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All posts tagged "Android"

  • 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...

  • Google Trips is Google’s nifty dedicated travel app

    Google Now already delivers a bunch of features for travellers, but the Mountain View company is upping the ante in a big way with the launch of Google Trips. The new app serves as a hub for travel information, offering trip details from your Gmail account and taking the form of Google Now style cards. So that means you have a card dedicated to your upcoming Johannesburg trip, for instance. Tap the card and you'll get a ton more details to check out, such as reservations, things to do, saved places from Google Maps, day plan options, food and drink choices and...

  • Instagram finally hits 1bn download mark on Android

    It's taken about four years, but Instagram has this week hit the one billion downloads mark on Google's Play Store. Instagram, an app which allows its users to share and interact with user-posted images, is now the fourth Facebook-owned app that has hit that figure (after Facebook, Messenger and WhatsApp). According to Android Police, it's the 19th app on the Play Store to reach this figure. To put those numbers into rough  perspective, around one-in-seven people on the planet have downloaded the app on an Android smartphone. Considering only about a billion-and-a-half devices run a version of Google's operating system, that's massively...

  • South African Post Office now has its very own Android, iOS app

    The South African Post Office is now the proud owner of its own official app. Available on Android and iOS devices, the app lets users track the location and status of a parcel, scan tracking numbers using the device's camera, and even get notifications when a parcel has been delivered. Developed by Fuse IT, the app was launched this week to fairly favourable (but scant) reviews on the Google Play Store, boasting a 4.2/5 score from six reviews. Yeah, you can't read much into that, but the app's definitely a step in the right direction for the embattled parastatal. "The app works well,...

  • Google Play Family Library is now a thing – but not in SA

    Apple's iTunes makes sharing purchases with loved ones rather easy, but Google-toting users can get in on the action now as well. The Google Play Family Library feature allows up to six family members to share purchases, the company announced in a blog post. "When you buy an eligible app, game, movie, TV show, or book in the Play Store, you can now share it with your family -- across devices -- with no additional sign-up fee," the company elaborated. Android devices have access to all shared content, while movies, TV shows and books can be shared via iOS devices and the web...

  • Apple still gets it first, but Prisma app gets Android port

    Android and iOS apps tend to get released at the same time these days, but there are still a few notable exceptions. Whether it's because there are fewer devices to target or a perception that Apple fans are more likely to pay for in-app purchases, the practice of releasing an app on iOS first is nothing new. One of these high-profile apps is Prisma, a popular photo tool that turns your snaps into works of art. It's been exclusively available on iPhones for a few weeks -- until now, that is. The team behind the arty app have released Prisma on Android, allowing the...

  • Adobe Lightroom app updates: RAW editing on iOS, pro-camera on Android

    American software company Adobe has announced major updates to its Adobe Lightroom app for both Android and iOS. Users on iOS are finally getting RAW photo editing support, while Android users will receive a new camera mode. Back in February 2015, Android users first received RAW photo editing which marked an important change for the app. Smartphones are being built to take more detailed images, and retaining this quality after editing has become important. This is where the RAW format comes into play. The Adobe Lightroom app also supports the same RAW files on Lightroom for desktop, which means that users can...

  • Android full-disk encryption is less secure than Apple’s, study finds

    If you use an encrypted Android device that sports a Qualcomm CPU at its heart, this news is for you. Encryption usually makes infiltrating a device a more difficult affair, but not all encryption methods are made equal. This revelation was made by indie researcher laginimaineb. According to the findings, Android devices powered by ARM-based Qualcomm chips store encryption keys not in hardware, but software. This effectively makes it easier for attackers to gain access to these keys, and your information. The issue lies in ARM's TrustZone system used to store the keys. Related: John Oliver explains the FBI Apple encryption debacle...

  • Google’s Now on Tap gets text, image search updates on Android Marshmallow

    Google's Now On Tap has received a massive update that now supports text select and image search. Now On Tap itself, only released to Android Marshmallow devices, came as an improvement to Google Now and allows users to search from within apps. According to the company, users can now use the exact word or phrase to perform a search about images. "If you use Now on Tap in an app, email, chat, or news article with a lot of text, sometimes the results aren’t as precise as you’d like. Starting today, you can give Google a nudge by selecting exactly what...

  • 3 features we’d love to see arrive in Android N

    Although Android’s market share is tipping the scales at 61%, the operating system still needs some serious polish. Bigger manufacturers can develop their own solutions to the annoying quirks on Android, but the lesser, budget-orientated makers have to just suck it up. And worst of all, so do their users. So how can Google improve Android? We look at three features we hope Google addresses in the latest build of Android, Android N.

  • Skype for Android tablets see a Material Design update

    Skype has released an update that brings a Material Design refresh to its Android tablet app. Android phones have been enjoying their Material Design updates since 2015. Skype users on tablets can now enjoy Android's new design language with all its vivid colours and bold shapes. The new UI for tablets has a floating button that Skype is claiming makes it easier to send messages and start voice and video calls. The design, according to the company, is optimised for multitasking, with its multi-pane view in landscape orientation. This allows users to send messages, files and check latest conversations whilst on a...

  • Google wins landmark legal battle against Oracle

    After almost four years of legal wrangling, a US jury has ruled in favour of Google in its long-running dispute with Oracle. The jury unanimously ruled that Google's use of Java APIs to create Android was indeed fair use. Oracle had reportedly been seeking $9-billion in damages. Oracle has indicated that it will appeal the decision however. "We strongly believe that Google developed Android by illegally copying core Java technology to rush into the mobile device market. Oracle brought this lawsuit to put a stop to Google's illegal behaviour. We believe there are numerous grounds for appeal and we plan to bring this case...