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AppDate: Showmax comes to the PS4

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In this AppDate instalment, SEAN BACHER features Showmax on PS4, SweepSouth, iBeat, admyt ticketless parking, Hot Christmas Menu Recipes and Medici.

Showmax on PS4

Homegrown video-on-demand service Showmax has launched an app for the Sony PlayStation 4. The addition of this new app means that PS4 and PS4 Pro owners in South Africa who have connected their consoles to the Internet can watch on-demand TV shows and movies with no need to buy new equipment.

Each Showmax account allows for viewing different shows on two different devices simultaneously. Showmax’s smartphone and tablet apps also support downloads, meaning that subscribers can start watching on their PS4 and then continue watching even when on the move and not connected to the Internet.

To watch Showmax via the PS4, follow these steps:

• Sign up for Showmax at www.showmax.com.

• Go to the PlayStation Store on the PS4.

• Search for “Showmax”.

• Install the app.

• Sign in to the app using the same email and password you used to sign up for Showmax.

Platform: Sony Playstation 4 and Playstation 4 Pro

Expect to pay: A free download, but with a R99 monthly subscription for Showmax.

Stockists: Visit  the PlayStation Store from your Playstation.

SweepSouth

We’ve entered the busiest time of the year, with year-end functions, weddings, engagements, and dinner parties. Needless to say, we now hardly have time to keep our homes or even holiday accommodation spotless. Enter SweepSouth, an online home cleaning platform in the form of a website and mobile app that connects cleaners with homeowners.

Users can manage bookings and payments or book cleaners on a regular or ad-hoc basis that suits them.

The app has created work opportunities for over 3 800 experienced cleaners, with 74% of them being primary breadwinners at home, most of whom were previously unemployed.

Platform: Android, iOS or a computer with an up-to-date Internet browser.

Expect to pay: A free download; cleaners’ rates start at R26 per hour.

Stockists: www.sweepsouth.com

iBeat

Although most companies have dedicated customer service channels that allow users to lodge complaints or compliments, they are hardly ever managed correctly and the customer is, more often than not, ignored. Customers can turn to Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms but here, too, requests are often ignored. Locally developed iBeat aims to better customer service by putting the customer directly in touch with the company. Once the app is downloaded, a user signs in, selects the company or outlet using the phone or tablet’s location, types in a comment, snaps a picture if needed, and submits it. The comment can also be shared to Facebook or Twitter ,allowing others to comment.

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: Free to use.

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your device.

admyt ticketless parking

Sandton City and the Nelson Mandela Square have recently signed up with admyt – a ticketless parking and payment solution provider. In order to use the app, one needs to register their car’s number plate and enter a payment method. The next time they arrive at the booms at Sandton City or the Nelson Mandela Square, the plate will be scanned and the booms opened. Once finished shopping, the exit booms will also automatically open and the amount debited from the registered credit or debit card. Bear in mind, however, that the app does not always work. The Sandton City implementation, in particular, is hit and miss, so be ready to take a ticket when the app won’t do it for you.

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: A free download.

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your device.

Hot Christmas Menu Recipes

With Christmas just around the corner, deciding what to cook can be a challenge – especially with larger families and each one with a different preference. Hot Christmas Menu Recipes brings a range of different dishes into one easy-to-use application. Users select what they want to cook, based on starters, mains and desserts. Once a dish is selected, a recipe is displayed with all the ingredients needed, along with step-by-step cooking instructions.

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: A free download.

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your device.

Medici

The Medici app puts users in touch with their circle of doctors – even after hours. Once the app is downloaded, one invites dentists, doctors and even vets to connect with them through the app. Patients and doctors can then contact each other 24/7 via a secure and uncluttered interface. Should you need to, you can add more than one doctor to a chat, much like a group chat on WhatsApp, allowing the doctors to consult each other while keeping you in the loop.cleardot.gif

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: A free download

Stockist: Visit the store linked to your device.

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As selfie cameras rise, so must selfie etiquette

Selfies were once a sign of narcissism or self-obsession. Now they are the new normal, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK.

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You can blame Oxford Dictionaries for making the “selfie” respectable. After all, being named Word of the Year, as it was in 2013, does tend to soften some of the self-consciousness in this most self-conscious of actions.

Once seen as a symbol of narcissism and self-obsession, it is now the new normal, to the extent that most smartphones are sold on the basis of the front camera. Or, as that feature is now almost universally named by manufacturers, the “selfie camera”.

I was one of the hold-outs, having a near-allergy to the selfie. I still resist, but succumb more often than I would like. The reason for continued resistance is that it remains a big leap from the word becoming respectable to the action itself shedding its narcissistic image. 

