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AppDate: DStv Now spreads its wings

In this week’s AppDate, SEAN BACHER highlights three new versions of the DStv Now app, Moya Messenger, SANewsLIVE, WhatsApp’s Enterprise Solutions and MTN Asphalt Cup.

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New DStv Now apps

MultiChoice has recently added three new versions of its streaming content app – DStv Now. The new apps can now be downloaded on selected Samsung TVs, Apple TV devices from 4th generation up and Google Certified media players running Android TV.

The DStv Now app service features live sports, live TV, shows and movies in the Catch Up library. It can, however, only be used by those who have a DStv subscription, as account details will need to be entered to activate it.

When originally launched in 2014, the idea behind the app was to give DStv subscribers a means to watch TV while not at home. However, it has also turned into a great method for allowing family members to watch their preferred shows on different devices at home. For instance, one person could be watching the Discovery Channel via the decoder while another could be watching Cartoon Network via the DStv Now app on a tablet or phone, or even on another TV in the house.

Although the DStv Now app is only available on certain devices, MulitChoice says it will soon be available for LG TVs, as well as a range of additional mobile devices.

Platform: Selected Samsung smart TVs, Apple TV devices, Google Certified media players

Cost: A free download – but a DStV subscription is needed.

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your device.

 

Moya Messenger

The newly announced Moya Messenger was developed in South Africa and functions much the same as WhatsApp, but with one fundamental difference. It doesn’t need data to work. This is made possible by telco reverse bilging where biNu – the company that developed the app – pays for all messages that pass through Moya Messenger.

Moya Messenger offers unlimited texting, group chats, end-to-end security with automatic encryption of all messages, and automatic contact discovery that allows users to connect with others using the Moya app. Moya users are always logged on, so won’t miss a message, and all their messages are saved when their phones are switched off.

Although messages are free, sending video, images and other rich content does use airtime or data and users are warned when they will incur mobile data costs, or need to switch to Wi-Fi to send media files.

Platform: Android and iOS

Cost: A free download.

Stockist: Visit the store linked to your device.

 

SANewsLIVE,

Tiso Blackstar has launched SANewsLIVE, a mobile news-reading app that provides users with content from Tiso Blackstar’s existing websites without incurring data costs. The app has been developed for the cost-conscious consumer market or those who can’t afford large amounts of data each month, but still want to keep up to date with current news and events. SANewsLIVE delivers South African breaking news 24 hours a day and covers local, world, sports, entertainment, celebrity and business news produced round the clock by the Tiso Blackstar editorial team.

Unfortunately, in order to offset the cost of free news, users are inundated with 10 second videos, which they cannot opt out of, before they can read an article or access any video.

All major cellular networks support the SANewsLIVE service and users can download the app with a zero data balance.

Platform: Android and iOS

Cost: A free download and service

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your device.

 

WhatsApp’s Enterprise Solutions

Most companies still use SMS to communicate with their customers. However this is not an ideal means of communication anymore –  mainly due to the confines of the short message. A new message delivery service developed by Praekelt.org and WhatsApp now allows users to customise a delivery profile, when signing up with a company, that will enable the company to deliver WhatApp messages based on that profile. For instance, users can decide what language that want their messages to appear in and what time they should arrive. In addition, a WhatsApp message allows for the delivery of rich content, for example the inclusion of video and images, making the message more personal.

The Praekelt WhatsApp starter plan provides a single WhatsApp number, natural language support, quick replies, FAQ management and an API for 3rd party integrations.

The service is still in a Beta launch. Those interested can sign up here: www.praekelt.org/whatsapp/

 

MTN Asphalt Cup

MTN has modified the Asphalt Cup racing game to give it a local look and feel and has set up a tournament to run from 17 August to 2 September, with gamers competing to win up to R87500 in weekly prizes. Winners are entered into the leaderboard, with eight of them getting the chance to compete in the final at Comic Con Africa event from 14 to 16 September. The winner will take home R250 000.

To participate, download the game from mtnasphaltcup.mobi or dial *464*80#.

Platform: And Android smartphone.

Cost: A free download.

