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Industry News

  • Google’s killing its Inbox app in 2019

    Google's graveyard is about to get bigger by one more service. Following in the vein of Reader, Wave and Picasa, Google's Inbox email app will be killed off from March 2019, the company announced on Wednesday. Inbox, which debuted in 2014, is a radical redesign of Google's more tradition email management app Gmail. In an article covering its launch, we called it "a cross-breed between Facebook’s News Feed and Google Now, with highlights of your travel itineraries, pictures and the works; all looking colourful."Goo But from 2019, users will either have to find a new email management app, or use Gmail. This Google...

  • Cape Town’s the real star of Apple’s Watch Series 4 ad

    Apple may have been trying to showcase its new Apple Watch Series 4, but its one filming location in particular glimpsed within its new ad that piqued our interest. With "Hokey Pokey" playing in the background, the ad tracks the daily movement of people across the world, all doing what they seemingly love. However, if you look at little closer, you may spot a Table Mountain or two. A large portion of the advertisement was filmed in Cape Town. Bo-Kaap, the CBD, the Atlanic Seaboard, Hout Bay, and Camps Bay beach are all visible in the heavily-cut 60 second clip. "Apple Watch has...

  • People are already trolling Apple over the iPhone’s new names

    Apple may as well have launched an iPhone XD, because the internet's heaping the hilarious hot takes on the company's new smartphone names. Leaked earlier today through its own website, Cupertino's three new phones will be called the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and the iPhone XR. Fans aren't warming to them. It’s official, iPhone XS, XS Max, and iPhone XR. I’ll get use to it, but those are awful names. — Michael Kukielka (@DetroitBORG) September 12, 2018 "XS MAX, I keep seeing 'EXCESS MAX.' It sounds a new Pepsi Beverage," wrote one Twitter user. "XrR sounds like a new model from Mazda." XS MAX, I...

  • Airbnb in South Africa: the numbers

    Airbnb has hosted two-million guests in South Africa since 2008, the company today announced. This, and slew of other numbers, were presented by the company from a report done in collaboration with Genesis Analytics at its Africa Travel Summit in Langa, Cape Town on Wednesday "Since Airbnb’s founding, hosts across South Africa have earned over US$260-million and, in the past year, the ripple effect of the activity of the Airbnb community resulted in an economic impact of US$678 million, supporting over 22 000 jobs," the company said. South Africa itself is home to more than 35 000 guests, a figure that's 65%...

  • The ‘end’ of the shopkeeper (and other retail trends coming soon)

    Self-service retail is swooping across the globe; from online shopping to self-checkout, there’s a growing trend in retail environments that focuses on driving efficient and seamless processes to enhance service and CX. It’s a fascinating period of transformation that encourages brands to experiment. However, companies must, as always, bear in mind that customer responses and preferences are the dominant focus, even in times of change. 'Smart' vs 'simple' assistants The past few years have seen many international brands improving the way they approach customer interactions, but this hasn’t always translated to brand success. For instance, smart, AI-powered and natural language processing (NLP) reliant...

  • Apple will livestream its iPhone launch on Twitter

    If you don't have a Mac, watching an Apple event live is always a pain in the ass. You couldn't use any other browsers besides Microsoft Edge and Safari, or you had to own an iPad, iPhone or Apple TV. But that's about to change (unless you don't use social media). The Cupertino firm will for the first time livestream its iPhone launch event on Twitter. Confirmed by TechCrunch, the company has previously asked users to "watch" the event on the social network not simply sign up, leading fans to believe that something was a foot. Yeah, I bet you didn't know Apple...

  • Facebook Lite now comes with Community Help feature

    Last year, Facebook launched Community Help, a feature that allows people to communicate with, and help each other during times of crisis. Now the feature is coming to Facebook Lite, a lower data usage version of the Facebook app on Android. “In many areas around the world, networks can be slow and unreliable. This can be even more challenging after a crisis, when communication is critical,” the social network explains. The addition of Community Help to Facebook Lite now opens the service to countries with slower internet connection speeds and lower-specification smartphones. According to the social network, over 100 countries use its...

