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Authors Posts by Ewen Boey

Ewen Boey

Ewen Boey
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Ewen is deeply passionate about travel, and would love to have a life of roaming the world without a care. In reality, he’s got bills to pay and is a digital media professional whose interests are wide-ranging, stretching from fashion to football; puppies to politics. Ewen dabbles in photography, and can probably take half-decent pictures. He has an insatiable desire for bags and sneakers and dreams of one day going into outer space.

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    Nike Air Max 1 OG - Sport Red

    2017 is shaping up to be a really good year for Nike Air Max 1 lovers. With a variety of colour ways and variant Air Max 1 designs released in regularity, old and new fans alike have been getting in line to throw their hard-earned money at Nike.

    It’s about to get even better for sneakerheads (and Nike as well, most certainly), with Nike releasing another 30th anniversary Air Max 1 OG in classic-blast-from-the-past white and university red in all its original glory. This gorgeous commemorative edition reflects the original colour way from 1987, and features design and detailing found in that iconic sneaker.

    Nike Air Max 1 OG

    This legendary Tinker Hatfield-designed sneaker features mesh on the toe box, sidewall and heel. The leather panelling and swoosh perfectly complements the iconic Air Unit on the bold rubber outsole.

    You simply can’t go wrong with Nike’s most famous sneaker, and we certainly can’t get enough of it. We definitely can’t wait to get our hands (or feet) on a pair right now.

    The “Sport Red” 30th anniversary Air Max 1 OG is expected to be priced at S$189.

    Nike Air Max 1 OG - side view Nike Air Max 1 OG - Top view Nike Air Max 1 OG - back view Nike Air Max 1 OG - sole

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      Tokyo neighbourhoods: Shimokitazawa (photo by Ryosuke Yagi on Flickr)

      Tokyo counts as one of our favourite travel destinations here at GrateNews, and the first things that come to mind are the wonderful shopping and delicious Japanese cuisine. Just as iconic are famous Tokyo neighbourhoods such as Shinjuku, Harajuku, Shibuya and Ginza.

      Japan’s capital city, however, is much more than those popular tourist spots. We’ve identified some of our favourites, leaving out those that most travellers have heard of.

      Tokyo neighbourhoods: Shimokitazawa (photo by Guwashi999 on Flickr)

       Shimokitazawa

      One of the most up-and-coming neighbourhoods in Tokyo, Shimokitazawa is currently one of the hotspots for youth in Tokyo – it’s both happening and laid back at the same time. Comprising numerous cafés and hipster shops selling unique fashion, walking through its streets reminds one of the more famous and popular Harajuku. However, Shimokitazawa is our preferred destination due to its charming narrow streets and artistic vibe.

      Keeping up to its image as a centre for the arts, music and theatre performances and are also a mainstay in this neighbourhood located in Western Tokyo.

      Tokyo neighbourhoods: Kichijoji (photo by Ewen Boey)

      Kichijoji

      Kichijoji is a big hit with the locals, and has a reputation as one of the most desirable residential neighbourhoods in Tokyo. One of the highlights of Kichijoji is the beautiful Inokashira Park, which is an ideal spot for viewing cherry blossoms in Spring. The body of water here is also the source for the Kanda River.

      The shopping scene in Kichijoji is always bustling, and there are many shops worth exploring in the streets around the main sheltered area next to the train station. Visit on a weekend and you’ll spot many Japanese youths hanging out in this hip neighbourhood.

      With a quaint park at one end of the district, and a bustling shopping scene at the other, Kichijoji is great for both kicking back and doing some serious shopping.

      Tokyo neighbourhoods: Tsukishima (photo by Yuya Tamai on Flickr)

      Tsukishima

      Talking about quaint Tokyo neighbourhoods, if you prefer somewhere quiet and away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre, then Tsukishima might be the place for you. Time seems to slow down in Tsukishima, a reclaimed island just outside of the main Tokyo city centre.

      With a blend of old world traditions and modern skyscrapers, visitors to Tsukishima can slow down from the normally fast-paced Tokyo lifestyle, and slowly unwind.

      If that isn’t good enough for you, Tsukishima is also the birthplace of the legendary Tokyo dish – monjayaki, finely cut ingredients pan-fried in a light batter.  It’s pretty similar to okonomiyaki. Having a meal here is reason enough to visit this island neighbourhood.

