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Mobile apps

  • Product Ads by Facebook will automatically show business products that you want to see

    Facebook has your data and it is going to use it. With its new service, Product Ads, the company is trying to simplify how businesses display ads. Product Ads is aimed at businesses that sell more than one product. Instead of displaying all the products to every customer, Facebook will help them display products to a particular user, ending the wild goose hunt for buyers, going direct by using the users’ interest and activity. All your likes, cookies, ad clicks, shares will be used to execute the service. In the blog post announcing the service, the company says, “With product...

  • South Africa’s app economy is about more than just fun and games

    When cellphones were first introduced to South Africa twenty years ago, the focus was almost entirely on the networks themselves. There were huge debates over rates, coverage, signal strength and benefits. It didn’t take long for the networks to become little more than tiny logos in the top right hand corner of the actual device. The quality gap between phones began to widen and consumer attention shifted towards the hardware itself. The ability to take and send grainy photographs or pixelated birthday messages was nothing short of revolutionary to us, not to mention the new trend of being able...

  • Here’s what you need to know about staying secure with mobile banking

    We live in an app world. We shop through apps, we catch up with the latest news, we follow our sports teams, we listen to music, we communicate with friends and we do our work through apps. We also do our banking through apps, albeit to a lesser extent. But there is a steady rise in the use of mobile banking apps among South Africans. The Mobility 2014 research, conducted by World Wide Worx, found that nine percent of respondents used banking apps in 2013, up from one percent in 2012. Cellphone banking also surged, from 28% in mid-2012 to...

  • Facebook now lets you buy and sell stuff in groups

    Facebook has announced new features for Facebook Groups designed to make it possible for members of “For Sale” groups to buy and sell. These new features will roll out to Facebook For Sale Groups globally in the coming months across iOS, Android and web. The features allow Group members to choose the “Sell” feature when creating a post in a For Sale group. Furthermore, members can add descriptions of what they are selling, including a price and a pick up/ delivery location. Sellers can also mark posts as 'Available' or 'Sold' and easily view their catalogue of previous items sold. At...

  • Microsoft acquiring Sunrise iOS, Android calendar app for around $100-million

    Microsoft, the software and hardware giant, is in the process of acquiring Sunrise, debatably the best calendar app on Android and iOS, according to TechCrunch sources. The acquisition is rumoured to be at least around the US$100-million figure. Sunrise works across platforms pulling information from various accounts. It has calendar products for mobile and desktop users that connects with and consolidates calendars from different providers. This is what has made it popular. Read more: HoloLens, Continuum and Cortana: Microsoft’s Windows 10 playbook Sunrise's rise has been remarkable. Only founded in 2012, Sunrise is not only attractive with a slick design but is not...

  • Weekly Roundup #12: Apple earnings, Facebook grows, Connected cars, Lenovo and Design4T

    Welcome to our Weekly Roundup, our podcast that discusses tech trends, innovation and news of the last few days. This podcast edition is hosted by Kyle Hauptfleisch: Memeburn General Manager together with the rest of the Burn Media editorial team: André-Pierre du Plessis, Stuart Thomas, Andy Walker and Jacques Coetzee. This week in tech has been dominated by financial earnings from the big tech companies. We have seen a few drops in revenue and also huge profits with Apple leading the way, not only in its industry but across all businesses around the world. Andy Walker went to Johannesburg to...

  • Google Play may have more apps but iTunes is making way more money

    A new report by AppAnnie -- probably one of the most comprehensive application analytic firms out there -- found that although Google Play apps are being downloaded more and more each day, iTunes is seeing more return in cash. As you probably know, Android is the dominating mobile operating system in our world today. With just under 1.5 million apps at the end of last year, Google Play is home to about 300 000 more apps than its Apple counterpart. This echoes a report we saw last week that boldly claimed Google’s Play store grew by more than 50- 60% last year....

  • App Annie December 2014 data shows rise in security and selfie apps

    App Annie, the intelligence company and analyst firm, has released data on what apps people downloaded in December 2014. Interestingly, apps in two categories at seemingly opposite ends of the privacy spectrum -- security and selfie apps -- came out tops. Dubsmash, an app by Mobile Motion, topped iOS charts with strong downloads. Dubsmash allows users to select a well-known song or a quote from popular celebrities and then record themselves singing that song in their words. During the December holidays, App Annie has revealed, Christmas songs were the most popular as dubbed playbacks were often used as Christmas...

