Transferring cash overseas hasn’t really been something I’ve been interested in until recently. With my younger brother now doing the Kiwi right of passage OE, it was time to hunt down a way to quickly and easily send him money if he needed it. The first thing I did learn is that pounds vs dollars exchange rate is not doing us any favours. Ouch.
An app, for me, is essential. With the first transfer being free, WorldRemit was my first point of call, and works all easily from my Nexus 6P. I reached out to them, and with a small amount of provided credit, I tried out my very first transfer.
Firstly, I am not a big fan of an app being a heavily crippled version of the full website. A great app is one where I can accomplish just about everything I could, instead of using the website. To test WorldRemit out, I signed up using just the app. It all worked, and all the tasks I use are in the app – checking what a transfer will cost with the current exchange rates, initiating a transfer and then seeing a log of what’s been done.
Receiving a transfer can be done in a variety of ways, and are really dependent on the destination. I tested sending money to Uganda (better than to a Nigeria prince, but barely) and was given these options:
Picking a recipient is also quick:
Once the recipient is selected, the final confirmation is shown which allows you to do the transfer:
(I forgot to put in the promo code before taking the screenshot, there was no transfer fee).
On the next screen, I loaded in my credit card and the money transferred almost immediately. Easy.
My only gripe with the process was a lack of communication when a security issue comes up. While doing this review, and not long after this transfer, my account was locked. It seemed that my transfer from my new account to a user in Uganda had raised red flags, and their automated security processes had locked me out. While it is impressive that WorldRemit do take security seriously, a quick email to me as the customer would’ve saved a few days of head scratching.
Other than that it was all quick, easy and painless. Everything you need from a money transfer app.
Disclaimer: WorldRemit provided me with $20 credit to try out the transfer process, which I transferred to one of their employees. This review was not paid for.
Anyone who has used the eWay payment gateway for processing credit cards, will have come across this. If there is an issue, rather than alert you with what the issue is, the eWay API will give you a five digit response code, which you then have to decipher. Not helpful.
Chatting to their helpdesk today, they don’t provide all 235 different codes as a simple download (too easy I know), so using some regex magic from their documentation, I’ve dropped them all into one easy to import CSV file.
Import into your database of choice, and more meaningful eWay error codes are only a query away!
The first international podcast conference in the region hits Auckland this Fri/Sat. Features an incredible lineup of speakers representing podcasting, radio, TV, marketing and communications. Do you know anyone who should be there?
With a massive line up of 12 speakers from all sides of the podcasting world, it’ll be a very informative two days. If you are interested in podcast, or run your own, this will be a great investment.
(Even if you can’t make it, you can buy tickets to stream it online… perfect!)
Continuing on in my Huawei fanboyism (last blog post was about the Huawei G8), I couldn’t help but also review the Nexus 6P, which seems to have been crowned the best Android phone on the market right now. Much to my surprise, all the online reviews I read raved about this phone, so I had to see what all the fuss was about.
First thing you notice about this phone: it’s big. At 5.7” it’s definitely a phablet, and a smidgen bigger than the iPhone 6s Plus (5.5”). Screen is AMOLED, protected by Gorilla Glass 4, with a resolution of 1440 x 2560 (518 ppi). Unlike Huawei’s other phones, this one runs pure Android (Marshmellow). Processor is a quad-core 1.55 Ghz Cortex-A53 with 3GB RAM. Camera is 12.3MP, and powering the show is a massive 3,450mAh battery.
Boring specs out of the way, what’s the good stuff this phone has to offer?
Speed. Coming from Samsung’s TouchWiz and Huawei’s Emotion UI, the pure Android experience is dreamy. Camera opens quickly, swapping between apps is quick, and turning WiFI, mobile data and any of the other features on and off is quick. If you switch developer options on, you can make the animations even shorter.
Camera. Best camera I’ve ever used, especially in low light. This photo I took at New Years, and even after I’d had a beer or six, it’s pretty clear.
One annoying feature of the camera is if you swipe right to turn on the camera, after you finish recording a video, the phone takes you back to photo mode.
Finger print reader. This is located on the back centre just under the camera. It’s pretty quick to respond, and its much better than typing in a pin or swiping a pattern to unlock your phone. You can also setup smart unlock, which means the phone won’t require a finger print if you’re at the office or at home.
Power. This phone doesn’t have your stock standard micro USB, but has an USB Type-C connector. At the moment, this is a double edged sword: on one hand, you can get up to seven hours of use after 10 minutes of charge (haven’t test this yet, though it’s all over their marketing collateral). The downside is because it’s not so common, if you forget your charger, you’re not going to be able to find someone who has a spare.
There must be some bad stuff: You can’t remove the battery, and you can’t add a memory card to get more storage. Some reviews have talked about not liking the protruding camera on the back (I don’t think it’s much of an issue) and the fact it doesn’t support wireless charging.
All in all, I think this is the perfect Android phone. The formula that’s been a success if a good form factor, speedy hardware with a big battery, paired with pure, no frills Android.
I liked it so much that I bought my own 64GB version the day I returned the review unit back to Huawei.
No more phone reviews after this I promise.
It doesn’t take a genius to realise that dropping and thereby smashing your smartphone screen is not a smart move; this, however, is what I did with my Huawei P8 that I received at the Singapore launch back in June this year. The Huawei free screen repair really saved my bacon, and after sweet talking their PR department, I was able to try a new G8 while my phone was in the shop.
When pictured next to my P8 (left), the G8 doesn’t seem much bigger, but it definitely is. Sporting a 5.5 inch full HD screen, pixel density of 401ppi, it’s a crisp, clear screen. The screen sort of curves up from the chassis of the phone, which I don’t personally like; I prefer the much more flush design of the P8.
It runs Android 5.1 Lollipop which Huawei’s Emotion UI sitting on top. Reading a few of the other online reviews, I can see a lot of angst against this, however, I’m very comfortable with this, though it took a lot of getting used to having been in TouchWiz (Samsung) for so long.
On the back is a fingerprint reader, which at first glance seems to be a silly place to put (Nexus 5 users would obviously disagree), however it’s naturally where your index finger goes when picking up the phone. The reader is super quick, and super accurate – trying it on a few friends, their were no false positive reads.
Great battery life (3000mAh) and the power saving functions of Emotion UI means I was easily able to get a full day’s use. I did find that the phone would slow down when lots of apps were in use, however it’s unfair to expect the G8 to perform similarily to the top end phones.
Price point is fantastic. At $575 from Noel Leeming, it’s only a little smaller than the Samsung Galaxy Note 5, but nearly half the price.
For the average Android user, this is the perfect first foray into a phablet. Not sure if I’ll be happy going back to my smaller P8.