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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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News fatigue shifts Google searches in SA

Google search trends in South Africa reveal a startling insight into news appetite, writes BRYAN TURNER.

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The big searches of the year no longer track the biggest news stories of the year, suggesting a strong dose of news fatigue among South Africans.

“People ask, why are the Guptas not on the list of Google’s top searches?, says Mich Atagana, head of communications and public affairs at Google South Africa, “The Guptas are not on the list because South Africans are not actually that interested. South Africans are looking for things they don’t know. From a Gupta point of view, we’ve been exhausted by the news and we know exactly what is going on.”

Google South Africa announced the results of its 2018 Year in Search, offering a unique perspective on the year’s major moments.

“Four years ago, there were almost no South Africans on the personalities list,” says Atagana. “Over the years, South Africans have gotten more interested in South Africa, in searching on Google.”

That isn’t to say that international searches – like Meghan Markle – are not heavily searched by South Africans. But  they feature lower down on the lists.

From the World Cup to listeriosis, Zuma and Global Citizen, South Africans use search to find the things they really need to know.

These are the main trends revealed  by Google this week:

Top trending South African searches

  1. World Cup fixtures
  2. Load shedding
  3. Global Citizen
  4. Zuma
  5. Winnie Mandela
  6. HHP
  7. Listeriosis
  8. Black Panther
  9. Meghan Markle
  10. Mac Miller

Trending personalities

  1.    Jacob Zuma
  2. Cyril Ramaphosa
  3. Sbahle Mpisane
  4. Kevin Anderson
  5. Malusi Gigaba
  6. Ashwin Willemse
  7. Patrice Motsepe
  8. Cheryl Zondi
  9. Shamila Batohi
  10. Mlindo the Vocalist

Top Questions

  1. How did Avicii die?
  2. How old is Pharrell Williams?
  3. What is listeriosis?
  4. What is black data?
  5. How old is Prince Harry?
  6. How much are Global Citizen tickets?
  7. How to get pregnant?
  8. What time is the royal wedding?
  9. What happened to HHP?
  10. How old is Meghan Markle?

Top ‘near me’ searches

  1. Jobs near me
  2. Nandos near me
  3. Dischem near me
  4. McDonalds near me
  5. Guest house near me
  6. Postnet near me
  7. Steers near me
  8. Spar near me
  9. Debonairs near me
  10. Spur near me

Top women

  1. Winnie Mandela
  2. Meghan Markle
  3. Sbahle Mpisane
  4. Aretha Franklin
  5. Khloe Kardashian
  6. Sophie Ndaba
  7. Cheryl Zondi
  8. Demi Lovato
  9. Lerato Sengadi
  10. Siam Lee

The Year In Search 2018 minisite can be found here.

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Smartphones dip in 2018

According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, worldwide smartphone shipments are expected to decline by 3% in 2018 before returning to low single-digit growth in 2019 and through 2022.

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While the on-going U.S.-China trade war has the industry on edge, IDC still believes that continued developments from emerging markets, mixed with potential around 5G and new product form factors, will bring the smartphone market back to positive growth.

Smartphone shipments are expected to drop to 1.42 billion units in 2018, down from 1.47 billion in 2017. However, IDC expects year-over-year shipment growth of 2.6% in 2019. Over the long-term, smartphone shipments are forecast to reach 1.57 billion units in 2022. From a geographic perspective, the China market, which represented 30% of total smartphone shipments in 2017, is finally showing signs of recovery. While the world’s largest market is still forecast to be down 8.8% in 2018 (worse than the 2017 downturn), IDC anticipates a flat 2019, then back to positive territory through 2022. The U.S. is also forecast to return to positive growth in 2019 (up 2.1% year over year) after experiencing a decline in 2018.

The slow revival of China was one of the reasons for low growth in Q3 2018 and this slowdown will persist into Q1 2019 as the market is expected to drop by 3% in Q4 2018. Furthermore, the recently lifted U.S. ban on ZTE had an impact on shipments in Q3 2018 and created a sizable gap that is yet to be filled heading into 2019.

“With many of the large global companies focusing on high-end product launches, hoping to draw in consumers looking to upgrade based on specifications and premium devices, we can expect head-to-head competition within this segment during the holiday quarter and into 2019 to be exceptionally high,” said Sangeetika Srivastava, senior research analyst with IDC’s Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers.

Though 2018 has fallen below expectations so far, the worldwide smartphone market is set to pick up on the shift toward larger screens and ultra-high-end devices. All the big players have further built out their portfolios with bigger screens and higher-end smartphones, including Apple’s new launch in September. In Q3 2018, the 6-inch to less than 7-inch screen size band became the most prominent band for the first time with more than four times year-over-year growth. IDC believes that larger-screen smartphones (5.5 inches and above) will lead the charge with volumes of 947.1 million in 2018, accounting for 66.7% of all smartphones, up from 623.3 million units and 42.5% share in 2017. By 2022, shipments of these larger-screen smartphones will move up to 1.38 billion units or 87.7% of overall shipment volume.

“What we consider a so-called normal size smartphone has shifted dramatically in a few short years and while we are stretching the limits with bezel-less devices, the next big switch to flexible screens will test our imaginations even further,” said Melissa Chau, associate research director with IDC’s Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers. “While this category of device is still nascent and won’t see major adoption in the year ahead, it’s exciting to see changes to the standard monoblock we are all so used to carrying.”

Platform Highlights

Android: Android’s smartphone share will remain stable at 85% throughout the forecast. Volumes are expected to grow at a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 1.7% with shipments approaching 1.36 billion in 2022. Android is still the choice of the masses with no shift expected. Android average selling prices (ASPs) are estimated to grow by 9.6% in 2018 to US$258, up from US$235 in 2017. IDC expects this upward trajectory to continue through the forecast, but at a softened rate from 2019 and beyond. Not only are market players pushing upgraded specs and materials to offset decreasing replacement rates, but they are also serving the evolving consumer needs for better performance.

iOS: iOS smartphones are forecast to drop by 2.5% in 2018 to 210.4 million. The launch of expensive and bigger screen iOS smartphones in Q3 2018 helped Apple to raise its ASP, simultaneously making it somewhat difficult to increase shipments in the current market slump. IDC is forecasting iPhone shipments to grow at a five-year CAGR of 0.1%, reaching volumes of 217.3 million in 2022. Despite the challenges, there is no ambiguity that Apple will continue to lead the global premium market segment.

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