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AppDate: Windows 10 devices get more social

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In this AppDate, SEAN BACHER highlights Facebook, Messenger and Instagram for Windows 10, Soundcloud Go for South Africa, Anti-Ad from Kaspersky Lab, Friendbase virtual chat and JustWatch streaming search engine.

Facebook, Messenger and Instagram for Windows 10

The new Facebook, Messenger and Instagram apps for Windows 10 devices are designed to take advantage of the operating system’s Live Tiles. This means, that once a user pins an app to the Home screen, updates and news feeds are immediately available without having to open each app individually. In addition, the Instagram app now offers direct messaging, an updated search and explore function, and easy account switching.

Platform: Windows 10 phones and tablets

Expect to pay: A free download.

Stockists: Visit the Windows Store from a Windows 10 device.

 

Soundcloud Go in South Africa

As with many video and music on demand services, a lot of the content is not available in South Africa due to licensing issues – the latest being Soundcloud Go. The service offers an expanded musical catalogue due to licensing deals with Warner, Universal and Sony, as well as tracks from 20,000 independent labels – many of which are not available in South Africa. However, virtual private network provider (VPN) NordVPN now allows South Africans to access the songs by installing the VPN before signing up for the Soundcloud Go service. Incidentally, NordVPN also allows South Africans to access the full Netflix range of movies and series by performing a similar setup.

Platform: Most smartphones and tablets as well as desktop and laptops.

Expect to pay: NordVPN is a free download, but subscribing to Soundcloud Go will cost around R150 per month.

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your device to download NordVPN and then sign up for Soundcloud Go.

 

Anti-Ad from Kaspersky Lab

Anti-Ad from Kaspersky Lab is a free extension for iPhone users for Safari. It automatically blocks the advertising banners, links and popup windows that infuriate most users . The extension can be customised to allow certain adverts to display and, if need be, the extension can be completely disabled should one want to see the entire page.

Platform: Most iOS device running iOS 9 and above.

Expect to pay: A free download.

Stockists: Visit the App Store for downloading instructions.

 

Friendbase virtual chat

Friendbase virtual chat allows one to connect with friends and family around the world. Nothing new there, but it does make chatting a little more interesting as it allows users to customise their chat room’s look and feel. One can also add pets, and challenge friends to multiplayer games like tennis. The chat room can be navigated, meaning once an avatar has been chosen, it can be directed around the room.

Platform: Android, iOS and Facebook play.

Expect to pay: A free download.

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your device.

 

JustWatch streaming search engine

With all the VoD services currently available and new ones being added every day, it starts to become a little difficult to find certain shows. JustWatch makes things a little easier as it allows one to search across multiple VoD providers from a single search bar. JustWatch is able to search Netflix, Showmax, BoxOffice, iTunes and Mubi – with other providers like Google Play being added shortly.

Platform: Android and iOS.

Expect to pay: A free download.

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your device.

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

Featured

Win a Poster Heater with Gadget and Takealot.com

This winter Gadget and Takealot.com are giving away three Poster Heaters, which look like posters but become heaters when you plug them in.

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Three Gadget readers will each win a unit, valued at R550 each. To enter, follow @GadgetZA and @Takealot on Twitter and tell us on the @GadgetZA account how many Watts the heater consumes.

What’s the big deal about these heaters? Many of us are struggling to keep the balance between soaring electricity costs and the need to keep warm this winter.

However, the recently launched Poster Heater by EasyHeat and distributed in South Africa by Takealot.com is not only one of the most cost effective electric heaters currently on the market, it is also easy to setup and use.

As the name indicates, it is a poster similar to one you would hang on a wall. But, plug it in and it turns into a 300 Watt heater. The Poster Heater isn’t designed to heat hallways or large rooms, but rather smaller ones like a bedroom or a baby’s nursery or a dressing room.

It uses radiant heating, which means that it heats up in a couple of minutes and the heat is directed at the objects or people around it, quickly taking the chill out of the air and providing a comfortable ambient temperature.

The other advantage of radiant heating is that it doesn’t dry out the air like infrared or gas heaters. Users also don’t have to worry about their children or pets getting too close to it because, even though it gets hot, it can be touched.

To enter the competition follow the steps below:

Competition entry details:

1. Follow @GadgetZA and @Takealot on Twitter. (We will ONLY be accepting entires via Twitter, so please don’t enter through the comments section of this article.)

2. Tell us on Twitter, via @GadgetZA, mentioning @Takealot in your posting, how many Watts the Poster Heater consumes.

cleardot.gif3. The competition closes on 31 July 2018.

4. Winners will be notified via Twitter on 1 August and Takealot.com will be in touch to organise delivery.

5. The competition is only open to South African residents.

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Arts and Entertainment

Deezer to host Hotstix’s Mandela tribute playlist

Deezer is celebrating Nelson Mandela on the centenary of his birthday by hosting a tribute playlist created by music legend Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse.  

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Mabuse, a legendary figure in African music, first rose to prominence in the 1970s with his band Harari and later developed a name for himself as a solo artist. One of his best known songs was the global hit BurnOut in the 1980s.

The playlist takes the listener on a captivating musical journey through the life of Nelson Mandela.  It was compiled by Mabuse, who consulted with Mandela’s family and friends to ensure that the music would be relevant and accurate. The playlist also features commentary by Mabuse, which was recorded in his Soweto home.  

“I have tried to tell the story of the music that Madiba loved,” says Mabuse. “The Playlist excludes the time in prison obviously, as Madiba would not have had exposure to music in that time.  We have focused on the music we know he loved before and after that period. This recording was really an emotional journey for me, but an incredible opportunity to document these memories.”

The playlist features the music the young Mandela loved, such as The Manhattan Brothers, Solomon Linda, Brenda Fassie and Miriam Makeba.  It includes struggle songs from Chicco, Johnny Clegg, Hugh Masekela and Yvonne Chaka Chaka.  The playlist also includes Mandela by Zahara, one of the younger artists who caught Madiba’s ear.

Mabuse also offers stories of his own songs, such as Shikisha, a song greatly beloved by the former President.

“I was delighted to share my thoughts and hope the listeners enjoyed the musical journey,” says Mabuse. “Madiba did enjoy music immensely and we all have a purpose wherever we are in the world to celebrate culture and to learn from different cultures and music forms and styles.”

This playlist was inspired by the Nelson Mandela 100 campaign, calling on corporates and individuals to act as sources of inspiration and engage in conversation and action.

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