Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Avantree SP850 multifunctional wireless speaker with FM radio

I have purchased an Avantree SP850 multifunctional wireless speaker with FM radio for my father to replace his CD player that is now faulty and possibly reached its end-of-life.

This Avantree SP850 has many overlapping function with the BC-01 multimedia bluetooth speaker that I purchased 2 years ago. It costs higher at the price of RM96, but its sound quality is comparatively better, with a removable (and therefore replaceable) Nokia BL-5C Li-ion battery, and much straightforward and easier to use.

Note that this Avantree SP850 does not have alarm clock function and also unable to display the time.

Its 3 main functions are:
  • Play music and audio in MP3, WMA or WAV format
  • FM radio
  • Act as handsfree to answer/reject/hang-up incoming calls when connected to mobile phone using Bluetooth
It can accept audio source from the following:
  • FM radio
  • Micro SD card
  • AUX 3.5mm audio cable
  • Bluetooth
and it can output audio to headphone or external speaker via 3.5mm audio cable plugged to its headphone socket.

Its operation is menu driven with its LCD screen display. You can navigate the directory structure of the Micro SD card to pick the music file to play.

It supports the following music playing repeat modes:
  • Repeat all
  • Repeat folder
  • Replace once
  • Random
It has a built-in equalizer which you can set for the following music modes:
  • Natural
  • Rock
  • Pop
  • Classic
  • Jazz
  • Soft
It has 10 numeric buttons on top, makes it very easy to select song and to tune the FM radio.

You can get the FM radio to perform auto-searching of available channels, or to manually input the channel frequency number by using the numeric buttons. The manually set channels will be automatically memorized. This Avantree SP850 is able to memorize quite a lot of FM radio channels.

Due to its easy of use, this Avantree SP850 is suitable for everybody use, including elderly people.

You can watch the video below to have better understanding about this Avantree SP850.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Releasing handphone storage space by cleaning up WhatsApp files

Have you wonder what have silently taken up your handphone / tablet storage space? I bet the top culprit will be messaging apps such as WhatsApp.

WhatsApp stores all your individual and group chatting history in your phone storage, including all the media files and documents which you've sent out and also you've received from others. Over time, it will consume up gigabits of your phone / tablet storage.

Within the WhatsApp application itself does not have any mechanism for you to clean up old files or large files in order to release your handphone storage space.

Anyhow, you can easily locate those files stored by WhatsApp in your phone by using a file manager app such as File Manager + and navigate to the /WhatsApp/Media folder in your phone storage. The files are all there! You can then manually backup and/or delete the files there.

In fact, you can also program an Automate script to perform some sort of automated WhatsApp files housekeeping to release your handphone storage periodically.

Another easier way is to make use of an Android app called Cleaner for WhatsApp by LookAndFeel Lab to do the housekeeping.

Note that there are multiple Android apps call themselves as Cleaner for WhatsApp in the Google Play Store, and I am referring to the one developed by LookAndFeel Lab with the app icon as below:

This Android app is like a specific version of file manager to release handphone storage space taken up by WhatsApp files.

It shows you the total WhatsApp files found and the total storage space taken.

According to the WhatsApp directory structure, Cleaner for WhatsApp is able to list down the number of files and storage space taken by file types:
  • Videos
  • Images
  • Documents
  • Databases
  • Voices
  • Audios
  • Gifs
  • Stickers
  • Profile Photos
  • WallPapers

By entering the folder, it can let you review those files that you sent to others, those that you received from others, and duplicated files.

With a single tap, you can select all the files within the category (received, sent or duplicated), or you can manually select the files one-by-one, for you to perform the delete action. The files can be sorted by size (either large size first or small size first) or date (either oldest first or newest first) to make it easy for batch selection for deletion.

The function that makes a real difference from ordinary file explorer is its auto-clean function, which you can select to periodically check for the WhatsApp file and clean them by date or by size. It provides option for you to select which types of files you want to auto-clean.

