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AppDate: Get deleted files back

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In this AppDate, SEAN BACHER highlights Disk Drill, KaChing Cashless parking, Opera’s Rovio content offering, JustWatch, USB Network Gate, Bang & Olufsen’s BeoHome Design App, MyFord Mobile app, Rush courier and Office Lens.

Disk Drill

Although Apple computers are renowned for being reliable devices that need little to no maintenance, things can go wrong. Disk Drill by CleverFiles allows users to recover lost files from flash drives, memory cards and internal hard drives on a Mac. The program is even able to recover entire partitions that may have disappeared or have been inadvertently deleted. Disk Drill is easy to use: simply click the scan button and wait while it gathers all storage information on the computer. Once done, click on the recently deleted files and hit the recover button. A few minutes later, they will reappear on your computer in their original location.

Platform: Apple OS X and above

Expect to pay: Three versions are available, a free limited Basic version, the Pro version for one user and three Macs for R1 400, and the Enterprise version for an unlimited number of computers or users for R6 400.

Stockists:  www.cleverfiles.com

 

KaChing Cashless parking

Finding money for parking after a long day of shopping is the absolute pits; inevitably the change you need is nowhere to be found and the parking ticket has mysteriously disappeared. Finding it or finding change can add another 30 minutes before you can get out of the shopping mall. A newly-launched app called KaChing removes these hassles. Once the app is downloaded to a phone, input the car’s number plate along with a voucher or credit card details, and you are set to drive in and out without any queuing at the ticket or pay machine. Additional cameras are installed at shopping centre exits and entrances that scan the number plate and automatically debit the loaded credit card or voucher. At the moment the KaChing service is only available at a few shopping malls around South Africa, but the company has plans to roll out the service to more later in the year.

Platform: Most modern smartphones.

Expect to pay: A free app download.

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your device.

 

Rovio content through Opera Apps Club

Rovio, the creator of Angry Birds, has partnered with Opera to bring its family of games to the Opera Apps Club service. Opera Apps Club subscribers will have access to four of Rovio’s blockbuster titles, including Angry Birds Rio, Angry Birds Space, Angry Birds Stella and Bad Piggies. Subscribers will also benefit from exclusive deals, promotions and bonuses. These offers are not available in the current free versions of the games and therefore are exclusive to Opera Apps Club subscribers.

Platform: Any device running the Opera Apps Club.

Expect to pay: Free to download but users must be a member of the Opera Apps Club.

Stockists: Access the titles through the Opera Apps Club.

 

JustWatch

With a range of Video on Demand streaming services available in South Africa, it has now become quite difficult to keep up with what content is available on what service. Now, however, there is an app that will help viewers keep track. JustWatch allows one to filter out newly added movies and shows, and search across the various services by genre, IMDB rating or release date. The app even lets a user search for a certain movie based on the cheapest price. The app itself is very easy to use, with a neatly laid out user interface, and is able to search across Netflix, ShowMax, BoxOffice, iTunes, and Mubi, with more providers being added in the future.

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: A free download.

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your device.

 

USB Network Gate

The USB Network Gate allows a user to remotely connect USB devices to a computer over a network. Should all your computer’s USB ports be taken, you can still remotely connect to a flash disk or USB camera. According to the company, this can even be done from another country, making it easy to print confidential documents to a remote printer, or access files from an external hard drive without having to lug it around.

Platform: Windows, Linux and OS X

Expect to pay: R1 300

Stockists:  http://www.eltima.com

 

Bang & Olufsen BeoHome Design App

Before going out to spend a good few thousand on one of Bang & Olufsen’s wireless sound systems, it may be a good idea to see how the system will look and function in your lounge. The BeoHome Design app allows a user to virtually place the speakers and sound systems wherever an iPad’s camera is pointed. The user can then select the speaker colour that best suits its surroundings. The app also offers the ability to select the best-sized TV and speaker stands, and lets one move furniture around using augmented reality.

Platform: iPad Mini 2, iPad Air and the iPad Pro.

