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AppDate: Get your game on with Rugby 2015

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In this AppDate edition, SEAN BACHER highlights the Official Rugby 2015 app, loveLife mobile site, Boomerang Pet Photo Booth, Leawo iOS Data Recovery, Elmedia Player media player for Mac OS X, Revamped Opera Mini for Android, infltr camera filter app and Pac-Man 256.

Official Rugby 2015 app

All rugby fanatics need to do to get started with this this app is select the team they are supporting. The app will then automatically organise content according to that team, displaying fixtures, scores, news and analysis. Reminders can be set for upcoming games that that team is playing and if you are in the area, tickets can be booked. The app also offers the opportunity to live-stream commentary from games as and when they are broadcast, and it lets users test their rugby knowledge through the trivia section.

Platform: Android, iOS, BlackBerry OS 10 and above and Windows Phone 8.

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your device.

Expect to pay: A free download.

 

loveLife mobile site

The recently launched loveLife mobi site, iloveLife.mobi, is aimed at South Africans aged from 15 to 24 in urban and rural areas. The concept is to reward them for making healthy choices and therefore encourage responsible behaviour as adolescents. By registering, participants can partake in educational quizzes, complete self-assessments, check into clinics or sporting events and be rewarded through points and prizes. A USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data) service has been enabled for youth living in rural areas without access to smartphones. They simply key in *120*2121# and the service provides instant access to all the content on the mobi site.

Platform: Any cellphone with compatible browser.

Stockists: Visit iloveLife.mobi or SMS*120*2121# to access the site.

Expect to pay: A free service.

 

Boomerang Pet Photo Booth

Boomerang Pet Photo Booth is a content creation app that allows users to upload images of their household pet, which they can then edit and manipulate with visual content from Boomerang. Options include the ability to place a Scooby Doo collar on their pet dog or even give their rabbit a Bugs Bunny signature toothy smile. Various props and stickers are available. The app then allows for images to be uploaded to Facebook, Instagram or Twitter – not recommended though, as there are enough weird-looking animals plaguing social networks as it is.

Platform: Android and iOS

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your device.

Expect to pay: A free download.

 

Leawo iOS Data Recovery

Leawo iOS Data Recovery helps Apple users recover deleted data even without an iTunes device backup. The dedicated iOS data recovery utility can recover multiple deleted data files by scanning the device’s memory. When using this utility, users can recover six data types, including Contacts, Messages (MMS/SMS/iMessages), Call History, Calendars, Reminders and Notes. When the app is run in normal mode, data can be extracted from an iTunes backup, where files can be pinpointed and exported to a computer for restoration.

Platform: All new and older Apple devices are supported. A PC or Apple Mac is also needed for restoration.

Expect to pay: R840

Stockists: http://www.leawo.org

 

Elmedia Player media player for Mac OS X

Elmedia Player media player for Mac OS X supports a wide range of video formats and even some that are hardly used anymore. Installation is as easy as dragging the downloaded app into the Apps folder. The free version of the player only allows users to watch downloaded videos, but the Pro version offers the ability to watch and download online videos from YouTube and similar video streaming sites. Pro users can also take screen shots of their videos.

Platform: Mac OS X and above.

Expect to pay: Free but with limited functionality. The Pro version costs R245.

Stockists: www.mac.eltima.com

 

Revamped Opera Mini for Android

The latest version of Opera Mini for Android allows users to switch between two compression modes: high and extreme. The high compression mode compresses web pages without affecting the page display, making it great for surfing the web on 3G, 4G or Wi-Fi networks. When in extreme mode, web pages are compressed at a much higher rate, giving users a high-speed Internet experience, but displaying content at a lower resolution.

Platform: Android

Expect to pay: A free download.

Stockists: Visit the Google Play Store.

 

infltr camera filter app

infltr is a camera filter app that lets users add any one of five million pre-set filters to their images before they take a picture. Filters are changed by the user in real-time by searching through the various categories until a suitable one is found. Once applied, tweaks can be made to the filter before the photo is taken.

Platform: iOS with Android version coming out soon.

Expect to pay: A free download.

Stockists: Visit the Apple App store.

 

Pac-Man 256

To celebrate Pac-Man’s recent 35th anniversary, Pac-Man 256 has been announced for tablets and smartphones. Much like the original, players need to navigate Pac-Man through various mazes while avoiding ghosts and collecting fruits and chomping away at Pac-Dots. In addition to the standard Power-Pellets that let Pac-Man eat ghosts, power-ups like stealth mode, tornados and laser beams can be collected.

Platform: iOS and Android.

Expect to pay: A free download.

