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AppDate: Apple brings Clips to video

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In his latest AppDate, SEAN BACHER features Apple Clips, Bidvest Snappdrive, Shazam with AR, Facebook Messenger Lite, and StockupApp.

Apple Clips

Apple Clips is a new app that is designed to create expressive videos on iPhones and iPads. It allows one to combine video clips, photos and music into videos that can be shared via Apple’s Messages app, or on Instagram, Facebook and most other popular social networks. The app introduces Live Titles, a feature that lets users create animated captions and titles using just their voice. It includes comic book filters, speech bubbles, shapes and full-screen animated posters.

Platform: Apple iPads and iPhones running iOS 10.3 or later.

Expect to pay: A free download.

Stockists: Visit the Apple App Store from any compatible device.

 

Bidvest Snappdrive

After a long trip, the last thing many travellers want to worry about is organising a rental car. Bidvest’s Snappdrive app makes this is a lot easier. Before leaving for a trip, users arrange a car online. After arriving at their destination, they use the app to locate their car, and will be able to unlock and start it using just a smartphone. In addition to creating a better customer experience, Bidvest is able to monitor a car’s location, speed and fuel consumption – all in real time.

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: A free download.

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your device.

 

Shazam, now with Augmented Reality

Shazam, one of the first apps allowing users to identify an artist by simply letting their phone “listen” to a song, has gone one step further. With its AR platform, users can now scan a QR code on marketing materials, products, packaging, advertising, events and more. Once scanned, the codes are capable of delivering AR experiences, including 3D animations, product visualisations, mini-games and 360-degree videos, directly to their phone or tablet.

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: A free download.

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your device.

 

Facebook Messenger Lite

In an effort to help users with older Android smartphones or slow mobile Internet connections, Facebook has launched its Messenger Lite service. It is a slimmed down, standalone version of the standard Facebook Messenger for Android that allows one to quickly and easily send text, photos and links to anyone else using Messenger or Messenger Lite. It is designed to give people the Messenger experience, no matter what technology they use. The app is less than a 10MB download, making it a lot easier to install and easier to access.

Platform: Android with an iOS version being released later this year.

Expect to pay: A free download.

Stockists: Visit the Google Play Store for downloading instructions.

 

StockupApp

Long queues, disgruntled checkout staff and the idea of spending hard-earned money on something as boring as groceries are just a few issues that make going to the supermarket a chore. Although StockupApp doesn’t help with the money that needs to be spent, it does eliminate queues and many of the other shopping problems. Much like UberEATS, StockupApp uses a phone’s geo-location to find stores in an area. One is then able to order a range of everyday goods, including groceries, certain alcoholic beverages and even gifts – all dependent on the retailer chosen. A credit card is used to pay and the items ordered will be delivered to your door in hours.

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: A free download but a service and delivery fee is added to each purchase.

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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CES: So long, and thanks for all the beer!

Last week, the Las Vegas expo showed off its fun side with state-of-the-art technologies for enjoying beer, writes BRYAN TURNER

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From craft beer-making machines to robots that pour beer, CES had more beer than usual in Las Vegas last week. And even free beer if you found the right stand. Stampede’s saloon-style booth offered beer to visitors who tried out its latest drones, virtual reality, and other gaming products. No beer tech, though.

Here are some of the beer technologies that stood out:

LG HomeBrew – Craft beer made at home

LG’s HomeBrew craft beer-making machine,  debuted at CES 2019, brings the brewing process home thanks to single-use capsules,  a self-cleaning feature, and an algorithm optimised for fermentation. 

Like a Nespresso coffee machine, the beer maker uses capsules, which contain malt, yeast, hop oil and flavouring. At the press of a button, LG HomeBrew automates the whole procedure from fermentation and carbonation to ageing. A companion app lets users check HomeBrew’s status at any time during the process, from their handsets.

The beer machine not only offers a simple way to make craft beer, but also enhances the quality of beer it makes. The fermentation algorithm intelligently controls the fermenting process with precise temperature and pressure control. It automatically sanitises itself, using nothing more than hot water, ensuring everything is hygienically clean for the next batch.

Designed with discerning beer lovers in mind, HomeBrew allows for in-home production of batches of more than 4 litres of beer in a variety of styles. The following five distinctive, flavoured beers are available now: 

  • Hoppy American IPA
  • Golden American Pale Ale
  • Full-bodied English Stout
  • Zesty Belgian-style Witbier
  • Dry Czech Pilsner

The only catch? It takes about two weeks to make, depending on the beer type.

“LG HomeBrew is the culmination of years of home appliance and water purification technologies that we’ve developed over the decades,” said Dan Song, president of LG Electronics Home Appliance & Air Solutions Company. “Homebrewing has grown at an explosive pace, but there are still many beer lovers who haven’t taken the jump because of the barriers to entry, like complexity, and these are the consumers we think will be attracted to LG HomeBrew.”

Click here to read about the party speaker that holds beer and robots that pour beer.

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CES: Alienware gets Legend-ary

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At CES in Las Vegas last week, Dell’s Alienware released a family of high-end, thin, light, and affordable machines for both amateur and professional gamers – and a new identity.

Alienware marked CES 2019 as a brand milestone with the debut of a new design identity, Alienware Legend. It aims to set a new bar of excellence for what gamers want most – performance and function. Alienware says it evaluated multiple concepts and chose one that was the biggest and boldest departure from its current look.

Alienware Legend, says the company, stays true to the brand’s core design tenets, taking cues from its deep roots in sci-fi culture and its early industrial designs, to distinguish the brand from the rest of the industry. The new Legend design is optimised with cutting-edge thermal cooling technology to achieve and sustain overclocking power, improved AlienFX lighting, and ultra-thin screen borders. It also unveiled a new “three-knuckle hinge” design that reduces the overall dimension while creating a stronger assembly, all combining to yield a better gaming experience.

“We’re excited to come to this year’s CES with some truly groundbreaking products, next-gen software and strategic partnerships that will bring more people to experience PC gaming and advance the industry,” said Frank Azor, vice president and general manager of Alienware. “The legend design answers the call for more and better from our gaming community, and the new G Series laptops will make PC gaming even more accessible to those looking for high-performance gaming at a cost they can appreciate.”

Click here to read about Alienware Legend in action with the Area-51m and m-series laptops

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