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Month: April 2013

In a Mirror, Cheaply

In a Mirror, Cheaply

So an alleged photo of the alleged “budget iPhone” has been floating around the blogosphere for a while and you know what I thought? I’ve seen that before. You have too, even if you don’t remember.



Yeah, thought so. That’s the HTC Cha Cha. I’m just hoping that’s a case to hide the next iPhone or something.

Here’s an original for the HTC Cha Cha, and here’s the GSMArena Blog post.

Pro Tip: Apache Won’t Start If Skype’s Running

Pro Tip: Apache Won’t Start If Skype’s Running


If you’re using Xampp for your localhost and you can’t get Apache to start up check to see if Skype’s already running. Apache runs on Port 80 by default (or something like that) and that port’s saved for web servers, something that Skype will hog.

The Tip

Close Skype, start Apache, and then you can run Skype again. But make sure Apache’s up and running before going anywhere near Skype.

Pro Tip: Contact Sync and Facebook Messenger SMS

Pro Tip: Contact Sync and Facebook Messenger SMS

UPDATE: It turns out SMS is only available for a few devices, and I can’t find a list of which devices support SMS through Messenger.  You can more or less disregard this, or you could try it and if your phone supports it drop us a line in the comments!

2013-04-12 23.00.34

Chat Heads are, quite simply, brilliant. I like the thought of them and they make up for a slight intrusion of my screen with sheer convenience. Thing is, I’m not on Messenger all the time, mostly in the evenings, and during the day I use SMS first and foremost. How could I combine the two? Give Facebook Messenger SMS permissions and access to my SMS.

Not all’s rosy though. I’ve got a friend called Nicole. We usually just chat online (she lives abroad) but since she came to visit we’ve been chatting on SMS. Since my contact entries are a little different, I’ve got a thread for SMS and another for Facebook Messages. Annoying.

The Tip

So yeah, make sure everything’s all nice and synced and lined up correctly. And go update Facebook and Facebook Messenger. Now. You won’t regret it!

Facebook Home: Your Phone’s About People, Not Apps

Facebook Home: Your Phone’s About People, Not Apps

Facebook HTC First

Remember those Facebook phones HTC made a while ago? Not many, and those that do don’t really remember them as being particularly good. And sure, you’ll see lots of Cha Chas around but how many of them were bought for the Facebook experience instead of it being a QWERTY Android device? Not many I’d bet. Facebook’s back and yesterday evening unveiled its latest developments to create a new home on Android, and boy do they mean business.

The Software

Their “new home in Android” is in fact your homescreen only without widgets and with status updates and ads loading in the background. Yes, ads. They won’t be there at launch but Mark Zuckerberg’s answer to that particular question was “Yup!” Statuses will be displayed on top of each poster’s cover photo and your display picture is always visible at the bottom just above the controls. Personalisation’s the key here, with each phone offering a Facebook experience tailored on the user.

Facebook isn’t trying to bury Android under itself a lá Amazon, but coexists peacefully with the mobile OS and gives you access to all of Google’s services. Google Now, Google+, Twitter, whatever you want – it’s there. Of course some apps do get some special treatment on Facebook Home devices (actual “Facebook” phones, more on that later) like Instagram. It isn’t exactly surprising.

If you’ve already got Facebook and Facebook Messenger installed on your phone you’ll get an update sometime around the 12th of April and next time you try to get to your homescreen you’ll be asked for to choose your default homescreen, Facebook Home or the stock launcher (or whatever you were previously using). If you don’t have those apps already and like the service, then go get them right now!

I’ll be playing with it ASAP and you can expect a full review after a couple of weeks of good use.

The Phone

Ah yes, the phone. This isn’t what Facebook’s event was about really, and the HTC First isn’t anything particularly special, but it serves to showcase the full potential of Facebook Home. Facebook’s partnered with a number of OEMs such as Samsung and Lenovo.

The specs are bog standard for a mid-range Android phone and include:

  • A 720p 4.3″ screen
  • A dual core Snapdragon 400 CPU
  • 5MP camera round back, 1MP camera up front

Nothing to write home about to be honest, but it’s all about the software here. Check out Facebook’s page for Home after the gallery!