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Mobile

  • Google Play Store adding Instant Apps, more in upcoming update

    A number of changes are coming to the Google Play Store its parent company announced Thursday. Usually the unchanged bastion of the Google ecosystem, the Play Store will finally receive a much needed nip and tuck. As for an implementation timeline, the company remained as mum as ever. Nevertheless, sifting through the latest Google Developers Blog post, here are three standout interface and functionality tweaks heading to the Play Store sometime before the world ends. Revamped Editor's Choice Vineet Buch, author of the post and Google Play's director of product management, noted that a revamped version of Editor's Choice is now live in...

  • MTN debuts ‘WOW’ voice bundles

    Dropping data prices is oh so trendy for mobile operators right now, but what about voice packages? MTN has announced its new "WOW" voice bundles, which aim to fill the gap for those who prefer calling contacts on their phone, or who still own feature phones. The packages are only applicable when calling another MTN number, but are available in daily, weekly and monthly bundles. Prices range between R3 -- for seven minutes within 24 hours -- and R300 -- which allows for 3000 minutes to be used in a month. That's more than enough for an hour-long conversation every day. "The WOW...

  • 5 great space apps you should grab right now

    One of my favourite early Android experiences was using Google Sky Map for the first time, being a revelation for stargazers. Since those heady days, we've seen a variety of space-based apps being released on mobile devices. So we picked a few worth downloading. Google Sky Map (free - Android) Let's start with the original augmented reality app in many ways, Google Sky Map overlays a map of celestial objects on your phone. The app also relies on your phone's gyroscope and other sensors, so it'll accurately show you stars, planets and other objects, depending on where you're pointing your phone camera. Sky Map...

  • Get the Google Assistant app in South Africa with this quick guide

    The Google Assistant app might not be listed on the South African Play Store just yet, but that doesn't mean it doesn't work here. With a few jukes and sidesteps, here's how you can get the new Google Assistant app running and functioning on your smartphone right now. 1. Check your smartphone for these apps and features Before we get started, I should point out one thing: Assistant won't be compatible with every smartphone. Your device will need to meet the below minimum hardware and software requirements: Google app version 6.13 or higher must be installed to your device You'll need Google Play...

  • Microsoft Edge hits Android, iOS because people asked for it (lol)

    Microsoft Edge represents a big improvement over the much-maligned Internet Explorer, but it's still a long way from threatening the likes of Chrome and Firefox (both critically and commercially). So colour us surprised to hear that Microsoft is bringing Edge to Android and iOS. And they're apparently not just doing it to test the waters, but because people wanted it. "One of the most common requests we hear from people who use Microsoft Edge on Windows 10 PCs is 'we want our browser experience to move to our phones'. You spoke, we listened," read an excerpt from an official blog post. As for...

  • Rocking The Daisies and OppiKoppi 2017: your essential festival app kit

    It's once again festival season in South Africa, and kicking off the year's musical escapades is a weekend double header. Both Rocking The Daisies in the Western Cape and OppiKoppi in Limpopo will take place this weekend in two opposite corners of the country -- but just because you're spending the weekend in dusty tents with limited power supply doesn't mean you can't use technology to make your partying just that bit easier. While there are a few apps you should have on your smartphone for both events (and the festivals to come), we'll take a look at specific apps you should...

  • Afrihost Mobile Data review: an answer to #DataMustFall?

    Data prices is an issue bubbling beneath the surface of South African politics and culture. As more South Africans use social media and other data-reliant technologies, the price of those crucial megabytes have come under the spotlight. And especially so in 2017. President Jacob Zuma acknowledged these issues at the State of the Nation Address in January, while citizens have also made their feelings known through campaigns like #SocialMediaBlackOut and #DataMustFall. Across the fence, telecoms are also making changes. Vodacom launched its Meg Your Day campaign in June, while MTN has reiterated its free Twitter service, albeit with a few bumps. But even...

  • Afrihost adds budget option to Fixed Wireless LTE-A lineup

    South African ISP Afrihost has announced a budget option to its Fixed Wireless offering, running on the Rain Network backbone. "Afrihost is going all-in and now offering Free LTE-Advanced Modems with signups until the end of November," the company announced in a press release. "This is on top of the Double Data that users can lock in until the end of November 2018." Alongside its more expensive packages, like the 330+330GB Anytime Data offering at R1549pm, Afrihost is introducing a new entry level product to the lineup. "We are also launching a new 25+25GB Package today at R299pm to cater to users with...