      Tokyo neighbourhoods: Odaiba (photo by Luke Ma on Flickr)

      Odaiba

      On to another island neighbourhood – Odaiba, a man-made island in Tokyo Bay.

      Fronted by an iconic view of the Rainbow Bridge linking it to mainland Tokyo, Odaiba is a popular shopping and sightseeing neighbourhood, well loved by locals and tourists alike. Offering an unparalleled view of the Tokyo waterfront, Odaiba also holds one of only two beaches located in urban Tokyo.

      The other distinct landmark in Odaiba is Daikanransha, a 115-metre tall ferris wheel that was the world’s tallest when opened in 1999.

      Onsen lovers can check out Oedo Onsen Monotagari Hot Springs here as well, it’s one of the more famous onsens in Tokyo. Other attractions include the distinctively designed Fuji Television building, Miraikan (Japan’s National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation), a replica of the Statue of Liberty and much more.

      Tokyo neighbourhoods: Ebisu (photo by Azlan DuPree on Flickr)

      Ebisu

      Named after the legendary Japanese beer, Yebisu, this stylish neighbourhood is only a couple of stops from central Shibuya, without the crowds and chaos.

      One of the most expensive neighbourhoods to live in Tokyo, Ebisu, along with neighbouring Daikanyama, is known for its trendy boutiques and cafés. Whether you love chilling out in parks, shopping at fashion forward boutiques or having pastries over afternoon tea, Ebisu would be an ideal district for you.

      Yebisu Garden Place, formerly a beer brewery, is also worth checking out

      A common misconception is that Yebisu Beer (one of the most, if not the most delicious beer in Japan) was named after this neighbourhood. In fact, it’s actually the other way around. Speaking of which, do check out the Museum of Yebisu Beer while you’re there. People-watching over a refreshing mug of Yebisu draught beer is one of the best around. Other notable Sapporo Breweries in the area includes the Beer Museum Yebisu and the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography

      Tokyo neighbourhoods: Nakameguro (photo by Hajime Nagahata on Flickr)

      Nakameguro

      Nakameguro is the hippest neighbourhood in Meguro, and one of the most stylish in all of Tokyo. The neighbourhood has a distinct European feel to it, and is known to be a centre for fashion, art, culture, and of course, food.

      Nakameguro’s laid-back and European atmosphere sits well with us, and we really enjoyed the trendy boutiques, cafés and galleries. Vintage fashion and furniture lovers will go absolutely crazy over here, with Nakameguro’s wide selection of vintage wares on sale.

      Visit during cherry blossom season and you’ll get to not only admire the beautiful scenery, but also enjoy the festivities in the area, with food stalls lining the streets during this period.

      Azabu Juban

      Located and near the bright lights vibrant district of Roppongi, Azabu Juban is on the contrary, a quiet low-key neighbourhood of Tokyo. This slow-pace enclave boasts trendy cafes and fashionable boutiques as well as century old establishments and shops.

      This meeting of old and new gives Azabu Juban an eclectic vibe that is popular with youths and tourists. If you are in the area, don’t forget to make a pit stop at Abe-chan, a super popular yakitori place that’s been around for decades. The restaurant has a pot of sauce at the front of the shop has been around for 70 years! Other places include Naniwaya Souhonten for its Japanese ‘Taiyaki’ pancake with sweet red bean filling and Tanuki Senbei, a shop selling fresh rice crackers since 1928.

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        Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park (Photo: Ryan Altamera on Flickr)

        A UNESCO World Heritage Site status is some sort of a holy grail of travel destinations. Not only does it exalt locations of cultural, historical or aesthetic significance, it also serves as the list of must-go locations for travellers.

        Of the 981 World Heritage Sites in the world, Southeast Asia boasts 33. Yeah, it’s not a big number, but it’s enough to keep you busy. Here are our top selections of World Heritage Sites you absolutely have to see.

        Angkor Wat

        Angkor Wat (Photo by Dennis Jarvis on Flickr)

        Why go?

        Built in the 12th century, this temple ruins is one of the most beautiful on Earth, and is mentioned in the same breath as other famous ruins from ancient civilisations such as the Mayans and Incas.

