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Mobile

  • Mozilla acquires read-it-later service Pocket

    Mozilla isn't known for its acquisition of companies at all. But the company has just announced major news, having purchased Pocket for an undisclosed sum. Pocket is one of the most popular services on the internet, allowing users to save articles and content for offline viewing. Available as browser add-ons and dedicated apps, Pocket has also delved into the content recommendation game recently. "As our first strategic acquisition, Pocket contributes to our strategy by growing our mobile presence and providing people everywhere with powerful tools to discover and access high quality web content, on their terms, independent of platform or content silo,"...

  • Google Allo is coming to the desktop (kind of)

    Smart messaging app Google Allo is heading to the desktop, this according to a tweet from Google VP of communication products Nick Fox. The app, currently available on Android and iOS, will also be heading to desktop platforms in the near future in the form of a web app. Still in early development, but coming to a desktop near you... #GoogleAllo #SneakPeek pic.twitter.com/f7QNFH7IHO — Nick Fox (@RealNickFox) February 24, 2017 Judging by the attached screenshot, the app will be much like WhatsApp Web, running in-browser with two distinct sections: a contacts pane on the left, and a larger content section on the right. Google...

  • Microsoft’s Skype Lite Android app launches in India

    An interesting counter-trend is emerging among the world's most popular apps. With Facebook launching the likes of Messenger Lite and Facebook Lite last year to cater for emerging markets, Microsoft is following suit debuting Skype Lite this week. Like its Facebook counterparts, Skype Lite will be available for low-cost Android devices, and cater exclusively (at least for now) to the Indian smartphone market. Overall the Hyderabad-developed app is said to be more usable on low-speed networks, use less battery and works with India's Aadhaar identification number system to streamline signups and identification. Skype Lite is a direct competitor to Facebook Messenger Lite...

  • 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...

  • 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....

  • #SONA2017: Govt plans to drop data costs for South Africa’s youth

    Amidst a bevy of chaos, President Jacob Zuma eventually got his State of the Nation Address across to the seated members of Parliament and South Africa at large. Although many points regarding South Africa's future for 2017 were made (including land claims, black business growth and agriculture), one in particular stood out for us. And that's the cost of data. President Zuma announced that the government will ensure that dropping the cost of data will be one of its most important focus points in 2017. He emphasised the youth in particular. President Zuma: We assure the youth that the lowering of the...

  • UberEATS expands to five more Cape Town suburbs

    UberEATS, after launching in Cape Town's central business district and surrounds in late January, has now announced its expansion into the city's Southern Suburbs. Initially serving only the Atlantic Seaboard, the city centre and the city's eastern edge, the company will today expand into five new suburbs. Newlands, Rondebosch, Claremont, Bishopscourt and Mowbray will now be serviced by UberEATS, the company revealed in a newsletter. This is obviously a welcome move for both Uber and its potential customers in this area, as it can also now be regarded as a Mr D Food and OrderIn competitor. Mr D Food, which also relaunched in...

  • YouTube mobile livestreaming coming to your phone ‘soon’

    Following in Facebook and Twitter's stead, Google's video behemoth YouTube has announced that it has begun rolling out mobile livestreaming to select creators. It's a big move for the company, which hasn't really focused on the mobile broadcasting space, a space in which it's constantly losing ground to the likes of Facebook Live and Twitter's Periscope. The company notes that YouTube mobile livestreaming will be built into the mobile app itself, negating the need to install two different apps. An in-app capture button will be used to kick off the livestreaming process. YouTube notes that these livestreamed clips will also have the "same...

  • UberEATS review: an amuse-bouche, or complete flop?

    When I was younger, my parents would resist ordering in food unless it was a very special occasion. Nowadays, it seems that everyone in Cape Town does it at least once a week. And you know what, that's okay. The main problem with ordering in though, are the ordering systems themselves. UberEATS wants to simplify both the ordering and delivering process from places that don't have these structures in place. That means you can now grab grub from your favourite Cape Town pub, or late-night haunt without visiting them personally. But while it's great to see companies like Uber experiment with food...

  • UberEATS Cape Town: 4 things you should know

    UberEATS launched in Cape Town on Thursday, bringing another food delivery service to the city. The service hopes to service a "foodie" niche by teaming up with trendy eateries and restaurants to offer food delivery. At R20 for delivery (there's no minimum spend either, the firm claims), it seems rather reasonably priced, but what else should you know about the service? Here are a few things to keep in mind. Supported areas The service is currently available in the CBD, Atlantic Seaboard, Woodstock and Observatory, but UberEATS's David Kitley says that they are looking to expand. In fact, Kitley told Memeburn that the...

  • UberEATS finally launches in Cape Town

    UberEATS has been available in Johannesburg for a while now, bringing a Mr Delivery-style food service to smartphone users. Now, Capetonians can see what all the fuss is about as the service hits the city. "Cape Town couldn't be a better place for us to bring UberEATS with over 100 of the best local restaurants in the city partnering with Uber to deliver their food to you faster, and more reliably than ever before," the company wrote on its website. The service, which launches today (26 January), is available on Android and iOS. UberEATS originally launched in Johannesburg in September, with Cape Town launching today Partners...

  • Hugo Barra has announced departure from Xiaomi

    When Hugo Barra announced that he was leaving Google for Xiaomi back in 2013, there were many people questioning the move. But after overseeing the company's international expansion, it's hard to argue with the decision. Now, Barra has announced his departure from the Chinese smartphone firm, using an open letter on Facebook to reveal the news. "When Lei Jun and Bin Lin came to me nearly four years ago with the opportunity to help turn a young rockstar startup into a global player, I embarked on what has been the greatest and most challenging adventure of my...

  • 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...

  • Vodacom launches Facebook Flex for free status updates, comments

    Vodacom wants to get you updating your Facebook status again, but its new product will let you do this for free. Dubbed Facebook Flex, the product is the "first of many" and will allow Vodacom users to access Facebook's basic version. This means that users can post comments, update their status and keep in touch with others' text posts without depleting their data stores. Vodacom explains that Facebook Flex will aim to reduce the cost of communicating with friends and family in the country. Facebook Flex will allow users to update their status, comment on users' posts but not view photos or...