Friday, August 1, 2014

Xiaomi MI3 Data Saver Function, Is It Worth It? [Opinion]

In the latest ROM updates from Xiaomi, they added a feature that they say can save data bandwidth.
Quite a nifty feature especially for those with a limited internet quota.

But is that all to it? no catch? Well, first we have to understand how it works.
In theory, Xiaomi takes the data from User 1 & instead of it going straight to the other User 2,the data goes the Xioami's Servers & compressed. (ie: Raw data = 10MB being compressed to 5MB)

Then, these compressed data are then sent to User 2.
Though privacy may be a concern, but that's a different topic altogether, which should be discussed separately.

So far it looks good right?
Well, this aren't really new as the same methodology has been used by many companies like Google's Chrome browser before.

As Google limits it to their browser only, Xiaomi is a bit ambitious in applying it to all internet related activities. Well, there's a good reason for Google to be cautious.

Imagine it like trying to save on highway tolls, you go through trunk or non-toll roads. It'll be cheaper of course, but it'll be a longer route & tend be riskier (road conditions, traffic lights, congested traffic, etc).

Same thing is happening here, by redirecting the data to their own servers, in general you are incurring more cost to cope with the increased traffic.

If you are not spending enough money on CAPEX to accommodate these traffic, well..

 Below is the test that I did today to ascertain whether is it actually worth it to try the Data Saver function.
Quite substantial amount of bandwidth saved to be honest.

Notice the ping, it is horrendous! Like it is in USA.
But in reality, it's in KL only, & I'm in KL too.
Just to be sure, checked again. Same issue, very high ping.

Then I turned it off to check.
Tadaa!!! Very different performance.
Tried again with different server, still fast enough.
From the simple test, you can see that speed is very, very poor when Data Saver function is turned on.

No denying that it saved a lot of data bandwidth, but is it really worth it?

My opinion, use the Data Saver function when it is very crucial for you to be connected to the internet AND your quota is almost finished.

If not, just keep it off as until they improved the server speed, it'll just be nice to see type of function.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Facebook Beta for Android (Update)

I'm not really the type to install an app and be done with it.
Can't remember when but a friend posted in FB that it's now open for public to join FB App Beta Group.

The reasons to use a beta app (or not) are as below though it can be more as these are just my opinions.

1. All the bugs
2. Constant updates (sometimes 2-3 times a day)

1. Latest updates
2. Can comment and possibly be heard by the FB Dev Team
3. Higher compatibility with custom ROMs as most issues are fixed consatntly

Here's how to get the FB Beta App:

1) Join the Facebook for Android Beta Testers Google group
2) Allow beta downloads by clicking Become a Tester in the Play Store (you need to join the Google Group before becoming a tester)
3) Download Facebook from the Play Store to update your app
4) Join the Facebook for Android Beta Testers group on Facebook to tell us what you think


Do you notice anything different about the interface? :)
Current version before update. Weird numbering no?
Quite a size for just an update
The latest version

It seems that just one of those days where FB updates itself more than once a day

The latest, latest version today. Quite a bump up I see

Friday, July 25, 2014

Android App from Xiaomi to check Mi3 Authenticity (with translation)

Apparently, even the great Xiaomi is not spared from being counterfeited.

There are a lot of fake Xiaomi phones in the market as it is fueled by the humongous demand paired with very few supply (Xiaomi only sell through flash sales).

Besides from raiding stores with authorities, Xiaomi has developed an application (still in beta phase) to help customers identify whether the phone is original or fake.

It is in Chinese language though but I've ran through Google Translate app, it's not perfect but you'll get the gist of it :)


Pic 1: The front page of the app website. 

Pic 2: It has Mi logo, so should be trustworthy?
Pic 3: After installing the app, I ran it & this is the result screen.

Pic 4: Translated as "Details"

Pic 5: Translated as "Model"

Pic 6: Unicorn Version? LoL!~
Pic 7: "Buy Channels" = "How you buy" perhaps?

Pic 8: "Online sales" means via the Xiaomi Flash Sales
Pic 9: "Sales Time" = Date it was bought (20/5/2014)

Pic 10: "Warranty Time" = Warranty Expiry Date (1 year)

Pic 11: "Share Results" = Share to other apps

Pic 12: "Detailed Configuration" = Hardware & Software Details

Pic13: I think they mean Original Mi3? :)

Pic 14: I guess the hardware has been verified :)

All in all,I'd give it a 85% score, very useful but would be better if it's in English too as Mi3 phones are sold to other countries besides China too.

Then again, I can't really determine the validity of the app as I do not have a fake Xiaomi to verify.

Until then, it's better to have something than nothing.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Disk Usage for Xiaomi MI3

One thing about having a phone with limited memory is that the effort needed to maintain such resource. 

Of course when I bought Xiaomi MI3 I've already considered this & bought a few OTG USB drives but some days, I just forget to bring this drives, so it's crucial to have some space available in case you needed it. 

So here comes DiskUsage App where you can download here

It has a very simple interface & a user friendly system. 
After installation, just select which memory to scan. 

After it finished scanning, you can instantly recognize which folder consumed the most memory & space. 

You can use pinch gesture to zoom in or out. 

Click a folder, then click show tab, it will use the default file explorer app to open that folder, then you can do whatever you want with those files, move it, delete it, etc. 

I highly recommend this app for android users. 

Failed to update Xiaomi MI3 [solved]

For my Xiaomi Mi3, I already downloaded & flashed to Dev ROM Kitkat 4.4.3, stock ROM is Jellybean 4.3
I am currently on build 4.7.11 & as always, MIUI will give a weekly update, so the latest revision is build 4.7.18

As usual, just open the Updater App to check whether if you have any available updates.

MIUI Updater showing if there are any updates