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AppDate: AB de Villiers cam app offers social rewards

In his apps round-up, SEAN BACHER highlights a tyre-size service, AB de Villiers’ rewards app, Waze gets voice-control in Ford, kulula.com’s app revamp, and GeleZAR.

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ABD Cam offers rewards to cricket fans

AB de Villiers, in partnership with the JET8 Foundation has launched a JET8 social iOS and Android app called ABDCam. Fans and supporters in South Africa, India, and all around the world will be able to use the ABDCam app to customise photos and videos with AB de Villiers personal Geo-stickers and Geo-frames, and earn points (‘JETPoints’) in exchange for their social influence throughout social media platforms. JETPoints can be used to redeem a variety of rewards and to contribute to youth-related social impact causes supported by the AB de Villiers Foundation.

JETPoints are awarded to fans for likes, comments, and shares of social media posts when customised using AB de Villiers’ Geo-stickers and Geo-frames found in the ABD Cam app. Users are additionally rewarded JETPoints when sharing the posts onto other social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: A free download

Stockists: The ABDCam can be downloaded here.

Waze in Ford vehicles now with voice commands

Waze users in South Africa can now project the app’s real-time traffic and navigation service onto the touch screen in Ford vehicles via SYNC 3 AppLink, and control it through voice command, allowing for easier access to features like finding the quickest traffic routes and reporting traffic accidents.

To use the feature, customers connect the smartphone to the USB port of their Ford, select the Waze app on the car’s heads-up display, and access the app’s features on a larger display. Voice commands can then be given directly to the application – making it safer to find alternative routes or getting traffic updates.

To deliver optimal driving directions and traffic updates, Waze uses crowdsourcing to gather information about road conditions from all of its users. People type in their destination and drive with the app open to contribute data to Waze’s community of users. At the same time, people can take a more active role by sharing reports from the road, including notifying the community of accidents, hazards or route changes that were previously unknown.

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: A free download

Stockists: In order to use the service, Ford owners need to update their SYNC 3 software here.

Users will also need the latest Waze version, which can be downloaded here.

Tiger Wheel and Tyre tyre size specificator

Tiger Wheel & Tyre has announced a new fast and simple online search functionality that will reveal a vehicle’s tyre sizes – for existing customers, that is.

Now, when customers search for tyres, and can’t recall the size, they input their vehicle registration number into the relevant search box at www.twt.to. Anyone who has shopped at Tiger Wheel & Tyre from 2016 onwards will instantly have their vehicle’s tyre sizes returned to them.

Accuracy is perhaps the most important aspect of this new offering. In their haste to get their search done quickly, online shoppers and researchers often make errors entering tyre sizes. Or, if their vehicle has a staggered fitment (different size wheels and tyres on the front versus the rear), they forget this rather important consideration.

Platform: Any device with an up-to-date Internet browser

Expect to pay: A free download

Stockists: Visit tiger Wheel and Tyre here

kulula.com’s revamped mobile app

kulula.com’s app has been redesigned with a fresh new look and feel, in an attempt to personalise and simplify its overall digital experience.

The app is still in its first phase, which currently allows check-in, seat selection, flight status and an opportunity to manage their booking and add flight extras. Additional features include sharing of upcoming trips and boarding passes with loved ones, along with the weather forecast at their destination.

When the second phase is included, enhancements will include car rental bookings, sharing on social media platforms, geo-location, push notifications of travel information, and flight bookings – pretty much the reason for most airline apps to exist.

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: A free download.

Stockists: The app can be downloaded directly from kulula.com here.  

GeleZAR

Experian South Africa’s app called GeleZAR, South African slang for “learning about money”, aims to bring more micro, small and medium sized enterprises into the mainstream economy. 

GeleZAR has been developed to help entrepreneurs gain basic business and financial education skills, and also so that they can more easily access personalised financial products at interest rates that work for them.

The GeleZAR app was developed by Experian in partnership with local South African  fintech developer Flat Rock Solutions. It is designed to provide financial education and credit scoring to micro-entrepreneurs and individuals to ensure that they get the credit score they deserve. The app also advises individuals on how to maintain good credit health and recommends remedial actions, such as seeking a debt counsellor, if the need arises.

With their permission, micro-entrepreneurs will be able to build an alternative credit score using hundreds of mobile data points through the GeleZAR app, to determine creditworthiness. 