        Pro tips

        • Get a local guide to bring you around. They’ve got guides trained in many languages – English, Mandarin, Japanese, French, Spanish, and many others – and they do so fluently.
        • The guides would usually bring you to Angkor Wat to watch the sunrise, and to another temple called Phnom Bakheng to catch the sunset. Do the tour the opposite way – sunrise at Bakheng and sunset at Angkor Wat – if you want to avoid the massive crowds. It really isn’t any less impressive.

        Borobudur

        Borobudur (photo by Johan Wieland on Flickr)
        Borobudur (photo by Johan Wieland on Flickr)

        Why go?

        Borobudur is the largest Buddhist temple in the world, and one of the greatest monuments of the religion. It also contains the largest and most complete ensemble of Buddhist reliefs in the world.

        Fun fact

        Singapore has one thing in common with Borobudur – both have Sir Stamford Raffles credited as their official founders.

        Halong Bay

        Halong Bay (photo by Lawrence Murray on Flickr)
        Halong Bay (photo by Lawrence Murray on Flickr)

        Why go?

        The beauty of Halong Bay transcends time, with its thousands of limestone karsts and islets shaped from 20 million years of weathering. Halong Bay is also listed as one of the New7Wonders of Nature.

        Fun fact

        Evidence of pre-historic humans were found in the area tens of thousands of years ago.

        Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park

        Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park (Photo by Ryan Altamera on Flickr)

        Why go?

        Not only is this underground river system incredibly beautiful, it is also located in the “last ecological frontier” of the Philippines – Palawan.

        Fun fact

        Together with Halong Bay and Komodo National Park on this list, Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park is recognised as one of the New7Wonders of Nature.

        George Town

        Centre of George Town (photo by borisindublin on Flickr)
        Centre of George Town (photo by borisindublin on Flickr)

        Why go?

        If ancient ruins and landscape isn’t your thing, then the unique architectural and cultural city of George Town, Penang may just be the right place for you.. Another large draw would be the undeniably delicious Penang street food.

        Char kway teow, nasi kandar, assam laksa, prawn mee, chendol… who can resist?!

        Pro tip

        • While Gurney Drive is perhaps its most well-known food place with the widest variety, do walk around the Jalan Penang and Lebuh Chulia areas at night for some golden finds

        Komodo National Park

        Komodo National Park (photo by Robert Scales on Flickr)
        Komodo National Park (photo by Robert Scales on Flickr)

        Why go?

        For the Komodo Dragons, if nothing else. These fascinating critters exist nowhere else in the world. It’s probably also the most “exotic” location listed here. And by exotic, it means “less frequently visited” among the other attractions here.

        Along with Halong Bay, Komodo National Park is listed as one of the New7Wonders of Nature.

        Pro tip

        • While it’s possible to visit the national park at any time of the year, April to December remains the best time due to the dry season and more comfortable temperatures.

        Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras

        Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras (photo from Wikipedia)
        Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras (photo from Wikipedia)

        Why go?

        These terraces are estimated to have been built about 2,000 years ago by the Cordillera tribes. That’s a pretty crazy engineering feat if you think about how this landscape was shaped using primitive tools.

        Fun fact

        These terraces were the first ever site included under the cultural landscape category in the World Heritage list in 1995.

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          Beach in Palawan (photo by Shubert Ciencia on Flickr)

          Southeast Asia is well known for its island getaways, with Bali, Phuket and Boracay among the most popular island locations in the world to kick back and relax.

          But if you’re looking for other wonderful gems in the region, look no further than this list of treasures we’ve unearthed: some of the lesser-known, yet most beautiful islands in Southeast Asia that you should definitely consider visiting.

          Nikoi Island

          Nikoi island (photo: Nikoi Island)

          85km and 2.5 hours by ferry away from Singapore, this private island accommodates up to over 50 people at any one time, with no plans to expand on that number.

          This limited quota gives an impression of exclusivity – and indeed it can be considered as such – since 50 people on a 15 hectare island is still pretty private.

          Relax along the white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters, and if you’re bored of doing nothing, the island offers a wealth of land and sea activities such as rock climbing, mountain biking, diving, and kayaking.

          Palawan

          Palawan (photo by Christian Ronnel on Flickr)

          While Boracay and Cebu are the more popular island getaways in the Philippines, many locals will tell you that Palawan is where you can find paradise.

          These islands, which stretch from Mindoro in the northeast to Borneo in the southwest, is widely acclaimed as the “last ecological frontier” of the Philippines.

