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Sean Bacher

AppDate: Continue the conversation with Fishbowl

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In this week’s round up of the latest apps, SEAN BACHER highlights the Fishbowl app, Zino for Nokia Lumia Windows Phone 8, WeChat for BlackBerry 10, the GoPro camera app and the Coast Internet browser by Opera.

Inside the Fishbowl

Networking with like-minded business people at events and conferences is a great way to grow business relationships, but the problem with these ad hoc meetings is that contact details need to be saved and follow-up emails sent to carry on the conversation. The Fishbowl app does away with this by letting users create ‚”bowls‚” where meeting attendees’ contact details are automatically captured. This enables the conversation to carry on when people leave the physical meeting and return to their offices or countries. Once a bowl is set up, it is secure and limited to users that joined at the location where it was created. Those users can then share links, images, videos and presentations among all who joined.

Platform: iOS and Android

Stockists: Visit the store associated with your device.

Expect to pay: A free download.

Zinio for Nokia Lumia Windows Phone 8

Zinio, the app that lets users buy, download, read and subscribe to magazines from around the world is now available for Nokia Lumia phones. The app automatically downloads magazine updates and allows them to be read whether you are online or offline. The app’s uncluttered user interface makes it easy to navigate and manage subscriptions. Thanks to Nokia’s ClearBlack phone displays, readers are also able to read at better viewing angles. The Zino app makes use of the phone’s light sensor to ensure magazines can be browsed in dark or light situations.

Platform: Nokia Lumia handsets running Windows Phone 8 Stockists: Visit the Nokia Collections option on the Windows App Store. Expect to pay: A free download.

WeChat for BlackBerry 10 smartphones

The WeChat app, which has a quarter-billion users in China, has now been designed to integrate with the BlackBerry Hub found on BlackBerry 10 devices. Like BBM and WhatsApp, it includes a range of emoticons. Besides sending text messages, users can share voice, video and images with other WeChatters using the Hold-to-Talk feature. It offers location-based services, letting users meet up with friends and colleagues near them. New security settings are built into the program, letting the user adjust privacy settings’ to their liking.

Platform: BlackBerry smartphones running the BlackBerry 10 OS and the BlackBerry Q5.

Stockists: Visit BlackBerry World.

Expect to pay: A free download.

GoPro app

Following the release of the GoPro Hero 3 camera, featured recently in Something On the Side, the company has released the GoPro app, designed to make using the camera easier. Users can link their iOS, Android or Windows Phone 8 devices to the camera via Wi-Fi. Once linked, videos and images can be viewed on the mobile device. Settings that would normally need the camera to be taken out of its bracket can also be made directly from the linked phone or tablet. The app lets users view other GoPro videos and images and allows for easy sharing on Twitter or Facebook.

Platform: iOS, Android and Windows Phone 8

Stockists: Visit the store associated with your device.

Expect to pay: A free download.

Coast by Opera

The Coast web browser by Opera is designed specifically to work on an iOS device. Tiles are used in place of bookmarks, allowing users to launch their favourite sites without having to go through menus. When the browser is first launched, four home screens are presented, allowing sites to be added and removed. In place of tabs, sites are minimised to a taskbar at the bottom of the screen for quick access. A single menu is present when a tab is open, allowing users to take screenshots of the site they are on and share them via email, Twitter or Facebook. Coast’s privacy and security settings can only be accessed under the iPad or iPhone Setting option, making it a great browser for parents wanting to control what sites their children access.

Platform: iOS

Stockists: Apple App Store.

Expect to pay: A free download.

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AppDate: Liberty brings learning channel to app

In this week’s app roundup, SEAN BACHER takes a look at TenFold, Uber ICEplus, KLM’s Travel Guide, MTN’s Supersonic, and Samsung Pay with Discovery Tab.

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TenFold

Liberty has partnered with the Mindset Network to deliver Maths and Physical Science education to learners across South Africa using a mobile app called TenFold Education. It offers educational content and extra learning material for learners in grades 10 to 12.

