At the Mobile Festival 2013

I’m usually 7:00am pronto at the office every Monday, that’s because I chose a car plate number banned until 7:00pm in Makati City every first day of the workweek, the same reason that pushes me to be early at work and avoid missing the almost always busy Mondays. But yesterday I found myself walking the whole stretch of SM Mall of Asia at the break of dawn to look for an open coffee shop, as I need to be wide awake for what seems to be the longest conference I’ll ever join – the first Mobile Festival in the Philippines at the SMX Convention Center, with 5 plenary programs that are supposed to end past my car coding hours. Insightful topics are to be presented by speakers from here and abroad, known for their expertise and contributions to mobile and a variety of industries.

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I’m actually enrolled at the Mobile Marketing Academy, that instantly registered me to this event, and I sure am glad to have joined. Saw familiar faces and got to talk to some business owners who seem to be late in the game or just starting but are embracing mobile anyway. There’s this consensus on the floor that indeed, mobile technologies have changed the way consumers engage with brands, that before deciding on a purchase, the typically-pocketable device has become an automatic go-to for information that can greatly influence the buying decision. And that companies must be ready to use mobile for making customer engagement more productive, convenient, and instant.

Aside from the overwhelming learning sessions, the highlight of the conference is actually “The Pitch” with which our Web Marketing Officer Pauline “Petim” Maminta (and fellow moderator for IGersManila), is a contestant and who eventually won with her Team Saucy, who pitched a seemingly simple app/service idea that got the judges scoring high for its straightforward presentation and high practicability for McDonald’s 30-minute delivery.

I can’t wait to get all these mobile ideas rolling for the projects and campaigns I’m involved with, now back to work. Too bad, I didn’t find any coffee shop that opens that early at MOA, but hey I managed to stay awake in that 7:00am to 7:00pm ordeal.

Instagram’ing soon on a Windows Phone

Sorry BlackBerry, but it looks like Nokia beat you to the queue, as Instagram is officially releasing “in the coming weeks” a version of the hugely popular photo-sharing app for the Windows Phone mobile platform. This great news was somehow overshadowed by Apple’s October 22 iPad event, but is considered to be a big deal anyway as this is seen as a jumpstart to encourage other application developers to support Windows Phone. After Instagram, it’s expected that photo filters and video editing apps will follow suit with official releases.

As for Nokia, the clamor via photography app and hashtag probably worked, and its Lumia line will greatly benefit from this development, and should convince Instagram’ers and phoneographers looking for more device choices. We’re of course excited to welcome Windows Phone users to our Instagram’ing community. And here’s hoping BlackBerry can work things out and catch up.

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And this will be my excuse for falling in love with Nokia again, by way of its latest powerful duo: the Nokia Lumia 925 or 1020 (pictured above), as I’m sure either smartphone won’t fall short when pitted against its iOS and Android device counterparts, at least in terms of phoneography features.

Source: The Verge | Photo: Nokia Philippines

Walking to #DoSomethingBeautiful Against Breast Cancer

Waking up 3am on a Sunday is quite a challenge for me yet I jumped out of bed and was ready to go in record time, knowing this sort of small sacrifice will mean something big for a good cause. I’m not really ready physically, but I joined anyway, as I really wanted to be there at #DoSomethingBeautiful Against Breast Cancer, a walk & run event by Avon Philippines held October 13 at the SM Mall of Asia Open Parking, which also serves as the culminating theme for @IGersManila’s week-long #9pmhabit, in support of the breast cancer awareness month (BCAM).

The weekend was almost spoiled by typhoon Santi, which thankfully was on the way out of PAR by Saturday, while the morning after is still somewhat wet, the cool air seem to signal the perfect time for running and walking. And after over an hour via the traffic-less EDSA, failing to catch-up-nap in the car, it was still dark but I was there at the venue in time for the walk.

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This is the panoramic shot of the stage (above), with the huge audience gamely participating in the warm-up exercise that opened the program and cheered on to welcome the hosts (from Unang Hirit GMA7) and special guests.

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I was later joined by fellow IGersManila moderators @EdCalaycay and @iPetim with Instagram’ers @NagaRyan and @ReyJohnino. It’s the golden hour, we of course started snapping photos and videos of the activities as soon as the morning sun showed its presence. MOA was like “in the pink of advocacy.”

We actually enjoyed the walk, snapping photos of the cheerful crowd and a variety of street subjects as well. We’re really proud to have been a part of this #DoSomethingBeautiful advocacy, that awesome feeling of walking together for a good cause, to help spread breast cancer awareness. Good vibes through and through!

