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AppDate: Apps to help on Valentine’s Day

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In the AppDate Valentine’s special, SEAN BACHER highlight, Cookbook Recipes, Tinder, UberEATS, Simfy and ShowMax.

Cookbook Recipes

Nothing says I love you quite like a home-cooked, candle-lit dinner. However, not everyone is a Gordon Ramsey or Jamie Oliver or even Julia Child in the kitchen. To help get your meal on its way, try Cookbook Recipes. The app lets one search for dishes based on ingredients, time taken to cook and cooking difficulty. All recipes are easy to follow with step by step instruction to ensure your Valentine’s meal doesn’t end up a Valentine’s disaster.

Platform: Android but with similar apps available on iOS

Expect to pay: A free download

Stockists: Visit the Google Play Store for downloading instructions.

 

Tinder 

Despite some of the bad publicity Tinder has received, it is still a great app for meeting new people. Making new connections on Tinder is easy and fun—just Swipe Right to Like someone, or Swipe Left to pass. If someone likes you back, it’s a match and you are able to chat through the app. That’s a recommended process before giving out your cellphone number, aside from the obvious safety rules, like making sure people are who they claim to be, and meeting in a public space where security is available.

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: A free download with limited features is available. Tinder Plus costs R33 per month, which boosts your profile to the top of the line, allowing you to be seen by more users.

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your device.

 

UberEATS

No time to cook? We have you covered. Well, actually, UberEATS does. Select your desired restaurant from the app, and then the meal. Once your selection is made, a delivery time will be given, along with the price. Should the two of you feel like different food types, thats no problem as one can chose food from different restaurants. Once ordered, your meals can be tracked in real-time on a smartphone or tablet.

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: A free download

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your device.

 

Simfy Africa

The perfect accompaniment to dinner at home for two is some ambient music. Simfy Africa offers access to over 32-million songs. Playlists can be created and songs easily downloaded to set the mood. Simfy can be downloaded on a range of devices including smartphones, tablets, smart TVs and computers, so the music can follow from room to room as the evening progresses.

Although Simfy offers a great selection of songs there are numerous other music streaming services available for download.

Platform: Android, iOS and most other devices with an Internet browser.

Expect to pay: The first two weeks are free, and then R60 per month.

Stockists: www.simfyafrica.com

 

ShowMax

Once the food has digested, a little TV could be the perfect end to Valentine’s Day. ShowMax offers a massive selection of movies, series and documentaries. Like Simfy, ShowMax can be installed on most smartphones, tablets, smart TVs and computers – making it easy to enjoy anywhere in the house where there is a Wi-Fi signal. Signing up is quick and easy and ShowMax keeps tabs on your data usage, ensuring you don’t overdo it on a binge-watching evening.

ShowMax’s partnerships with Telkom and Vodacom also make streaming TV a little more affordable.

Besides ShowMax, one has access to a range of international and local video-on-demand services.

Platform: Android, iOS and most other devices with an Internet browser.

Expect to pay: The first two week’s of use are free after which ShowMax costs R99 per month.

Stockists: www.showmax.com

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

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Now download a bank account

Absa has introduced an end-to-end account opening for new customers, through the Absa Banking App, which can be downloaded from the Android and Apple app stores. This follows the launch of the world first ChatBanking on WhatsApp service.

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This “download your account” feature enables new customers to Absa, to open a Cheque account, order their card and start transacting on the Absa Banking App, all within minutes, from anywhere and at any time, by downloading it from the App stores.

“Overall, this new capability is not only expected to enhance the customer’s digital experience, but we expect to leverage this in our branches, bringing digital experiences to the branch environment and making it easier for our customers to join and bank with us regardless of where they may be,” says Aupa Monyatsi, Managing Executive for Virtual Channels at Absa Retail & Business Banking.