          Looking for pristine beaches? Head down to El Nido and Coron, where the sand is known to be sugary fine and white. Don’t forget to also visit Puerta Princesa Subterranean River National Park, which comprises of an incredibly beautiful underground river system. The National Park is both a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as well as recognised as one of the New7Wonders of Nature.

          Gili Islands, Lombok

          Gili Meno (photo by Sergi Hill on Flickr)

          Part of the trinity of Gilis (gili means “small island” in Bahasa Indonesia) off Lombok – Gili Trawangan, Gili Air and Gili Meno – the latter two islands are still largely quaint and off-the-beaten-path while the former is the largest in size, and most touristy.

          If you like the Bali party vibe, then you’d want to visit Gili Trawangan. This is the place to be if a rowdy full moon party is what you’re looking for.

          Gili Air has an established, yet off-the-beaten path vibe, which is perfect for families as well as the casual island visitor. Activities at Gili Air include diving and surfing.

          Head down to Gili Meno and you’ll find that life slows to a crawl. It is the most laid back among the three islands, and it also has the nicest beaches.

          Togean Islands

          Togean Islands (Photo from Elena's Travelgram)
          Togean Islands (Photo from Elena’s Travelgram)

          The Togean Islands are commonly referred to as the Maldives of Southeast Asia, but comparing this island paradise to its more well known brethren does it a bit of an injustice, since it exudes its own unique character and charm.

          Of course, this archipelago of islands and islets located off the coast of Central Sulawesi is a little difficult to get to, but it is well worth the journey once you set your eyes upon its pristine white beaches and turquoise blue waters. Its isolation also means that the Togean Islands are pretty untouched by mainstream tourism, and you’ll get to enjoy your trip there in peaceful solitude.

          Togean is also home to a community of Bajau People (Sea Gypsies), who spend most of their lives drifting along the ocean. They are known to have amazing diving abilities – the kids learn to dive up to 10 metres deep from the tender age of seven.

          Flores

          Mount Kelimutu and her coloured lakes at sunrise (photo: Wikimedia Commons)

          Flores is an Indonesian island in Nusa Tenggara, and is located next to the more well-known Komodo Island.

          The most famous attractions on Flores are the crater lakes at Mount Kelimutu, which reportedly change colours regularly between turquoise, green, red and chocolate brown. This phenomenon is thought to be triggered by chemical reactions in the lakes, caused by the area’s volcanic activity.

          Of course, with volcanic activity comes the possibility of hot springs, and visitors will not be disappointed. There’s a hot pool close to the capital of Maumere, and it’s located in the middle of a jungle – perfect for relaxing and being one with nature.

          Ko Yao

          Ko Yao Noi (photo on Flickr by Nicolas Esposito)

          Comprised mainly of two islands, Ko Yao Yai and Ko Yao Noi, Ko Yao is located between Phuket and Krabi in Phang Nga Bay.

          Despite increasing tourism in the area over the years, Ko Yao has retained much of its laid back atmosphere. Both islands have the distinction of being among the last islands in the region to have avoided massive human development, which sets it apart from the more popular islands in the area such as Phuket and Ko Samui.

          Chill out by the beautiful beaches or explore the picturesque rice flats and mangrove swamps, Ko Yao offers visitors a great island experience unlike other more commercial locations.

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            From reel to real - the R2-D2 brought to life with ANA's striking new livery (Image: Changi Airport Group)
            From reel to real - the R2-D2 brought to life with ANA's striking new livery (Image: Changi Airport Group)

            Remember the ANA’s R2-D2 Star Wars themed plane we featured a while back? Well, it’s coming to Singapore! And not only that — Changi Airport and ANA are giving away 20 pairs of tickets to a tour of the newly-launched jet.

            Changi will actually be the first Asian airport outside of Japan to welcome the R2-D2 aircraft, chartered by JTB Japan, which will make a two-night stopover here from 12 to 14 November 2015. The special event for fans will be held on Saturday, 14 November 2015. 

            Win tickets to the fan event

            The interior of the jet is adorned with R2-D2 decor. (Image: ANA)

            From now until 25 October 2015, Star Wars fans in Singapore can win a pair of tickets each by participating in online contests held on ANA’s website and Changi Airport’s Facebook page. With 20 pairs of tickets up for grabs, 40 lucky winners will get to enjoy a tour of the iconic aircraft — which boasts unique interior details such as R2-D2 headrests and dining ware. 10 winners will be selected by Changi Airport Group and 30 winners will be selected by ANA.