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And as promised by Avon Philippines, we Instagram’ers were given a quick photo-op with Solenn Heussaff, ambassador for the Kiss Goodbye to Breast Cancer (KGBC) campaign, making it even more an unforgettable experience.

All photos snapped with iPhone 5; collage using Diptic app. Group shot with Solenn Heussaff courtesy of @NagaRyan.

Moving on with #LetsSpeakApp2 at Commune PH

It’s the second of our 3-part LetsSpeakApp talk series for IGersManila, and we’re so thankful to have been generously accommodated by Ros Juan of Commune PH, the perfect venue for this rather intimate gathering of Instagram’ers who answered to our #iCoss invite, as this time we focused on apps for video snapping and editing, thus the theme “moving on.”

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The past workdays were engrossing for me, and I haven’t been able to snap-shoot and post to Instagram lately, so I asked fellow moderators @iPetim and @EdCalaycay to do the talk. They of course did a great job of presenting video apps they actually use. What would usually take an hour or so for stitching videos, putting text, adding effects and transitions, as well as matching background music, can now be done in a few minutes, and all via a smartphone. While most video apps would claim to be “easy and instant” following on our snap-filter-share workflow, the learning curve might be a bit of a challenge at first, but the key to enjoying and improving your mobile videography skills is “patience.”

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Because Commune PH is a cafe + bar, well-snapped in Instagram with its relaxed setting and for serving coffee with latte art of cute animals, Instagram’ers were treated to a quick coffee making workshop with Ros Juan and a latte art demo by chief barista JV, as they snap photos and videos to put the apps to the test. We then gave away an Olloclip and Boostcase (both for iPhone 5) courtesy of Beyond The Box, to two of the most creative tagged Instagram posts especially picked by Ros Juan, concluding the #LetsSpeakApp2 meet-up with more snapshots.

Please support Commune PH by following on Twitter and Instagram. Stay tuned this November 2013 for #LetsSpeakApp3 as we prepare to close the year with whoawesome activities.

All photos snapped with iPhone 5; collage using Diptic app.

Let’s #DoSomethingBeautiful on Instagram

IGersManila is advocating Breast Cancer Awareness Month #BCAM with its #DoSomethingBeautiful #9pmhabit this week, in partnership with Avon Philippines, one of the largest corporate supporters of breast cancer awareness.

Starting today until 13-October-2013, we ask you to join us on Instagram in sharing visual stories with themes relevant to this advocacy. If your Instagram post is a #PhotoPick, you’ll get an Avon Philippines #DoSomethingBeautiful Against Breast Cancer T-shirt, which donates 20 pesos to the PGH Breast Cancer Center and select provincial hospitals, and also serves as your invitation to attend the #DoSomethingBeautiful Against Breast Cancer Walk & Run event at SM MOA on October 13. You also get to meet and greet (and of course snap photos with) Solenn Heussaff. More than the good vibes, that’s Instagram’ing for a great cause!

Follow @IGersManila and @AvonPH on Instagram. Go to IGersManila’s blog for the full mechanics. For details of the event, visit avon.com.ph or follow Avon Philippines on Facebook.

#Ambienture

I was experimenting on snapping portrait shots with my iPhone 5 the other night, when the fluorescent bulb in our room got busted, needing an instant fix I thought of using my iPad 4 as my only ambient lighting, as I prefer portraiture with shadows and silhouettes, and like to play around with textured noir filters that I can only get from the PictureShow app. Thus my #Ambienture photo series on Instagram – portraiture using your iPhone/iPad/iPod as single key lighting – which you can of course easily move around or ask your model to hold, which is what I did, for creative illumination and to focus a certain angle, in composing the intended exposure.

I needn’t go far to jumpstart this project, as you can see in the gallery, the first batch of #Ambienture was of my family and then of fellow Instagram’ers. If you’re into Instagram’ing, feel free to tag your iDevice-illuminated portrait shots. All you need is a room without lights, two Apple devices (any mobile device on other platforms actually, such as Android and Windows Phone) one for lighting and the other for snapping photos.

Can’t wait to snap more #Ambienture! Join us as we’re having the 2nd Philippine Instagram Exhibit this November 2013, see the full mechanics here. Keep the good vibes rolling!