With Cleaner for WhatsApp, you are able to release quite a number of handphone storage space occupied by those WhatsApp files. I would suggest LookAndFeel Lab to also provide achieve function beside cleaning to make it even better.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Using Travel Recommends WiFi Router to access Google, Whatsapp, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Youtube, etc. in China

If you are travelling to China, you will expect your Internet access to Google services (including Gmail, Google Maps, Google Calendar, Google Drive, etc.), WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, Telegram, Twitter, Snapchat, Blogspots, Wordpress, YouTube, and thousands over websites and Internet services be blocked and rendered inaccessible by the Great Firewall of China (GFW).

One common way to gain access to those websites and Internet services in China is to subscribe to a dependable and reliable VPN service before you enter into China. There are VPN solutions in the form of computer software as well as mobile apps to tackle the GFW restrictions, but such solutions might be limited to single device usage, not a good idea if you carry several devices (laptop, tablet, smartphone, smart watch, etc.) with you, or if you are travelling with a small group of people (family, friends, colleagues, etc.) in which each of you has one or more devices that need to access to those websites and/or Internet services.

In such case, a portable WiFi router with built-in VPN specifically for use in China is a better solution. The WiFi router is even more important than a local SIM card or roaming service, because as long as you have full Internet access, you can make voice or video calls using WhatsApp, Telegram, WeChat, Line, and other messaging apps.

I have searched around the Internet and found several providers of portable WiFi router available in the market. Some don't specify whether their portable WiFi router has workable VPN function for use in China or not. Some received customers' review about having mobile signal coverage issue, VPN connectivity issue, battery drainage issue, etc.

I have chosen Travel Recommends portable WiFi router as most of its customer's reviews are positive. It might not be the cheapest one in the market, but I believe it is dependable and reliable to ensure my Internet connectivity in China. Its rental price for China of RM28 per day is quite reasonable too. In fact, I really had enjoyable experience with this Travel Recommends portable WiFi router while I was in China, and I am pleased to have made a right choice.

In order to successfully rent a Travel Recommends portable WiFi router, you need to make your reservation at their website at least several days before your departure date.

During reservation, you can choose to have the device courier to you (with additional charges), or to self pick-up at their service counter available at the arrival hall of KLIA, KLIA 2 or Penang Airport. Self pick-up is also available at specific location in Johor Bahru and Kota Kinabalu. For device returning after your travel, you can also choose to courier it back to the company, or to self drop-off at either one of the 5 service counters available.

The package comes with:

  • The portable WiFi router, sharable by up to 5 connected devices at the same time
  • A travel adapter for you to charge the portable WiFi router (which you can use it to supply power to your other devices too)
  • A USB charging cable
  • A pouch to store all the components nicely at one place
You can also opt to include a power bank in the package, with additional charge. If you carry your own power bank, then you won't be necessary to rent the power bank from Travel Recommends.

There is a RM200 deposit collected by Travel Recommends upon making online payment to confirm your rental unit. This deposit will be banked in to your bank account several days after you returned all the rented components to the company.

The portable WiFi router has built-in Li-ion battery, which can last for about 6-8 hours of continuous usage. Whenever you are indoor with available wall socket, just charge it up, and it should be able to last the whole day from morning until midnight without much problem.

For portable WiFi router to be used in China (with or without VPN), Hong Kong and Vietnam, there is a fair usage limit of 1 GB per day. Exceeding the limit will cause your Internet access to be very slow, although still can stay connected. The quota usage is shown in real time on its display for easy check up.

There is unlimited usage for portable WiFi router to be used in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, whist for other countries such as Singapore, Europe, Australia, Canada, USA, Thailand, Indonesia, Cambodia, India and Macau, the daily fair usage limit is capped at 500 MB only.

Rental prices for different countries are not the same, and can be found at their website. On and off they will have promotional price for specific countries.

I think portable WiFi router is an important oversea travelling component for you to carry along while you are abroad, to stay connected to the Internet and remain contactable via messaging apps. This is particularly crucial for travelling in China, as you need a portable WiFi router with dependable and reliable built-in VPN to stay connected to your favourite Internet services.

Hint: Click on the "Older Posts" link to continue reading, or click here for a listing of all my past 3 months articles.