            During the three-hour on-ground experience, winners will enjoy the novelty of catching one of the movies from the Star Wars saga — the first time any has been available on a commercial flight — and enjoy an “in-flight” meal, all in the comfort of a business class seat.  The winners will also receive goodie bags filled with limited-edition commemorative merchandise such as an R2-D2 ANA jet model plane and a Star Wars plush toy.

            Unfortunately, the R2-D2 jet wouldn’t be coming to Singapore all that often after this special event. Apart from domestic routes, the R2-D2 ANA jet has been scheduled to fly between Tokyo and Vancouver in Canada, Seattle and San Jose in the US, Munich, Paris and Brussels in Europe, Sydney in Australia, Beijing in China and Jakarta in Indonesia.

            ANA launches the R2-D2 Boeing 789-7 Dreamliner jet. (Image: ANA)
            ANA launches the R2-D2 Boeing 789-7 Dreamliner jet. (Image: ANA)
            All six Star Wars movies will be available on ANA's in-flight entertainment system (Image: ANA)
            All six Star Wars movies will be available on ANA’s in-flight entertainment system (Image: ANA)
            This R2-D2 ANA jet is a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner (Image: ANA)
            This R2-D2 ANA jet is a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner (Image: ANA)
            The details on the R2-D2 ANA jet are pretty impressive (Image: ANA)
            The details on the R2-D2 ANA jet are pretty impressive (Image: ANA)

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              Fiji Airways comes to Singapore (photo: Google Images)

              Famous for bottled water and Vijay Singh, Fiji, the exotic paradise located in the South Pacific Ocean will soon be easily accessible to Singaporeans through Fiji Airways.

              Fiji is currently accessible from Singapore via a transit in Australia, which will take close to 13 hours. Starting from the first half of 2016, Singaporeans can enjoy greater accessibility to Fiji which is located a third of the way between New Zealand and Hawaii.

              Sunset in Fiji (photo: Alex Kehr on Flickr)

              Fiji Airways hopes to begin the flight route here before the Singapore Rugby Sevens on 16 and 17 April 2016.

              Made up of almost 900 islands, including two main ones — Viti Levu and Vanua Levu — Fiji offers visitors pristine blue waters, immaculate beaches and tropical rainforests. As you can imagine, Fiji is a pretty good place to visit if you value privacy on holidays.

              Fiji (photo: Google Images)

              Not just for the wealthy

              You’d expect such trips to take a chunk out of your wallet, but that’s not necessarily the case. With proper research and advanced planning, travellers can get hotel and resort accommodations for a reasonable price, with views that are just as good as those at more expensive hotels. A quick search on sites such as Airbnb and Agoda should yield the necessary information. In fact, Fiji is known to be one of the best budget holiday destinations in the South Pacific.

              As you can probably tell, we’re pretty excited over the direct flights from Singapore to Fiji, and we’ll probably include the destination into our 2016 travel plans. Stay tuned for more updates and reviews from us!

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                Danish travel agency Spies Travel has done it again. Following the viral success of their “Do it for Denmark” procreation stunt, the travel agency has now released a brand new “Do it for Mom!” video, while championing a similar cause — encouraging Danes to have more sex on a tropical holiday to help boost the country’s falling birth rate.

                The tongue-in-cheek campaign is aimed at getting older parents to help their adult children procreate by contributing to their their vacations. This will then also increase their chances of experiencing grandparenthood.

                The hilarious video dishes out some facts and statistics to support their claims, such as the fact that Denmark’s birth rates aren’t really improving, resulting in many older parents not getting to experience being a grandparent, It also adds that Danes are 51 per cent more likely to have more sex while on a sunny vacation.

                So voilà! It turns out it really isn’t rocket science — just give the adult children a tropical vacation and it will go a long way to help solve the problem.

                The Danish travel agency also introduces a “Spie’s Parent Purchase”, which gives older parents a chance to pay for their child’s holiday in exchange for a grandchild nine months later (not guaranteed, of course). Because helping in other ways can be a little awkward…

                There aren't many non-awkward ways to help your children procreate.
                There aren’t many non-awkward ways to help your children procreate.

