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Windows 10 update rolls out in SA April 11

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Microsoft today announced that the third major update for Windows 10 – Windows 10 Creators – will be available for download in South Africa from April 11.

Today, more than 400 million devices are running Windows 10. New innovations in the Windows 10 Creators Update will empower users with more tools to express the full range of their imagination, in whatever form it takes.  These new features include 3D, mixed reality, enhanced apps, improved security, and 4K gaming.

Yusuf Mehdi, Corporate Vice President, Windows and Devices Group, Microsoft, said “Creativity has led the inspiration of our world’s greatest inventors, architects, educators, entrepreneurs, and students, delivering advancements that move our world forward. Whether you sculpt in 3D or code, design new worlds or buildings, compose symphonies of music or science, or create ideas or possibilities – we want to empower the creator in each of us. We want Windows to be the place you love to create and play, with the tools to help you make your mark on the world.”

3D for everyone

With the Creators Update, millions of Windows 10 users can now print, create and share in 3D, as well as get up close and personal with mixed reality.

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The new Paint 3D app makes it simple to create 3D objects from scratch, easily changing colors, stamping textures, or turning a 2D picture into a 3D work of art.

In addition, the Remix3D.com community has also been busy connecting creators since October 2016, helping them find new ideas and providing instant access to a growing library of 3D objects to customize, edit, and share.

From 3D to mixed reality, the Windows 10 Creators Update will enable immersive experiences that blur the lines between physical and virtual worlds. Brands including HP, Dell, Lenovo, ASUS, and Acer will ship the first VR headsets capable of mixed reality with the Windows 10 Creators Update.  These headsets will contain built-in sensors to enable inside-out, six-degrees of freedom, allowing for easy set up and free movement without the need for external markers or sensors in the wall. These devices will light up with new, immersive Windows Mixed Reality apps and experiences, which developers are creating on the recently available Windows Mixed Reality dev kits.

With these new 3D and VR capabilities, millions of Windows users around the world will be able to seamlessly create and consume 3D content like never before.

A faster, more secure way to browse

Since the launch of Microsoft Edge in Windows 10, users have spent more than 63 billion minutes on the browser.  In the Windows 10 Creators Update, Microsoft Edge gets better at helping them do both with a completely new suite of tab management features, new extensions, as well as both a new bookstore and reading experience.

According the NSS Labs 2016 Web Browser Security Comparative Reports, Microsoft Edge blocks 9% more phishing sites and 13% more malware than Chrome, helping to protect user identity and information. In addition, since the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, Microsoft Edge is up to 24% – 43% more efficient than the competition for general purpose browsing, and lasts up to 23% – 69% longer when streaming videos.

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The Creators Update will also bring more extensions to Microsoft Edge, letting users easily add new functionality to what their browser can do. We are excited to offer new extensions with this update such as Ebates, Intel TrueKey, Read & Write, Ghostery, RoboForm, among others. It is also the only browser that can play Netflix content in 4K Ultra HD resolution, bringing the crispest, sharpest entertainment for Windows 10 users.

Comprehensive security for everything you do

Windows 10 is the most secure version of Windows ever, and the Creators Update continues to broaden and deepen its security features.

The new Windows Defender Security Center, for example, combines security and health options in one place so that it is easier for people to see and control Windows 10 device security and health options.

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For enterprise customers, the Creators Update will continue to bring new tools and capabilities that help simplify IT – making it easier to better deploy, manage and support Windows 10 devices – and to help stomp security threats.

The best experience in 4K gaming and in-game broadcasting

Gaming is one of the most popular activities on Windows 10 today, comprising over 32.5 billion hours of gameplay on Windows 10 since launch.

The Windows 10 Creators Update makes it super easy for anyone to broadcast their gameplay on Windows 10 and Xbox One via the built-in Beam broadcasting technology. With Beam’s sub-second latency, new experiences are possible such as the ability for viewers to influence the gameplay or interact with the stream while it’s taking place.

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Also built into the Windows 10 Creators Update is Game Mode, a new platform feature that dedicates more graphics and processor resources to your PC games. It works with almost any game, and provides on average more sustainable framerates for gamers.

The Creators Update will also enable user-generated tournaments through Arena on Xbox Live, so gamers can define the rules of competition, invite friends and track tournament progress seamlessly across devices.

The Creators Update will be rolled out in a measured and deliberate manner; users can download and install it via Windows Update as soon as it is available.

* For more information and details on the Windows 10 Creators Update’s most exciting must-have features, please visit: http://www.windows.com.

 

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Android Go puts reliable smartphones in budget pockets

Nokia, Vodacom and Huawei have all launched entry-level smartphones running the Android Go edition, and all deliver a smooth experience, writes BRYAN TURNER.

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Three new and notable Android Go smartphones have recently hit the market, namely the Nokia 1, the Vodafone Smart Kicka 4 and the Huawei Y3 (2018). These phones run one of the most basic versions of Android while still delivering a fairly smooth user experience.

