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Sean Bacher

AppDate: Get iOS 8 free in iStores

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In this week’s AppDate, SEAN BACHER highlights the free iOS 8 update from iStore, AppyEverAfter, bidorbuy for Windows Phone, Click and Compare and the BlackBerry Channel integration into Hootsuite.

Free iOS 8 update from iStore

Alongside the iPhone 6 announcement last week, Apple announced the release of the latest version of its mobile operating system – iOS 8. It offers a range of features like a keyboard that automatically completes words and sentences, the ability to add voice to text messages, and an easier way to search for photos. It is a free, albeit large download – at 1,8GB – and is already available in many countries. Today, iStores across South Africa are giving local users the option to come in and get their iPhones and iPads updated for free – saving the time and cost of the massive download.

Platform: iOS devices.

Stockists: Any iStore nationwide.

Expect to pay: The service is free, but booking is required. Visit www.zastore.co.za for more information.

AppyEverAfter

The AppyEverAfter app is like having a wedding planner in your pocket. Using the app, couples can browse through a variety of vendors, ranging from caterers to florists to venues. They can then use the app to make contact with the vendors and hire the chosen companies for their weddings. The app also lets users manage their guest lists, keep track of RSVPs and message their guests about any changes. A registry can be setup where stores can be selected from which guests can buy gifts. Weddings can end up costing a fortune, so the app has a manage the budget option, where a running tally of what has been spent can be viewed.

Platform: Android and iOS.

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your device.

Expect to pay: A free download.

bidorbuy for Windows Phone

The bidorbuy app is now available on the Windows Phone Store, bringing the full shopping functionality of the online marketplace to Windows Phone users. The app lets sellers view their current auctions, answer questions asked by buyers and make changes to their profiles. Buyers can use the app to search for items, make bids and complete auctions by making payments to sellers. The app makes full use of Windows Live Tiles, allowing users to view their status without having to open the app.

Platform: Windows Phone 8.1 and above.

Stockists: Visit the Windows Phone Store from your device.

Expect to pay: A free download.

Click and Compare

Trying to find the best mobile deal or the best ADSL offering can take some time, with service providers offering dozens of different packages. Click and Compare aims to make this easier by allowing users to compare different packages on one web page. The service offers the ability to search cellular contracts, ADSL packages, insurance quotes and even gives some information on financial deals. Once a category has been chosen, the latest results are given from the most popular service providers in that segment. Users are then able to easily make comparisons and, once they have decided on the best deal, can contact the vendor directly from the Click and Compare site.

Platform: An Internet-based service.

Stockists: Visit http://www.clickncompare.co.za

Expect to pay: A free service.

BBM Management through Hootsuite

BBM Channels can now be managed with Hootsuite, allowing social media teams to engage with their channel followers directly from the Hootsuite dashboard. Hootsuite is a widely used social relationship management platform for businesses and organisations to collaboratively execute campaigns across social networks from one secure, Web-based dashboard.

Platform: Hootsuite is available on all major mobile platforms.

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your device.

Expect to pay: Three Hootsuite packages are available, starting from the entry-level one for personal use which is free. The top-of-the-range one, which will cost R100 per month. The BlackBerry Channel integration is free on all packages.

* Sean Bacher is editor of Gadget.co.za. Follow him on Twitter on @SeanBacher

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