Lazada Is Now An Authorised Apple Reseller

Lazada is now an authorised Apple reseller for the Southeast Asian region, making it the only e-commerce platform in the region to offer the full range of Apple products sourced directly from Apple.
Most of our readers will already know that Lazada has been selling Apple products with local warranties for some time now. But starting 11 December 2017, Lazada will have its own Apple Store within the platform, allowing it to sell the entire range of products from iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, Apple TV, as well as official accessories including Beats headphones and also a host of original Apple covers and cases.
More importantly, buying from the Apple store within Lazada guarantees that the items are 100% original units, backed by local warranties. Customers will also be able to leverage on Lazada features such as hassle-free returns, installment plans, and of course, voucher codes to further reduce the purchase price.

The store opening will also take place just before the finale of Lazada’s month-long Online Revolution event on 12 December, which means customers can look forward to attractive offers for Apple products across the board.
While the official store will only be available on 11 December, you can already take a look at the full catalogue of items available. The items are all listed, but are not yet open for sale. On top of that, it looks like Lazada will also offer bundle deals exclusive to the store, including the iPhone X and MacBook.
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Bank Negara To Waive Instant Transfer Fee For Amounts Less Than RM5,000 From July 2018

Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) wants to push Malaysians towards electronic banking, and e-payments in general, by waiving the instant transfer fee for online transactions. It is also taking steps to resolve the fragmented QR code payment market by introducing an Interoperable Credit Transfer Framework (ICTF).
Online instant transfers of less than RM5,000 will see the 50 sen fee removed from 1 July 2018, making the option more attractive for individuals and SMEs. This fee removal does not apply to large businesses. This is to encourage locals to turn to online banking, and reduce the reliance on cheques.
Waiving the fee is only the first step in BNM’s three year plan to support businesses and individuals. The e-Payment Incentive Fund (ePIF) is also being expanded to RM198 million in a bid to help merchants migrate to e-payments.

Also more importantly, the ICTF is being set up to streamline the numerous QR code based digital wallets that have appeared in the last year. This framework would connect both banks and non-bank e-money issuers to transfer funds across each other. Essentially allowing making QR codes displayed for payments platform agnostic.
“To encourage QR code payment, avoid market fragmentation and broaden financial inclusion, Bank Negara Malaysia has issued an Interoperable Credit Transfer Framework (ICTF) for consultation. The ICTF aims to connect both banks and eligible non-bank e-money issuers to ensure reachability of bank accounts and e-money accounts,” said BNM governor Muhammad bin Ibrahim.
PayNet, the combined form of MEPS and MyClear, will be in charge of the framework; allowing the digital wallet providers to focus on competing for customers on the basis of “value-added services rather than on the basis of infrastructure.” A move that should alleviate the problem of having so many digital wallets appear within the last three months.
[Source: BNM]
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This is PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds New Miramar Desert Map; Out of Early Access 20 December

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds really is one of the most successful games released this year, and not too long ago, PUBG Corp – the new company in charge of the game – revealed the name of its new desert map, Miramar. Now, we have our first real look at the new environment.
Miramar will be available to all players on 20 December, but for those who can’t wait, it will go live on PUBG’s test server later today. Aside from that, the game’s 1.0 update will also roll out on 20 December, effectively bringing the game out of its early access status. It’s really quite an important update too: it introduces a slew of performance improvements along with the highly anticipated vaulting mechanic.
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Apple Unveils its 2017 Best of App Store, iTunes and Apple Music in Southeast Asia

Apple has unveiled its best of 2017 for Southeast Asia, highlighting the best of App Store, iTunes, and Apple Music. It shows the top trends, most popular apps and games, top movies and TV shows, and most listened to music and artists for the year 2017.
According to Apple, the top trends of the year 2017 are:

Augmented reality: AR has change the way people interact with the world around us y blending digital objects into the real world through our mobile phones. There are plenty of apps and games leveraging on this technology such as Pokemon Go, AR Dragon, Holo, Player Piano 3D, and even books such as My Very Hungry Caterpillar that brings the classic children’s book character to life.
Competitive gaming: In 2017, Apple saw a rise in users interested in real-time competitive gaming. Popular competitive games include golden oldies like Clash Royale and Hearthstone, and even new ones like Modern Combat Versus, and more.
Gamifying fitness: One of the best way to start exercising and keeping to the routine is to gamify it. Some of the best apps include Standland, Zombies, Run!, Wokamon – Fitness Game, 7 Minute Superhero Workout and more.
Facial transformation: This is no surprise; one of the top trends in 2017 would definitely have to be facial transformation apps. Photo editing apps such as B612, BeautyPlus, FaceApp, Facetune 2, MSQRD, and more allowed people not only to digitally enhance their pictures, they also allowed users to add in real-time masks and filters.

