Posted in Android, Mobile App, Telco

GCash Mobile App Errors

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On Tuesday night my App Store prompted me for the latest GCash mobile app update, Version 5.11.1. When I opened the app the next day, I was greeted with several errors. I shouldn’t really be surprised as GCash mobile app update tend to bring a slew of bugs with it especially in connection with account verification issues.

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Even when it clearly says my account is fully verified, the app still prompts me to verify when I tapped on PayPal to attempt a cash-in.

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Thinking that tapping through the verification process would quickly take me to the cash-in page, I waited and waited and waited. I logged in and logged out of the app but I would still see the same message to wait 30 minutes.

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An hour passed and I wondered if the Android version had the same update. I opened the GCash mobile app on my Android phone and luckily for me I was able to proceed with my PayPal to GCash cash-in.

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Five or six hours later, I decided to check on my GCash app on my iPhone and I didn’t encounter the verification prompt anymore.

The lesson here is to make sure to open your GCash mobile app right after you finish the update. Or better yet keep an Android phone just in case.

 

 

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Posted in Android, Food Delivery, Lifestyle, Mobile App, Telco, Travel

Best Mobile Apps in Vietnam For Expats and Tourists

My first travel experience in Vietnam was not a very pleasant one and looking back, I knew I had to write about this guide to the best mobile apps to use in Vietnam for tourists and travelers. These are the best mobile apps to use in Vietnam whichever city you may be in:

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GRAB – I will primarily start with the transport service mobile app Grab because of that not so pleasant incident when I first arrived in Ho Chi Minh via the land border. When you don’t know the language of the place you’re going into in Southeast Asia, Grab can be trusted to give you the correct fares and take you safely to your booked accommodation. It’s not uncommon for unsuspecting Ho Chi Minh tourists to report being charged ridiculous exorbitant fares by unregistered taxi drivers. If you came from a neighbouring country like Thailand, Laos or Cambodia and you already have a Grab account, you can still use your Grab mobile app to book a ride to get to your hotel. If you’re coming to Vietnam via the land border, you’ll be glad to know some buses offer free WiFi and this will allow you to book a Grab ride long before the bus leaves the drop-off spot. If you’re coming in via an international flight, the airports offer free WiFi too.

I personally have taken more Grab Bike rides than the Grab Car/Taxi ones because I prefer to look around and explore.

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GOOGLE TRANSLATE – There aren’t a lot of Vietnamese on the street you can ask clear directions or recommendations about so you need Google Translate mobile app for communicating with them.

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Google Translate mobile app does not always get it right but it can get across the general idea of what you’re trying to inquire.

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MY VIETTEL/MY MOBIFONE – If you intend to stay longer than a week, you might want to get serious about buying a local SIM card. You can see Viettel and Mobifone SIM cards being sold in airports and some currency exchangers even sell them. Once you have bought a SIM card, you can download the corresponding mobile app. I had a brief experience with using Mobifone last year so I cannot write about it. I’ve used Viettel the longest. You can top up at Circle K or Vinamart convenience stores or any stores with the sign boards Viettel or Mobifone.

A local SIM card is very useful for answering your Grab driver’s calls. Even if I don’t understand the driver, I would ask for help from a guard or valet nearby to assist me by letting them talk to the driver on my behalf. No need to be shy. It’s also useful for food delivery.

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NOW.VN/FOODY – NOW.VN or Foody is a food delivery service with many merchants to use from ranging from lunch, drinks, desserts, or fast food. There are a lot of healthy choices and some stores offer discounts. My only problem with NOW.VN is the debit card limitation – it won’t accept my home country-issued Visa and MasterCard debit cards. I’ve tried only to be greeted with a card declined confirmation.

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I could only pay in cash for my orders. However, you will be granted 1,000 VND credits to your Foody account after a completed delivery.

