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All posts tagged "apps"

  • 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...

  • 6 alternative YouTube apps you should check out

    The YouTube Android app has come a long way since the dismal app of the Froyo days. It's not perfect now, but it definitely gets the job done well enough. In any event, for those wanting something a little different, here are a few alternative YouTube apps worth looking at. TubeMate One of the most popular apps not available on the Play Store, TubeMate is effectively a wrapper for the mobile website. Hardly a reason to download the app, then. But its best feature is the ability to download videos via the app, with the ability to choose from various quality options. Yes, YouTube does...

  • This novel Russian app wants to be the Uber of the afterlife

    If you didn't know how to market your startup in 2016, there's an easy formula to use. Define your target market, and call your business the Uber of said market. It works, and often gets quoted hundreds of times by us journalists and investors. But an incoming Russian app might've taken this marketing quip a little too far. Named Umer, this app aims to be the Uber of funerals. According to a Russian website, Umer (which literally means "died") will allow people to seamlessly and easily organise funeral arrangements on the fly -- all from the comfort of an app. To...

  • Going to the beach? Download these apps first

    We're pretty much in the thick of it as far as summer holiday madness goes. And if you live on the coast, chances are good that you'll be visiting the beach at least once. But before you make your way to Clifton or Muizenberg, you might want to download a few of these apps... Shark Spotters (free - Android, iOS) Sure, there is a flag system in place at major beaches, courtesy of the Shark Spotters team, but they have an app as well. The Shark Spotters app delivers updates on shark sightings (as well as a recent history of shark sightings) for a number of...

  • Watch video ads to get train ticket in Dusseldorf

    Mobile gamers are accustomed to the experience of watching video ads in exchange for lives. Now, a new app in a German city allows people to earn a train or bus ticket by watching video ads. According to The Local, the Welect app in Dusseldorf allows users to watch four promotional videos, each being 20 seconds long. Users can choose their desired ads as well. The app's team predicted that only 1000 tickets would be redeemed by the end of the year, but over 20 000 people have downloaded the app already. In fact, a test run of the app saw...

  • Tinder hits Apple TV: get gran to find matches for you

    Tinder is a rather private experience for many people, but the hookup/dating app is now available on Apple TV, if you can believe that. What's the logic behind this move, though? "We decided that the goal of our Apple TV integration should be two-fold: 1) to serve our end users by providing a new use case -- the 'party' swipe, a fun activity with friends and 2) to create a lightweight, modern app that would serve as an experiment field for new architecture proposals," the developer wrote on their blog. Apple TV users will need to use their remote's touchpad to swipe, but...

  • 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...

  • Opera: OLX, Letgo tracks you more than Takealot, Gumtree

    New research from Opera Software found that over half of the top 60 Android shopping apps collect personal information via trackers. However, South Africa's OLX and Letgo were mentioned as some of the worst offenders as well. The two South African services were joined by the likes of Flipkart, Amazon, JC Penney, Best Buy and eBay Kleinanzeigen as the shopping apps with the highest amount of trackers. These trackers collected information such as your name, email address, location, phone number and search terms, Opera wrote in an emailed press release. The results were obtained using privacy mode in the updated Opera Max...

  • Here’s why Snapchat is Snapchat’s own worst enemy

    It's tough to think of another mobile platform that's enjoyed as much success in as short a time as Snapchat. The service has managed to successfully shed its early reputation as sexting platform number one. In the process, it's transformed into a service that prides itself on being a platform for authentic media-sharing. Who needs carefully shot, crystal clear DSLR snaps when spur-of-the-moment, blurry shots can feel more intimate? Who cares about smooth, 4K video clips when shaky footage happening right now feels more authentic? Or at least that's the thinking... As a result of the app's live nature, it's quickly become a social media icon alongside...

  • 10 WhatsApp tricks you should know about

    One of the world's most popular messaging platforms, WhatsApp has gone from strength to strength since its 2011 launch, eventually being swallowed by the giant known as Facebook. Whether you're a newbie or just not tech-savvy, here are a few cool tricks you should know about. How to italicise/strike through/bold words The platform introduced the ability to format text a while back, so how do you do this then? To italicise a word or sentence, you'll simply need to add an underscore (_) to either side of the word/sentence. Bolding is a similar affair, as you add an asterisk (*) on either side....

  • EFF: 4 big security concerns for WhatsApp

    The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has been on WhatsApp's case this year, taking the platform to task over its new data-sharing policy with Facebook. Now, the US watchdog has hit out at WhatsApp, listing four major security concerns it should tackle. Unencrypted backups The first issue raised by the EFF was the way WhatsApp handles backups to the cloud. "In order to back messages up in a way that makes them restorable without a passphrase in the future, these backups need to be stored unencrypted at rest," the watchdog noted. The watchdog says users should never back up their WhatsApp data to the cloud "since...

  • 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...

  • Allo: Google’s latest app demystified [Video]

    It was earlier this year that Google revealed Duo and Allo. at its I/O developer conference. Duo is meant to be a video chat service and Allo a messaging platform with artificial assistance capabilities. Duo launched to very little fanfare and the app has, since launch, attracted a fair share of attention. The reviews have been mixed, with some applauding Google's efforts and others questioning its purpose and how it separates itself from rival apps. Hadlee Simons, who was an early adopter of Allo, downloading it before it even launched in South Africa, takes a look at the app. Having been using it...