  • Vodacom’s IoT division now connects ‘three million things’ in South Africa

    Hot on the heels of MTN Business's Internet of Things (IoT) network announcement, Vodacom revealed that its IoT division is now connecting more than "three million 'things'" across South Africa. Deon Liebenberg, the managing exec of Vodacom's IoT division explained that this is a clear indication of the growth of IoT and related technologies in the country. "It’s worth noting that it took us eight years to get to two million connections and it took us only one year to get to three million," he explained. "The rate of IoT adoption is picking up speed locally and with the commercial rollout of...

  • MTN Business announces dedicated IoT network

    MTN has today announced a dedicated Internet of Things (IoT) network that it suggests will "enhance security of business-critical information". It quoted two distinct network technologies, namely LoRaWAN and NarrowBand-IoT. LoRaWAN can be viewed as WAN's low-power, low bit-rate cousin. It transfers less data than traditional WAN, but is used to connect devices that usually feature battery-powered sensors. NarrowBand-IoT, or NB-IoT, is typically used for indoor devices, and is allocated a slice of spectrum within the LTE band. MTN's new network will carry full support for both. "e have created a dedicated network that has its own core business support systems and operational...

  • Cell C lumps voice, SMSes and data into new ‘Social Bundles’

    Cell C today revealed its latest stab at solving the #DataMustFall crisis in the form of seven new prepaid package offerings. Dubbed Social Bundles, these packages don't simply include data but "additional data for Facebook and WhatsApp, local any network voice minutes and SMS and free games," Cell C explains in a press release. It claims that the bundles allow users to communicate across a number of different channels, and not simply social media. "The value created within these new bundles are unique, and we know our customers will instantly feel the benefits of all that the Social Bundles offers," adds Jose...

  • Vumatel explains planned R89/month fibre internet in Alexandra

    Fibre provider Vumatel made headlines in local tech publications last week when it revealed plans to deliver 100Mbps fibre internet to residents of Alexandra for just R89 a month. The move elicited skepticism from some, especially when you consider that fibre internet in wealthier suburbs has a much higher price. Vumatel marketing head Kirsten Eddey told Memeburn that it indeed started at R89 a month for "up to 100Mbps". So how did the provider come up with the concept? "With the recent surge in 'data must fall' conversations, we decided to look at how we could contribute to the movement. We realised...

  • Here’s how municipalities should do free WiFi – Project Isizwe

    Project Isizwe's Tshwane Free WiFi Project is probably the standout free WiFi initiative in the country today. Featuring relatively generous data caps and loads of zero-rated content, there's no doubt that it's been a game-changer for many citizens. We've also seen the Western Cape Free WiFi project and a few other similar initiatives pop up. But other regions in South Africa have been a little slow to get the ball rolling. Now, Project Isizwe has published a blog post by CEO Dudu Mkhwanazi, comprehensively outlining ways that municipalities can create sustainable free WiFi projects. "The critical importance of connecting citizens both now...

  • Which Android period tracking app should you be using?

    Periods are annoying. They're painful, they're messy and they get in the way of life. You probably know this. For me, the most difficult part of periods is the unpredictability. I'm not on hormonal contraception, and my cycle can sometimes last over forty days -- resulting in an agonising week of suspense and dark pants. I know I'm not alone in this anxiety, because there are so many period tracking apps on the market -- but how do we know which one will be accurate? Can we really leave the protection at home if some algorithm tells us to? I decided to take...

  • Vodacom launches ‘video data bundles’ for Showmax and DStv Now

    Vodacom has today announced a new set of data bundles for video streaming addicts. Dubbed Video Data Bundles, the company is hoping the deals will make "streaming services a lot more affordable for its customers". Notably, the packages are available for prepaid users, including customers on top-up and post-prepaid plans. "Video Data Bundles have been created specifically for OTT services, like Showmax and DStv Now. The bundles will be sold alongside the general data bundles, across all channels, and will be offered in various sizes, validity ranges and pricing," the company notes in a press release. And yes, at present, the bundles are...