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Apple rolls out Card

Apple’s latest service venture, a virtual credit card, claims it can help improve spending habits and can simplify how credit card statements are represented.

Click below to watch how it works and to read more about the card.

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Earlier this year, Apple announced the Apple Card, a virtual and physical credit card combo. The iPhone offering works with the Apple Wallet app and NFC, similar to how Samsung Pay works, with the exception of Apple issuing cards. 

Apple claims the card transforms the credit card experience by reducing fees, encouraging customers to pay less interest and providing an on-device, enhanced level of privacy and security. This means that Apple won’t process their user’s data with personal identifiers, something other virtual card providers don’t yet offer.

It is limited to the US at the moment and offers a rewards program called Daily Cash, which gives back a percentage of every purchase as cash on customers’ Apple Cash card each day.

“Apple Card builds on the success of Apple Pay and delivers new experiences only possible with the power of iPhone,” said Jennifer Bailey, Apple’s vice president of Apple Pay. “Apple Card is designed to help customers lead a healthier financial life, which starts with a better understanding of their spending so they can make smarter choices with their money, transparency to help them understand how much it will cost if they want to pay over time and ways to help them pay down their balance.”

Apple Card uses on-device machine learning in conjunction with Apple Maps to clearly label transactions with merchant names and locations. Purchases are automatically totalled and organised by colour-coded categories such as Food and Drinks, Shopping, and Entertainment. Apple claims this may help customers better understand their spending, by providing weekly and monthly spending summaries where purchases can be clearly identified.

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LG G8X ThinQ doubles up on multitasking

The G8X Thinq from LG features two screens, in a new take that isn’t quite foldable but definitely more affordable.

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LG has announced the global start of sales of LG G8XThinQ with LG Dual Screen, both previewed at Mobile World Congress in February and unveiled in September at IFA 2019 in Berlin. Together, LG G8XThinQ with LG Dual Screen offer consumers a new way to interact with a mobile device, by allowing two apps to run on full screens, side by side.

The handset lets consumers stay on top of two apps at the same time, whether texting a friend while watching a video, updating fantasy football while researching stats, or sharing and comparing while online shopping. And if users don’t want the second screen (depending on the scenario), it can detach.

It features a convenient cover display, with the essentials like notifications, date, time, battery life available at a glance. With a 360° Freestop Hinge, LG Dual Screen is able to lock into at any angle, making it practical for use as a game controller at 120°, a mini-laptop at 140°, flat at 180°, a stand or tent at 270°, or to take a call flipped back on itself at 360°.

LG Game Pad is a dual screen experience designed to level up mobile gaming and deliver an edge in the competitive moment. It gives gamers a view of a game on one screen and a full virtual controller on the other, giving the options to choose from multiple controllers or build a custom layout to match specific game play needs and styles. LG Game Pad mimics touch input on the main display, making it compatible with most games. 

The LG Smart Keyboard converts the device into a mini-laptop. The bottom display transforms into a full-screen virtual keyboard, which makes it possible to write emails on one display and watch the text flow on the other.

LG’s newest G-series smartphone features a dynamic 6.4-inch OLED FullVision display, a powerful 32MP front-facing camera, impressive dual rear-facing cameras with new photo and video modes, two balanced 1.2W stereo speakers, the first in-display fingerprint sensor on an LG smartphone and a large 4,000mAh battery.

“The introduction of LG G8XThinQ and LG Dual Screen enables us to be part of the conversation around larger mobile displays but at a much more price-friendly entry point,” says Morris Lee, senior vice president at LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company. “From the industry’s first wide angle camera in a smartphone, rear-mounted fingerprint sensor and optical gesture control, LG continues to push the boundaries of smartphone innovation and this continues with LG G8XThinQ Dual Screen.”

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Huawei Watch GT 2: A premium smartwatch for fitness

The Huawei Watch GT 2 is one of the best looking smartwatches on the market, and comes with impressive fitness tracking features. BRYAN TURNER tried it out

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One of the most beautiful smartwatches yet has entered the arena: the Huawei Watch GT 2. It features a vibrant and sharp AMOLED display and some of the best battery life on the market for backlit colour screen smartwatches.

We tested the Watch GT 2 for two weeks, which happens to be just the right amount of time to review this device on one charge. Its major selling point is 2 weeks battery life, and it surpassed that mark for us – although we didn’t use every single feature every single day, as Huawei suggests, for the 2-week battery life.

Out the box, the watch is presented in a premium foam housing, while the disc-shaped charger and larger straps are neatly hidden. The charger has two metal contacts that line up with the bottom of the watch, so it’s not wireless, but is still pretty sleek. The charging-disc also features a USB Type-C port, so only one cable is needed between the latest Android handsets and this watch.

When turning it on, the first striking detail of this watch is its stunning AMOLED display, which is super bright – making it ideal for outdoor runs in full sun. 

The display is also pretty big, at 46mm at 454×454 pixels, while not feeling like a bulky display on one’s wrist. The bezel doesn’t rotate, but at least it looks good and doesn’t get in the way of operating the watch.

Two buttons on the right side of the watch work in-tandem with taps and swipes. It does take some getting used to, because the top button is supposed to be a back button but sometimes takes the user completely out of the app. The bottom button is customisable but launches workout mode by default.

The device pairs with the Huawei Health app, which is available on both Android and iOS. The setup process is far easier on Android than iOS. On a non-Huawei Android phone, one must download Huawei Health and also get Huawei Mobile Services (HMS). On iOS, only Huawei Health is required, but not without head-scratching as to why it won’t pair on the first few attempts.

Once it’s paired, it’s smooth sailing. It makes use of Bluetooth 5.1, which keeps the watch connected with virtually no power consumption. This, combined with the super-efficient Kirin A1 chip, gave us over 2 weeks of battery life with regular use – which consisted of checking the time occasionally, with a 30-minute workout a day.

The watch is packed with a bunch of sensors ideal for the fitness-minded user who wants to know as much as possible about their workout. These include an always-on heart rate sensor, gyroscope, GPS, accelerometer, and an air pressure sensor for elevation detection.

It features 16 common workout modes for tracking users, including GPS-tracked outdoor running, cycling, open water swimming, using a rowing machine and an elliptical. Although Fitbit and Apple Watch have far more workout modes built-in – like yoga or boxing – the less niche fitness user will be fine with the Watch GT 2.

One of the nicest features for runners is the music sync functionality. The watch can pair to wireless earphones, and one can go for a run without taking a smartphone along. It can also store around 500 songs. The only catch: it’s MP3s only, like it’s 2002. Huawei will likely add third-party streaming services like Deezer and Spotify to the watch, though nothing has been confirmed yet.

Answering calls on the Watch GT 2 is also now possible. While it’s useful to talk to one’s watch like James Bond when one’s phone is nowhere to be found, it’s pretty gimmicky and gets old quickly on any smartwatch.

There are some pretty limiting features for iOS users. The watch comes preloaded with 14 watch faces but, if you want more, you’ll have to pair to an Android phone – Huawei Health for iOS doesn’t do that. Pairing a headset to the device is possible, but only through an Android phone with Huawei Health. In short, iPhone users are better off sticking to Fitbit or Apple Watch.

That said, it hits the nail on the head for a beautiful fitness-style crossover.

The Huawei Watch GT 2 retails for R4,999 at Total Sports.

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