photos and videos on my phone and scrolling through them using the built in photo gallery from Windows Phone 8.0 was a pain. The developer preview at least let me sift through dates which made my use of storyteller close to none since then. That all changed over the weekend as it seems the latest update has now enabled some of the features promised. My favourite being the automatic Story Video feature.

Kids == Tonnes of Photos and Videos

The whole reason I got myself a Lumia 1020 is because it was marketed as the best smartphone camera and having 2 kids, I knew I had a lot of moments that I’d want to capture. I kind of went overboard with the capturing though, i think i now have close to 60+ GB of photos and videos of my kids. This also became my reason to purchase storage on Skydrive, since everything was already backed up over there, i could easily just delete the files that were on my phone.

Nobody is going to have time to look at all that

As tempted as I am to spam my friends’ newsfeed with photos and videos of my kids, I know that’s just going to be impossible so after a day out with them, or with visiting family, I have to spend some time at the end of the day making a photo collage of the highlights of the day and posting that on facebook. When it comes to video content though, I have to review all of them, and select which one i want to post. Again, i don’t want to spam my feed with all the videos. Sometimes though, it’s tough to choose since there’s bound to be more than one activity during the day.

When I really have a hard time choosing, I spend some time with the Movie Maker 8.1 app to make a video collage but it really takes a lot of time.

Since i don’t have any royalty free music, i take the extra step of using the Movie Moments app to add sound and nice titles to my film.

This whole process takes a lot of time, and effort so I end up with a lot of pictures and footage that no one sees.

I Need A Quick Solution!

I’ve been tempted several times to revert to Google & iOS for their solutions, both Native and 3rd Party where there’s pretty much no effort to create really nice, short video collages.

Google’s Auto Awesome

Cameo App on IOS

All my assets are on my phone and on OneDrive so I am pretty much locked in, without an option. At least that’s what i thought.

Enter Storyteller’s Story Video

Like I mentioned, it used to be just a nice way to organize/view your photos. Everything automatically gets grouped by place and date. You can merge/splits stories as well so you’re in full control if it somehow messes up your Stories.

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The Story Video feature basically creates a 30 second video montage of all the media in that “Story”. If you’re not happy with it, you can easily modify the photos that are included in the Story Video but still keep these assets in the same story.

There’s a button to edit the story and you get options to change up the photos and the music.

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Some improvements that would make it even more awesome:

  • Increase the number of soundtracks (i hear they’re working on it)
  • Increase the length of video shares (1 minute to a length of a song perhaps?)
  • Improve the fonts for the photo captions
  • Add more title effects

I’m really excited to see how this app develops.

Windows Phone 8.1

The update process for me was a long gruelling one, but i do think it was my fault. I had gone ahead with the update even though i had only 1 or 2 GB left. Apart from the fact that the data migration took forever (overnight since there were 2 updates and i fell asleep in between) I ended up having to reset and restore since my Microsoft account wouldn’t sync for some reason (and yes I did check the time and date). Once I did manage to restore (after a another number of hours), I was prompted to enter my birth date for some reason, I’m guessing this was the reason it wasn’t syncing previously. So if you’re experiencing not being able to sync your primary MS account, you might want to go online to account.live.com to check that your birthday is set there before trying to sync again?

After the restore, i didn’t even try to think about not having all the 28GB of my babies’ photos and videos offline. I was hoping i would hang on to them till Lumia Cyan is available to create those short video clip montages of your photos/videos using storyteller. I was however missing the glance screen. I was searching for a while and was wondering why no one else seemed to have the problem. I even reset to factory settings again, without restoring from backup to see if that fixed it. That’s when i remembered that it was actually a separate install. I did search for it in the store, but for some reason, search doesn’t function very well. I managed to find the link in this article from wpcentral.

I’m loving the update though, feels like i have a new phone all over again! I don’t mind that i had to reset my phone, i still have all the photos and videos synced to one drive, which is also synced to my pc.  I do love all the extra space i have again. I just couldn’t bring myself to voluntarily delete all those pics and videos.

Pic My Quotes was: Pic Quote

Apart from realizing there was another app named Pic Quote, I realized when said in my local dialect, it means… something.

So after work in the cab, I quickly made some minor edits, including changing the aspect ratio of the image to something that displays better on the twitter without having to expand the image.

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One thing that I realized though was that the picture ended up being a bit pixelated on the PC. Will have to fix that on the next update.

Another change i did was update the background behavior. I’ve placed a translucent quote image and made the background color the same as the current phone accent color. I’m assuming that the user would set their favorite color (or the color of the day/event) as their theme accents, so why not use that as the background for the image as well.

Still exploring some other options to make the UI for this app better. I had originally of having text input in a separate dialog box, but then that would be too many clicks.

All in all, I’m finding this process really productive, doing a little bit at a time and publishing to the store. It also really helps that the update process is quite quick, at least for the changes that I’ve made so far.

Stay tuned! ^_^ another update is on the way

http://www.windowsphone.com/en-gb/store/app/pic-quote/8aedcca9-1fde-4cd4-8f64-50c013e27e53