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All posts tagged "Android"

  • Skype’s new preview beta adds a touch of Snapchat

    Remember Skype? The video conferencing tool is a product we haven't covered in a while, and that's largely because its feature set hasn't changed radically since Microsoft bought it from eBay in 2011. But that's about to change, at least judging by this week's news. Skype's mobile app, available on Android and iOS, is set to receive a number of updates to bring it in line with the other instant messaging apps of this world. Skype Chat will now boast a "Find Panel" which will allow users to "easily find and share links, news, sports results, restaurants, the weather, videos and more...

  • Disable Facebook autoplay videos on all platforms: a how-to guide

    Few things are more annoying than runaway videos on your devices thanks to Facebook autoplay. You can be mindlessly scrolling through your timeline one minute, and the next, some rando in a chicken suit starts dancing on your screen. No one wants that. Thankfully, this system, along with audio accompaniment, is coming to mobile devices too! But did you know that you can switch off the Facebook autoplay system entirely? Absolutely. And here's how you can do just that on Desktop, Android, and iOS. Desktop On Facebook's desktop website, you'll need to navigate to the top right of the site's headline bar and click...

  • 15 must-have Android apps under 15MB [Tech Savvy SA]

    Tech Savvy SA is a series of articles on Gearburn and Memeburn that aim to deliver useful, locally relevant advice to the average South African. Mobile data isn't super cheap in South Africa, but that doesn't mean you should skimp out on quality app downloads though. We've sifted through the Google Play Store, delivering 15 useful Android apps that weigh in at 15MBs or under. Pocket Weighing in at roughly 12MBs, Pocket (formerly Read It later) is arguably the best solution of its kind on the Google Play Store. The app allows users to save articles for later reading, delivering offline reading functionality in the process....

  • Weekly Round Up Podcast #94: UberEATS expansion, Android Wear updates & more

    Welcome to Weekly Roundup, our podcast discussing the latest tech trends, innovation and news from the last few days. In this week's edition, Hadlee Simons plays host to Andy Walker and Graham van der Made. This time we discuss the PS4 Pro's so-called Boost Mode and how it will affect supported titles. Sticking with Gearburn, we also touch on Ubisoft's recent Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Wildlands beta. We also take a look at the latest Android Wear 2.0 update coming to smartwatches this year. Android Wear 2.0 will also see the introduction of new smartwatches to South Africa Moving onto Meme matters, we...

  • Google, H&M wants your phone to design your next dress

    While our favourite garments aren't as unique as we believe them to be, how we combine these pieces defines our individual style. But can style be determined by the likes of technology? That's what Google and H&M hope to discover. The Android app, designed by both Mountain View and H&M's Ivyrevel fashion house, wants to use your daily habits to design a bespoke dress for your needs. At the heart of the app is Google's Awareness API, which "enables apps to be aware of all aspects of a user's environment" through a device's available sensors. Google and H&M's new Android app will...

  • Dropbox Paper is for creatives with too many files

    Cloud storage service Dropbox is hoping to modify its company description slightly with its latest product. It's called Dropbox Paper, and it's effectively the company's Google Docs competitor. While, yes, it is yet another online office collaboration tool, the company's Todd Jackson claims that it's so much more than that. "More than a doc, Dropbox Paper is a flexible workspace that brings people and ideas together," he explains. "With Paper, teams can create, review, revise, manage, and organise -- all in shared documents." Google Docs, but for creatives? Largely based on the principle that one basket is good enough for all your office's creative...

  • Your Android Pattern Lock isn’t secure at all, research suggests

    Modern Android devices give users a number of authentication methods. From fingerprints to PIN codes, there are a slew of options to unlock your dear device. But some people still rely on the ancient Pattern Lock. Researchers from Britain's universities of Bath and Lancaster, and China's Northwest University, suggest that sliding your thumb seemingly uniquely across nine equidistant dots on a screen isn't as secure as you may have thought. The researchers noted that by using a recorded "video and computer vision algorithm software" -- effectively recording the motion of the hand over the screen -- the Pattern Lock can be...

  • Bidvest’s Snappdrive app will let you rent, drive its cars without keys

    South African car rental company Bidvest has announced the launch of its first keyless car rental service, Snappdrive. The app allows users to locate, gain access to, and even start Bidvest vehicles, negating the need for physical car keys. "Most often, car rental happens at the end of an arduous travel process," explains Bidvest CEO Paulette McGhee. "With Snappdrive, we eliminate any further hassle or waiting, with the traveller’s phone leading them straight to their waiting vehicle." Bidvest's Snappdrive eliminates the need for key collection or keys to start rental vehicles The company is also able to track its vehicles through the app system,...

  • Think twice before grabbing popular photo app Meitu

    Meitu, an app which allows users to gussy up their faces in an anime style, has quickly gone viral, but reports suggest that it represents a privacy threat. The app allows users to beautify their faces, delivering larger irises, smoother skin and a host of other changes. But several reports found that the app (especially the Android version), like many, requires a notable privacy trade-off. For starters, its Google Play Store listing reveals permissions such as location, running at startup, device and phone ID, and viewing WiFi connections. Not super crazy, but definitely concerning -- especially the ability to access your device/phone IDs...

  • ShowMax now supports Android TV, PS4 app ‘out soon’

    Naspers-owned video streaming service ShowMax has today announced that it now fully supports Android TV devices. This support comes courtesy of an updated Android app, which now allows users to watch streaming content "through a compatible Android media player or on a smart TV running Android TV software". Android TV was a OS launched by Google back in 2014, but doesn't feature on too many media devices in South Africa. Still, if you happen to have an Android-based device like the CloudGate or Mi Box, the app should now play nice with your large TV. Speaking of large screens, other additions made...

  • 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...

  • My Vodacom app now supports Mastercard’s Masterpass

    South African telecoms giant Vodacom has announced that its customers can now "buy airtime, data bundles and SMS bundles through the My Vodacom mobile application" using Mastercard's mobile payment gateway Masterpass. Previously, purchasing airtime required users to leave the My Vodacom app, but this change now allows Vodacom users to purchase these items and services directly from the network's app. Masterpass, according to a press release, aims to "support all forms of commerce in order to address the widest range of merchant experiences and consumer needs". The service requires a single payment card capture -- which means consumers needn't continually re-register the card...

  • 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...

  • Messenger Lite for Android hits Kenya, Tunisia

    In its valiant attempt to connect the entire world using its software and infrastructure, Facebook has today announced a new lite version of one of its most popular apps -- Messenger Lite. As the name would suggest, Lite is a "slimmed down" version of the Messenger instant messaging app, and will be available for Android devices. It's primarily focused at budget Android devices running on slower, bandwidth-stricken networks. "Messenger Lite is a slimmed down version of Messenger that offers the core features of Messenger for markets with slower than average internet speeds and a prevalence of basic Android smartphones," explains Tom Mulcahy, the app's...

  • YouTube Go turns YouTube into offline video portal

    Google's latest app YouTube Go, aims to make it easier for those with limited connectivity to watch videos offline. YouTube Go will initially launch in India, and according to the company, its team has travelled the country to better understand its peoples' requirements. But while the app will head to the Asian subcontinent first, the advantages for Africa and other data-stretched lands are clear to see. YouTube Go will allow users to save videos for offline viewing, while allowing them to choose the video quality and file size. It effectively means that YouTube is now a portable, offline video repository. YouTube Go is...