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Mobile apps

  • BBM CEO: we can be ‘one of the two’ top chat apps in South Africa

    Remember BBM? That once iconic acronym stood for BlackBerry Messenger, one of the world's most used chat apps. But that legacy has long since come and gone. During BlackBerry's torrid few years in the early 2010s, the company sold the app's development rights to Indonesian-based company Creative Media Works (owned by Emtek). It's a complicated situation for the non-informed consumer still plodding away on older BlackBerry devices, but essentially, the new Android and iOS app is not the BBM you once knew. That doesn't mean much has changed though. It's still a chat app, and BBM CEO Matthew Talbot is adamant that the...

  • 6 great podcast apps for Android you should download

    Podcasts have enjoyed a resurgence in popularity recently, with the likes of Serial and other notable shows responsible for the reinvigorated industry. There are loads of podcast apps out there, especially on Google's platform, which has only recently implemented native podcast support via Play Music. Which clients are worth downloading though? We've got a few you should consider -- but do let us know about your favourite apps. Podcast Republic My go-to app, Podcast Republic has recently received a visual overhaul, bringing the design in line with the extensive feature list. Podcast Republic delivers the expected podcast search functionality (by genre, top charts, search), offline...

  • These are the nominees for 2017 Google Play Awards

    The first Google Play Awards took place last year, highlighting a number of innovative and/or popular games and apps. So we're glad to see the event come back this year, with Google announcing its list of nominees this week. Who are the nominees then? Check out the full list below -- you might find a few gems. Standout Indie - Reigns, Kingdom: New Lands, Mars: Mars, Causality, Mushroom 11. Standout Startup - Hooked: Chat Stories, Discord: Chat for Gamers, Castbox: Free Podcast and Audio, Simple Habit Meditation. Best Android Wear - Lifesum: Healthy lifestyle app, Runtastic Running and Fitness, Foursquare City Guide, Bring!...

  • Samsung’s Wemogee app uses emoji to bridge language gap

    Samsung's latest app puts the world's love affair with emoji to good use. And no, not just for the memes either. Dubbed Wemogee, the app is specifically developed for those suffering from aphasia -- the inability to understand written language or speech -- to better converse with loved ones. Because of this language and communication barrier, conversing with aphasia sufferers isn't an easy task. But that's exactly what Wemogee is trying to change. Wemogee uses a logical string of emoji that can be understood as a sentence On the surface, the app displays a logical string of emoji that can be understood as...

  • Google Maps remembers where you parked even if you don’t

    There are two problems with parking in any city (especially Cape Town). One, finding a parking, and two, remembering where it is you parked. Google Map's latest feature update ensures the latter comes a bit more easily. "Now, Google Maps for Android and iOS will not only help you get where you’re going, but it’ll help you remember where you parked once you’ve arrived," Google Map's project manager Jeff Albertson announces in a blog. For users who engage with Maps regularly, simply tapping the blue location dot with bring up a menu with "save your parking" an a new option. "You’ll see a...

  • The ultimate guide to building apps in 2017

    This article is, more than anything, about user experience. Whether it’s an app, a website or something in between, your mobile platform of choice represents an unprecedented opportunity for you to connect to your customers no matter where they are. Connection follows us everywhere we go and permeates every second of our day. However, earning your time and engagement with the millions of mobile users in the market today, means creating an experience that will add true value to the their lives. I’ve long believed that in order to extract value from your consumers you need to create value first. Engagement...

  • Zapper hits one million downloads since launch

    Zapper, a South African mobile QR scanner app, has hit one million downloads. The app allows its merchants to receive payments from customers by means of scanning a generated QR code. Customers can also use it to pay bills sporting a Zapper QR code, or to register and login to any website using the code scanner. This achievement comes just three years after the company made its way onto the South African restaurant circuit. The app managed to reach this benchmark through strategic expansion across verticals such as the hospitality industry, retail, billing as well as ecommerce. It also managed to expand into...

  • Snap’s Bitmoji was one of the fastest growing apps of 2016

    When you live with a nineteen-year-old first year, you hear about things like Friendmojis. You hear complaints about the fact that their avatar can only hang out with one friend's animated character at a time. So you become aware of the popularity the app has with people who have multiple friends (a strange concept). It's unsurprising that an app that lets you create a Lizzie McGuire-esque animated version of yourself is popular with millenials. But Bitmoji's popularity is staggering. The Snapchat-owned app is only two and a half years old, and according to a new report by comScore, it's growing even faster in the US...

  • Google Family Link lets you monitor kids’ mobile usage

    Apple's Family Sharing functionality has been one of the better features for parents, allowing them to approve family members' purchases and more. Now, Google has stepped things up in a big way thanks to the Family Link app. The app, targeted at children under the age of 13, allows you to monitor their app usage (which apps they're using most and for how long), create an app whitelist and lock the phone at specific times (e.g. sleep or study time). Google does note however that certain background apps, such as music and messaging apps, won't be fully tracked. The Family Link app...

  • UberEATS Cape Town gains weight, expands again

    It was just over a month ago that UberEATS launched in Cape Town, coming a few months after the Johannesburg launch. Since then, we've seen the service expand to five other Cape Town suburbs (Bishopscourt, Claremont, Mowbray, Newlands and Rondebosch). Now, the service has used its newsletter to quietly announce its second expansion in the city. "Love free food? Now is the perfect time to share your referral code as we've expanded into Plumstead, Constantia, Wynberg and Tokai," the company wrote in the email. "When you refer a friend to UberEATS, they'll get R50 off their first order and you'll get R50...

  • 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....