“With this innovation comes the need to ensure that the security of our customers is at the heart of our digital experience, this is why the digital onboarding experience for this feature includes a high-quality facial matching check with the Department of Home Affairs to verify the customer’s identity, ensuring that we have the most up to date information of our clients. Security is supremely important for us.”

The new version of the Absa Banking App is now available in the Apple and Android App stores, and anyone with a South African ID can become an Absa customer, by following these simple steps:

  1. Download the Absa App
  2. Choose the account you would like to open
  3. Tell us who you are
  4. To keep you safe, we will verify your cell phone number
  5. Take a selfie, and we will do facial matching with the Department of Home Affairs to confirm you are who you say you are
  6. Tell us where you live
  7. Let us know what you do for a living and your income
  8. Click Apply.

 

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How we use phones to avoid human contact

A recent study by Kaspersky Lab has found that 75% of people pick up their connected device to avoid conversing with another human being.

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Connected devices are becoming essential to keeping people in contact with each other, but for many they are also a much-needed comfort blanket in a variety of social situations when they do not want to interact with others. A recent survey from Kaspersky Lab has confirmed this trend in behaviour after three-quarters of people (75%) admitted they use a device to pretend to be busy when they don’t want to talk to someone else, showing the importance of keeping connected devices protected under all circumstances. 

Imagine you’ve arrived at a bar and you’re waiting for your date. The bar is busy, and people are chatting all around you. What do you do now? Strike up a conversation with someone you don’t know? Grab your phone from your pocket or handbag until your date arrives to keep yourself busy? Why talk to humans or even make eye-contact with someone else when you can stare at your connected device instead?

The truth is, our use of devices is making it much easier to avoid small talk or even be polite to those around us, and new Kaspersky Lab research has found that 72% of people use one when they do not know what to do in a social situation. They are also the ‘go-to’ distraction for people even when they aren’t trying to look busy or avoid someone’s eye. 46% of people admit to using a device just to kill time every day and 44% use it as a daily distraction.

In addition to just being a distraction, devices are also a lifeline to those who would rather not talk directly to another person in day-to-day situations, to complete essential tasks. In fact, nearly a third (31%) of people would prefer to carry out tasks such as ordering a taxi or finding directions to where they need to go via a website and an app, because they find it an easier experience than speaking with another person.

Whether they are helping us avoid direct contact or filling a void in our daily lives, our constant reliance on devices has become a cause for panic when they become unusable. A third (34%) of people worry that they will not be able to entertain themselves if they cannot access a connected device. 12% are even concerned that they won’t be able to pretend to be busy if their device is out of action.

Dmitry Aleshin, VP for Product Marketing, Kaspersky Lab said, “The reliance on connected devices is impacting us in more ways than we could have ever expected. There is no doubt that being connected gives us the freedom to make modern life easier, but devices are also vital to help people get through different and difficult social situations. No matter what your ‘connection crutch’ is, it is essential to make sure your device is online and available when you need it most.”

To ensure your device lifeline is always there and in top health – no matter what the reason or situation – Kaspersky Security Cloud keeps your connection safe and secure:

·         I want to use my device while waiting for a friend – is it secure to access the bar’s Wi-Fi?

With Kaspersky Security Cloud, devices are protected against network threats, even if the user needs to use insecure public Wi-Fi hotspots. This is done through transferring data via an encrypted channel to ensure personal data safety, so users’ devices are protected on any connection.

·         Oh no! I’m bored but my phone’s battery is getting low – what am I going to do?

Users can track their battery level thanks to a countdown of how many minutes are left until their device shuts down in the Kaspersky Security Cloud interface. There is also a wide-range of portable power supplies available to keep device batteries charged while on-the-go.

·         I’ve lost my phone! How will I keep myself entertained now?

Should the unthinkable happen and you lose or have your phone stolen, Kaspersky Security Cloud can track and protect your device from data breaches, for complete peace of mind. Remote lock and locate features ensure your device remains secure until you are reunited.

 

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