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3 Android load shedding apps for South Africa
Load shedding was a buzzword, albeit a much maligned one, during the early years of this decade. But according to every South Africa’s favourite provider of electricity, Eskom, it may make a sudden return.
A report by Moneyweb on Monday revealed that a number of Eskom’s coal power stations have just 10 days of reserve stock remaining.
“In the meantime, the power utility is using costly diesel plants to supplement the power generated by its coal-fired fleet,” the report by Antoinette Slabbert continued, further suggesting that loadshedding may come sooner rather than later.
Because it’s always better to be prepared (someone please mention this to Eskom), we’ve rounded up the few remaining load shedding apps available on Android for South African users, pointing out the pros and cons of each.
Load Shedding Notifier
Rating: 4.4/5 of 1716 reviews
Last updated: June 2018
- Users can select more than one municipality or zone within a city, or across multiple cities.
- Includes “quiet times” for notifications which can be set manually.
- Users can also set notification times and intervals.
- App includes notifications and info for forecasts, early warnings and Eskom grid status updates.
- The app has a super simple user interface.
- It’s pretty ugly considering newer Android apps.
- You can’t add areas based on address, so you’ll need to know your zones beforehand.
- Convoluted design means that access to “Advanced search” is only granted if you cancel “Easy search”.
Rating: 4.3/5 of 2204 reviews
Last updated: September 2018
- It’s probably the prettiest load shedding app you can get on Google Play.
- Adding shedding zones is a simple scrolling process, while searching is smooth and quick.
- The home screen displays a brief summary of monitored zones and their status.
- Tapping on a zone displays more granular information for up to three days.
- Another tab includes a “Forecast” outlook for the week ahead.
- It’s slightly larger in download size than the other apps.
- You also can’t add areas based on your home address.
- Lacks granular options, including notification tweaks that its competitors feature.
- The forecast calendar doesn’t have a legend, the icons are also ambiguous, so it’s not immediately understandable.
Load Shedding Alert
Rating: 4/5 of 456 reviews
Last updated: October 2018
- This is the app with the smallest footprint on the list, ideal for older phones.
- The simple UI allows options for “Home” and “Work” only.
- There are options to enable a “silent notify” option between 10pm and 6am.
- Alarm and notification options are also available on status change, or for early warnings.
- An option is available to change the polling interval for Eskom status updates.
- Confusingly, the app opens to the “Preferences” page, not the home page.
- Only two areas can be monitored at a time.
- The available options are welcome, but they’re extremely basic.
- The app has issues pulling schedule information when loadshedding isn’t active or forecast.
- Initial setup is quite convoluted, and not ideal for novice smartphone users.
Feature image: Media Club via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0, resized)