In the 1990s, millions of school children tuned into the Liberty Learning Channel to watch William Smith and other educators teach Maths and Physical Science in a studio, using a projector. While this format was relevant back then, the learning landscape today has completely evolved.

In addition to TenFold, a 60-minute interactive television show airs on DSTV Channel Mindset TV. It offers a full learning experience aligned to the CAPS curriculum, and is broadcast every day during school terms. The content on the TenFold App provides interactive nuggets of the same information, and houses hundreds of hours of instructional video resources, and exam style assessments.

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: A free download

Stockists: Download TenFold for Android hereand for iOS here.

Uber ICEplus

Using Uber safely starts with riders checking their ride details. But what happens when an accident or an incident happens on a trip? With safety being a number one priority for Uber, it has provided features to keep riders safe from before your trip starts to after it ends, ensuring transparency and traceability. One such feature is the in-app emergency button which is available to riders during trips in any safety-related incidents.

This feature, which is provided by ICEplus, a mobile panic button solution, can be found in Uber’s safety toolkit, making it easily accessible for riders on their home screen.

Where safety is compromised, riders can call for assistance directly from the Uber app by tapping the shield icon on the map. Once the in-app button has been activated, riders will be connected to ICEplus Incident Management Centre, where a consultant will assess the nature of the safety incident and either dispatch a third-party private security company or medical response team to the rider’s location. The ICEplus agent will stay on the line with riders until they are safe.

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: A free download

Stockists: Accessible through through the Uber app which can be downloaded here

KLM’s Travel Guide

Alexa users can go in search of the KLM destination best suited to them using KLM’s Travel Guide. The app offers inspiration as well as personal advice in terms of flight duration, budget, travel dates and specifications, such as a “city trip” or “beach holiday”. 

Based on this information, KLM suggests the destination that best fulfils the passenger’s wishes, along with the ticket price and a short description. This KLM service is available on all speakers running the Alexa operating system, with or without a screen.

Platform: Available on any device using the Alexa OS

Expect to pay: A free download

Stockists: Visit KLM here for more information. 

Click here to read about MTN’s Supersonic fibre and Samsung Pay with Discover Tab

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AppDate: RICA SIMs in seconds with Trace Mobile

In his latest app roundup SEAN BACHER highlights Trace self-RICA, WhoYou, FNB’s fitness, health and savings tracker, Moya Messenger and Spotify’s Premium 3 month deal

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Trace self-RICA service

Trace Mobile has launched a SIM card ordering and self-RICA system that takes users less than two minutes to complete via the Trace app.

The app lets users RICA their SIM card in three steps, using an ID and profile facial recognition system to process the application. Trace Mobile also makes it easier to order a SIM, RICA it and collect it instantly at more than 600 Clicks stores countrywide. The user’s selfie, ID number, surname and address are verified against each other, using optical character recognition technologies which comply with the POPI and RICA acts to protect the subscribers’ personal information.

Platform: Android and iOS

Stockists: Download the app for Android here and for iOS here.

Expect to pay: A free download.

WhoYou

Smartphones can now act as advanced ID fingerprint scanners in South Africa, thanks to WhoYou.

The app allows you to verify who you’re dealing with by just taking a photo of the person’s two thumbprints. In seconds, WhoYou will compare the photographed thumbprints against the National Population Register (NPR), maintained by the Department of Home Affairs, and return a confirmation of the person’s ID details as well as their photo.

Until now, only South African banks and telecommunications companies have had the ability to verify people’s identities against the NPR — and even this has depended on the use of traditional fingerprint scanners.

Although the app is easily installed, users of the app have to register themselves, which involves scanning the left and right fingers and thumbs. This is easier said than done and, after trying numerous times, I eventually gave up. This comes after the once-off R4 enrolment fee.

The app is expected to play a significant role in curbing identity fraud for a range of scenarios — from retailers dealing with account openings to insurers handling claims processing, and authentication for debit orders from customer accounts. The app can also help individuals verify the identity of suppliers working at their homes or businesses.

WhoYou is fully compliant with the South Africa’s Protection of Personal Information (Popi) Act. However, the subjects of identity verification have to first give consent and accept the terms and conditions in-app before allowing their fingerprints to be photographed.

