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AppDate: Pay-it-forward with uKheshe

SEAN BACHER highlights uKheshe, BitterWorld, Stash, WPS Office and Yoosee in his application roundup.

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uKheshe

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uKheshe, a pay-it-forward type app developed by Jini Guru, allows users to tip car guards, pay gardeners or offer people small amounts of money when they don’t have any spare change lying around. The app works with a simple tap of a QR code. The person being tipped needs to have a uKheshe QR card that is linked to their cellphone and the person paying needs to have the app installed on their phone.

A unique feature of this service is that the recipient does not need a bank account. A simple cell phone capable of USSD will suffice.

The payer selects the amount they wish to pay, then scans the QR code. The recipient is able to check their balance and withdraw cash by using the USSD code *120*82274# following the instructions and visiting the nearest Pick n Pay store. App users can top up their uKheshe balance via credit or debit card.

Platform: Android

Expect to pay: A free download: 

Stockists: The app can be downloaded here and recipients can sign up for the card directly from the uKheshe website here.

BitterWorld

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Instead of expressing your frustrations with sub-quality services and products on Facebook, there is now an app that allows you to do it without clogging up friends’ timelines. The BitterWorld app is specifically designed for users to tag companies and connect with people who have had similar issues. The app includes a skull and crossbones rating system, and offers the ability to post images, videos and a store’s location.

According to the app developers, once you have shared your thoughts and feelings, you start to relax. Doubtful, but many people may “relax” once their rants are made public.

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: A free download.

Stockists: Download the iOS version here and the Android app here.

Stash 

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Stash, an app that invests small amounts of money in users banks accounts, has recently changed its policies in line with Google’s new privacy requirements. In the past, the app would use the bank’s transactional SMSs to detect every swipe of a debit, credit or cheque card. It would then collect spare change and invest it in a tax-free savings account.

Now users will have to manually select how much money they want to stash. The new “Daily Stashing” feature  allows users to stash from R5 a day to R100.

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: A free download.

Stockists: Visit the Liberty website here to download the app suited to your device.

WPS Office

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When you are on the move it is not always feasible to start up your notebook for one or two quick changes to Microsoft Office documents sent to you.

WPS is an Office Suite application that is fully compatible with Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint. The app also allows for the editing of PDFs, text documents and Google docs.

Users can also convert Office documents into PDFs and then share them with colleagues. Data encryption is offered and documents can be uploaded directly to the Cloud Drive.

The app’s user interface is clutter-free and very intuitive – allowing one to draw circles around errors and make changes directly from a mobile device.

Platform: Android

Expect to pay: A free download.

Stockists: The app can be downloaded from the Google Play store here.

Yoosee

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With Internet security cameras becoming as commonplace as fridges in homes, the market is flooded with imports that don’t come with their own monitoring systems. The Yoosee app is designed to bridge that gap by giving users the ability to connect almost any IP camera to their mobile phone and activate them when not at home. The app offers notifications when the camera senses motion and allows one to zoom and pan.

Once a camera has been activated users can take images and even record directly to their phone – although this will use quite a bit of data.

Yoosee also allows for multiple cameras to be connected and up to six users can be connected to each camera.

Platform: Android, iOS and Windows Phone

Expect to pay: A free download.

Stockists: Visit the Yoosee website here and download the app suited to your device.

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Google announces its ‘Netflix for gaming’

The new gaming platform, Stadia, promises high-definition gaming on TVs, computers, and mobile devices, writes BRYAN TURNER.

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Google has announced that it has moved into the gaming space, and it focuses on two big aspects of gaming: streaming of games for gamers, which will allow gamers to game anywhere with a fast, low-latency Internet connection; and audiences that watch gamers in-game.

This is a big move in making gaming accessible to more gamers, as it reduces hardware costs, by utilising the benefits of low-latency cloud computing. This will be achieved by using a globally connected network of Google data centres. Gamers who stream games are most likely already using a high-speed, low-latency Internet connection, so access to the Stadia platform will be an added expense.

Through the Stadia platform, gamers will be able to access a large library of games at all times, with no installation time, on virtually any screen. Scaling of hardware like CPU, GPU, memory, and storage is also possible, as one would for cloud server resources.

Google will be leveraging its other platforms, like YouTube, with Stadia streaming. It claims that 200-million people are watching game-related content daily on YouTube. This allows, for example, Stadia players to jump in with other Stadia players – no downloads, no updates, no patches, and no installs.

For console players, Google has designed a custom controller.

The controller was designed to establish a direct connection from the Stadia controller to Google’s data centre through Wi-Fi for the best possible gaming performance. The controller also includes a button for instant capture, saving, and sharing gameplay in 4K resolution. It sports a Google Assistant button and built-in microphone, as many Google products do, for voice control. 

The device is expected to be released later this year, pending FCC approval.

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Nintendo announces Stranger Things 3 game

The Netflix Original show is set to launch a retro-style game on the Nintendo Switch.

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In collaboration with Netflix, developer BonusXP has created Stranger Things 3: The Game. It is the official companion game to Season 3 of the hit original series. The game and latest season are expected to launch on US Independence Day, the 4th of July, a date that will, of course, stick in American gamers’ memories.

This adventure game blends a distinctively retro 16-bit art style, reminiscent of games from the time when the series was set. It is claimed to have modern gameplay mechanics to deliver nostalgic fun with a fresh new twist. Players will be able to experience their favourite show through a mix of exploration, puzzles, and combat.

Just ad in the show, teamwork is at the heart of Stranger Things 3: The Game. Players can team up in a two-player local co-operative, or in single player mode alongside an AI partner. Players can choose to play as one of twelve characters from the show, each with different abilities and attributes. Together, they’ll play through familiar events from the series, while also uncovering never-before-seen Stranger Things secrets, ensuring a fun experience for those new to the world of Stranger Things as well as for those familiar with the series.

Key Features:

  • Experience the show in a new way, exploring the eerie world of Hawkins to uncover new mysteries beyond what’s seen in Season 3.
  • Jump right into the action of this pick-up-and-play adventure: gameplay mechanics that allow players from beginner to advanced skill levels to get in on the fun.
  • Take your game to a higher level by trying out different character combinations and collecting all the secrets the expansive world of Hawkins has to offer.
  • Team up with a friend, leveraging drop-in/drop-out local co-op to take on the mysterious monsters of Hawkins together. While playing solo, use a collection of “buddy commands” to control both characters and still experience all the fun.
  • Choose from 12 playable characters, each with their own unique talents and stats.

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