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AppDate: Thousands of meals in one place with Mr D Food

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In his latest AppDate, SEAN BACHER highlights Mr D Food, Hey Jude, GamesTrader, Namola, Uber with real-time ID check and the updated TomTom Sports App.

Mr D Food

The new Mr D Food app by Mr Delivery lets one get food delivered to their home or office by ordering via their smartphone. The app puts users in touch with over 1 400 restaurants and has drivers waiting to deliver to over 1 900 suburbs around South Africa.

Once an order is placed, a user has the option to pay for the meal via cash or card. They can then track their food via the app in real-time. Delivery fees range depending on the distance the driver needs to travel, the number of restaurants that food has to be collected from and time taken. A few of the restaurants Mr D collects from include Nando’s, Spur, RocoMamas, KFC, Col’Cacchio, Panarottis, Ocean Basket, Simply Asia, Steers, McDonald’s, John Dory’s, Wimpy and Primi.

The app is simple to use, allowing one to search for meals according to the type of food for instance pizza, burgers or seafood, a certain cuisine or via restaurants within a certain radius.

Once ordered, a delivery time is given and the user is given the option to collect bypass delivery and collect the food themselves.

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: A free download but delivery fees and meal costs are extra.

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your device.

 

Hey Jude

Hey Jude is a subscription-based service that uses technology combined with human intellect to get one’s to-do list sorted. Using a message-based interface to link a person to one of their trained operators, known as ‘Judes’, a user texts or voice messages their request – any request, from food delivery and travel bookings to restaurant reservations, grocery shopping, gift searching, and paying bills – and they will do the rest. Once a request is made, the Judes will research, find the suppliers, negotiate the prices and even facilitate payment.

Platform: Android and iOS.

Expect to pay: The first three tasks are free, thereafter it is a R200 per month service.

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your device.

 

GamesTrader

Many gamers have a stack of games that they have finished or no longer play and are just sitting there gathering dust. With GamesTrader, gamers can log in, sell their old games, buy “new” second-hand ones and also make straight trades.

GamesTrader offers games for most consoles ranging from the old Nintendo 64 to the newer Xbox One and payments can be made with most major credit cards and Bitcoins.

Platform: Most devices with an Internet connection and web browser.

Expect to pay: Free to sign up.

Stockists: www.gamestrader.co.za

 

Namola

Namola, a safety and security app for South Africans recently hit 50 000 downloads – putting it at the top of the South African download charts in the app store. The app connects the SAPS and most major privately owned security companies, making response to an incident that much faster than dialling a single emergency number like 10111. All a user needs is a GPS-enabled smartphone. Should trouble arise a single push of a button will dispatch emergency personal in the vicinity to the phone’s GPS location.

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: A free download.

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your device.

 

Uber with real-time ID check

In an attempt to deter criminals from pretending to be Uber drivers, the company has introduced Real-Time ID check. The safety feature prompts driver-partners to share a selfie from time to time before collecting passengers. Uber then compares this image to the photograph already on file with the driver’s account. This is achieved through facial recognition. The system first identifies a face, then it builds a feature set by focusing on key features, and finally compares the feature set to the validated image Uber has on file. This all takes place within a few seconds. If the two images don’t match, the account is temporarily blocked while Uber looks into the situation. This helps Uber to ensure in real time that the driver using the app matches the account it has on file.

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: A free service.

Stockists: This service doesn’t really affect the user, but makes using an Uber safer.

 

Updated TomTom Sports App

The new TomTom Sports App helps one get going, move more and stay motivated. It tracks all sports and activities, with progress insights and personal bests. The app has been designed with the help of real athletes to help one reach goals, with personalized feedback. The updated dashboard is easy to read and displays every step, leap, stroke and beat counts in one place. In addition to being available on a mobile device, users can now also access their dashboard via the TomTom website.

In addition to golfing, swimming and walking, the app is now able to track skiing, snowboarding, trail running and hiking.

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: A free download, but users must busing a TomTom fitness tracker or watch.

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your device

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Huge appetite for foldable phones – when prices fall

Samsung, Huawei and Motorola have all shown their cards, but consumers are concerned about durability, size, and enhanced use cases, according to Strategy Analytics

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Foldable devices are a long-awaited disrupter in the smartphone market, exciting leading-edge early adopters keen for a bold new type of device. But the acceptance of foldable devices by mainstream segments will depend on the extent to which the current barriers to adoption are addressed.

