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Mobile

  • Google’s Trusted Contacts is the app parents will love

    Once upon a time, you could keep track of your friends' and family's whereabouts using Google Plus. But that was the complicated past. Today, Google debuted a new Android app that aims to simplify keeping tabs on loved ones. Called Google Trusted Contacts, the app lets the most important people in your life request your location data from the app. If you fail to respond to the request, the app will automatically ping your loved one with your last recorded location. It's effectively Google's emergency location app. Trusted Contacts seems to pose a boat load of security problems. For one, your...

  • Vodacom reportedly down in north Johannesburg [Update]

    Update #2, 30 November, 12pm: Vodacom has confirmed that the issue "has been resolved". Update #1, 29 November, 5.30pm: Lexi Ball, Vodacom media relations specialist, in an email to Memeburn explains that the company is currently "aware of the outage". "Vodacom is aware of the outage that some of our customers are experiencing in the northern parts of Johannesburg. Our technicians are working on resolving the matter as quickly as possible. We apologise for any inconveinence that this may have caused," she adds. Vodacom has yet to provide an approximate time of repair, or when the network will be fully functional. Original article:...

  • Google launches PhotoScan to save your old photo albums

    Google Photos has become an indispensable tool for scores of people, allowing them to seamlessly back up their smartphone snaps. But what about physical photo albums? You could take a picture of it, or you could use PhotoScan, Google's latest app. Available for Android and iOS, PhotoScan allows you to simply scan your old photos with your smartphone. But the app also offers a number of tweaks, fixes and features to go with the basic scanning functionality. "PhotoScan gets you great looking digital copies in seconds -- it detects edges, straightens the image, rotates it to the correct orientation, and removes...

  • Africa’s mobile growth: Opera publishes its State of Mobile report

    Norwegian internet company Opera isn't quite as well known in the desktop browser space, at least in terms of usage figures. Globally, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Microsoft's Internet Explorer still command the lion's share of users' internet tabs. When it comes to mobile browsers though, the firm has historically had a huge following in Africa. The company this week published its State of Mobile Web Report for Africa 2016, and with it, a slew of insights into Africa's voracious mobile device and web usage using its software and services as a lens. So, what are some of the key takeaways? More...

  • Eaze: weed-delivery startup gets $13m in funding

    Who says you have to visit a dispensary to get the Devil's Lettuce? Certainly not the people behind Eaze, which promises to get the Whacky Tobacky to your door in no time flat. Now, the company has announced US$13-million in series B funding, making Eaze "the fastest growing and most funded cannabis technology company in the world", the firm claims. "It has now raised more than $25M in total funding. Fresh VC led the round with participation from DCM Ventures, Tusk Ventures, Winklevoss Capital, Rose Capital and others," Eaze wrote in a blog post. The investment comes at a time when nine states have cannabis-related legislation on...

  • Telkom Mobile to zero-rate academic content

    Telkom has announced that it will zero-rate mobile data used to access academic content. The network said the move, set to last until the end of the academic year, was meant to help students who couldn't attend classes due to ongoing protests. "Many institutions have had to make alternative plans to continue the academic year. Many universities have made lecture and study material available online while campuses are not able to be accessed by students. This may result in further anxiety for students who may already be surviving on the smallest of stipends, and must now find additional funds to purchase...

  • Facebook Messenger beta arrives with data saver

    Future versions of Facebook Messenger will boast a data saving feature, this according to new beta builds of the app. In the same vein as Opera Max or Google Chrome's built-in browser data saver, Facebook Messenger's addition will attempt to lessen the impact data-heavy messages will have on your phone bill. Facebook Messenger will likely receive a data saving feature in its very near future Details are scant on just how the service works, but we speculate it works much the same as Opera Max. Opera uses its own servers to filter and compress traffic, resulting in some pretty impressive savings in...

  • Google Sprayscape: spray weird 360 snaps with this app

    Another week means another app from Google, but this one, dubbed Sprayscape, comes from its Creative Lab. In other words, expect something less like Allo and more like Lip Swap. Sprayscape, released on Android, allows users to essentially create a Photosphere/360 photo with a "spraying" mechanic. The app isn't super accurate at all, even claiming to be a "quick hack" in the Google Play description. "Sprayscape is a quick hack using the phone's gyroscope to take pictures on the inside of a 360-degree sphere. Just point your phone and tap the screen to spray faces, places, or anything else onto your canvas," reads the description. Google Sprayscape...