As for the top apps and games of the year, these are the results:

2017 iPhone App of the Year: Enlight Videoleap2017 iPhone Game of the Year: Splitter Critters2017 iPad App of the Year: Affinity Photo2017 iPad Game of the Year: Old Man’s Journey

On Apple Music, the top song of 2017 is Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You”. The artist also wins the top album of the year with ÷. Bruno Mars comes in on a close second on the album chart with “24K Magic”. K-pop artists BigBang and G Dragon also made it to the top charts.
The top charts on iTunes featured powerful female protagonists who inspire such as “Moana”, “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” and “Wonder Woman” all within the top five. Other notable mentions include “Harry Potter Complete Collection”, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”, as well as family-friendly musicals like “Sing” and “Trolls”.
Image credit: Teresa Lim of @teeteeheehee. Illustrated on #iPadPro and #ApplePencil with Tayasui Sketches Pro
Here are the top charts for Southeast Asia:
Free iPhone Apps:

Grab – Ride Hailing App
WhatsApp Messenger
YouTube: Watch Listen Stream
oBike – Bike Sharing
Google Maps – GPS Navigation
Gmail – Email by Google
Spotify Music
Google Chrome
My Singtel app
foodpanda – Food Delivery
UberEATS: Food Delivery
Google Translate
Healthy 365

Paid iPhone Apps

Gudak Cam
Scanner for Me + OCR
Forest by Seekrtech
Tabs & Chords – learn and play
Analog Paris
Plotagraph+ Photo Animator
The Wonder Weeks
ProCam 5
Slow Shutter Cam
Halide – RAW Manual Camera
Pixomatic photo editor
Fontmania – Add Artworks & Text to Your Photos!

Free iPhone Games

Mobile Legends: Bang Bang
Super Mario Run
Fight List – Categories Game
Coin Master
Word Cookies!
Candy Crush Saga
8 Ball Pool™
Clash Royale
Episode – Choose Your Story
Pokémon GO
Lords Mobile
Piano Tiles 2™
Subway Surfers
Asphalt 8: Airborne
Roll the Ball® – slide puzzle
Toy Blast
Choices: Stories You Play
Clash of Clans
Cookie Run: OvenBreak
Critical Ops

Paid iPhone Games

Football Manager Mobile 2017
Monopoly Game
Monument Valley 2
Plague Inc.
Assassin’s Creed Identity
Hitman Sniper
Mini Metro
Heads Up!
Exploding Kittens® – The Official Game
Bully: Anniversary Edition
NBA 2K18
Street Fighter IV CE
Monument Valley
F1 2016
Iron Marines
Don’t Starve: Pocket Edition
Geometry Dash

Free iPad Apps

YouTube: Watch Listen Stream
Messenger for WhatsApp – App for iPad
Google Chrome
The Calculator
Gmail – Email by Google
YouTube Kids
Viu HD
Microsoft Word
Google Maps – GPS Navigation
Microsoft Excel
Google Drive
Spotify Music
Skype for iPad
Microsoft PowerPoint
Messenger for WhatsApp – iPad Chat Version

Paid iPad Apps

Duet Display
GoodNotes 4
GoodReader – PDF Reader Annotator and File Manager
MyScript Nebo
WinZip Pro – The Leading Zip Unzip & RAR Tool
Affinity Photo
PDF Expert by Readdle
Book Creator for iPad
Messenger for WhatsApp PRO
Notepad+ Pro
Explain Everything™ Classic
Green Screen by Do Ink
Scanner for Me + OCR
PAW Patrol – Rescue Run HD
Toca Life: Hospital

