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AppDate: Get up and Go with Pokemon Go

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In this week’s AppDate, SEAN BACHER tries out Pokemon Go and highlights FlipSell, LogBox, 1Fetch and Swift Playgrounds.

Pokemon Go

Getting kids and adults out and about has been an unexpected spin-off of Nintendo’s big new hit, Pokemon Go. The game uses a player’s location and augmented reality to display a range of Pokemons in their vicinity. It is then up to the player to hunt down the Pokemon, lob power balls at it and ultimately catch it. Some Pokemons are more difficult to catch than others, and the more characters caught, the more experience points a player gains. Nintendo has only released the game in a few countries, but there are work-arounds for those who want

to play it in South Africa. In effect, one “sideloads” the app directly from a download site rather than installing from an app store. A quick search on the Internet on how to install Pokemon Go in South Africa will reveal all the answers you need. Just do an additional search to ensure its a safe download source.

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: A free download, but with quite a few in-app purchases.

Stockists: Pokemon Go is available from various sources on the Internet.

 

FlipSell

Fraud, theft and personal security are some of the issues consumers contend with when buying or selling second-hand goods through online classifieds. FlipSell, a new online classified service, is designed to take away the hassle and unease of dealing with a stranger, with its online transaction system. Through FlipSell’s online system, sellers receive offers to purchase via SMS or email, which they can accept, decline or counter, without ever having to directly engage with buyers. Consumers looking to buy second-hand goods can also engage in online transactions with peace of mind, with FlipSell taking on the role of intermediary between the buyer and seller. FlipSell will collect the goods from the seller and deliver to the buyer, which also frees sellers from the added expense of arranging delivery.

Platform: Any Internet browser.

Expect to pay: Free to use but with a commission being paid to

FlipSell on any successful sales.

Stockists: Visit www.flipsell.co.za

 

LogBox

Developed by local surgeon Dr. Neal Goldstein, in collaboration with EPI-USE, LogBox allows patients to capture and share their personal information electronically with medical practitioners and any other healthcare professionals. LogBox is a free mobile and web-based application. The idea behind LogBox is to save patients the time previously wasted in repeatedly filling in or updating paper forms at each medical practice they visit. The application is not restricted to any medical aid or hospital group. Apart from doctors, it can be used by any person involved in the healthcare industry, including dieticians, physiotherapists and optometrists,.

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: Free to use.

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your device.

 

1Fetch

1Fetch is an on-demand, same-day, hand-to-hand motorbike delivery service. Similar to Uber, 1Fetch connects users with drivers and runs from Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm. The company guarantees collection of a package within 90 minutes of the order being placed. Once collected, the package is delivered directly to its destination, with no stops along the way. The entire process, from collection to delivery is done through the app, allowing users to monitor exactly where their parcel is and when it will be delivered.

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: A free download, with a charge of R11 per kilometre and a minimum delivery charge of R50.

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your device.

 

Swift Playgrounds

Swift Playgrounds is designed specifically for the iPad and aims to make coding easy and fun. It brings coding to life with an interactive interface that encourages students and beginners to explore working with Swift, the programming language from Apple that is used by professional developers to create apps. Swift Playgrounds includes Apple-developed programming lessons where students write code to guide onscreen characters through a graphical world by solving puzzles and mastering challenges as they learn core coding concepts. The app also features built-in templates to help users express their creativity and create real programmes that can be shared with friends, using Mail or Messages or posted to the web.

cleardot.gifPlatform: iOS

Expect to pay: A free download for a limited time only.

Stockists: Visit the App Store for downloading instruction.

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

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Tech promotes connections across groups in emerging markets

Digital technology users say they more regularly interact with people from diverse backgrounds

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Smartphone users – especially those who use social media – say they are more regularly exposed to people who have different backgrounds. They are also more connected with friends they don’t see in person, a Pew Research Center survey of adults in 11 emerging economies finds.

South Africa, included in the study, has among the most consistent levels of connection across age groups and education levels and in terms of cross-cultural connections. This suggests both that smartphones have had a greater democratisation impact in South Africa, but also that the country is more geared to diversity than most others. Of 11 countries surveyed, it has the second-lowest spread between those using smartphones and those not using them in terms of exposure to other religious groups.

Across every country surveyed, those who use smartphones are more likely than those who use less sophisticated phones or no phones at all to regularly interact with people from different religious groups. In most countries, people with smartphones also tend to be more likely to interact regularly with people from different political parties, income levels and racial or ethnic backgrounds. 