Businesses can either use the WhoYou smartphone app or they can use their existing fingerprint scanners with the WhoYou Windows app. The WhoYou computer app works on desktops or laptops.

Platform: Android and Windows with iOS coming soon.

Expect to pay: A free download with an enrolment fee of R4 for individuals. Individual users will then pay a R4 fee per transaction or verification, while a volume-based fee or licence model will be aimed at businesses.

Stockists: Visit WhoYou here for registration details.

FNB now tracks fitness, savings and health

FNB has expanded the nav» functionality on the FNB App by allowing customers to set and track their savings, health and fitness goals.

The new functionality is a continuation of the nav» journey which began in 2016 when FNB introduced nav» Home, followed by nav» Car and, more recently, nav» Money.

The process has been designed to calculate how much a customer needs to save for a goal, recommend a personalised savings solution and include the ability to track progress. 

The bank’s goal-based solution offers customers the option of 10 main savings goals categories, including: education, emergencies, travel, save to start a business as well as health and wellness – with over 50 different sub categories. Customers also have an option to create and name their own goal.

The nav» Wellness feature requires users to complete a questionnaire to get insights into their wellness score before setting goals to improve their score. There is also a feature that allows them to order prescription medicine from their nearest Dis-Chem pharmacy from within the FNB App, and be notified when it is ready for collection. The bank has also negotiated discounts with a number of health and wellness partners and has set  up monthly deals with the following:

Deals:

  • VIVA Gyms: 40% off 12-month contract if paid in full up front;
  • Body Tec: 35% off a 10-session contract and/or 75% off a trial voucher and eBucks are accepted;
  • Life Day Spa: 20% off during the week with the convenience of using eBucks to pay for treatments;
  • BOUNCE: 25% off for Bounce Fit/Students/Junior Jumpers/General Access and eBucks are accepted;
  • DNAlysis: 35% off diet, health and sport genetic testing and accepts eBucks;
  • Monthly Deals: Exciting discounts which change month to month. Current discounts from Fitchef, Faithful to Nature, Ucook, Life Day Spa, Bounce and Bodytec, with many more partners and deals coming soon.

Platform: Android and iOS

Stockists: Visit FNB here for downloading instructions

Expect to pay: A free download.

Moya Messenger

biNu has announced that its Moya Messenger and content app is now being used by more than one million people in South Africa every month, with 650 000 people using it every day.

The key differentiator between Moya, WhatsApp and other messaging platforms is that no data costs are incurred by users to send and receive 1-to-1 or group messages – and visit a range of #datafree websites and apps.

For enterprises looking for new  ways to engage with mass-market mobile users in South Africa, Moya includes the “Discover” feature, where people engage with #datafree digital content and services.

biNu helps commercial businesses, public agencies, NGOs, not-for-profits, and other organisations to build content for Discover, including full and micro websites, apps, full screen video advertising and surveys. 

Early adopters that are interacting with Moya’s one million users through Discover include Tiso Blackstar, Cosmopolitan magazine, Assupol Insurance, iQ Academy, Adzuna Job Search, Kuba Services, WeMarket, Sanlam Insurance, DirectAxis, Arial, Nivea and Project UBU.

Platform: Android with an iOS version coming out soon

Expect to pay: A free download

Stockists: Moya Messenger can be downloaded here.

Spotify Premium free for 3 months

Spotify Premium is giving users who are new to the Premium package more time to use its features, offering the first 3 months for free.

The offer is based on always-on/not limited time, and will roll out across Spotify Premium plans globally.

“Music and podcasts play an important role in people’s lives so we wanted to give users the first 3 months for free to fully enjoy everything that Spotify Premium has to offer,” says Spotify Chief Premium Business, Officer Alex Norström. “We know it takes time to fully experience all of the features available with Premium, so we’re giving people the time that they need to fall in love with Premium’s listening experience and on-demand access to more than 50 million tracks, billions of playlists and 450 000 podcast titles for free.”

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: Free to download and use for the first three months

Stockists: Sign up for Spotify Premium here.

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