For most, it’s already happened, and for that you can blame Ellen DeGeneres. She  choreographed the most famous group selfie yet at the 2014 Oscars, when she roped a bunch of actors into a group selfie, using the then-new Samsung Galaxy S5 smartphone. Her tweet of the photo became what was then the most retweeted posting ever on Twitter, and was estimated to have been worth a million dollars in marketing value to Samsung.

Ironically, it was Samsung’s up-and-coming challenger, Huawei, that came up with a new word for this type of selfie: the “groufie”. Thanks to an 8 Megapixel front camera on the new Huawei Ascend P7 camera that year which took the highest quality selfies – and groufies – possible on a smartphone at the time.

It didn’t end there, and selfies and groufies have morphed into variations like selfscapes (selfie in a landscape), skyfies (selfies from the air, using remote controlled devices) and jerkies (selfies to make an idiot out of yourself). I invented all of those on the fly, so it’s easy to imagine a new word emerging for every type of selfie.

Continue reading about selfie improvements through the years.

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Mickey’s 90th for SA

Disney Africa announced the local launch of the Mickey the True Original campaign, joining the global festivities honouring 9 decades of Mickey Mouse, his heritage, personality and status as a pop-culture icon.

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As 18 November 2018 marks 90 years since his first appearance in Steamboat Willie in November 1928, a series of world-wide celebrations will be taking place this year and South Africa is no different.

The campaign will come to life with engaging content and events that embrace Mickey’s impact on the past, present and future. The local festivities kick off in earnest this month, leading up to Mickey’s 90th anniversary on 18 November 2018 and beyond:

  • An exclusive local design project where ten highly talented South African artists will apply their own inspiration and artistic interpretation on 6-foot Mickey Mouse statues.
  • Once revealed to the public, the statues will form part of the Mickey the True Original South African Exhibition, inspired by Mickey’s status as a ‘true original’ and his global impact on popular culture. The exhibition will travel to 3 cities and delight fans and families alike as they journey with Mickey over the years. Featuring 4 sections highlighting Mickey’s innovation, his evolution, influence on fashion and also pop culture, the exhibition is in collaboration with Samsung and Edgars, and will visit:

o   Sandton City, Centre Court: 28 September – 14 October

o   Gateway Theatre of Shopping, Expo Explore Court: 19 October – 11 November

o   Canal Walk Shopping Centre. Centre Court: 16 November – 26 November

  • Samsung continues their collaboration with Disney as they honour Mickey’s 90th anniversary nationally at all Samsung and Edgars Stores. Entitled Unlocking the Imagination, fans are encouraged to visit these stores, take a selfie with a giant Mickey plush toy using their Samsung Galaxy Note9 and stand a chance to win not only a giant Mickey plush, but also an international family trip. Visit www.Samsung.com for more information
  • Mickey’s 90th Spectacular, a two-hour prime-time special, will be screened on M-Net 101 later this year. The elegant affair will feature star-studded musical performances, moving tributes and never-before-seen short films. Superstars from music, film and television will join the birthday fun for the internationally beloved character.
  • In addition, look out for special programming on Mickey’s birthday (18 November) across Disney Channel (DStv, Channel 303), Disney XD (DStv, Channel 304) and Disney Junior (DStv, Channel 309).
  • In retailers, Edgars will be stocking a complete collection of trendy fashion, accessories and footwear for the whole family, inspired entirely by Mickey Mouse.
  • Mickey will be the central theme of an in-store campaign nationwide this November and December, with brand new products, apparel, toys, as well as titles from Disney Publishing Worldwide, including books, arts & crafts and comics
  • Discovery Vitality and Disney are celebrating healthy, happy families this festive season by offering helpful and exciting tips and tricks on how to eat nutritious, yet delicious, foods, all inspired by Mickey. There’s also a trip to Disneyland Paris up for grabs. Log on to www.discovery.co.za/vitality for information.
  • And much more – check the press for updates

“Binding generations together more than any other animated character, Mickey Mouse is the “True Original” who reminds people of all ages of the benefits of laughter, optimism and hope,” says Christine Service, Senior Vice President and Country Manager of The Walt Disney Company Africa. “With his universal appeal and ability to emotionally connect with generations all over the world, no other character quite occupies a similar space in the hearts and minds of a global fan base and we are thrilled to be sharing these local festivities.”

Mickey’s birthday is celebrated in honour of the release of his first theatrical film, Steamboat Willie, on 18th November 1928, at the Colony Theatre in New York City. Since then, he has starred in more than 100 cartoons and can currently be seen on Disney Channel (DStv, Channel 303) in the Mickey Mouse cartoon series and on Disney Junior (DStv, Channel 309) in Mickey and the Roadster Racers.

South African fans are encouraged to share their Mickey Mouse moments on social media using the hashtag#Mickey90Africa.

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