Friday, September 23, 2011

Popcorn movie app blows away the competition

There is no shortage of apps in the App Store to look up movie times, but none of them have been very good. Until now that is.

A new free app, Popcorn, has just been launched that blows the competition out of the water.

Popcorn look cleanly designed, loads quickly and makes it very easy to look up screening times, and to book or reserve tickets.

Unlike other apps which tend to be a thin app front-end over a slow web database, Popcorn is fast, stable and responsive.

Launch the app and (after the database loads), you can immediately look up movies or cinemas or even drill down to a specific movie at a specific cinema.

If you prefer to browse, you can scroll through a list of movies, get its Rotten Tomatoes rating and a short writeup of the movie. The app also links directly to the movie's trailer on YouTube.

What's the best thing one can say about this app? It just works. If you watch movies regularly, forget the other apps. Popcorn is the only app you'll need.

(Note: The developer is also running a contest and giving away free movie tickets. There are 10 pairs to be given away. To take part, click on the More tab. And if you type in iMerlion as your promo code, you get triple the chances of winning.)

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Monday, September 5, 2011

ST's subscription plan means paying more for less

Newspaper companies love to give out dead trees. For evidence, check out the Straits Times. Even though the paper now has a pretty good iPhone and iPad app, ST still really, really wants to put the dead tree version into the hands of readers.

Based on its recently announced subscription plan, it is now cheaper to subscribe to the newspaper and the digital editions together than it is to subscribe to the digital editions alone. If you only want to get the iPhone, iPad and web editions, and you don't want the physical newspaper, you will have to pay $6 more a month.

This is how it works out -- pay S$319.60 a year to get the physical newspaper daily, and access to the full stories via the web, the iPhone app and the iPad app. This works out to S$26.65 a month. Throw in a monthly delivery fee of $2 if you live in an HDB flat and the total comes up to S$28.65 a month.

If you go the digital-only route, you will have to fork out US$27.99 (about S$35) a month (or you can pay US$7.99 a week).

Why is ST pushing the dead tree version? Because it makes more money from print advertising but it can only do so if it can show a big enough pool of readers.

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Friday, September 2, 2011

Learn about street photography from a master

If you've always wanted to be a street photographer but were worried about getting beaten up or mistaken for an up-skirt perv, don't miss the upcoming seminar by award-winning street photographer Chia Aik Beng.

Aik Beng will be holding four seminars on street photography at Comex at the EpiCentre booth at the third floor foyer.

The seminars will be at 3.30pm and 4.30pm on both Saturday and Sunday (Sep 3 and 4) at Suntec City Exhibition Centre.

This is your chance to get tips from the master himself. If you want to see more of Aik Beng's photography, check out  his Flickr page and his website. You can also follow him on Tumblr and Instagram.

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Thursday, September 1, 2011

Mac deals at Comex

If you didn't manage to score a cheap TouchPad from HP at Comex, don't worry, there are other goodies available. Apple retailer Nubox, for example, is offering a bunch of deals if you buy your Apple gear from them. If you buy an iMac for example, they will double the RAM and throw in a Magic Trackpad.

Buy a 13" MacBook Pro and upgrade to 8GB of RAM. If you buy a 15" MacBook Pro, you get a Magic Mouse on top of the 8GB RAM upgrade. Pretty sweet. Click on the image to see the full details (sorry the resolution isn't higher).

They are also offering discounts of up to 70 percent on accessories such as iPad 2 cases, a mobile charger for iPhones and a wireless Bluetooth keyboard. For those who dabble with the Dark Arts, Nubox is offering Windows 7 Home Premium and Parallels Desktop 6 for $249 (usual price $318) with a free upgrade to Parallels Desktop 7.

In addition, Nubox is giving away The Wanted's debut album and passes to the band's Singapore showcase on Sep 17.

The first 200 customers to spend $300 and above at the Nubox booths during Comex 2011, and “Like” the Nubox Facebook page can redeem The Wanted debut album at Nubox@Raffles City from September 10 to September 16.

The first 50 customers who purchase a Mac and who “Like” the Nubox Facebook page will be entitled to a pair of showcase passes and The Wanted's debut album. They can redeem the passes and debut album at Nubox@Marina Bay Link Mall from September 10 to September 16.

Nubox can be found at level three, booth 3105 and level four, booth 8236.


Epicentre doesn't seem to be going whole hog at Comex. Apparently, they only have deals for iMac buyers. Buy an iMac and upgrade to 8GB of RAM and a Canon 258 AIO printer. They have also tied up with SingTel to offer deals for people who buy the iPhone 4 and iPad. Get the list of offerings here.

Epicentre is at room 201-202 and at the Level 3 Foyer.

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