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 race is on

If you’ve been waiting for clues as to when the pen-wielding phablet and smart watch combo concocted by Samsung will hit our shores, our two rivaling telcos have actually activated their respective pre-order registration sites for the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 + Gear this week, as if declaring that the race to enticing more Samsung and Android fans is so on.

Samsung’s Galaxy Note series is touted as the leader of the phablet pack, and in its latest iteration, aside from a bigger touch screen and leather-textured back, the Galaxy Note 3 seemed to be focused on pen functionality and the complementary features provided by the new Galaxy Gear watch.

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It’s actually Globe that signaled the race, sharing its registration page ahead of Smart - not to be outdone with its pre-selling page launching a bit later. I registered at both sites, with confirmation emails that offered no hints as to pricing and the corresponding postpaid plans and exact date of availability. Continue reading

iOS 7 turned Instagram flat and roundish

It’s been a week since Apple released iOS 7, its totally revamped mobile operating system that embraces what most call as flat but a clean and bright design statement, ditching its skeuomorphic tendencies, of which critics were quick to proclaim as Android-ish. And while Instagram may have missed the first week of rollout, today it has released version 4.2 that adopts the iOS 7 look and feel, and a few aesthetic tweaks.

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Yesterday I was playing around with Studio Design app and posted circle-cropped posts on Instagram and it was such a coincidence that the app would later release an update with a simplified (read: flat) interface and rounded profile photos in the feed. And yes, today’s my birthday :)

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Thin borders, clean background all throughout, and the photos and videos are now larger (and padding smaller) in grid views, with the resolution enhanced as well, supposedly for a better Instagram’ing experience. So far I’m not complaining. Go ahead and update your Instagram app for iOS.

From Instagram Blog.

BBM for iPhone got out but later pulled

The much awaited release of BlackBerry Messenger or BBM for both iOS and Android is supposedly this weekend, and true enough, late Saturday night (PST +8:00) I was able to download the app from the Philippine App Store, but the link by Sunday morning no longer works (even that of the Purchased link) and unsearchable – the app seem to have been pulled.

My BBM experience is short-lived, but I wanted to try out the app anyway, if it’s any good compared to current iOS messaging big timers, such as Line, KakaoTalk, or even Viber. And of course, so I can reach out to friends who are purely on BBM. Though I must say the app’s look and feel is dated, now that most iPhone users presumably have upgraded to iOS 7.

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At the PH+SocialGood Summit

Good vibes are not enough – felt really good that Rapple.com invited me and IGersManila and we obliged – to be part of the 2013 Manila Social Good Summit. Organized by Rappler, Google and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), this year’s summit aims to come up with concrete next action steps that are possible now to ensure a better future by the year 2030, thus the thematic hashtag #2030Now, focused on climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction in the Philippines.

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Hash-tagging Da Vinci via Instagram

I was with IGersManila moderators, collaborators, and fellow Instagram’ers, making up almost half of the invitees at the exclusive instameet preview of Da Vinci The Genius at The Mind Museum, touted as the only exhibition that offers the full Da Vinci experience – the look, analysis, and interaction with the works of this Italian polymath, Leonardo da Vinci, the ever famous Renaissance Man. This exhibition is developed by Grande Exhibitions Australia under the auspices of the Commune di Roma, Commune di Firenze, and Citta di Venezia, traveling across the globe and now it’s here in Manila!

The preview is actually an Instagram’ing event, attended also by bloggers, but instead of the usual museum tour, we did a “Finding Leonardo” photo-hunt activity with which guests were asked to explore the exhibit by snapping and sharing photos of Da Vinci’s works, with hashtags that present the creations of the multi-faceted genius in a variety of areas such as music, art, anatomy, engineering, among others, including codices and his many inventions. Check out the posts tagged with #DaVinciTheGeniusPH in Instagram.

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@IGersManila’s #LetsSpeakApp Talk Series Launched

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igersmanila:

Recognizing that mobile phoneography has evolved from just taking quick snaps of precious moments to sharing to the world our creative visual stories, @IGersManila launched #LetsSpeakApp, a 3-part talk series on enhancing visual stories.

In partnership with @SMMegamall which is celebrating #MegaCyberMonth this August, the talk series was launched at the Mega Atrium on August 17, 2013.

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The first talk  ”Be Still” focused on apps used for visual snapshots. Speaking in front of Pinoy Instagram’ers, Carl Lozano, founder of @IGersManila, discussed essential iOS apps that he personally uses in his visual storytelling. #TheMods Ed Calaycay, on the other hand, did a live demo of the apps he used in his Android device.

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