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Industry News

  • Google One lets families share up to 30TB of cloud storage

    If you pay for Google Drive storage, take note. The company this week announced "a simple plan for expanded storage that includes extra benefits" dubbed Google One. Coming to all paying customers of Google's cloud storage service, Google One sees an upgraded offering from 100GB to 30TB if you really, really have a lot of cat pictures to store. This however plays into Google's new family sharing scheme, allowing up to five members to use the wad of storage under a single account. And said family members will also be given a private slice of that storage pie too. Google One will...

  • Mastercard to announce new collaboration with Zapper

    Zapper will soon be compatible with Mastercard's Masterpass payments system, after the companies on Monday announced a new possible collaboration. The two companies are currently in talks to use the QR-code fueled app to complete payments at Masterpass-enabled merchants across South Africa, while Masterpass users can similarly use Zapper to complete payments where applicable. Mechanically, nothing will change for those who have used Zapper in the past. "When shopping, Masterpass users simply scan a Zapper QR code displayed at a point of sale, or online at a wide range of Zapper merchants, to pay for goods and services," the companies explained in...

  • Google Drive gets a much prettier, refreshed user interface

    Hot on the heels of Gmail's redesign, Google Drive is also getting its share of UI updates. The Mountain View company on Wednesday announced changes that will smooth out the service's currently clunky layout, and add some material design flair to the visuals. "There’s no change in functionality, but some icons and buttons have moved, and there’s a range of visual tweaks to align with Google’s latest material design principles," Google explains in a press release. With that said, specific design tweaks include changing the position of company logos, a settings icon placed alongside the search bar, a repositioned Help Centre icon...

  • The Google Assistant tweaks and new features you have to know about [I/O 2018]

    Google Assistant, the company's rival to Apple's Siri and Amazon's Alexa, is being crammed into almost every Google product this year. The company announced big plans for Assistant at its I/O developers conference this week, and we're here to summarise it all for you into 11 tweetable bylines. Are you ready? Have at it. Google Assistant will be available in six new voices from today, with John Legend lending his rasp to the digital butler later this year too. "Continued Conversations" will allow users to converse with Assistant more fluently, negating the need for "Hey Google" to be uttered before every...

  • Windows 10 now runs on 700 million devices

    While most of South Africa was fast asleep late Monday, Microsoft took to the stage in Seattle to kick off its Build developers conference. Usually the highlights of its software and services announcement calendar, the firm announced a few notable tweaks to its range of products. It also revealed numbers behind its flagship OS product, Windows 10. To date, 700-million active devices are running Microsoft's latest OS, up from 500-million a year before. That's a significant gain, but in terms of market share, it still lags behind Windows 7. In March 2018, NetMarketShare revealed that the legacy OS still commands more than 44%...

  • Instagram, Facebook videos can now be viewed within WhatsApp

    An update to WhatsApp on iOS brings with its a nifty new feature. Users who send one another Instagram or Facebook videos can now play said videos within WhatsApp. This means that you needn't leave the chat app, to visit Facebook, watch that viral video of a lemming, and return with thoughts to the aforementioned chat app. This now fits alongside its already established YouTube, audio and GIF playback support. It's a small tweak, but tells of a more integrated Facebook ecosystem we'll likely see in the future. The update, labelled as 2.18.51, is live in the US, but it's not clear if...

  • Twitter goof potentially exposes all 336m user passwords

    As if Twitter users didn't have enough to think about this week (thanks Kanye), it sprung an even bigger surprise on its users late Thursday night. The social network prompted all of its 336-million users to change their passwords, after it discovered that its employees could potentially see them. Twitter's calling it a "bug", but it was seemingly a flaw in the way the firm logged passwords. We recently found a bug that stored passwords unmasked in an internal log. We fixed the bug and have no indication of a breach or misuse by anyone. As a precaution, consider changing your...

  • Creativity vs time: software and balance in the workplace

    In this age of shrinking markets and shrinking margins, creativity is the only agency currency. It’s the X factor that can’t be boxed, quantified or evaluated. It is the mixed result of human endeavour and divine inspiration. Sometimes it comes together in one moment of brilliance, other times it can be likened to mining gold -- long hours in a dark tunnel with very little light. The problem is that creativity requires time, and time -- as they say -- is money. So how can businesses ensure that they are striking the best balance between time and money? Ensuring that their...