Stockists: Visit the Apple App Store, Amazon Store or Google Play Store for free.

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

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Millennials turning 40: NOW will you stop targeting them?

It’s one of the most overused terms in youth marketing, and probably the most inaccurate, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK

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One of the most irritating buzzwords embraced by marketers in recent years is the term “millennial”. Most are clueless about its true meaning, and use it as a supposedly cool synonym for “young adults”. The flaw in this targeting – and the word “flaw” here is like calling the Grand Canyon a trench – is that it utterly ignores the meaning of the term. “Millennials” are formally defined as anyone born from 1980 to 2000, meaning they have typically come of age after the dawn of the millennium, or during the 21st century.

Think about that for a moment. Next year, the millennial will be formally defined as anyone aged from 20 to 40. So here you have an entire advertising, marketing and public relations industry hanging onto a cool definition, while in effect arguing that 40-year-olds are youths who want the same thing as newly-minted university graduates or job entrants.

When the communications industry discovers just how embarrassing its glib use of the term really is, it will no doubt pivot – millennial-speak for “changing your business model when it proves to be a disaster, but you still appear to be cool” – to the next big thing in generational theory.

That next big thing is currently Generation Z, or people born after the turn of the century. It’s very convenient to lump them all together and claim they have a different set of values and expectations to those who went before. Allegedly, they are engaged in a quest for experience, compared to millennials – the 19-year-olds and 39-olds alike – supposedly all on a quest for relevance.

In reality, all are part of Generation #, latching onto the latest hashtag trend that sweeps social media, desperate to go viral if they are producers of social content, desperate to have caught onto the trend before their peers.

The irony is that marketers’ quest for cutting edge target markets is, in reality, a hangover from the days when there was no such thing as generational theory, and marketing was all about clearly defined target markets. In the era of big data and mass personalization, that idea seems rather quaint.

Indeed, according to Grant Lapping, managing director of DataCore Media, it no longer matters who brands think their target market is.

“The reason for this is simple: with the technology and data digital marketers have access to today, we no longer need to limit our potential target audience to a set of personas or segments derived through customer research. While this type of customer segmentation was – and remains – important for engagements across traditional above-the-line engagements in mass media, digital marketing gives us the tools we need to target customers on a far more granular and personalised level.

“Where customer research gives us an indication of who the audience is, data can tell us exactly what they want and how they may behave.”

Netflix, he points out, is an example of a company that is changing its industry by avoiding audience segmentation, once the holy grail of entertainment.

In other words, it understands that 20-year-olds and 40-year-olds are very different – but so is everyone in between.

* Arthur Goldstuck is founder of World Wide Worx and editor-in-chief of Gadget.co.za. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram on @art2gee

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Robots coming to IFA

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Robotics is no longer about mechanical humanoids, but rather becoming an interface between man and machine. That is a key message being delivered at next month’s IFA consumer electronics expo in Berlin. An entire hall will be devoted to IFA Next, which will not only offer a look into the future, but also show what form it will take.

The concepts are as varied as the exhibitors themselves. However, there are similarities in the various products, some more human than others, in the fascinating ways in which they establish a link between fun, learning and programming. In many cases, they are aimed at children and young people.

The following will be among the exhibitors making Hall 26 a must-visit:

Leju Robotics (Stand 115) from China is featuring what we all imagine a robot to be. The bipedal Aelos 1s can walk, dance and play football. And in carrying out all these actions it responds to spoken commands. But it also challenges young researchers to apply their creativity in programming it and teaching it new actions. And conversely, it also imparts scholastic knowledge.

Cubroid (Stand 231, KIRIA) from Korea starts off by promoting an independent approach to the way it deals with tasks. Multi-functional cubes, glowing as they play music, or equipped with a tiny rotating motor, join together like Lego pieces. Configuration and programming are thus combined, providing a basic idea of what constitutes artificial intelligence.

Spain is represented by Ebotics (Stand 218). This company is presenting an entire portfolio of building components, including the “Mint” educational program. The modular system explains about modern construction, programming and the entire field of robotics.

Elematec Corporation (Stand 208) from Japan is presenting the two-armed SCARA, which is not intended to deal with any tasks, but in particular to assist people with their work.

Everybot (Stand 231, KIRIA) from Japan approaches the concept of robotics by introducing an autonomous floor-cleaning machine, similar to a robot vacuum cleaner.

And Segway (Stand 222) is using a number of products to explain the modern approach to battery-powered locomotion.

IFA will take place at the Berlin Exhibition Grounds (ExpoCenter City) from 6 to 11 September 2019. For more information, visit www.ifa-berlin.com

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