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Mobile

  • Facebook’s Hello app is caller ID on steroids

    Facebook has released a new app that shows users more information about the person calling them. The Hello app -- built by the same team that built Messenger -- connects with Facebook so you can see who is calling, block unwanted calls and search for people and places. The app rolls out today on Android and it is up for public testing in the US, Brazil, and Nigeria. This type of app is nothing new. We've seen this technology from TrueCaller in the past, and Hello resembles TrueCaller in some aspects, but this is Facebook and it has the potential...

  • Google’s mobile-friendly update: is your website UX ready?

    If you're in any way involved in the online space, this is pretty intense. On 21 April, Google will launch a new mobile-friendly algorithm that will reward websites that are fully optimised for mobile with higher rankings in search results. The update aims to make Google even more useful to people by training its bots to search more like humans. Outlawing text that’s too small to read, links that are too close together to tap, and software uncommon to mobiles like Flash, among other factors, it all comes down to improving the overall user experience (UX). That's great for...

  • Global smartphone shipments reach 291.2m units in Q1 2015

    The global smartphone shipments for the first quarter of 2015 reached 291.2-million units, a drop of 9.2% compared with the prior quarter, according to the latest research by TrendForce. Samsung is dominating the smartphone market with a market share of 27.8 % in the first quarter of 2015, improving from 24.7% in the fourth quarter of 2014. Apple came in at number two on the list with a market share of 19.9%, its share declining from 23.2% from the fourth quarter. The success of Samsung is owed mostly to its flagship, the Galaxy S6 and S6 edge proving to...

  • Instagram gets strict on spam, nude photos, posting other users’ content

    Instagram has released new community guidelines. The platform wants its users to follow the law, post only their own photos, videos, respect everyone on Instagram and don’t spam people or post nudity. Arriving at the new community guidelines, the company says it considered its diverse community, all its different cultures, ages, beliefs, and tried to guidelines that suit all parties. The issue with guidelines, across platforms, is not their existence or lack thereof...

  • Here’s how Africa’s mobile money players fit into the global landscape

    Think Africa and technology and chances are one of the first things that come to mind is mobile money. In conference talk after conference talk, you'll hear Africa referred to as "the mobile continent". There's a good reason for that too. This year for instance, the use of mobile financial services in sub-Saharan Africa to perform tasks like pay utility bills and send money to relatives could produce an estimated US$1.5-billion in fees for mobile-money providers by 2019. Even Bill Gates reckons that “digital banking will give the poor more control over their assets and help them transform their lives...

  • Wake up call: why mobile money should matter to the South African government

    Speaking at The Economist Conference in Johannesburg, late 2014, Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene said, “There is a perception that financial inclusion efforts will necessarily lead to increased financial risk and hence have a negative effect on financial stability. However, if financial inclusion is approached from a systemic perspective and pursued responsibly, the opposite is true”. This tells, without a doubt, that government is eager for a nation where no one is financially excluded; where the poor, the marginalised and those who live in far-flung areas have no access to banks and other financial services. Mobile money is an efficient...

  • 11 massive predictions about the future of mobile and mobile data

    At this stage, telling anyone that we live in a mobile world seems more or less pointless. Our phones are hardwired into our daily lives and, for many of us, can seem more like artificial limbs than everyday devices. They've changed the world too. Web designers now think about how you'll experience a site on a phone or tablet before they think about how you'll see it on a desktop. Apps meanwhile have gone from single function curiosities to powerful tools that allow us to do everything from hailing private cars to making investments on the fly. Given...

  • SA set for 4G explosion and 14 other mindblowing mobile stats

    Between the country's largest network announcing plans to hike voice and data rates and finding out that the Samsung Galaxy S6 will be bafflingly expensive, there hasn't been much for South African mobile users to celebrate of late. They may however take a little solace in the prediction that they're a lot more likely to have 4G coverage in the next five years. According to Cisco, the ongoing adoption of more powerful devices and machine-to-machine (M2M) connections may see 3G surpassing 2G as the top cellular technology, based on connection share, by 2016. 4G will meanwhile account for 56.1%...

  • Mobile first design: why responding to technology is imperative

    Paradigms change. Sometimes they change naturally. Others need a little nudge in the right direction. Mobile first design is an example of the latter. The idea of Mobile First Design has been around for a while now. Google started floating the idea back in 2010 and really started pushing it shortly after. But Google pushes a lot of ideas and the wake of their changes tend to be both broad and long. There is an enormous audience of developers, advertisers and businesses that respond to the disruptive changes Google makes. It can take a while for all of them to...

  • SMS, Facebook dominate mobile activity in 5 of Africa’s biggest economies

    People speak about Africa as "the mobile continent" so frequently that it's become a cliche. People throw the phrase around as if it explains everything, without ever really interrogating exactly what it is Africans do with their mobile devices. One attempt to change that comes courtesy of technology research outfit World Wide Worx, which has published the results of its survey of 3 500 mobile phone users in five of Africa’s major markets, namely South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana and Uganda. The survey reveals somewhat unsurprisingly, that there's been a rise of internet access via phones, the potential demise of...

  • Kenya’s internet access continues to experience growth

    Kenya The Communications Authority of Kenya has revealed impressive data about Kenya’s internet access. According to them the number of internet users in the country has grown to reach 26.1-million. This translates to 64.3 per 100 inhabitants with access to internet. Data/internet subscriptions grew by 10.8% to reach 16.4-million during the second quarter of the 2014/15 financial year, October to December 2014. Coming as no surprise, the report reveals that the majority of users continue to access the internet through their mobile phones. The increased uptake has been attributed to the number of promotions carried out by various service providers and...

  • The digital experience needs to be about the customer

    It’s a dog eat dog world in the business sector as organisations scramble to find differentiators that enable them stand out from the competition. Disruptive technologies are changing how we do business, yet it isn’t the technology vendors nor software stacks that are providing the cutting edge. It’s the next step in the evolution of customer experience: the digital experience. According to a report compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit, the impact of digitisation is so powerful that it has replaced regulation as the top concern for retail banks. A separate study by Accenture and Oxford Economics has also revealed...

  • SA retailers need to get to grips with location-based messaging

    The retail industry is faced with the challenges of maintaining market share and profits and while international companies are fast to adopt and exploit new marketing opportunities provided by location-based technologies, local companies have been slow to adopt and maximize the full potential of these mobile technologies. Reasons for the lack of uptake are often due to the infancy of their overall mobile strategies or because retailers quite simply do not know how to harness location based messaging to support their businesses. Many also have the misconception that implementing these advanced tools will prove highly complex, time consuming and...

  • Facebook introduces Analytics For Apps for cross device mobile analytics

    With 1. 39 billion users per month, Facebook is officially the most populous nation on earth. In the spirit of a country, as we already think of it as so, the company is building resources to meet the demands of its growing population. Much like a city does to address urbanisation, Facebook is bolstering every aspect of itself. Amongst the list of announcements Facebook has made at F8, is Analytics for Apps, a new tool for marketers that makes it possible for them to track people who are access their apps and website across multiple devices. The service is available...

  • Enterprise mobile apps should be as simple and functional as their consumer equivalents

    Companies that want to drive the best results from mobilising their business processes need to give their employees access to apps that are as simple, attractive, integrated and rich as the consumer mobile apps they use every day. This means organisations and their IT departments must learn from best practices in consumer app design and put the end-user experience at the heart of their mobile app development decisions. The simple, beautiful design of consumer apps such as Evernote, WhatsApp, Dropbox, and various social media tools has set the benchmark for enterprise mobile apps. Mobile business solutions that are difficult...