Major brands have been throwing their foldable bets into the hat to see what the market wants from a foldable, namely how big the screens should be and how the devices should fold. Samsung and Huawei have both designed devices that unfold from smartphones to tablets, each with their own method of how the devices go about folding. Motorola has recently designed a smartphone that folds in half, and it resembles a flip phone.

Assessing consumer desire for foldable smartphones, a new report from the User Experience Strategies group at Strategy Analytics has found that the perceived value of the foldable form does not outweigh the added cost.

Key report findings include:

  • The idea of having a larger-displayed smartphone in a portable size is perceived as valuable to the vast majority of consumers in the UK and the US. But, willingness to pay extra for a foldable device does not align with the desire to purchase one. Manufacturers must understand that there will be low sell-through until costs come down.
  • But as the acceptance for traditional smartphone display sizes continues to increase, so does the imposed friction of trying to use them one-handed. Unless a foldable phone has a wider folded state, entering text when closed is too cumbersome, forcing users to utilize two hands to enter text, when in the opened state.
  • Use cases need to be adequately demonstrated for consumers to fully understand and appreciate the potential for a foldable phone, though their priorities seemed fixed on promoting ‘two devices in one’ equaling a better video viewing experience. Identification and promotion of meaningful new use cases will be vital to success.

Christopher Dodge, Associate Director, UXIP and report author said: “As multitasking will look to be a core selling point for foldable phones, it is imperative that the execution be simplified and intuitive. Our data suggests there are a lot of uncertainties that come with foldable phone ownership, stemming mainly from concerns with durability and size, in addition to concerns over enhanced use cases.

“But our data also shows that when the consumers are able to use a foldable phone in hand, there is a solid reduction of doubt and concern about the concept. This means that the in-store experience may more important than ever in driving awareness, capabilities, and potential use cases.”

Said Paul Brown, Director, UXIP: “The big question is whether the perceived value will outweigh the added cost; and the initial response from consumers is ‘no.’ The ability for foldable displays to resolve real consumer pain-points is, in our view critical to whether these devices will become a niche segment of the smartphone market or the dominant form-factor of the future. Until costs come down, these devices will not take off.”

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Huawei puts $1-bn into local developer programme

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Huawei Mobile Services (HMS) South Africa has announced the launch of a local Developer Programme called Shining-Star. Huawei announced an investment of $1-billion in support of this programme across global markets, of which South Africa forms part.

‘‘HMS already has more than 570 million global users, including more than 15 million in Africa, with our business covering more than 170 countries,’’ says Likun Zhao, vice president of Huawei Consumer Business Group for Middle East and Africa. “We provide a trusted, device-centric and inter-connected eco-system that improves the user experience, helping them to discover quality content while ensuring security and privacy.”

The developer programme, announced at AfricaCom in Cape Town last week, is the first of its kind in South Africa. Huawei says it “will provide an encompassing eco-system that aims to encourage local developer innovation and support, while Huawei’s AppGallery provides a platform for developers to showcase and publish their apps”.

The platform offers open e-point access and intelligent global distribution for all apps, ranging from smart home, gaming and music to education and health-related apps.

The Shining-Star Programme has been successfully implemented in Malaysia, which has the highest number of Huawei users relative to other smartphone brands in this country. Like Malaysia, South Africa has a considerable number of Huawei users.

Shining-Star will focus on assisting local app developers who face challenges like lack of funding for app eco-systems, testing, and monetisation of their apps. South African developers particularly struggle to market their games and find investors.

“We are committed to working on empowering local app developers by offering them some much-needed infrastructure, guidance, skills and support to grow local talent,” said Zhao. “Our focus is to provide an open platform for developers that they can use to launch and market their apps, as well as give them extensive support in the form of technical development, testing, and legal and marketing tools.”

Huawei HMS Core is a hub with tools like the Account Kit, which enables users to access developers’ apps using Huawei IDs; Game Service, which enables game development; Location Kit, which provides developers with hybrid locations; Drive Kit, a data storage and management solution; and Map Kit, which offers customisation of map formats to developers.

In addition to these developer-specific tools, the Huawei HMS Core hub has growth enablers like the Push Kit and an Analytics Kit, which enable, respectively, the sending of messages and analysis of user behaviour. An Ad Kit and In-App Purchases Kit are also available, so developers can earn income from their apps. Key resources such as API reference, development guides and sample code assist are also part of the programme.

At present, more than 50,000 apps are connected to HMS Core worldwide.

* App developers with a completed app can visit https://developer.huawei.com/consumer/en/, or contact the Huawei SA Business Development team on developersa@huawei.com to find out how Huawei can support them.

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