Free iPad Games

Super Mario Run
Mobile Legends: Bang Bang
Clash Royale
Word Cookies!
Coin Master
Subway Surfers
Roll the Ball® – slide puzzle
Piano Tiles 2™
Candy Crush Saga
Asphalt 8: Airborne
Lords Mobile
Cooking Fever
War Robots
Pokémon GO
Minion Rush
Plants vs. Zombies™ 2
Clash of Clans
Block! Hexa Puzzle

Paid iPad Games

Monument Valley 2
Football Manager Mobile 2017
Geometry Dash
Assassin’s Creed Identity
Football Manager Touch 2017
Scribblenauts Unlimited
Monument Valley
Iron Marines
Mini Metro
Plague Inc.
Bloons TD 5 HD
F1 2016
Teeny Titans – Teen Titans Go! Figure Battles
LEGO® Jurassic World™
RollerCoaster Tycoon® Classic
Five Nights at Freddy’s: Sister Location
Draw a Stickman: EPIC 2

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Soulcalibur VI Announced At The Game Awards 2017

Soulcalibur VI has been announced in a surprise move from Bandai-Namco. There’s little information beyond a single teaser trailer, although we do know that the game will at least be headed to PC for the first time.
The game is set for a release in 2018, and will be headed to PlayStation, PC (through Steam), and Xbox One. Curiously, there is no mention of the Nintendo Switch this time around. Although, we’re quite sure a port will be made available somewhere down the road.
There seems to be a sort of renaissance of long forgotten franchises this year, with both Mario and Sonic receiving positive reviews for their games. Whether Soulcalibur and Mega Man can follow in their footsteps next year remains to be seen; but it’s good to see that these games aren’t abandoned.

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Freefly Movi Brings Cinematic Gimbal Experience To Consumers

Freefly Systems, a company that specialises in stabilisers for professional cinematographers, is getting into the smartphone business. The company is applying its niche skillset to build the Movi; a gimbal that stands out of the rest due to its shape and easy-to-use operations.
The Movi’s three-axis stabiliser features an L-shaped design, with the controls on a handle located to the right of the iPhone. This version only supports the iPhones, including larger models like the iPhone 8 Plus.
Several preset shooting modes will be included in the accompanying Movi app, like the standard stablization mode (called Majestic mode here) and the ability to lock the camera on a single subject Orbit mode. On this note, Freefly admits that the built in OIS on the iPhone may clash with the Movi’s own stabilisation. Which may cause artefacts while using the Majestic mode.
Freefly mentioned that it is working with Apple’s AR kit to further enhance the gimbal so that it can intelligently track subjects.

The Freefly Movi will be available starting from next year, with a sticker price of US$ 299 (RM 1,218).
(Source: Wired )
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Grab Receives Approval From Bank Negara Malaysia To Deliver e-Money Service In 2018

Grab today has announced that Bank Negara Malaysia has approved its application to offer GrabPay e-money service in our market. This service is not to be confused with the card payment option in the existing Grab app which is also called GrabPay.
Instead, the GrabPay e-money service allows users to utilize Grab as payment method outside of their Grab rides. Nevertheless, the features will still be made available within Grab app itself which means that users don’t have to download a separate app.
From what we know from its implementation in Singapore, GrabPay uses QR code as its main interface and users do need to top-up GrabPay Credits into their GrabPay wallet in order to utilize it for payment. As a security measure, Grab has implemented a six-digit PIN called GrabPay PIN as the second factor authentication for the service.
According to Grab, the GrabPay e-money service in Malaysia will be rolled out in stages within the first half of 2018.
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Facebook Releases its Year in Review 2017

Facebook recently released its Year in Review 2017 that highlights the top moments for this year. It’s been a pretty grim year (on Facebook at least) with many disasters happening across the world, but thankfully, Facebook saw how everyone around the world came together on its network to support one another.
On top of that, as with every year, the social networking company also released personalised Year in Review summary, compiling the top moments for every individual user.

According to Facebook, the top three moments that were discussed globally in 2017 were:

International Women’s Day: the number one most talked about moment of 2017.
Super Bowl 51: Facebook had more than 262 million views of Super Bowl-related videos on the platform.
Las Vegas Violence: This tragic incident had people talking about it around the world, with more than 3,300 people offering to help their community through Facebook’s Crisis Response tools.

