• BURN MEDIA
    • Motorburn
      Because cars are gadgets
    • Gearburn
      Incisive reviews for the gadget obsessed
    • Ventureburn
      Startup news for emerging markets
    • Jobsburn
      Digital industry jobs for the anti 9 to 5!

Mobile apps

  • Google Play Store will no longer suggest ‘lower quality’ apps in search

    Google Play Store has made it easier for users to spot the "lower quality" apps on its platform from the genuinely useful. According to a new blog post, the company is actively focussing on privileging apps that exhibit stellar stability, and penalising those that show "excessive battery usage, slow render times, and crashes". "As part of our continued effort to deliver the best possible Google Play experience, we recently enhanced our search and discovery algorithms to reflect app quality," Google Play's product manager Andrew Ahn explains. Google Play rewards well-built apps by pushing them further up search listings "This results in higher quality apps...

  • VSCO gains video editing features, but there’s a premium catch

    Popular photo editing suite VSCO has long let users on iOS and Android edit their fancy photographs. But a new update finally lets users tinker with videos. "Although VSCO has long been home to storytelling through photography, we also recognise and celebrate different mediums of creative expression like DSCOs, design, poetry, and videography," the company writes on its blog. There is of course a catch. The video editing tools are only available on iOS for now, and only accessible to VSCO X members -- the app's premium membership tier. The subscription service also gives paying customers access to a bevy of additional...

  • LinkedIn Lite joins the lite app bandwagon

    We've seen quite a few "Lite" versions of popular social networking apps in recent years, now it's time for LinkedIn to jump on the bandwagon with LinkedIn Lite. Yep, the professional network has released LinkedIn Lite for Android in India, TechCrunch reports. So what's actually "lite" about it? The publication says that the new app is 1MB in size, making it ideal for low-end smartphones that have a tiny amount of storage. It's also claimed that the app is optimised for slower connections, with pages loading in under five seconds, "even on a 2G network". That doesn't mean that you've got significantly...

  • Telegram adds self-destructing media, swanky CDN system

    Chat app Telegram has added a number of new features to its latest version, including self-destructing photographs and videos. "If you set a timer, the countdown starts the moment your recipient opens the photo or video you sent," the company reveals in a blog post. "After the time runs out, the photo/video will disappear forever, just like in Secret Chats." If the recipient attempts to screenshot your self-destructing media, you'll receive a notification. Other quality of life improvements include the ability to set a biography for your profile, post and receive larger obnoxious stickers and quicker downloads thanks to an improved content delivery...

  • New Google Feed will delve even deeper into your data

    Google has taken control of its knowledge of you to personalise its mobile app even further with the launch of the new Google Feed. Replacing what was once Google Now, Google Feed will use even more complicated algorithms to present users with news it thinks they will enjoy. These algorithms know which of your interests you've cultivated for years, and which are passing phases. "For example, if you’re a photography enthusiast but just casually interested in fitness, your feed will show that," engineering VP Shashi Thakur writes. The interface will remain much the same -- the few changes include articles being headed by their...

  • Google Maps gives you the best time to leave for your destination

    Google Maps now helps you pick the best time to leave your your destination, thanks to a nifty new feature. Previously Google Maps would direct, and estimate the time of travel based on route and traffic along said route. But now the app (at least on Android) provides users with a graph on estimated travel times throughout the day. Google will also highlight the best time to leave -- which is ironically well before the time most companies let their employees go. Go figure. The feature is currently available on Android, but not yet available on the web or the iOS version of...

  • 8 apps addressing some of South Africa’s pressing problems [Digital All Stars]

    Digital All Stars is a series of articles which aims to celebrate the best of South African digital. The articles, which will appear on Memeburn and Ventureburn, recognise and celebrate South Africa’s best digital entrepreneurs, business people, advertisers, and media professionals among others. South Africa is a unique country with unique challenges, but technology (and innovative solutions using technology) is attempting to solve these issues, or at least reduce their impact on society. With the commonality of smartphones across all income levels of society, running the likes of Android, iOS and Windows, apps have become one of the more essential change...

  • 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...