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Samsung unveils Note 4 in SA

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Yesterday, Samsung announced that the Galaxy Note 4 is now available in South Africa. The device features an enhanced S Pen, better multitasking options and a Quad HD Super AMOLED display.

Samsung Electronics announced the expansion of its Galaxy Note series with the new Galaxy Note 4, with an evolved S Pen.

“The Galaxy Note 4’s larger screen size and iconic S Pen technology have launched a new standard in smartphone culture,” said Craige Fleischer, Director of Mobile Communications at Samsung Electronics SA. “With the introduction of the Galaxy Note series, we brought the age-old culture of the pen and notepad into the digital world.”

Powerful Performance that Matters the Most to You

The Galaxy Note 4 uses a 5.7″ Quad HD (2560×1440) Super AMOLED display that makes colors images crisper, and colors brighter. Images are produced with deep contrast, better viewing angles and response times as fast as a millionth of a second, providing lag-free movie viewing.

Due to its large screen, the Multi Window feature is able to maximise users’ experience providing them with the key to easier multi-tasking. Users can choose how they access their applications with full, split or pop-up screens and easily change the size and positioning of apps on the screen with one swipe.

The Galaxy Note 4 also sports an advanced camera that is able to reproduce brighter and clearer images. The device is equipped with a 16 megapixel rear-facing camera featuring a smart optical image stabiliser that counter-balances camera shake and automatically extends exposure times in dark settings. In addition, a 3.7 megapixel front-facing camera with f1.9 offers a default 90 degree shooting angle and up to 120 degree wide angle, so users can take the best group shots with friends.

Another enhanced feature of the Galaxy Note 4 is the Fast Charging and Ultra Power Saving Mode, enabling charging from 0 to 50% in 31 minutes. It comes equipped with multiple microphones and an improved speaker phone for better noise cancellation when speaking in loud environments. A built-in voice recorder offers eight different directional voice tagging and a selective playback capability that allows users to isolate and listen to specific voices in a group conversation.

The Galaxy Note 4 also offers an improved fingerprint scanner.

S Pen and S Note for Everyday Tasks

Making everyday tasks much faster and easier, the Galaxy Note 4’s S Pen has been specifically evolved to serve as the primary tool that users go to for common, everyday mobile device use. This new S Pen offers a much more authentic pen experience, with a more natural brush effect that perfectly emulates writing on paper with a fountain or calligraphy pen. The S Pen also introduces a more user-friendly Air Command functionality along with other intuitive features such as Action Memo, Screen Write, Image Clip and Smart Select that allows users to create and collect content with ease. A new Smart Select feature enables consumers to easily piece together content from different origins and share it with ease.

Premium yet functional design

The Galaxy Note 4 features a metal frame with fluid curvature that blends with the device display. The 2.5D glass screen, inherited from the GALAXY S3, offers extra protection while perfectly complementing the device’s rich viewing experience. A soft-textured back cover provides comfort that makes it easy to control with one hand. The device not only looks beautiful, but offers a superior grip and enhanced durability.

The Galaxy Note 4 will be available in “Charcoal Black,” “Frost White,” “Bronze Gold,” and “Blossom Pink” through Samsung Experience Stores, leading retailers and local operators, starting in October.

* Follow Gadget on Twitter on @GadgetZA

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AppDate: Prepare for space

In this week’s AppDate, SEAN BACHER highlights Space Nation Navigator, Hitman Sniper, Snake Mask, Memrise, WhatsApp Web, and Carrot Weather.

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Space Nation Navigator

Space Nation Navigator is a bit of a strange app. It is part game, part exercise and part educational. On the game side, users have to navigate the Mars Rover, put the International Space Station back into orbit or move their Martians to safety before a sand storm hits Mars. When it comes to exercise, Space Nation Navigator provides users with a range of exercises and Yoga videos to prepare them for space travel and working in an anti-gravity environment. The education aspect teaches users about the planets, and star constellations, and then offers quizzes on what has been taught.

Platform: Android and iOS

Cost: A free download.

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your device.

 

Memrise

Memrise takes a new approach to help people learn new languages. Instead of providing a user with random phrases and words to memorise, the app connects you with a person already fluent in the language you want to learn. In turn, the person you are speaking to wants to learn the language in which you are fluent. Once your profile is filled out and languages selected, it connects you with people around the world who are interested in your language, and then allows you to chat with them in real-time. Memrise also lets one learn new languages through games, chatbots and grammarbots that help with spelling, tenses and pronunciations.

Platform: Android and iOS

Cost: A free download.

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your device.

 

Hitman Sniper

Hitman Sniper is loosely based on the Agent 47 movie released a few years ago. The game offers players the ability to hone their shooting skills through a range of training courses and, once they think they are ready, they can start taking out the bad guys. Things start off easy enough, but they get more and more difficult as one progresses through the 150 missions on offer. One will also have to upgrade various gun components, like scopes, magazine capacities and silencers, to make the missions a little easier. Hitman Sniper lets users buy 16 to tackle each of the missions – either with real money or via the points accumulated by completing missions. Money and points can also be used to upgrade firearms.