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VIETNAMMM – Vietnammm is also a food delivery service although it’s not as varied as Foody, its best feature is the availability of PayPal as a payment option. I did compare the menu of one restaurant which is also listed on Foody and the latter has one item more. You can filter your searches via payment options as well.

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CGV CINEMAS – There are more CGV Cinemas here in Hanoi and I’ve used it to check schedules. Pre-booking cinema tickets is not ideal for those holding a non-local debit card. Again, this has something to do with the same debit card limitation I mentioned with the Foody mobile app. I could only really browse for schedules on the day I’m watching the movie as their schedules often vary. By downloading the app and signing up for an account, you are eligible to earn rewards points for money spent as long as you present the CGV Cinemas mobile app to the ticket counter for QR scanning.

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LOTTE CINEMA VIETNAM – There are more Lotte Cinema branches in Ho Chi Minh than there are in Hanoi. It’s a shame there is no IMAX theatre here, though.

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SPEED LOTTE – I only knew about Speed Lotte mobile app because one store clerk approached me about it and had me sign up while I was browsing tissue boxes at Lotte Mart. Speed Lotte allows you to pick items on their grocery menu and Lotte Mart will have it delivered to your doorstep.

Posted in Android, Mobile App

My Experience With PawnHero Philippines

At a time when I was strapped for a bit cash but don’t really need the full amount usually guaranteed by pawnshops which accept most iPhone versions and was too lazy to go around scouting for pawnshops, I was glad PawnHero Philippines was already there.

It was sometime in June 2017 when I tried PawnHero, an online pawnshop of some sort. At the time, I previously had my iPhone 6 Plus pawned to a local pawnshop which offered me a great deal but I was too burdened by the interest. I had to use my Android phone extensively while my iPhone 6 Plus was on a sabbatical and that was how I discovered the PawnHero mobile app in Google Play Store.

The PawnHero mobile app has a simple interface from registration of members to pawning your electronic gadget. There is a guideline, of course, as to which electronic gadgets are accepted. I sent photos of my iPhone 6 Plus and the accessories I still have for it and within 24 hours, I received a confirmation that my item was accepted. I also was able to pick the loan terms from 3 or 4 options – I picked the PhP6,543 loan for a 1-month period. I chose the details for the pick-up of the item and their delivery guy made sure I had the photocopy of a valid identification card and that my signature was also on the copy of the PawnHero form for when I complete the loan period.

The PhP6,543 loaned to me was even easier to claim because I chose to be paid via Coins.ph and the transfer was instant. (If you don’t have a Coins.ph account yet, just click on link to register.) I remembered paying PhP6,959 when I finally made the claim in August. I paid the loaned amount plus the interest using my Coins.ph account, too. It did not even take a few days after payment for my iPhone 6 Plus to be returned to the address I chose in the same condition as I had pawned it a month ago. The PawnHero delivery guy made sure I opened the package and checked my items thoroughly before he left.

PawnHero’s customer service is prompt and I definitely recommend you try pawning your electronic gadgets when you need a bit of cash for a while. I was invited by PawnHero to one of their seminars in Makati back in September-October 2017 but I declined as I was in another location at the time. This article is my way of telling them I did appreciate their services while encouraging others to try Pawn Hero, too.

 

Posted in Android, Mobile App

Dropbox Notification Sync Problem

Yesterday I noticed something odd with the Dropbox app on Android. The phone’s notification for the status of a photo or file pending upload doesn’t seem to sync well with the actual Dropbox app’s activity. I had noticed this problem in the past once but did pass it off as an isolated case. Apparently I was proven wrong yesterday.

I was trying to upload a cropped photo to my Dropbox app when I noticed that the notification “1 file remaining” remained stationary even after when I saw within the Dropbox app a confirmation of the photo upload.

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What’s supposed to be a real time notification is actually a 12-minute delay. No matter how long I waited that notification did not update.

I hope they fix the notification real-time sync in the Dropbox Android app pronto.