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Mobile apps

  • Pinterest introduces ‘buyable pins’, making it possible to make purchases within the app

    Pinterest has revealed a new feature that will see users buying things from without leaving the platform. The feature, ‘buyable pins’, will launch in the coming weeks in the US, and to Android in the future. The feature works by showing a blue pin button next to the normal option to pin. This buyable pin allows users to make purchases of items they like. Furthermore, users have the option to search for buyable pins and make use of the price filter to choose a specific price range for items. Users can choose to see what they want to buy in...

  • Put your phone on a data diet with Opera Max, cuts up to 50% usage

    Student life is a tough one. Life is expensive and income is practically non-existent because you're a student. Ironically it usually comes at a time when you have to start paying for things and cutting costs. Norwegian software giant Opera has stepped up its game and optimization seems to be the catch term; trimming the fat and getting the biggest supernova out of your buck for data is where Opera Max app is leading the technology. The app's latest update compresses videos, photos and media on apps or websites on your mobile (both mobile internet and Wi-Fi), which means you're putting your...

  • Live video streaming for everyone as Periscope finally comes to Android

    It has taken two months for Periscope to arrive on Android but it is finally here. The Twitter-owned live video streaming app has had an incredible run with iOS users, trying to dethrone Meerkat of its title as king of live video streaming. Meerkat came out of beta a few weeks ago and now its nemesis has followed it to the Android operating system. “When we started Periscope, we wanted to build the closest thing to teleportation -- by providing users with the best way to start or watch a live video broadcast. As a small startup, our initial launch was limited to...

  • 4 common UX mistakes in brand apps (and how to fix them)

    A flawless user experience is a fairytale. Users’ needs are always in flux, and there’s a constant push and pull between mobile designers as to which type of design is best. Yet the UX has the power to make or break a brand’s app. Brands have to consider design, content, performance, and overall usability when building apps to ensure users have the best possible experience. However, it seems like the UX gets compromised in the process. Add in a marketing team that confuses buyer personas with behavioral personas, and you’re left with a negotiated UX. This negotiated UX is often...

  • Spotify introduces adaptable songs for runners, videos and audio clips

    Spotify has introduced its coolest feature yet. From now on, runners can listen to music that adapts to the speed of their running. Spotify Running, according to the company, allows runners never to miss a beat. This feature is one of the many that Spotify introduced yesterday. “We want Spotify to help soundtrack your life by offering an even wider world of entertainment with an awesome mix of the best music, podcasts and video delivered to you throughout your day” the company said. To make up the product, Spotify, says that it teamed up DJs and composers to create music...

  • Sunrise calendar introduces Meet, the fastest way to schedule a one-to-one

    Gone are the days of diaries and scheduling things with a pen. Let's face it, a calendar that sends you a notification when your event is close is better than one that does not. Sunrise, the calendar app acquired by Microsoft in early February, has released a new feature called Meet. Meet is a keyboard for Android and iOS that lets users select available time slots in their Sunrise calendar without leaving the app they are in. After setting an event, users can email the link to someone else. Meet is a fast way to schedule one-to-one meetings. Meet is meant...

  • Uber’s $3bn bid for Nokia’s Here Maps is the one you want to be successful

    According to the New York Times, Uber is rumoured to have put a bid for Here, Nokia’s mapping product. This is great news, not just for Uber but for the Uber user. Amongst its shortcomings, Uber’s mapping is shoddy at best. Often Uber drivers wonder off into the wild, heading in the wrong direction, when the pickup location had been clear and showed the right location on the user’s mobile device. Going up against Uber though is a consortium including German carmakers such as BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi and Baidu, China's biggest search engine. Facebook announced a partnership with...

  • Facebook introduces a way to share less personal data with third-party apps

    Facebook, the biggest miner of people’s data, introduced a year ago, a way to limit how much personal data third-party apps have access to. Apps then had until 30 April 2015 to change to the new settings. The new version of Facebook login has better privacy controls. It allows users to choose which information they want to share. Signing into an app via Facebook is convenient until one becomes cognizant that third-party apps are not pointlessly asking access to one’s Facebook but are actually digging through the minefield of data and obtaining it for whatever reason. It is no...

  • Evernote introduces more affordable premium plans

    Online workspace provider Evernote has rolled out a new pricing plan. The new plans are Basic, Evernote Plus and Evernote Premium. Basic is free, and the company says that though it is free and has limitations, it is nothing that would slow an early user. Evernote Plus is one of the new plans and costs US$2.99 per month US$24.99 per year. The tier has 1GB monthly uploads, allows for offline access to notes on mobile, passcode lock, and has the ability to automatically turn emails into notes in Evernote. The other new tier is Evernote Premium which has unlimited uploads and is...

  • Instagram launches official community called @Music

    Instagram has launched a new official community called @music. The community is aimed at music lovers, dedicated to exploring music around the globe, from both the musicians and the listeners. The tech company says that the community is a place where people across the musical spectrum come to share stories, reveal their creativity and connect directly with fans. The service appears to be a pseudo-publishing platform more than anything else. Instagram is a publisher of narratives in photos and videos but with the new community layout it wishes to transcend this and embrace text. There has already been such moves...

  • Human app data gives insight on how we move in cities

    Almost every mobile phone, including smart wearables, possesses capabilities to track one’s movement. There has however been no clever way of using this data to provide clues about people’s movements. The companies have held on to it and have done nothing. The users have simply been pleased with themselves for reaching their daily goals and moved on to the next day. The Human app, an all-day activity and calorie tracker that inspires you to move 30 minutes or more every day, has just mapped the total duration for human activities in 30 cities. Human an iOS app, runs in...

  • Tinder introduces Instagram integration and more common friends

    Tinder received an update that integrates its users directly with Instagram and revamps common connections. This allows users to scroll through the Instagram profiles of other users without leaving the app. Before, users could only scroll through the Facebook photos that users have allowed to show up on their Tinder profile and had to search for users’ Instagram accounts on Instagram. Users can now click into a user’s Instagram profile and see the most recent pictures, with the option to click directly into their profile, check out the comments on the photos, who liked it, and more details. And...

  • Standard Bank debuts South Africa’s first Biometric Banking App feature

    Standard bank has launched South Africa's first Biometric mobile banking solution for clients. The new feature enables you to sign into the bank’s app via iPhone or iPad, using Apple’s TouchID technology. Now that there is an upgrade to the app, customers with Touch ID enabled on their smartphones and tablets have an option of using Apple’s fingerprint identity sensor in order to sign in their accounts. According to Standard Bank, the feature is designed to make banking easier and safer for customers. “Our customers’ security is of the utmost importance to us," says Standard Bank mobile banking head...

  • Worried about being cheated on? The mCouple app could put your mind at ease

    Are you scared you're being cheated on? Then this new app might be just what you need. While most people rely on old-fashioned private investigators or sneakily looking at their spouse's phone to determine infidelity, mCouple reckons it's got a much more tech-savvy solution, which allows you to keep track of everything your partner does. The company's built an app designed to keep track of everything your partner does, from text messages to Facebook inbox texts and call history with exact time history on everything that was done on that day. It can also show you the GPS co-ordinates of...

  • App revenues on course to hit $99bn by 2019

    There's still money to be made in apps and not just from massive acquisitions either. According to mobile research house Juniper Research, annual revenues from apps accessed via smartphones and tablets are expected to reach US$99-billion by 2019. The majority of these revenues, the company says, will continue to come from games for the next five years. It adds however that the highest growth will likely be experienced in areas such as lifestyle applications (such as dating and navigation) and eBooks. Dating especially looks set to go big. Juniper's research shows that a significant proportion of online dating activity is...