                The video concludes with the mother sending her son off on a holiday, where he meets another girl.

                So “Do it for Denmark. Do it for Mom”. We hope the Singapore government is watching — they can sure take a lesson or two out of these campaigns.

                Watch the Danish travel agency’s first video here.

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                  Star Wars fans will be delighted to know that the world’s number one movie franchise (according to their fans anyway) is taking to the skies, with All Nippon Airways (ANA) just unveiling the R2-D2 jet over the weekend.

                  And the best part about having the coolest plane in the skies? All six Star Wars films will be available on ANA’s in-flight entertainment system on international routes — the first time the film series is part of in-flight entertainment. Planes will also feature Star Wars characters on headrests, paper napkins and cups.

                  This is all part of Disney’s (which acquired the “Star Wars” rights in 2012) marketing push for the most anticipated Star Wars movie launch since 1999’s “The Phantom Menace”, and will go hand-in-hand with the Mickey Mouse company’s all-new Star Wars-themed lands opening in Anaheim and Orlando.

                  Scroll down for more of the wonderfully-designed planes. What do you think of the designs? Tacky or a masterstroke?

                  ANA launches the R2-D2 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner jet. (Image: ANA)
                  ANA launches the R2-D2 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner jet. (Image: ANA)
                  The plane will go into service on 18 October, flying between Tokyo and Vancouver. (Image: ANA)
                  The plane will go into service on 18 October, flying between Tokyo and Vancouver. (Image: ANA)
                  All six Star Wars movies will be available on ANA's in-flight entertainment system (Image: ANA)
                  All six Star Wars movies will be available on ANA’s in-flight entertainment system (Image: ANA)

                   

                  The interior of the jet is adorned with R2-D2 headrests, paper napkins and cups. (Image: ANA)
                  The interior of the jet is adorned with R2-D2 headrests, paper napkins and cups. (Image: ANA)
                  ANA unveils new 'Star Wars' themed planes (Image: ANA)
                  ANA unveils new ‘Star Wars’ themed planes (Image: ANA)
                  This R2-D2 ANA jet is a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner (Image: ANA)
                  This R2-D2 ANA jet is a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner (Image: ANA)
                  The details on the R2-D2 ANA jet are pretty impressive (Image: ANA)
                  The details on the R2-D2 ANA jet are pretty impressive (Image: ANA)
                  This Boeing 767-300 will feature BB-8, a new droid from "Star Wars: The Force Awakens". It will ply the domestic Japanese routes starting in November (Image: ANA)
                  This Boeing 767-300 will feature BB-8, a new droid from “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”. It will ply the domestic Japanese routes starting in November (Image: ANA)
                  Another Boeing 777-300ER featuring BB-8 will fly the international route between Japan and North America, starting March 2016 (Image: ANA)
                  Another Boeing 777-300ER featuring BB-8 will fly the international route between Japan and North America, starting March 2016 (Image: ANA)

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                    Apple's 9 September 2015 event

                    The folks from Cupertino have had a major September event annually in the last five years, and recently — the last two to be exact — Tim Cook and co. have used this period to announce the company’s latest iPhone model.

                    There’s little doubt regarding the phone’s announcement, but what else can we expect in Apple’s 9 September event? Let’s go through the rumours (which have proven to be pretty accurate since Cook took over as CEO) one by one and see what else you need to know before the event early tomorrow morning (0100hr SGT).

                    iPhone 6S and 6S Plus

                    iPhone 6S is rumoured to come in a new colour -- rose gold

                    Both the unveiling of the phone and its name should be pretty accurate, if recent history is anything to go by. Rumours and leaked prototypes have it that the phones will come in a new colour — rose gold — and be thicker and slightly larger than their “6” series counterparts. We could probably expect Apple to be using better materials to beef up the phone casing after the “Bendgate” uproar last year.

                    Force Touch

                    Force Touch on the new iPhone 6S

                    Expect Apple to focus much of the keynote on this new pressure sensitive feature. Admittedly, it’s pretty awesome. We got to try the functions on the Apple Watch and it’s been a joy to use so far. We’re looking forward to see what creative ideas Apple and third party developers have in using this feature.

                    For now, what we’re guessing is that Force Touch will be used to bring up new menus in iOS 9, and it could possibly be used like how one would use a pressure sensitive stylus.

