Windows 10 Creators Update

Five days before the new Windows 10 officially rolls out to end-users, I managed to install it using Microsoft’s Windows 10 Update Assistant. The result is a neat version after about 2 gigabytes of download and four restarts.

Right after installation, this welcome screen on the updated Edge browser will greet you.

Windows 10 welcome

There is no easily recognizable change between the previous Anniversary Update (version 1607) and the Creators Update (version 1703). Interestingly, the Windows Settings app has been expanded from 9 menus to 11.

It now includes dedicated menus for managing installed apps and for gaming. Windows 10 gaming settings.png

Borrowing from Android, users are now given a choice whether to allow installation of apps from “trusted” sources (i.e. Windows Store) or from somewhere else. Windows 10 install source.png

To top it all, our IT friends can take more rest with the comprehensive self-help tools for troubleshooting. Windows 10 troubleshooting.png

Learning its lessons well, Microsoft has made Windows become appealing once again.

Up next… 3D smileys created from the new Microsoft Paint app 😉

Browsing On-the-Go and On the Cheap

As the cost of internet service gets cheaper year after year, it is now unwise to bind ourselves to a long lock-in period with any telecom provider. Take for instance the cost of mobile internet. Our postpaid plans used to come bundled with measly one-tenth of a gigabyte’s worth of internet allocation. With the consumers’ demand leaning toward higher utilization of data than of basic SMS and voice services, telcos now provide tons of choices to customize both postpaid plans and prepaid buckets.

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Looking at Globe’s SIM-only plan offering, your Php799.00 can get you 11GB of mobile internet. But if you don’t mind the hassle of repeatedly registering for GoSURF50 every three days, your Php500.00 can already provide you with roughly 13GB of mobile internet for 30 days. That would suffice for an average consumer doing daily browsing, social media updates and a reasonable amount of video streaming.

The same is true if you are on the other side of the fence. Smart’s GigaSurf 50 has the same 13GB of prepaid data for the same price as Globe. Compare that with Smart’s postpaid SIM-only plans which offer lower data allocations.

Smart SIM-only plan.png

So if you are dead set at maximizing your load allowance, your best option is to actually get two lines:

  • Postpaid plan for your voice & SMS needs (so that you won’t need to worry about not having prepaid load during emergencies)
  • Prepaid SIM for mobile data

For instance, if you frequently send text messages to friends on different networks, make a few minutes of calls a day and need to access the internet a few hours daily, you will just need to shell out Php750.00 per month for Smart (Postpaid Plan 250 plus continuous registration to GigaSurf 50 on a separate prepaid SIM).

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SMS scheduler in Textra app for Android

TIP: If you tend to forget when to re-register for prepaid promos, automate it by using an SMS scheduler. Just key in the registration keyword, set the date and send it. Of course, make sure you have sufficient prepaid load during those scheduled registrations.

A Phone Without A PIN

How many times do you unlock your smartphone everyday? 20 times? 50 times? A hundred? That is also how many times you have to input your PIN or password.

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Photo by Oliur Rahman on Pexels.com

A four-digit PIN used to unlock a phone a hundred times in a day means 400 taps! So you’re taking the burden of inputting the same code over and over to prevent that slim chance of another person accessing your phone without your consent.
I chose not to use any PIN, pattern lock or password to secure my phones so that I can use them with a single swipe. Here are the reasons why:

  1. If my phone gets lost or stolen, I can easily lock it remotely using any other device that has Internet access. I can use my desktop, laptop or a friend’s phone and tag my phone as lost, set a PIN and enable an onscreen alert with my contact details (in case somebody wants to return it).
  2. All information that I have on my phone are synced to the cloud (contacts, mails, calendars, notes, photos, health data, clippings, etc.). I can freely wipe my phone data anytime without worrying losing any data at all.
  3. Most apps now have two-factor authentication so I can easily unauthorize those apps installed in a stolen device.
  4. All other critical apps (e.g. mobile banking apps, personal finance apps like Wally & Ahorro) require their own passwords every time they will be used, so it’s safe from unauthorized use.

At any rate, the key fallback measure is to be able to access the Internet immediately after you lose your phone. Without it, don’t dare leaving a PIN-less phone lying around.