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Programs & Apps

  • 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...

  • Microsoft admits Skype is complicated, announces simplified features

    Any user of Skype knows exactly how frustrating the communication software is. Apparently, so does its maker. Microsoft has announced that its bringing updates to its chat product in order to simplify the user experience. "Our passion for bringing people closer together through simple, seamless experiences that ‘just work’ is the foundation of Skype", says Peter Skillman, the company's director of design. Wherever this "foundation" went, it was certainly not on Skype itself. Skillman admitted that design changes were "explored" this year, specifically relating to calling and highlights. It was this that convinced Microsoft that it needed to simplify the voice, video...

  • 3 Android apps I use to battle procrastination

    If you’re more of a visual thinker like me, or simply just extra forgetful, then writing down to-dos, making lists and putting up sticky notes is the best way to encourage (and remind) you to work. There’s nothing like scrunching up a little piece of accomplished paper or striking off some words in a book to make you feel truly productive == so how do you replicate that feeling for computers and phones? In the ever-expanding universe of distractions, screens are procrastination’s best friend. But thanks to the same technology, we can make use of productivity apps, which are just apps...

  • YouTube Go now officially launches in South Africa

    It took Google nearly two years, but finally Android's YouTube Go app has been formally launched in South Africa. (The app has been available on the Play Store for a few months, launching back in February). YouTube Go, which is a lighter, thriftier version of YouTube for low powered smartphones and low bandwidth networks, weighs in at around 9.5MB. The standard YouTube app is around 25MB. Additionally, YouTube Go features a simpler user interface, keeping in tune with Google's other Go apps, and allows users to tune their YouTube experience to consume less data. "YouTube Go provides transparency in how users are using...

  • What Android SMS app should you be using?

    For those still tied to contracts, sending an SMS is part and parcel of daily life. I mean, you can't let those 500 SMSes per month go to waste, can you? Nevertheless, SMSes can also be beneficial and necessary for receiving two-factor authentication codes from services, alerts from your bank, or birthday messages from granny. But which app should you be using to manage these messages? We take a look at a few alternatives to the default messenger installed to your Android smartphone. Pulse SMS Developer: Klinker Apps Play Store rating: 4.6 Download size: Around 5 MB Wear OS support? Yes Price: Free, with in app purchases beginning...

  • DStv Now launches apps for Samsung, Apple TV and Android TV

    It's been a busy day for Multichoice. The DStv owner announced a new deal with the SABC to keep the latter's shows on its satellite TV service. The company has also announced that DStv Now, the company's over-the-air content streaming service, is now available on 4th generation Apple TVs, Google-certified Android TVs and Samsung Smart TVs. DStv Now first appeared on Android and iOS devices in November 2014 and allowed users to livestream SuperSport's sports channels and M-Net's offerings. The service is available for no additional cost to all DStv subscribers, however content depends on the subscriber's DStv package. Additionally, up to...

  • 5 extremely useful Android apps you didn’t know you needed

    There are new apps appearing on the Google Play Store every day. Some are useful, some are just a waste of bits. But what are some of the apps you really, really should know about? In this piece, we detail five apps you should download right this instant if you haven't already. Blokada Download it from F-Droid. For: advertisement and tracker blocking. If you're sick of advertisements appearing on apps you've purchased, Blokada is for you. It filters ad and tracking traffic from your connection, be it apps or browsers. Users can also enable blocklists to filter specific sources, like porn advertisements, or bitcoin...

  • Twitter Lite launches in 5 more African countries

    It's been more than a year since Twitter Lite launched in a select number of countries, including South Africa. Today, the social network announced that its lightweight Android app is heading to 21 more countries, five of which are in Africa. Said African nations receiving the app includes Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Uganda and Zimbabwe. This brings the total number of countries to 46. Twitter Lite is a web app for those living the data struggle Twitter has announced that its mobile site is now more convenient for the 45% of global mobile users working on 2G or slower networks. Read more... Twitter Lite "is a faster,...

  • Google Play Store bans cryptocurrency mining, ‘repetitive’ apps

    It's taken a while, but Google has finally updated its dated Play Store developers' policy, governing what app makers can upload and sell on the repository. Firstly, cryptocurrency miners are no longer allowed on the Store, mirroring its policy on the Chrome Web Store. "We don't allow apps that mine cryptocurrency on devices. We permit apps that remotely manage the mining of cryptocurrency," the company writes. Additionally, Google's also looking out for kids on the Play Store. "Apps that include content that sexualizes minors are subject to immediate removal from the Store. Apps that appeal to children but contain adult themes are not...

  • 6 photo editing and effects apps you should try today

    With hundreds of photography apps out there all claiming to give you the best editing experience, it’s no surprise that we sometimes end up downloading dozens of photo editing apps hoping to find exactly that we’re looking for, only to feel a bit frustrated at the outcome. There are, however, some photography-related apps among the many that can truly take your pictures to the next level. For me, it all depends on what vibe you want your photography to portray. I usually prefer true, clean editing over all the filters, stickers and manipulations. However, creating little pieces of your own art...

  • Google Assistant’s latest change adds Now-like information cards

    Google Assistant is this week receiving a new lick of paint from one of Google's older services. "This week, we’re rolling out a new visual overview of your day when you open the Google Assistant app on your phone, with proactive suggestions and personalized information to help you stay on top of your day," the company's Deniz Binay writes in a release. Notably, the tweak to the virtual voice assistant has hints of the original Google Now app -- the company's now defunct dashboard that displayed information snapshots. "The new visual snapshot provides curated, helpful information based on the time of day,...

  • Google’s Gboard lets you type messages in Morse code

    Did you know that you can type in Morse code through Android's Gboard keyboard? The feature was this week added to the iOS version, with further improvements also added to the Android version initially enabled after its I/O 2018 conference earlier this year. The layout isn't dissimilar to the traditional QWERTY layout bar the two input options: dots and dashes. All 27 letters of the alphabet can be represented by typing these two symbols in a given order, and Gboard also displays text predictions in both text and Morse. While the option likely won't appeal to heavy texters, the keyboard does allow external...

  • Netflix introduces ‘Smart Download’ feature to Android

    Netflix's Smart Downloads is now available on Android, and it may save you from forgetting to download your favourite shows. Smart Downloads is pretty simple in concept. "Now, when you finish watching a downloaded episode, Smart Downloads will delete it, and then automatically download the next episode. You watch,  We do the work," the company sassily explains. "We know how annoying it can be to go through all your apps and delete files you no longer need; we also understand that when it comes to Netflix, the faster you can get to the next episode you want to watch, the better." Users can...

  • DStv Now usage spikes as World Cup reaches fever pitch

    South Africans love sport, don't they? And now that the World Cup is entering its pivotal semi-final stage, more users than ever are tuning in to see a ball (and Neymar) roll around a field. DStv has noted this trend, reportedly seeing a 60% increase in weekday usage of its DStv Now mobile streaming app since the World Cup began. Notably, there are five times more people using the app this June than in June 2017. "The absolute peak in concurrent usage for one event was reached on 26 June, during the Nigeria vs Argentina game," the company adds in a...

  • Hands on: Facebook Local’s the best travel app you’ll won’t want to download

    Facebook Local is the social network's latest app feeding from its plethora of information. However, instead of allowing you to publish pictures of babies that your other half didn't want you posting, or lending data to Cambridge Analytica, Local lets you search for things to do in your vicinity. Facebook's events section has always seemed an excellent but underdeveloped section of the network, but this new app gives it its own space and chance to become something more than just an addon. Facebook Local is actually a rebranded version of its Events app. It was relaunched in November 2017, but this...