Experian and Flat Rock are working with one of the large low-cost mobile phone retailers in Africa to trial the app, which has been pre-installed on a range of its entry-level smartphones. . 

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: A free download

Stockists: To learn more about GeleZAR, visit their site here.

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Vodacom cuts cost of smallest bundle by 40%

The country’s largest mobile operator has kept to a promise made last month to slash the price of entry-level data packages

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Vodacom has cut the data price of its lowest-cost bundle by 40%, reducing the price of a 50MB 30-day bundle from R20 to to R12. This follows from the operator’s promise in March, when it announced a 33% cut in the cost of 1GB bundles, to reduce prices of all smaller bundles by up to 40%.

Vodacom’s various 30-day data bundle prices will be cut across all of its channels, with the new pricing as follows:

30-day bundle size New Price Reduction
50MB R12 40%
150MB R29 33%
325MB R55 33%
500MB R79 21%
1GB R99 34%
3GB R229 23%
5GB R349 14%
10GB R469 22%
20GB R699 31%

Vodacom confirmed it will provide free data to access essential services through Vodacom’s zero-rated platform ConnectU with immediate effect. The value of these initiatives, it says, is R2.7-billion over the next year.

“Vodacom can play a critical role in supporting society during this challenging time and we’re committed to doing whatever we can to help customers stay connected,” says Jorge Mendes, Chief Officer of Vodacom’s Consumer Business Unit. “Since we started our pricing transformation strategy three years ago, our customers have benefitted from significant reductions in data prices and the cost of voice calls. Over the same period, we invested over R26 billion in infrastructure and new technologies, so our customers enjoy wider 2G, 3G and 4G coverage and vastly increased data speeds.”

The latest data reductions will complement the discounted bundle offers that will also be made available to prepaid customers in more than 2,000 less affluent suburbs and villages around the country. For qualifying communities to access further discounted voice and data deals, they need to click on the scrolling ConnectU banner on the platform via connectu.vodacom.co.za

ConnectU – which is a zero-rated platform – also went live this week. It will provide content aimed at social development and offers a variety of essential services for free. Learners and students enrolled in schools and universities can access relevant information for free, with no data costs. The ConnectU portal includes a search engine linked to open sources such as Wikipedia and Wiktionary as well as free access to job portals; free educational content on the e-School platform; free health and wellness information and free access to Facebook Flex, the low data alternative to Facebook that enables customers to stay socially connected.

Vodacom’s popular Just4You platform has been a significant contributor to the approximately 50% reduction in effective data prices over the past two years. Substantial cuts in out-of-bundle tariffs and the introduction of hourly, daily and weekly bundles with much lower effective prices have also driven increased value and affordability, resulting in R2-billion in savings for customers in 2019.

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OneBlade shaves price of electric precision

Electric razors and their blades are usually quite expensive. But the Philips OneBlade shaves the cost, writes SEAN BACHER

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Electric razors come in all shapes and forms and their prices vary as well. When your nearest electronic retail outlet opens again, you will be able to pay a small fortune for a wet and dry razor that cleans itself, shows you when it needs to be recharged, and tells you to replace the cleaning solution – all via a little LCD panel in the handle.

But does everyone want that? Does everyone need that? Surely there must be customers who want an easy-to-use, no-mess, no-fuss razor that gets the job done just as well as a “smart razor”?

With this in mind, Philips has launched its OneBlade wet and dry electric razor. The razor is dead simple to use. It comes with three stubble combs – 1mm, 3mm and 5 mm –  which can be clicked onto the head much like one would with a hair shaver. Should you want a really close shave, simply the combs off. I found this to be the most effective as I don’t have a beard.

The razor’s blade is the size of the striking side of a matchbox and has 90-degree angles all round. This offers precise shaving and, because of its small size, it is able to get just about anywhere on a person’s face.

The blade has a usage indicator that shows when it is time to replace the blade – usually after four months – and an additional blade is included in the box.

The OneBlade’s battery takes up to eight hours to charge, and will give up to 45 minutes shaving time.

Overall, the Philips OneBlade will give a man a comfortable and precise shave. Its battery life, combined with its size, makes it a perfect travel companion as it is no bigger than an electric toothbrush. Its relatively low price compared to other electric razors also counts in its favour.

The One Blade can be bought from most electronic retailers or can be ordered online from websites like takealot.com. The razor retails for R650 and a set of two new blades will cost around R450.

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