Stockist: Visit: mtnasphaltcup.mobi or dial *464*80#.

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Notre Dame, Scoop Makhathini, GoT, top week in search

From fire disaster to social media disaster, the top Google searches this week covered a wide gamut of themes.

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Paris and the whole world looked on in shock as the 856-year-old medieval Catholic cathedral crumbled into ash. The tragic infernal destruction of this tourist attraction of historical and religious significance led South Africans to generate more than 200 000 search queries for “Notre Dame Cathedral” on Monday. Authorities are investigating the cause of the fire that razed the architectural icon.

In other top trending searches on Google this week, radio presenter Siyabonga Ngwekazi, AKA Scoop Makhathini, went viral when it appeared he had taken to Twitter to expose his girlfriend, Akhona Carpede, for cheating on him. Scoop has since come out to say that he was not responsible for the bitter rant and that his account was hacked. “Scoop Makhathini” generated more than 20 000 search queries on Wednesday.

Fans generated more than 20 000 search queries for “Sam Smith” on Tuesday ahead of the the British superstar’s Cape Town performance at the Grand West Casino. Smith ended up cutting his performance short that night due to vocal strain.

Local Game of Thrones superfans were beside themselves on Sunday, searching the internet high and low for the first episode of the American fantasy drama’s eighth season. “Game of Thrones, season 8, episode 1” generated more than 100 000 queries on Google Search on the weekend.

As the festivities kicked off in California with headliners such as Childish Gambino and Ariana Grande, South Africans generated more than 2 000 search queries for “Coachella” on Saturday.

South Africans generated more than 5 000 search queries for “Wendy Williams” on Friday  as it emerged that the American talk show host had filed for divorce from her husband Kevin Hunter after 21 years of marriage. Hunter has long been rumored to have been cheating on Williams, which reportedly finally led to the divorce.

Search trends information is gleaned from data collated by Google based on what South Africans have been searching for and asking Google. Google processes more than 40 000 search queries every second. This translates to more than a billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year worldwide. Live Google search trends data is available at https://www.google.co.za/trends/hottrends#pn=p40

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5G smartphones to hit 5M sales in 2019

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According to the latest research from Strategy Analytics, global smartphone shipments will reach a modest 5 million units in 2019. Early 5G smartphone models will be expensive and available in limited volumes. Samsung, LG and Huawei will be the early 5G smartphone leaders this year, followed by Apple next year.

Ken Hyers, Director at Strategy Analytics, said, “We forecast global 5G smartphone shipments will reach a modest 5 million units in 2019. Less than 1 percent of all smartphones shipped worldwide will be 5G-enabled this year. Global 5G smartphone shipments are tiny for now, due to expensive device pricing, component bottlenecks, and restricted availability of active 5G networks.”

Ville Petteri-Ukonaho, senior analyst at Strategy Analytics, added, “Samsung will be the early 5G smartphone leader in the first half of 2019, due to initial launches across South Korea and the United States. We predict LG, Huawei, Xiaomi, Motorola and others will follow later in the year, followed by Apple iPhone with its first 5G model during the second half of 2020. The iPhone looks set to be at least a year behind Samsung in the 5G smartphone race and Apple must be careful not to fall too far behind.”

Neil Mawston, executive director at Strategy Analytics, added, “The short-term outlook for 5G smartphones is weak, but the long-term opportunity remains huge. We forecast 1 billion 5G smartphones to ship worldwide per year by 2025. The introduction of 5G networks, by carriers like Verizon or China Mobile, opens up high-speed, ultra-low-latency services such as 8K video, streaming games, and augmented reality for business. The next big question for the mobile industry is how much extra consumers are really willing to pay, if anything, for those emerging 5G smartphones and services.”

Strategy Analytics provides a snapshot analyses for the outlook for 5G smartphone market in this Insight report: 5G Smartphones : From Zero to a Billion

Strategy Analytics provides a deep-dive into the air-interface technologies that will power phones through 2024 across 88 countries here: Global Handset Sales Forecast by 88 Countries and 19 Technologies : 2003 to 2024

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