  • Rand down: 3 apps to keep tabs on SA’s financial news

    The South African rand isn't doing well today. In the midst of finance minster Pravin Gordhan's summoning over the SARS "rogue unit", the national currency has tanked around 4% of its value against the US Dollar since the day began. While you may be on the road, frantically trying to find a television to see the news unfold, you don't really have to. Thankfully, the most popular mobile platforms have a slew of apps available for you to monitor the financial news emanating from South Africa, and beyond. Here are three great picks for Android, iOS and Windows 10. Currency FX About as...

  • FNB introduces FNB Pay, fingerprint ID support in app

    FNB has announced version five of its banking app, with several big features in tow. The first feature is FNB Pay, allowing users to pay for goods/services under R200 by simply tapping their NFC-equipped Android phone against a contactless-enabled point of sale terminal. Purchases of more than R200 will require a PIN code in addition to fingerprint authentication, it seems. Unfortunately, iOS owners seem to be out of luck regarding Pay for now. The bank has confirmed having talks with Apple about Apple Pay however, but there's no ETA on this feature. "As of today, FNB customers with an NFC enabled Android device can...

  • Rocking The Daisies: Memeburn’s essential app kit

    We know the feeling: you're so amped for Rocking The Daisies that you forget to pack the most important things, like sunscreen, underwear or that preppy new denim shirt you bought. But while you probably also forgot to pack essential gadgets, what about those important apps? Believe it or not (perhaps you're a purist), but surviving the modern music festival -- like Rocking The Daisies -- takes more than sheer adrenaline and sunburn. You may just need an app or two to keep up to speed with the festival itself. So, with that in mind, here is Memeburn's essential app kit for...

  • Telegram adds in-chat gaming to its apps

    Instant messaging service Telegram may not be well known in South Africa, but it's definitely a solid alternative to WhatsApp and Messenger. Back in December 2015, the service had over 62-million signed up to its service, with that figure likely much higher in October 2016. But while its userbase might pale in comparison to its Facebook-owned rivals, it is doing something decidedly different. Telegram now boasts in-chat games thanks to a new bot duo. Adding the @Gamee bot (or the official @GameBot) allows users to jam by yourself or invite a friend to compete in one of thirty games available at present....

  • Meerkat may finally be dead, but Houseparty continues legacy

    Life On Air's Meerkat, arguably one of 2015's most exciting apps, has been pronounced dead. As of 30 September 2016, Meerkat is no longer listed on Android's Google Play store, or Apple's iOS App Store. The app, which took SXSW 2015 by storm and became a practical overnight sensation, allowed users to almost seamlessly livestream their activities. It was a novel idea at the time, but an idea that was soon made more mainstream courtesy of Twitter's Periscope. Ware of the Week: Meerkat Live mobile streaming has suddenly become a big potential business. With the current crop of flagship and mid-range smartphones boasting some...

  • Feeling impatient? Here’s how to get Google Allo in SA

    It's been a long time coming, but Google Allo is finally rolling out across the world, bringing a variety of cool features to a messaging platform. As with many app rollouts, these things can take a bit of time and Google Play isn't granting access at the time of writing. But if you're feeling a little impatient like us, we show you how to get Google Allo in SA... Enable installations from third party sources For starters, you'll want to visit your settings menu and the privacy or security sub-menu. From this sub-menu, you should be able to enable installations from third party/unofficial sources. You'll need...

  • Shepherd Bushiri debuts South Africa’s latest MVNO

    South Africa is about to get yet another virtual network operator from a rather unlikely source. Nope, it's not a retailer, an Austrian beverage company, or even a bank. Instead, it's Malawi-born church leader, Prophet Shepherd Bushiri, who's entering the market with his own, eponymous network. The alternatively-titled Prophet Shepherd Bushiri (PSB) Network, according to a press release, will "provide a service to like-minded primarily individuals who were looking for a more community focused, inclusive operation." PSB Network will also use Cell C's mobile infrastructure and airtime system, which is a route that many other mobile virtual network operators (MVNO) like...