The Center’s new report is the third in a series exploring digital connectivity among populations in emerging economies based on nationally representative surveys of adults in Colombia, India, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Mexico, the Philippines, Tunisia, South Africa, Venezuela and Vietnam. Earlier reports examined attitudes toward misinformation and mobile technology’s social impact

The survey finds that smartphone and social media use are intertwined: A median of 91% of smartphone users in these countries also use social media or messaging apps, while a median of 81% of social media users say they own or share a smartphone. And, as with smartphone users, social media and messaging app users stand apart from non-users in how often they interact with people who are different from them. For example, 52% of Mexican social media users say they regularly interact with people of a different income level, compared with 28% of non-users. 

These results do not show with certainty that smartphones or social media are the cause of people feeling like they have more diverse networks. For example, those who have resources to buy and maintain a smartphone are likely to differ in many key ways from those who don’t, and it could be that some combination of those differences drives this phenomenon. Still, statistical modelling indicates that smartphone and social media use are independent predictors of greater social network diversity when other factors such as age, education and sex are held constant. 

Other key findings in the report include: 

  • Mobile phones and social media are broadening people’s social networks. More than half in most countries say they see in person only about half or fewer of the people they call or text. Mobile phones are also allowing many to stay in touch with people who live far away: A median of 93% of mobile phone users across the 11 countries surveyed say their phones have mostly helped them keep in touch with those who are far-flung. When it comes to social media, large shares report relationships with “friends” online who are distinct from those they see in person. A median of 46% of Facebook users across the 11 countries report seeing few or none of their Facebook friends in person regularly, compared with a median of 31% of Facebook users who often see most or all of their Facebook friends in person. 
  • Social activities and information seeking on subjects like health and education top the list of mobile activities. The survey asked mobile phone users about 10 different activities they might do on their mobile phones – activities that are social, information-seeking or commercial in nature. Among the most commonly reported activities are casual, social activities. For example, a median of 82% of mobile phone users in the 11 countries surveyed say they used their phone over the past year to send text messages and a median of 69% of users say they took pictures or videos. Many mobile phone users are also using their phones to find new information. For example, a median of 61% of mobile phone users say they used their phones over the past year to look up information about health and medicine for themselves or their families. This is more than the proportion that reports using their phones to get news and information about politics (median of 47%) or to look up information about government services (37%). Additionally, around half or more of mobile phone users in nearly all countries report having used their phones over the past 12 months to learn something important for work or school. 
  • Digital divides emerge in the new mobile-social environment. People with smartphones and social media – as well as younger people, those with higher levels of education, and men – are in some ways reaping more benefits than others, potentially contributing to digital divides. 
    • People with smartphones are much more likely to engage in activities on their phones than people with less sophisticated devices – even if the activity itself is quite simple. For example, people with smartphones are more likely than those with feature or basic phones to send text messages in each of the 11 countries surveyed, even though the activity is technically feasible from all mobile phones. Those who have smartphones are also much more likely to look up information for their households, including about health and government services. 
    •  There are also major differences in mobile usage by age and education level in how their devices are – or are not – broadening their horizons. Younger people are more likely to use their phones for nearly all activities asked about, whether those activities are social, information-seeking or commercial. Phone users with higher levels of education are also more likely to do most activities on their phones and to interact with those who are different from them regularly than those with lower levels of education. 
    •  Gender, too, plays a role in what people do with their devices and how they are exposed to different people and information. Men are more likely than women to say they encounter people who are different from them, whether in terms of race, politics, religion or income. And men tend to be more likely to look up information about government services and to obtain political news and information. 

These findings are drawn from a Pew Research Center survey conducted among 28,122 adults in 11 countries from Sept. 7 to Dec. 7, 2018. In addition to the survey, the Center conducted focus groups with participants in Kenya, Mexico, the Philippines and Tunisia in March 2018, and their comments are included throughout the report. 

Read the full report at https://www.pewinternet.org/2019/08/22/in-emerging-economies-smartphone-and-social-media-users-have-broader-social-networks.

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Nokia to be first with Android 10

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Nokia is likely to be the first smartphone brand to roll out Android 10, after its manufacturer, HMD Global, announced that the Android 10 software upgrade would start in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Previously named Android Q, it was given the number after Google announced it was ditching sweet and dessert names due to confusion in different languages. Android 10 is due for release at the end of the year.

Juho Sarvikas, chief product officer of HMD Global said: “With a proven track record in delivering software updates fast, Nokia smartphones were the first whole portfolio to benefit from a 2-letter upgrade from Android Nougat to Android Oreo and then Android Pie. We were the fastest manufacturer to upgrade from Android Oreo to Android Pie across the range. 

“With today’s roll out plan we look set to do it even faster for Android Pie to Android 10 upgrades. We are the only manufacturer 100% committed to having the latest Android across the entire portfolio.”

HMD Global has given a guarantee that Nokia smartphone owners benefit from two years of OS upgrades and 3 years of security updates.

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