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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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Huawei Mate 20 Pro matches camera benchmark record

A benchmark by DxOMark sees the triple-cam handset tie with the P20 Pro for best smartphone camera on the market.

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The Huawei Mate 20 Pro has come out top in a camera benchmark test that assesses all aspects of smartphone camera performance.

DxOMark, which conducts rigorous hardware testing and is trusted as an industry standard for image quality measurements, has just released the results of its in-depth analysis of the Huawei Mate 20 Pro smartphone camera. 

The Huawei Mate 20 Pro is the Chinese manufacturer’s latest top-end device. Building on the P20 Pro’s camera technology, the Mate 20 Pro comes with a Leica-branded triple-camera setup, but swaps its stable-mate’s monochrome camera for a super-wide-angle module, offering a 35mm-equivalent focal length range from 16 to 80mm—the widest of all current smartphone cameras.

The handset is in direct competition with the Apple iPhone XS Max, the Google Pixel 3 XL, the Samsung Galaxy Note 9, among other. How does it fare?

“With a total photo score of 114, the Huawei Mate 20 Pro ties the record-setting score of its cousin, the P20 Pro,” says DxOMark. “The overall Photo score is calculated from sub-scores in tests that examine different aspects of its performance under different lighting conditions.”

The Huawei Mate 20 Pro achieves a photo score of 114 points. In stills mode, the Mate 20 Pro’s triple camera captures images with good target exposure and a wide dynamic range, recording both good highlight and shadow detail even in difficult high-contrast situations. Noise levels are well under control down to low light levels, and the camera’s white balance system and colour rendering settings produce a pleasant colour response in almost all circumstances.

At 97 points, the Mate 20 Pro is very close to the best for video as well, thanks to a fast and smooth autofocus system with good tracking performance, accurate white balance as well as pleasant colour rendering, and low levels of noise, especially in bright shooting conditions. Our testers also liked the exposure system’s ability to adapt quickly and smoothly to changes in illumination.

It was not all good news. DxOMark also had some criticism for the device.

Click here to read about the drawbacks of the Mate 20 Pro camera, and other positives.

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SA car wins
Dakar Rally

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The final stage of Dakar 2019 drew to a close at the bivouac in Pisco, Peru, and saw Toyota Gazoo Racing South Africa’s Nasser Al Attiyah and Mathieu Baumel bring home their South African-built Toyota Hilux for an historic victory. Not only was it a first win for Toyota, but it was also the first petrol-powered car to win the Dakar in the South-American era.

The Qatari driver ensured his French navigator, who turned 43 years old on Thursday, 17 January, received a great birthday present, when the pair arrived at the final time control of Dakar 2019 with teammates Giniel de Villiers and Dirk von Zitzewitz in close formation. The two Toyota Hilux crews completed the entire stage together, as De Villiers / Von Zitzewitz waited nearly 55 minutes for the leaders to start the stage, in order to shadow them to the finish.

The emotions bubbled over for Team Principal Glyn Hall, who found himself without words as his two crews drove into the media area after the time control. “This victory was long overdue,” he finally managed, before being swamped in a sea of well-wishers.

The winning driver, however, was much more vocal: “We are so happy to win the Dakar – not only for ourselves, but also for Toyota and the entire Toyota Gazoo Racing SA team. Everyone has worked so hard for so long, and really deserve this. Thank you for letting us drive this car.”

Toyota Gazoo Racing SA led Dakar 2019 from the first to the last stage, with Al Attiyah/Baumel drawing first blood, before handing the mantle to De Villiers / Von Zitzewitz during stage 2. But then a disastrous Stage 3 saw the Qatari retake the lead – a lead he didn’t relinquish despite some of the toughest stages yet seen on any South-American Dakar.

“When we first heard that the rally was going to take place only in one country, we were skeptical,” said Hall after regaining composure. “But the organisers made sure that this year’s race will long be remembered as one of the toughest tests in the last decade.”

Al Attiyah / Baumel’s victory at Dakar 2019 means that Toyota Gazoo Racing has now won both of the world’s toughest automotive races – the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and the DakarRally.

Click here to read Glyn Hall’s comment on winning the Dakar Rally, as well as the rankings.

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