  • Siri’s definition of ‘mother’ is beyond spicy

    Want to hear Siri swear at you and your beloved mother? Ask her for the definition of your favourite parent. She'll initially reply with a common definition, but she also offers another slightly more suspect explanation. "Do you wanna hear the next one?" she asks, and if you innocently reply "yes", she provides a brief suggestion that it's, uh, "short for motherfucker". This little bug or Apple employee inside joke was discovered by Reddit this past weekend. And it seemingly works with all versions of Siri, from MacOS to iPhones as old as the 5 and as new as the X. It's extremely...

  • Google Play Music dies in 2019, according to YouTube Remix rumour

    While you were transfixed on Google's swanky new Gmail redesign, news emerged that it may pull the plug on another service. According to Droid Life's "reliable source", Google Play Music -- the company's music streaming service competing against the likes of Apple Music and Spotify -- will be canned, in favour of a service dubbed YouTube Remix. Users currently on Play Music will also be herded onto Remix as early as 2019. It's not a new rumour though. There's been plenty of talk about Google's plans to mash its Play Music offering with YouTube. In December 2017, the company was reportedly set...

  • Gmail’s spewing out spam, and nobody seems to know why

    All the hype surrounding Gmail may be thanks to its first redesign in some seven years, but not all is well with Google's mail service. According to a number of reports, Gmail users on Sunday found a number of spam messages sent from their accounts. "My email account has sent out 3 spam emails in the past hour to a list of about 10 addresses that I don’t recongnize," wrote one user on Google's Product forum. Changing passwords didn't help this particular user either, nor did marking the mails as spam. "Please help, what else can I do to ensure my account...

  • Truecaller hits the 100m daily active users mark, 20% reside in Africa

    Swedish call filtering service Truecaller today announced that it has more than 100-million active daily users (DAUs). According to the company, it grew to its current figure from 100-million monthly active users less than a year ago. "There are only a handful of mobile-only services that impact as many users each and every day and we are humbled to be able to join this exclusive group," expresses Alan Mamedi, the firm's CEO and co-founder. Truecaller reveals the top spam callers in South Africa Spam calls are part of daily life for most with a cell phone in South Africa, but which industry is...

  • Netflix launches Instagram Stories-like previews on its iOS app

    Finding something to watch on Netflix is the most difficult thing any human has ever done. Ever. But a new addition coming to the iOS app could solve this crisis once and for all. The streaming service is today adding Instagram Stories-like "mobile previews" to its iOS app. "Mobile previews present members with a fun, simple, and easy way to learn about all the new content on Netflix -- and find something great to watch even faster," explains Cameron Johnson, Netflix's director of product innovation. Inspired by Netflix's own video previews on televisions, the mobile previews will each be around 30 seconds...

  • Vodacom’s 4G network exceeds 80% population coverage in South Africa

    Vodacom's 4G services now cover more than 80% of the South African population, the mobile network today announced. It claims that it's the first African mobile network to cross this threshold. "Vodacom now provides 80.12% 4G coverage in South Africa, with 99.78% of the population covered by 3G and 99.97% covered by 2G," it explained in a release. It noted that the breakthrough comes on the back of the company's accelerated rural coverage programme, this despite spectrum constraints. Vodacom opens new ‘Social Media Command Centre’ in Cape Town Vodacom is embracing social media as a valid way for user to submit queries, this...

  • This ‘Kitten Kollege’ YouTube series is the cutest thing you’ll watch today

    Okay, so I'm a bit of a mad cat lady. If you ever wanted me to pay attention to something, bury that information in a cat video and send it to me. That's probably why I've been watching pet company Whiskas's Kitten Kollege YouTube series for the past 20 minutes. Uh, yes, I'm totally working. The series takes the idea that anyone (and any species) can learn anything on the internet to heart. "Adopting a tiny kitten is a magical experience, it literally takes seconds after introducing the curious little feline to your home that you realise two things: firstly, cats are...