                    Games would definitely benefit as well from Force Touch to add a whole new set of controls to the iOS gaming experience.

                    Improved camera

                    iPhone 6S will see a huge camera upgrade

                    This year’s iPhone camera improvements are particularly exciting, with rumours saying that the rear camera will now be 12-megapixels — an upgrade from 8-megapixels of the last four models — and it will also have the ability to shoot videos in 4K.

                    Selfie lovers can also rejoice, with the front camera said to be upgraded to a 5-megapixel sensor, with an accompanying flash. It’s been around on other smartphones for some time now, so it’s really about time Apple included this.

                    Specs upgrade

                    This is pretty standard fare for every new phone model, but this time we’re finally getting 2GB of RAM in our iPhones. Other improvements include a better and faster processor.

                    Apple TV

                    Will we finally see a new Apple TV?

                    This has probably been the worst kept secret in Cupertino for some time now, but are we finally going to see the first new Apple TV in three years?  We probably will, and we’re absolutely looking forward to an expanded range of capabilities from Apple’s new TV set-top box.

                    App Store

                    Apple may very well be introducing an App Store for their new TV set. Expect there to be a wealth of content such as games and streaming services, which will make the Apple TV a far more attractive proposition that what it is today. As TV apps are still pretty new to most people, we’ll be keeping a close eye on what we can expect from a TV App Store.

                    New remote control

                    On the surface, this sounds pretty dull, but with the Apple TV rumoured to be incorporating Siri functionality, the new remote control becomes critical in activating a user’s search commands through the virtual assistant in the remote.

                    The new remote is also supposedly coming with a touchpad to make navigating around Apple TV’s menus a lot more bearable. The remote control right now only allows users to scroll through everything via physical buttons.

                    iPad Pro

                    Apple's rumoured iPad Pro will have a screen larger than that of a 13" MacBook (photo: MacRumors)

                    This rumoured behemoth of an iPad — supposedly coming with a 12.9″ display — is something like Apple’s version of the Surface Pro (oh forgive us Apple Gods for saying something as blasphemous as that) — with 9to5Mac reporting that Apple is developing a keyboard to complement it.

                    Stylus

                    Despite Steve Jobs’ disdain for the humble stylus, it is said that a separately-sold stylus will be available upon the launch of the iPad Pro. Or perhaps it will be part of the iPad Pro package, who knows?

                    The stylus, together with the iPad Pro’s large screen, will appeal loads to creative types. It should also be expected to come with the aforementioned Force Touch technology.

                    Multitasking

                    Back in June at WWDC, Apple introduced multitasking in iOS 9. This will wholly complement the idea of having a large tablet, with multitasking definitely one of the most important features in allowing the iPad to effectively act as a professional tool for work and productivity. And why have a screen that big without the ability to multitask?

                    iPad Air and iPad Mini

                    iPad Air and iPad Mini

                    Nothing much has been mentioned about an iPad Air 3, but we should be expecting a new iPad Mini 4, with a form factor close to its larger sibling, the iPad Air 2.

                    The Apple 9 September 2015 event will begin at 0100hr Singapore time.

                    The Apple event can be streamed on any iOS device at apple.com/live. The video stream can only be played on Safari mobile browsers. Likewise for desktop streaming — it only works on the Safari browser. Second or third generation Apple TV owners with software 6.2 or later are also able to stream the event live.

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                      Image: Instagram blog

                      You know that kick-ass group shot you took with your friends the other night? That would have been so great to post on Instagram… if only your friends at the corners didn’t get chopped off by the square format.

                      I feel you, we’ve all been there. And don’t get me started on apps such as Squaready. It’s useful, yes, but stability issues have taken the shine off it. Also, some of us don’t appreciate the additional step of posting a simple image to Instagram either. These things were made to be easy and simple.

                      This is why Instagram’s latest app update is such a godsend. With the ability to now share photos and videos in both landscape and portrait formats — in addition to the usual square format — we can now select a format that’s best suited to what photos or videos we are sharing.

                      To select the new image formats, you can tap the format icon when posting an image or video to adjust the orientation to portrait or landscape. Instagram will still display each post as a square on your profile grid to keep its clean feel, so your landscape or portrait posts will appear there as centre-cropped squares.

                      Possibilities are now endless with these new simple functions enabled in Instagram. Can’t wait to see what we can do with these new formats? Follow us now on Instagram!