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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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News fatigue shifts Google searches in SA

Google search trends in South Africa reveal a startling insight into news appetite, writes BRYAN TURNER.

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The big searches of the year no longer track the biggest news stories of the year, suggesting a strong dose of news fatigue among South Africans.

“People ask, why are the Guptas not on the list of Google’s top searches?, says Mich Atagana, head of communications and public affairs at Google South Africa, “The Guptas are not on the list because South Africans are not actually that interested. South Africans are looking for things they don’t know. From a Gupta point of view, we’ve been exhausted by the news and we know exactly what is going on.”

Google South Africa announced the results of its 2018 Year in Search, offering a unique perspective on the year’s major moments.

“Four years ago, there were almost no South Africans on the personalities list,” says Atagana. “Over the years, South Africans have gotten more interested in South Africa, in searching on Google.”

That isn’t to say that international searches – like Meghan Markle – are not heavily searched by South Africans. But  they feature lower down on the lists.

From the World Cup to listeriosis, Zuma and Global Citizen, South Africans use search to find the things they really need to know.

These are the main trends revealed  by Google this week:

Top trending South African searches

  1. World Cup fixtures
  2. Load shedding
  3. Global Citizen
  4. Zuma
  5. Winnie Mandela
  6. HHP
  7. Listeriosis
  8. Black Panther
  9. Meghan Markle
  10. Mac Miller

Trending personalities

  1.    Jacob Zuma
  2. Cyril Ramaphosa
  3. Sbahle Mpisane
  4. Kevin Anderson
  5. Malusi Gigaba
  6. Ashwin Willemse
  7. Patrice Motsepe
  8. Cheryl Zondi
  9. Shamila Batohi
  10. Mlindo the Vocalist

Top Questions

  1. How did Avicii die?
  2. How old is Pharrell Williams?
  3. What is listeriosis?
  4. What is black data?
  5. How old is Prince Harry?
  6. How much are Global Citizen tickets?
  7. How to get pregnant?
  8. What time is the royal wedding?
  9. What happened to HHP?
  10. How old is Meghan Markle?

Top ‘near me’ searches

  1. Jobs near me
  2. Nandos near me
  3. Dischem near me
  4. McDonalds near me
  5. Guest house near me
  6. Postnet near me
  7. Steers near me
  8. Spar near me
  9. Debonairs near me
  10. Spur near me

Top women

  1. Winnie Mandela
  2. Meghan Markle
  3. Sbahle Mpisane
  4. Aretha Franklin
  5. Khloe Kardashian
  6. Sophie Ndaba
  7. Cheryl Zondi
  8. Demi Lovato
  9. Lerato Sengadi
  10. Siam Lee

The Year In Search 2018 minisite can be found here.

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Smartphones dip in 2018

According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, worldwide smartphone shipments are expected to decline by 3% in 2018 before returning to low single-digit growth in 2019 and through 2022.

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While the on-going U.S.-China trade war has the industry on edge, IDC still believes that continued developments from emerging markets, mixed with potential around 5G and new product form factors, will bring the smartphone market back to positive growth.

Smartphone shipments are expected to drop to 1.42 billion units in 2018, down from 1.47 billion in 2017. However, IDC expects year-over-year shipment growth of 2.6% in 2019. Over the long-term, smartphone shipments are forecast to reach 1.57 billion units in 2022. From a geographic perspective, the China market, which represented 30% of total smartphone shipments in 2017, is finally showing signs of recovery. While the world’s largest market is still forecast to be down 8.8% in 2018 (worse than the 2017 downturn), IDC anticipates a flat 2019, then back to positive territory through 2022. The U.S. is also forecast to return to positive growth in 2019 (up 2.1% year over year) after experiencing a decline in 2018.

The slow revival of China was one of the reasons for low growth in Q3 2018 and this slowdown will persist into Q1 2019 as the market is expected to drop by 3% in Q4 2018. Furthermore, the recently lifted U.S. ban on ZTE had an impact on shipments in Q3 2018 and created a sizable gap that is yet to be filled heading into 2019.

“With many of the large global companies focusing on high-end product launches, hoping to draw in consumers looking to upgrade based on specifications and premium devices, we can expect head-to-head competition within this segment during the holiday quarter and into 2019 to be exceptionally high,” said Sangeetika Srivastava, senior research analyst with IDC’s Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers.

Though 2018 has fallen below expectations so far, the worldwide smartphone market is set to pick up on the shift toward larger screens and ultra-high-end devices. All the big players have further built out their portfolios with bigger screens and higher-end smartphones, including Apple’s new launch in September. In Q3 2018, the 6-inch to less than 7-inch screen size band became the most prominent band for the first time with more than four times year-over-year growth. IDC believes that larger-screen smartphones (5.5 inches and above) will lead the charge with volumes of 947.1 million in 2018, accounting for 66.7% of all smartphones, up from 623.3 million units and 42.5% share in 2017. By 2022, shipments of these larger-screen smartphones will move up to 1.38 billion units or 87.7% of overall shipment volume.

“What we consider a so-called normal size smartphone has shifted dramatically in a few short years and while we are stretching the limits with bezel-less devices, the next big switch to flexible screens will test our imaginations even further,” said Melissa Chau, associate research director with IDC’s Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers. “While this category of device is still nascent and won’t see major adoption in the year ahead, it’s exciting to see changes to the standard monoblock we are all so used to carrying.”

Platform Highlights

Android: Android’s smartphone share will remain stable at 85% throughout the forecast. Volumes are expected to grow at a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 1.7% with shipments approaching 1.36 billion in 2022. Android is still the choice of the masses with no shift expected. Android average selling prices (ASPs) are estimated to grow by 9.6% in 2018 to US$258, up from US$235 in 2017. IDC expects this upward trajectory to continue through the forecast, but at a softened rate from 2019 and beyond. Not only are market players pushing upgraded specs and materials to offset decreasing replacement rates, but they are also serving the evolving consumer needs for better performance.

iOS: iOS smartphones are forecast to drop by 2.5% in 2018 to 210.4 million. The launch of expensive and bigger screen iOS smartphones in Q3 2018 helped Apple to raise its ASP, simultaneously making it somewhat difficult to increase shipments in the current market slump. IDC is forecasting iPhone shipments to grow at a five-year CAGR of 0.1%, reaching volumes of 217.3 million in 2022. Despite the challenges, there is no ambiguity that Apple will continue to lead the global premium market segment.

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