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Mobile

  • 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...

  • Adobe’s Photoshop voice assistant can edit snaps for you

    Talking to your electronic devices and telling them what to do isn't new. But while Siri can order an Uber, and Cortana open Microsoft Edge, Adobe's Photoshop voice assistant will be able to tweak your photographs using nothing but voice commands. The company has demonstrated a mobile editing app with an "intelligent digital assistant" that uses voice commands to perform specific tasks. According to Adobe, the "speech recognition system is able to directly accept natural user voice instructions for image editing either locally through on-device computing or through a cloud-based Natural Language understanding service". Adobe's Photoshop-inspired voice assistant could streamline photo editing on...

  • 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...

  • Gboard: Google’s new keyboard finally hits Android

    Earlier this year, Google revealed Gboard, being a rather cool virtual keyboard for smartphones. In a rather bizarre twist, the keyboard was released as an iOS-exclusive. Fortunately, Google has come to its senses, releasing the app on Android over the weekend. Or rather, it's updated the existing Google Keyboard to become Gboard. "Gboard has all the things you love about your old Google Keyboard -- speed and accuracy, Glide Typing and voice typing..." the company wrote in a blog post. What makes the keyboard stand out though, is its support for integrated Google search functionality. This allows you to search and send results...

  • 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...

  • This Cape Town startup wants to help send your laugh to space

    A new iOS app, called Laugh, could send your chuckle into space. The app was designed in conjunction with NASA's Made in Space division, developer Platoon, 3D artist Eyal Gever, Knut Studios and Cape Town startup Gravity Ideas . "NASA recently (space)shipped the first zero-gravity 3D printer to the International Space Station. Although its main function is to help astronauts build tools and spare parts in case of emergencies, NASA's Made in Space team seized the opportunity to do something pretty special," said David Perrott, Gravity's co-founder. Working with Eyal Gever, the company helped to create an easy-to-use app which allows people from...

  • Google’s Trusted Contacts is the app parents will love

    Once upon a time, you could keep track of your friends' and family's whereabouts using Google Plus. But that was the complicated past. Today, Google debuted a new Android app that aims to simplify keeping tabs on loved ones. Called Google Trusted Contacts, the app lets the most important people in your life request your location data from the app. If you fail to respond to the request, the app will automatically ping your loved one with your last recorded location. It's effectively Google's emergency location app. Trusted Contacts seems to pose a boat load of security problems. For one, your...

  • Vodacom reportedly down in north Johannesburg [Update]

    Update #2, 30 November, 12pm: Vodacom has confirmed that the issue "has been resolved". Update #1, 29 November, 5.30pm: Lexi Ball, Vodacom media relations specialist, in an email to Memeburn explains that the company is currently "aware of the outage". "Vodacom is aware of the outage that some of our customers are experiencing in the northern parts of Johannesburg. Our technicians are working on resolving the matter as quickly as possible. We apologise for any inconveinence that this may have caused," she adds. Vodacom has yet to provide an approximate time of repair, or when the network will be fully functional. Original article:...

  • 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...

  • Africa’s mobile growth: Opera publishes its State of Mobile report

    Norwegian internet company Opera isn't quite as well known in the desktop browser space, at least in terms of usage figures. Globally, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Microsoft's Internet Explorer still command the lion's share of users' internet tabs. When it comes to mobile browsers though, the firm has historically had a huge following in Africa. The company this week published its State of Mobile Web Report for Africa 2016, and with it, a slew of insights into Africa's voracious mobile device and web usage using its software and services as a lens. So, what are some of the key takeaways? More...

  • Eaze: weed-delivery startup gets $13m in funding

    Who says you have to visit a dispensary to get the Devil's Lettuce? Certainly not the people behind Eaze, which promises to get the Whacky Tobacky to your door in no time flat. Now, the company has announced US$13-million in series B funding, making Eaze "the fastest growing and most funded cannabis technology company in the world", the firm claims. "It has now raised more than $25M in total funding. Fresh VC led the round with participation from DCM Ventures, Tusk Ventures, Winklevoss Capital, Rose Capital and others," Eaze wrote in a blog post. The investment comes at a time when nine states have cannabis-related legislation on...

  • Telkom Mobile to zero-rate academic content

    Telkom has announced that it will zero-rate mobile data used to access academic content. The network said the move, set to last until the end of the academic year, was meant to help students who couldn't attend classes due to ongoing protests. "Many institutions have had to make alternative plans to continue the academic year. Many universities have made lecture and study material available online while campuses are not able to be accessed by students. This may result in further anxiety for students who may already be surviving on the smallest of stipends, and must now find additional funds to purchase...

  • Facebook Messenger beta arrives with data saver

    Future versions of Facebook Messenger will boast a data saving feature, this according to new beta builds of the app. In the same vein as Opera Max or Google Chrome's built-in browser data saver, Facebook Messenger's addition will attempt to lessen the impact data-heavy messages will have on your phone bill. Facebook Messenger will likely receive a data saving feature in its very near future Details are scant on just how the service works, but we speculate it works much the same as Opera Max. Opera uses its own servers to filter and compress traffic, resulting in some pretty impressive savings in...

  • 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...