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AppDate: Better handsfree email with messageLOUD

In this week’s AppDate, SEAN BACHER highlights messageLOUD, TakeAction, Folx 5 Mac download manager, Tetris Twist and Opera – now with ad blocking.|In this week’s AppDate, SEAN BACHER highlights messageLOUD, TakeAction, Folx 5 Mac download manager, Tetris Twist and Opera – now with ad blocking.

messageLOUD gets upgraded

messageLOUD has just been upgraded to read emails without the annoying signature detail thrown in. This is an eyes-free smartphone app that automatically reads your texts, WhatsApp messages and mails out loud, allowing you to keep your eyes on the road. The beta version of the app was originally launched in January, but the final version is now available for download, says South African Garin Toren, Founder and CEO of messageLOUD. When activated, messageLOUD will tell users who is calling, read e-mails in their inbox and will pause music for calls or navigation directions. The app is designed to skip promotional e-mails and its new signature parsing algorithm means all the contact details at the end of a message won’t be read out either.

Platform: Android

Expect to pay: A free download.

Stockists: Visit the Google Play Store.



The TakeAction app is designed to help users log service delivery requests quickly and easily. It uses a smartphone’s GPS location and allows users to specify the problem – whether it be a pothole, accident, broken robot or emergency. All incidents reported in an area are grouped together and sent to the appropriate service provider for action.

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: A free download.

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your device.


Folx 5 Mac download manager

In addition to allowing Mac users to manage their downloads easily, Folx 5 also acts as a torrent client. The free version offers a very basic download and torrent option, whereas the pro version will let one split downloads into threads for quicker downloading. The pro version also offers a scheduler, speed control, iTunes integration, password manager and the ability to search torrents.

Platform: Mac OS 10 and above

Expect to pay: A free download with the pro version R280

Stockists: Visit the Apple App Store for downloading instructions.


Tetris Twist

Tetris Twist is a new take on the iconic Tetris game. It is HTML 5 based and currently offers 100 levels of gameplay, including multiple levels that players can unlock. One is taken through various cities, including New York, Tokyo, London, Paris, and Amsterdam, with more to be added. Tetris Twist also features new mechanics, such as Gravity mode where Tetriminos rise “up” instead of falling down, Hourglass mode in which Tetriminos are mixed-up as you would see in an hour glass, and Score Cells mode where select cells in the Matrix must be filled with Tetriminos to receive extra bonus points.

Platform: Most computers and tablets with an up-to-date browser running HTML 5

Expect to pay: Free to play.



Opera – now with ad blocking

The latest Opera browser now incorporates an ad blocking feature, resulting in a dramatic decrease in web page loading times. The improved performance is possible because the filtering happens at the web-engine level – or before the page is downloaded to a computer –

where the browser can fully control the loading process of the page. This is something most extensions do only once the page has loaded. The feature can be switched off, and the ad-blocking feature comes with a benchmark so users can see how much ads and tracking software affect page-loading times.

Platform: Most computers running the latest Opera version.

Expect to pay: A free download.


* Sean Bacher is editor of Follow him on Twitter on @SeanBacher

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