Historically, consumers purchasing smartphones in the budget bracket would have a hit-and-miss experience with processing speed, smoothness of user interface, and app stability. The Google-supported Android Go edition operating system optimises the user experience by stripping out non-important visual effects to speed up the phone. Thish allows for more memory to be used by apps. 

Google also ensures that all smartphones running Android Go will receive feature and security updates as they are released by Google. This is a major selling point for these smartphones, as users of this smartphone will always be running the latest software, with virtually no manufacturer bloatware.

Vodafone Smart Kicka 4

At the lowest entry-level, the Vodafone Smart Kicka 4 performs well as a communicator for emails and WhatsApp messages. The 4” screen represents a step up for entry-level Android phones, which were previously standardised at 3.5”.

The display is bright and very responsive, while the limited screen real estate leaves the navigation keys off the screen as touch buttons. It uses 3G connectivity, which might seem like an outdated technology, but is good enough to stream SD videos and music. Vodacom has also thrown in some data gifts if the smartphone is activated before the end of September 2018. 

Its camera functionalities might be a slight let down for the aspirant Instagrammer, with a 2MP rear flash camera and a 0.3MP selfie snapper. Speed wise, the keyboard pops up quickly, which is a huge improvement from the Smart Kicka 3. However, this phone will not play well with graphics-intensive games. 

Nokia 1

Next up is the Nokia 1, which adds a much better 5MP camera, improved battery life and a bigger 4.5” screen. It supports LTE, which allows this smartphone to download and upload at the speed of flagships. It also sports the Nokia brand name, which many consumers trust.

Although the front camera is 2MP, the quality is extremely grainy, even with good lighting. This disqualifies this smartphone for the social media selfie snapper, but the 5MP rear camera will work for the landscape and portrait photographer. 

The screen also redeems this smartphone, providing a display which represents colours truly and has great viewing angles. Xpress-on back covers allows the use of interchangeable, multi-coloured back covers, which has proven to be a successful sales point for mid-range smartphones in the past. 

Huawei Y3 (2018)

The most capable of the Android Go edition competitors, the Huawei Y3 (2018) packs an even bigger screen at 5”, as well as an improved 8MP rear camera and HD video recording. The screen is the brightest and most vibrant of the three smartphones, but seems to be calibrated to show colours a little more saturated than they actually are. 

Nevertheless, the camera outperforms the other smartphones with good colour replication and great selfie capabilities via the 2MP front camera – far superior to the Nokia 1 despite the same spec. LTE also comes standard with this smartphone and Vodacom throws in 4G/LTE data goodies until the end of September 2018. The battery, however, is not removable and may only be replaced by a warranty technician.

Comparing the 3

All three smartphones have removable back covers, which provide access to the battery, SIM card and SD card slots. The smartphones have Micro USB ports on the bottom with headphone jacks on the top. The built-in speakers all performed well, with the Y3 (2018) housing an exceptionally loud built-in speaker. 

Although all at different price points, all three phones remain similar in performance and speed. The differentiators are apparent in the components, like camera quality and screen quality. It would be fair to rank the quality of the camera and battery life by respective market prices. The Vodafone Smart Kicka 4 performed well, for its R399 retail price. The Nokia 1, on the other hand, lags quite a bit in features when compared to the Huawei Y3 (2018), bwith oth retailing at R999.

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SA gets digital archive

As the world entered the centenary of Nelson Mandela’s birth on Mandela Day, 18 July 2018, South Africa celebrated the launch of a digital living archive. 

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The southafrica.co.za  site carries content about the country’s collective heritage in South Africa’s eleven official languages.

Designed as a nation building,  educational and brand promotion web based tool, the free-to-view platform features award-winning photographic and written content by leading South African photographers, authors, academics and photojournalists.

The emphasis is on quality, credible, factual content that celebrates a collective heritage in terms of the following: Cultural Heritage; Natural Heritage; Education; History; Agriculture; Industry; Mining; and Travel.

At the same time as reflecting on the nation’s history, southafrica.co.za celebrates South Africa’s natural, cultural and economic assets so that the youth can learn about their nation in their home language.

Southafrica.co.za Founder and CEO Hans Gerrizen conceptualised southafrica.co.za as a means for youth and communities from outlying areas to benefit from the digital age in terms of the web tool’s empowering educational component.

“We can only stand to deepen our collective experience of democracy and become a more forward planning nation if we know facts about our nation’s past and present in everyone’s home language,” he says.

Southafrica.co.za, with sister company Siyabona Africa, is the organiser and sponsor of the Mandela: 100 Moments photographic exhibition that runs until 30 September at Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront-based Nelson Mandela Gateway to Robben Island.  The 3-month exhibition, which runs daily from 08h00 until 15h00, is showcasing one hundred iconic Nelson Mandela images taken by veteran South African photojournalist and self-taught lensman Peter Magubane.

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