Expect to pay: A free download.

Stockists: Visit the Apple App Store for downloading instructions.

 

MyFord Mobile app

Although this isn’t exactly the app Pierce Brosnan was using to control his BMW 750iL from the backseat in Tomorrow Never Dies, it does offer some nifty features. The app is designed especially for Ford’s electric car range and can be used on most Android or Apple smartwatches. Once installed and connected to the car, users can view the current range and status of the car’s battery, remotely air condition the car’s cabin and remotely lock and unlock the car. The app will also display the vehicle’s mileage summary, display personal driving habits and even show the user where the car is parked with walking or driving directions to it. (A similar app is available for BMW electric cars)

Platform: Most Android or Apple smartwatches.

Expect to pay: A free download.

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your watch.

 

Rush courier app

With Rush, South African consumers no longer need to stand in queues at the post office to get a parcel delivered. The app is installed on top of the WeChat platform and allows users to order a courier to their places of residence at the click of a button. Rush has partnered with Courier Guy, Courier IT, Skynet, RTT and Globeflight, and allows users to choose which company they want to use based on price, delivery time, speed or courier reputation. Rush also offers the choice to insure packages, with insurance underwritten by Hollard Insurance.

Platform: Most devices with WeChat pre-installed.

Expect to pay: A free download.

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your device.

 

Office Lens

Office Lens is like having a scanner in your pocket as it makes pictures of whiteboards and docs readable, as well as trimming and enhancing them. It is then able to save them to OneNote, where they can be used as PDFs, Word and PowerPoint documents. The app includes OCR, so that written notes can be converted to characters and the text copied and embedded in documents.

Platform: Windows Phone 8 and above.

Expect to pay: A free download.

Stockists: Visit the Microsoft Windows Store.

* Sean Bacher is editor of Gadget.co.za. Follow him on Twitter on @SeanBacher

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SAFTA awards get first streaming video nominees

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The 2019 nominations for The South African Film and Television Awards (SAFTAs) were announced late last week, and for the first time in the 13-year history of the awards, a TV series produced for a video-on-demand service was in contention. The result was a surprise boost to streaming service Showmax.

The comedy series Tali’s Wedding Diary, which premiered in December 2017, represented a major step for the then two-year old streaming service. It was the debut Showmax Original, the first time Showmax ventured into producing its own content. The gamble paid off, with the show becoming the most watched of any series on its first day on Showmax, and now Tali’s Wedding Diary has been further recognised with seven SAFTA nominations, making it this year’s most nominated comedy.

“When we first floated the idea of Tali’s Wedding Diary, we joked about winning awards,” says Candice Fangueiro, Showmax’s head of content. “At that point, just getting our first Showmax Original off the ground was already a major challenge and it was more than we could hope for to actually hit it out of the park. I was stunned when I heard the news about the nominations – it’s amazing to be considered in the same company as these other shows and thanks to this we’re already seeing a fresh spike in Tali views.”

Tali’s Wedding Diary was also a first for co-creator and star Julia Anastasopoulos, who until then was best known as YouTube star SuzelleDIY. “I am so thrilled about the SAFTA nominations for Tali’s Wedding Diary,” says Julia, who is up for Best Actress – TV Comedy and Best Achievement in Scriptwriting – TV Comedy, along with her husband Ari Kruger and Daniel Zimbler. 

“It was such a big and daunting step to create a full TV comedy series and intro a brand-new character. I really didn’t know how it would be received and am so happy to have received such positive feedback for the show and the Tali Babes character, along with the nominations. It feels so good to be recognised for something we poured our hearts into. None of it would have been possible, of course, without the incredible hard work and vision of my husband Ari and the incredible team, cast and crew that were part of the show. And a huge thank you to Showmax of course for making it all possible. Congratulations and best of luck to the entire team and to all the other nominees.”

Tali’s Wedding Diary is a mockumentary that follows Tali, a self-obsessed Joburg princess who’s moved to Cape Town and is planning her wedding to property-agent fiancé Darren (Anton Taylor). The series was inspired by Julia’s own wedding to Ari, her SuzelleDIY and Tali’s Wedding Diary co-creator, who is also up for Best Achievement In Directing – TV Comedy.  