  • Google Play gained more new apps than Apple’s app store in 2014

    A new report by appFigures, an analytics service that monitors data from the thousands of apps that use its platform, claims that Google's Play store grew by more than 50% last year, beating out the iOS app store for the first time as it did so. The report looked at Google Play, the iOS App Store and Amazon’s app store and reported that all three had major growth but Google Play's was the most significant. Google Play ended the year with more than 1.43 million apps compared with 1.21 million on iOS. Amazon, although a distant third, grew its...

  • Yahoo’s got a growing interest in the weather across South Africa, here’s why

    Two years after launching its acclaimed weather app, Yahoo is gradually taking interest in displaying weather from locations outside major cities. Up until now Yahoo Weather has only been successful in showcasing beautiful Flickr snaps from big cities. But what about Benoni residents who don’t associate Johannesburg’s Ponte Tower with what it looks like outside? Or surfers at Noordhoek for whom a cloudy Table Mountain looks different from that pic taken from Signal Hill? The Yahoo Weather Team is aggressively scouring its photo-sharing website for weather images from lesser-known locations. At a time when millions of location-specific photos are shared...

  • App Annie Raises $55 million, launches new product for tracking app usage

    App Annie has announced a new $55 million round of Series D funding. App Annie is a resource that has become a go to resource for conclusive data on app downloads, rankings, and app store trends. The round was led by Institutional Venture Partners (IVP), and included existing investors Sequoia Capital, Greycroft Partners and IDG Capital Partners. In addition to the round of funding, the company is rolling out ‘Usage Intelligence’ its new product into beta. Usage Intelligence will allow app publishers, marketers, investors and other mobile industry leaders to gain deeper insights into usage patterns within applications. It will...

  • Je Suis Charlie iPhone app gets over 1 million downloads in just two days

    Of course there's a Je Suis Charlie app. In the name of freedom of expression and as a tribute to the massacre of 12 people in Paris, France last week, a Je Suis Charlie (or I Am Charlie) app has been launched on iTunes, achieving massive popularity around the globe. A rather quick launch at that as iOS apps usually face lengthy approval processes from Apple. The developers from Nice Martin reportedly contacted CEO Tim Cook via email, asking for special treatment and support. As you can imagine, Cook isn't alone in his stance as over 1 million people (and growing...

  • WhatsApp, Snapchat could be banned in the UK

    Snapchat and WhatsApp might be banned in Great Britain if Prime Minister David Cameron has anything to do with it. Cameron said that he would pursue banning encrypted messaging services if Britain’s intelligence services were not given access to the communications. The call for technology companies to cooperate with investigations is nothing new: there have already been calls by European politicians for Google and Facebook to provide greater information about people’s online activities. Following the recent attacks in Paris, France, European leaders called on Internet service providers to report potentially harmful online material aimed at inciting hatred or terror. Cameron...

  • Overall app usage grew by 76% in 2014

    In 2014, according to Flurry Analytics, overall app usage grew by 76%. Flurry defines app usage as a user opening an app and recording what the company call a session. The company obtained the data by tracking four millions sessions every minute, 2.079-trillion sessions in 2014. On 31 December, with users being busy, sharing, looking for rides, messaging, chatting, the company tracked 8.5-million sessions. Shopping, Utilities & Productivity, and Messaging experienced triple-digit growth. That's not surprising, given that mobile devices have become increasingly important for shopping, working, and communication. Working has also begun to see smartphones move in that direction,...

  • WhatsApp continues to surge, gaining 100 million new users in just four months

    WhatsApp cofounder and CEO Jan Koum has announced that the messaging app has reached 700-million monthly active users, with some 30-billion messages sent every day. Koum wrote, "Today, we’re thrilled to share that WhatsApp has more than 700 million monthly active users. Additionally, every day our users now send over 30 billion messages." In the post, WhatsApp's Koum vowed to continue improving the app. Last year, WhatsApp added encryption for messages sent between...