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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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Now download a bank account

Absa has introduced an end-to-end account opening for new customers, through the Absa Banking App, which can be downloaded from the Android and Apple app stores. This follows the launch of the world first ChatBanking on WhatsApp service.

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This “download your account” feature enables new customers to Absa, to open a Cheque account, order their card and start transacting on the Absa Banking App, all within minutes, from anywhere and at any time, by downloading it from the App stores.

“Overall, this new capability is not only expected to enhance the customer’s digital experience, but we expect to leverage this in our branches, bringing digital experiences to the branch environment and making it easier for our customers to join and bank with us regardless of where they may be,” says Aupa Monyatsi, Managing Executive for Virtual Channels at Absa Retail & Business Banking.

“With this innovation comes the need to ensure that the security of our customers is at the heart of our digital experience, this is why the digital onboarding experience for this feature includes a high-quality facial matching check with the Department of Home Affairs to verify the customer’s identity, ensuring that we have the most up to date information of our clients. Security is supremely important for us.”

The new version of the Absa Banking App is now available in the Apple and Android App stores, and anyone with a South African ID can become an Absa customer, by following these simple steps:

  1. Download the Absa App
  2. Choose the account you would like to open
  3. Tell us who you are
  4. To keep you safe, we will verify your cell phone number
  5. Take a selfie, and we will do facial matching with the Department of Home Affairs to confirm you are who you say you are
  6. Tell us where you live
  7. Let us know what you do for a living and your income
  8. Click Apply.

 

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How we use phones to avoid human contact

A recent study by Kaspersky Lab has found that 75% of people pick up their connected device to avoid conversing with another human being.

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Connected devices are becoming essential to keeping people in contact with each other, but for many they are also a much-needed comfort blanket in a variety of social situations when they do not want to interact with others. A recent survey from Kaspersky Lab has confirmed this trend in behaviour after three-quarters of people (75%) admitted they use a device to pretend to be busy when they don’t want to talk to someone else, showing the importance of keeping connected devices protected under all circumstances. 

Imagine you’ve arrived at a bar and you’re waiting for your date. The bar is busy, and people are chatting all around you. What do you do now? Strike up a conversation with someone you don’t know? Grab your phone from your pocket or handbag until your date arrives to keep yourself busy? Why talk to humans or even make eye-contact with someone else when you can stare at your connected device instead?

The truth is, our use of devices is making it much easier to avoid small talk or even be polite to those around us, and new Kaspersky Lab research has found that 72% of people use one when they do not know what to do in a social situation. They are also the ‘go-to’ distraction for people even when they aren’t trying to look busy or avoid someone’s eye. 46% of people admit to using a device just to kill time every day and 44% use it as a daily distraction.

In addition to just being a distraction, devices are also a lifeline to those who would rather not talk directly to another person in day-to-day situations, to complete essential tasks. In fact, nearly a third (31%) of people would prefer to carry out tasks such as ordering a taxi or finding directions to where they need to go via a website and an app, because they find it an easier experience than speaking with another person.

Whether they are helping us avoid direct contact or filling a void in our daily lives, our constant reliance on devices has become a cause for panic when they become unusable. A third (34%) of people worry that they will not be able to entertain themselves if they cannot access a connected device. 12% are even concerned that they won’t be able to pretend to be busy if their device is out of action.

Dmitry Aleshin, VP for Product Marketing, Kaspersky Lab said, “The reliance on connected devices is impacting us in more ways than we could have ever expected. There is no doubt that being connected gives us the freedom to make modern life easier, but devices are also vital to help people get through different and difficult social situations. No matter what your ‘connection crutch’ is, it is essential to make sure your device is online and available when you need it most.”

To ensure your device lifeline is always there and in top health – no matter what the reason or situation – Kaspersky Security Cloud keeps your connection safe and secure:

·         I want to use my device while waiting for a friend – is it secure to access the bar’s Wi-Fi?

With Kaspersky Security Cloud, devices are protected against network threats, even if the user needs to use insecure public Wi-Fi hotspots. This is done through transferring data via an encrypted channel to ensure personal data safety, so users’ devices are protected on any connection.

·         Oh no! I’m bored but my phone’s battery is getting low – what am I going to do?

Users can track their battery level thanks to a countdown of how many minutes are left until their device shuts down in the Kaspersky Security Cloud interface. There is also a wide-range of portable power supplies available to keep device batteries charged while on-the-go.

·         I’ve lost my phone! How will I keep myself entertained now?

Should the unthinkable happen and you lose or have your phone stolen, Kaspersky Security Cloud can track and protect your device from data breaches, for complete peace of mind. Remote lock and locate features ensure your device remains secure until you are reunited.

 

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