Avast! Antivirus released it's new and improved version 7 into Malaysian shores and there was a party held in conjunction with this at Velvet Underground, Zouk Club, KL on the 20th of June, 2012. Entitled Glitz & Glam bloggers party, there were more than 200 bloggers with local celebrities and members of the media present and it's also in collaboration with China's largest internet service provider, Tencent, to launch it's social app named WeChat as well.
Before it all started, there was a brief introduction and Q&A session for Tencent's Deputy GM, Norman Tam with regards to the WeChat app.
During the short session, he did mentioned about WeChat having about more than 100 million users as at March 2012 but however, only a small percentage make up of the English speaking users as mostly are users from China.
A little more about WeChat and a preview on how it is later, but first, a glimpse of what happened during the event.
Once the guests and VIPs has arrived:
It is time to start with the event. As I'm fully engrossed in the company of many friends that evening, my picture taking was few and hence, I did not manage to take a picture of the host of the night, Leng Yein.
But I did manage to take a picture of these two pretty ladies, though. LOL.
So after some dance performance:
and speeches from their respective representative of Avast! and WeChat, dinner and games soon followed while I check out on some functions of WeChat:
A little bit of background, WeChat is a free mobile platform that's developed by Tencent. It's main functions include communication tools, social activity plug-ins and content sharing application to cater for the ever increasing needs of SOLOMO (Social, Location, Mobile) for mobile users. It started off as a Chinese program called WeiXin and has now been re-branded as WeChat in English to penetrate into the international market due to it's highly successful times with Weixin.
Unfortunately for me, it's not available to my Symbian phone yet and strangely enough, didn't mentioned WeChat being available to Blackberry users at all much to the dismay of Blackberry users:
Nonetheless, I still manage to experience the WeChat program through other means.
WeChat integrates through Facebook connect as well so you can start adding friends on WeChat those that are on your Facebook friends list instead of the tedious task of adding friends one by one. Well, it's still adding friends one by one but you'll get an idea on who you want to add straight away and who to invite:
I installed the app through the Facebook app:
Once installed there's a phone Address Book Matching option that allows you on whether to include your phone contacts for WeChat:
So after a short introduction through a series of images, you're good to go in using the program:
The home screen looks something like this:
With your chat history, WeChat team and recommendation of who to add on the main screen. Top right contains a group chat button for your group chat needs.
The bottom contains 4 navigation buttons as you can see from the picture above, from left to right,
1) WeChat, which is the main screen,
2) Contacts, the button to view people who's in your WeChat contact list and if want to, initiate messaging to them,
3) Social, probably the most interesting thing that's unique to this chat program which is a few interactive social application and
4) Settings, self explanatory.
The chat function has a little bit of uniqueness to it. In addition to typing your text message to the person, you can also record a voice message to the person where you press and hold it to record your message and once done, release the button to send the message to the intended person or group:
However, if for some reason you don't want to send your message and has already press and hold the record button, just slide your finger upwards and you'll have a round X button where moving it there will cancel the message.
But probably the most interesting part is the unique features at the social section.
Over there, it contains these menus (click to enlarge):
Moments are just picture sharing, add a friend is well, adding new contacts, that you know but the look around feature will locate your current location and will find you whoever's a WeChat user and is near you. With that, you can choose to interact with the person by adding them and messaging them.
Here's something fun. It's called shake.
By shaking your phone, it will search for other WeChat users who's also shaking their phone:
and list them down where you can add them as your WeChat contact. A simple way of adding people (or total strangers who's also using WeChat and shaking their phones. Of course, it's not recommended to add total strangers as friends as mama always say, never talk to strangers? LOL.)
Another great social feature, drift bottle.
This is the equivalent of putting written messages in a bottle and throwing it to the sea, only it's done virtually and more environmentally friendly:
Once you've recorded or written your message after selecting the throw,
It will show an animation where the message being put in a bottle and being thrown at sea:
.....and it's gone.
Message has to be at least five words long. Of course, if it's a voice message that you're recording, that limit is not there.
You can also pick a bottle from the ocean to view their message:
Course, most WeChat users are from China and hence, for the time being, you're more than likely to get a Chinese message:
Which unfortunately for me, I can't read.
Well, that's just about the features that I'm highlighting about WeChat.
If you have a compatible phone for it, you can download and install it on your phone at www.wechatapp.com
Avast! Pro Antivirus
So I was provided with the Avast! Pro Antivirus Home & Student Edition to evaluate:
Inside the box contains the Installation CD and installation instruction. That's just it.
Having stuck with AVG for a long, long while, this provides an opportunity for me to see how Avast! fare with other Antivirus.
The installation screen:
As an IT professional (ahem, ahem), I of course chose "Custom install" to show what a smart ass I am...........and also to find out what other options it presents if people were to take the custom route.
As most installation file does, you can specify the location for it to be installed in:
You then am presented to either evaluate it as a trial version:
I'm of course trying out the license version and hence need to provide an activation code:
Looks like the difference between the typical and the minimal is the typical includes installing the Avast! Remote Assistance as well, which is a new feature from Version 7.
A wee bit more and it's done.
The Avast! comes with the WebRep function as well, which is protection when you browse. Hence, opening my Firefox once more pops up on whether to allow that feature to be added in:
This feature also shows how much is that particular website you're browsing rates from other users:
In the end, after installation, you'll find the Avast! icon at the clock section of the taskbar. It's a rounded orange circle with what seems to be a small 'a' in it, the Avast! symbol:
The menu when you right click on the icon:
The silent/gaming mode is to actually turn off notification which could disrupt something that you're doing. You can either turn off notification completely or for just when you're doing something in full screen mode if you decide to enable silent/gaming mode:
By the way, notifications are not only pop-ups, but a voice indicating the action that has been done can be heard as well:
Here are the type of real-time protections provided by Avast!:
Probably one of the feature that I like the most which unfortunately wasn't able to test it out due to not knowing anybody else who's installed Avast! at the time of writing is also a new feature in Avast! called the Remote Desktop:
Like Teamviewer and LogMeIn, it allows your helper friend or you as the helper to remote access to the PC that needs fixing (that has Internet connection or some sort of connection between the two PCs, of course) and this can greatly save me time and earn me more money.
But due to the unavailability of another person to allow me to Remote Access in as at time of writing, I'm unable to test it out in comparison to Teamviewer and Remote Desktop. Ah, well. Perhaps another time.
All in all, so far, I'm finding Avast! Pro version 7 lighter than AVG and Trend-Micro and definitely against Norton, and is on par with NOD32. Detection rate seems pretty decent after testing it with a few viruses that has caused me a fair bit of hassle in the past and another good thing is it doesn't slow down my PC too much while scanning and playing some games at the same time. I don't quite like the startup scan though. It takes way too long on my PC and I find it only necessary to do so should my PC be infected with a virus where I can't even boot into safe mode. Other than that, all seems appealing enough for me to use it.
Avast! has a free version too which has the Remote Access as well! The Pro version which I'm having just have the addition of Sandbox and SafeZone feature.
If you're interested to get the antivirus, head on to their website at www.avast.com