17 May 2016

Beat the price increase with Xbox Live Gold : South Africa

So Microsoft is doing a douche financial move - they're more than doubling the SA Xbox Live subscription fee. There's only one thing for it - stock up now before the price increase hits!

Here's my simple (possibly painfully complicated :)) process:
(pardon the hastily drawn up blog post with terrible screenshots and indentations)

  1. Go to your Microsoft account page
  2. Select Service & Subscriptions
    and select show more
  3. Get more Gold
  4. (as an aside, I currently have 30.5GB free space on OneDrive but MS is reducing that to 5GB ... good luck to all the businesses running Office 365... MS isn't showing much favorable behaviour at the moment. They've even acquired Sunrise calendar and now they're discontinuing it :( ).

Choose your subscription, then follow the confirmation prompts, and voila! You'll get no confirmation of the purchase and will be dumped at an Xbox settings home page, none the wiser ...

To verify your subscription status, go back to the Services & Subscriptions page and confirm the new expiry and renewal dates. The best thing about doing the R50 monthly thing is you won't be screwed royally if you accidentally forget to cancel the auto-renew. You'll get enough warning to cancel it yourself before you are hit with a massive 12-month subscription price increase... you'll suffer one month of losses but that's better than the equivalent 12-month subscription auto-renewal coming off your account. 

10 May 2016

Android Angles: Contacts+, one of the most versatile contact apps for Android

I'm a complete perfectionist and it is the worst experience ever to have an Android device. There are far too many choices and I just can't decide which is the right one.

In order to save you from the same nightmare of choice, I present to you an app that I think will cover almost all the bases for those needing a better Contact management experience on their device.

I present... Contacts+ as enjoyed (or at least, installed) by more than 10 million users.

Why do I like this app? Well, it's not perfect, for starters, but it seems to cover my wishlist for a contacts management app:

  • Simple, intuitive, fairly minimalist interface
  • One-stop app to cover all my basic communication needs
  • Duplicate Contact management
  • SMS conversation management (including deleting multiple SMSes easily)
  • Fast dial functionality
  • Unknown number identification
  • Cloud backup
Looking through my list you'd think I was asking for the impossible. But thankfully, I found my home with Contacts+.

I must say from the outset that it's not at all 100% perfect in all departments - in fact, on a loan Samsung Galaxy S4 I found that received SMSes were blank "MMS" ... could have been the sender though, because other users were fine. At any rate, my experience has been around 95% satisfactory which is a large step up from using seven different mediocre individually focused apps.

Let's get started then, shall we?