  • WhatsApp may soon be coming to your KaiOS feature phone

    WhatsApp has announced a new version of its app will be available on the JioPhone, a phone that runs on KaiOS. KaiOS, based on what was known as FirefoxOS at one point in time, runs on low-powered feature phones. A few of said phones are available in South Africa too, like the Nokia 8110. The chat application will soon terminate support for older Android smartphones, iOS and Windows devices. Notably, it's the first indication that the social messenger now supports the operating system, even though it does allow for some apps and internet connectivity. This too is an indication that the app may...

  • This is why it’s important to get personal with your data

    With more than 230 000 new instances of malicious software produced daily, companies are under pressure to ensure the security of their data. Adding to the complexity of the challenge is the evolving legislative environment with the likes of the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the local Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA) putting the focus on maintaining the integrity of personal customer data. Research has found that the global average cost of a data breach is more than R56-million and the average cost for each lost or stolen record containing sensitive and confidential information is more than R2000. The...

  • 5 ways to enhance your marketing images on social media

    Humans are visual creatures. Half of the human brain is designed to process visuals, more than the other senses such as touch and hearing. The brain is able to identify images in as fast as 13 milliseconds, and humans are able to remember more than 2000 pictures with at least 90% accuracy. So if someone sees a beautiful or a haunting image, they'll won't likely forget it. In the age of social media, a picture is truly worth a thousand words. If you want to stand out, you must have really compelling visuals in your arsenal. Online consumers are said...

  • Google’s ‘Art Selfie’ is now available in South Africa

    Good news, everyone. You can now find your art doppelganger online thanks to Google's Arts & Culture app's latest update. The update activates the Art Selfie feature globally, which allows users to find their art lookalike from Google's wealth of cached historical and contemporary artwork. Art Selfie first launched in January in the US, and for a moment became one of the internet's strangest memes... largely because it wasn't very good. Google thought some users' dogs we're similar to paintings of men, while one user in particular was likened to a caricature of Mark Wahlberg. Seriously bro, ouch. Beyond the Art Selfie feature though,...

  • Google Chrome turns 10, celebrates with shiny new features

    Google Chrome is officially celebrating its 10th birthday. To commemorate the milestone, Google is releasing a brand new updated version of the browser. Chrome usually receives updates in six week cycles but for its 10th birthday, it’s a "bigger than normal" one. The announcement outlined four new features that are on its way to the browser: Overhauled UI A new look Chrome, which will be visible on multiple devices, employs "more rounded shapes, new icons and a new colour palette". These aesthetics have apparently been put into place for simplicity as well as to improve productivity. "We changed the shape of our tabs so that...

  • Cell C’s MediaPlay lumps voice, data and Black into one contract

    Cell C has today announced MediaPlay, a contract offering that lumps its communications and Black entertainment offering into unified bundles. MediaPlay, which Cell C's calling a "a revolutionary new, first-to-market solution", lumps voice, data and entertainment offering Black into a single "converged" contract. "MediaPlay empowers consumers to plan and budget for their connectivity and entertainment needs through one contract. This transformation contract gives customers all access connectivity and entertainment in one plan," the company explains in a release. MediaPlay's offerings are also divided into three pricing segments covering various data requirements and technologies: MediaPlay Fibre, MediaPlay LTE or MediaPlay Mobile. Fibre -- the...

  • These companies won gold at the 2018 PriceCheck Awards

    The third edition of the PriceCheck Tech and E-Commerce Awards took place earlier this week in Cape Town, but who took home what? Last year, Takealot walked away with just one award from four nominations. This year, it took home four awards. Additionally, Luno was a new entrant into the fintech platform nominees, while Travelstart took the mobile shopping crown away from Clicks. Airbnb won the travel booking service award for the second year running, while Spree displaced Superbalist as the best niche shopping experience. Have a look at the full list of winners from the 2018 edition of the awards below. Best...

  • Is an Instagram shopping app on its way?

    After launching IGTV earlier this year, Instagram may be close to launching another app. But it's not all about video. Instead, sources close to The Verge have revealed that Insta is developing an online shopping app. The standalone app could be a hub for businesses and shoppers to better interact with each other outside of the main Instagram app. Though the publication's report suggests that Instagram did not provide comment, its sources suggest that the app "will let users browse collections of goods from merchants that they follow and purchase them directly within the app". Business profiles on Instagram have grown in popularity...