The top three moments that saw people come to each other’s aid were:

Earthquake in Mexico: This incident saw the highest number of total interactions within Crisis Response on Facebook for the year, with millions of people marking themselves safe, and others offering to help their community or donating to the cause.
Hurricane Harvey: People all came together and raised over US$20 million, the biggest fundraising effort for a single crisis in 2017 on Facebook.
One Love Manchester: The most viewed video and live broadcast on Facebook in 2017, this benefit concert generated over 80 million views and raised more than $450,000 for those affected by the Manchester terror attack.

Finally, Facebook also highlighted the top events that saw people connecting in person by creating Events on Facebook were:

Total Solar Eclipse: Facebook brought the world together through more than 20,000 Facebook Events in more than 80 countries.
Women’s March on DC: This event, which happened early this year, saw over 500,000 people together through the largest Facebook event for a single cause in 2017.

All these seem to be heavily influenced by the U.S., so what about something you can relate to a little better? Check out Facebook’s personalised Year in Review page for your own Year in Review. It gathers the moments from the past year that you’ve shared or been tagged in, and compiles them into a short video. Do proceed with caution though, Facebook still isn’t very good at filtering out bad moments, so do edit your video before you share them.

(Source: Facebook)
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Nvidia Unleashes The Titan V; Its Most Powerful Titan Graphics Card

Nvidia has, rather surprisingly, unveiled its newest graphics card called the Titan V. As its name implies, Nvidia’s new flagship graphics card is based off of the company’s Volta architecture. Interestingly, we’ve actually seen this graphics card before thanks to a leak allegedly from an Nvidia intern in May.
That aside, when it comes to specifications, the Nvidia Titan V is equipped with the Volta-based GV100 GPU (12nm), which is even further enhanced with 12GB of HBM2 memory (first ever Titan graphics card to have this memory controller). In addition, this graphics card also features 5,120 CUDA Cores, 640 Tensor Cores, and a single-precision floating point compute performance of 15 TFLOPS. Meanwhile, clock speeds of the Nvidia Titan V is rated at 1200MHz (base) and 1455MHz (boost).

All of the specifications stated above are, of course, higher compared to the older Pascal-based Titan Xp graphics card; the only exception being slower clock speeds on the new Titan V. Due to the use of HBM2, the Nvidia’s newest graphics card now boasts a memory bandwidth speed of 653GBps – 106GBps higher than the Titan Xp. One “new” feature that comes with the Titan V that is absent on the Titan Xp is Tensor Performance for deep learning (110 TFLOPS).
Design-wise, the Titan V graphics card seem to come with the same cooler shroud and cooling system as the Titan Xp. That said, the cooler shroud on the Titan V does come in flamboyant gold – probably to reflect its insane horsepower. Speaking of insanity, Nvidia has mentioned that the Titan V will come at a ludicrous price of US$2,999 (about RM12,222). At this price point, it seems rather obvious that this graphics card isn’t aimed towards PC gamers at all.
(Source: Nvidia)
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Bezel-less Sony Xperia Photos Leak Online

Photos of next year’s Sony Xperia smartphone have appeared online, showing two different designs that Sony could be using for its supposedly bezel-less flagship smartphone.
One picture shows a curvier design than modern Sony smartphones. It has similarities to other major manufacturers’ current designs, and is unlike Sony’s tried and tested look. This design looks like it ends up ditching the side-mounted power button-fingerprint scanner combo.
The other look has a more classic Sony Xperia design, but in a taller arrangement. It looks like the new 18:9 aspect ratio that everyone is going for, and somehow maintains the monolithic black aesthetic for which the Xperia is known. On the back, there is a combination glossy and matte surfaces, and along with what could be the fingerprint scanner.

Both designs are said to feature 5.7-inch 4K displays and dual cameras. One will be arranging the lenses arranged in a style similar to the LG V30, while the other adopts something closer to the iPhone 8.
Of course take these design with a grain of salt, as these samples may just be engineering prototypes. Still, we are cautiously happy that Sony is finally leaving the Xperia Z design and embracing a new look for their 2018 flagship. Look forward to more reveals during MWC 2018.
(Source: My Drivers, GSMArena)
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