Platform: Android and iOS

Cost: R7 – with a range of in-app purchases.

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your device.

 

Snake Mask

The iconic Snake game that was preinstalled on most older Nokia phones has had a complete make-over. It now uses Facebook’s AR technology, meaning that you have to navigate the snake around obstacles in your home or office, all the while collecting coins and stars that change the snake’s speed and length. Unfortunately, Snake Mask is only available on Nokia’s new range of smartphones. However, it should not take long before it slithers onto other devices.

 

Platform: New Nokia smartphones running Android.

Cost: Free to use through the Facebook app installed on the device.

Stockists: Available through the Facebook app.

 

WhatsApp Web

Although this is by no means a new app, it is an extremely useful one, and one that not many people know about. Tapping out WhatsApps on your phone is easy enough, but thanks to WhatsApp Web it can be even easier. Open the WhatApp Web page under WhatsApp and you will see a QR code. Scan this code through WhatsApp on your mobile and you will be shown a replica of what you would normally see on your phone. You can then type and reply to messages using your computer instead of having to stop everything and unlock your phone every time a message comes through. WhatsApp Web is great if you share your computer with other people as it automatically disconnects when the browser is closed. However WhatsApp also offers an app that when installed will stay connected to your phone unless you manually remove it.

 

Platform: Any up-to-date Internet browser

Cost: Free to use and install

Stockists: Visit www.WhatsApp.com

 

Carrot Weather

There are thousands of weather apps on the Internet these days and all of them do the same thing – inform you of the weather in your area. However, Carrot Weather has taken what is just another app and turned it into something fun. By fun, I mean sarcastic, rude and completely politically incorrect. A user starts off by selecting religious and political views. It then asks about personality, ranging from friendly to homicidal to overkill – which includes profanity. So, for instance, instead of waking up to to the standard partly cloudy forecast, Carrot Weather will display something like: “It’s only partly sunny, the sun is a total effing failure.” It also has a range of insults that it throws at you whenever you open the app – some of them downright insulting, so it is definitely not for those who are easily offended. The app’s user interface is very simple, displaying a week’s daily forecast and hourly forecasts for the day selected.

Platform: Android and iOS

Cost: Free to download but with adverts. The premium, advert free version costs R12 per month.

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your device.

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

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One QR to scan them all

Mastercard and Entersekt have collaborated to enable Nedbank’s customers to make QR payments to Masterpass, Pay@, SnapScan, and Zapper merchants and billers through the Nedbank Money app, whether they are paying online or at a physical point of presence.

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This market-first development means that Nedbank Money users need just one smartphone app for all major domestic scan-to-pay services, representing a combined footprint of more than 100,000 retail points of presence and 800 billers.

This development builds on Mastercard’s strategy to ensure interoperability between its Masterpass digital payments platform and the country’s other major mobile and digital payments services. Mastercard has, over the past year-and-half, enabled Zapper and SnapScan vendors to accept Masterpass payments and enabled Masterpass merchants to accept Zapper and SnapScan payments.

“The enablement of Masterpass scan-to-pay capability within the Nedbank application represents yet another important milestone in the digital payment convergence journey,” says Mark Elliott, division president, Mastercard Southern Africa. “It furthers our goal of driving interoperability across the payments ecosystem, so that consumers can pay securely and conveniently anywhere and with any card from a single app on their smartphones.”

Chris Wood, card issuing and payments executive at Nedbank, says, “Nedbank is incredibly proud to be leading the way in the digitization of payments after having originally launched the Masterpass payments ecosystem in 2015.”

Named Nedbank Scan-to-Pay, the feature was developed by Entersekt, a leading provider of mobile-first fintech solutions, with which Nedbank has had a long-standing relationship. Through its integration with Masterpass, Entersekt’s payments enablement product Connekt enables all the scan-to-pay services in the Nedbank banking app.

According to Schalk Nolte, CEO of Entersekt, “Nedbank’s incorporation of scan-to-pay into its banking app is evidence of its understanding that effortless accessibility, underwritten by established client relationships, represents an important advantage for any bank that wants to achieve a greater share of the booming global market in mobile payments.”

The feature has been rolled out to users of the Nedbank Money app following an automatic update. Since Nedbank customers will already have their credit and debit card details loaded on the app, they will be able to make QR-code–based mobile payments to Masterpass, Pay@, SnapScan, and Zapper merchants without any further effort on their part.

The collaboration between Mastercard, Entersekt, and Nedbank will provide added convenience and utility to Nedbank cardholders, while driving higher transaction volumes for Masterpass-enabled merchants. Nedbank Money users will also benefit from better security. They will make payments via one single, trusted application rather than needing to store card data in multiple apps, and they will be able to use biometrics as an authentication method, another first from Mastercard, Entersekt, and Nedbank.

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