In addition to Julia and Ari’s nominations, Tali’s Wedding Diary is up for Best TV Comedy, Art Direction (Keren Setton),  Cinematography (James Adey), and Editing (Richard Starkey). Winners will be announced on 2 March 2019 at Sun City Superbowl.

Following the success of Tali’s Wedding Diary, the second Showmax Original, The Girl From St Agnes, was released earlier this month. A third Showmax Original, Trippin With Skhumba, is slated for release at the end of February.

“With three Showmax Originals now under our belt and more on the way, we’d like to think this is the start of many more SAFTA nominations for shows from a streaming service,” concludes Candice.

South African content currently on Showmax has 110 nominations and includes the most nominated movie (Five Fingers With Marseilles), telenovela (The River), drama (Lockdown) and soap (Isibaya), with more SAFTA nominees scheduled for the coming months.

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Ford begins production of high-tech Ranger in SA

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Ford’s Silverton Assembly Plant in Pretoria has officially commenced production of the new Ford Ranger, bringing a raft of product upgrades and refinements to one of South Africa’s best-selling vehicles and export models.

“Following the investment of over R3-billion in our local operations and extensive upgrades to our plants over the past 18 months, we are delighted to see the first of the new Ford Ranger models coming off our production line,” says Neale Hill, managing director for Ford Motor Company Sub-Saharan Africa Region.

“This is an extremely important and exciting year for the Ford Ranger, which will also see the launch of the first Ranger Raptor that is undoubtedly one of this year’s most highly anticipated new models,” says Hill.

“The 2019 Ford Ranger will deliver more power, greater fuel efficiency, enhanced refinement, and additional advanced technologies when it goes on sale in the coming months, and we are confident it will once again set the benchmark in the extremely competitive pickup segment.”

Selected range-topping models, including the Ranger Raptor, will be powered by the all-new 2.0 Bi-Turbo diesel engine assembled at Ford’s Struandale Engine Plant in Port Elizabeth. This unit produces 157kW and 500Nm of torque – up by 10kW and 30Nm compared with the current 3.2 TDCi – and delivers up to a nine percent improvement in fuel efficiency when combined with the advanced new 10-speed automatic transmission.

Certain derivatives will feature a 2.0 Single Turbo version of this engine, producing 132kW and 420Nm of torque, mated to the same 10-speed transmission. Various other models in the line-up will retain the proven 2.2 and 3.2-litre Duratorq TDCi engines and existing gearbox options – thus giving customers the widest choice yet in this category. As usual, the line-up includes Single Cab, Super Cab and Double Cab body styles to suit customer requirements.

Along with freshened design cues, range-topping Ranger models will raise the bar once again with industry-defining safety features on the Wildtrak such as Pre-Collision Assist and Active Park Assist. SYNC 3® with Navigation remains one of the Ranger’s technology highlights as a fully featured infotainment system with intuitive voice control.

Following the launch of the ‘standard’ new Ford Ranger models, the attention will be shifted to the locally assembled Ranger Raptor that is set to create an entirely new segment in the pickup market when it makes its eagerly anticipated debut.

“There is a lot of excitement and hype around the Ranger Raptor, and this exhilarating new model will occupy a white space in the pickup market when it goes on sale in the second quarter of this year, creating a much-needed performance model in this crucial segment,” Hill states.

“We can’t wait to get the Ranger Raptor to market, enabling our customers to experience unrivalled off-road performance, cutting-edge technologies and the most muscular design yet seen in this class.”

Some of the defining features of the Ranger Raptor include Position Sensitive Damping (PSD) shock absorbers exclusively manufactured by FOX, and an advanced Terrain Management System (TMS) that includes an exciting Baja mode for fast off-road driving. It also boasts a toughened reinforced chassis, powerful all-disc braking system and specially developed BF Goodrich tyres.

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