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BlackBerry KEYone arrives in SA next week

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The latest BlackBerry smartphone, the KEYone, featuring a massive 3505mAh battery and a 12MP rear camera was launched today and will be available from Vodacom next week.

The BlackBerry KEYone smartphone was launched in South Africa today (Friday) by global smartphone manufacturer TCL Communication. It’s the first smartphone released from TCL under a new brand licensing agreement signed in December 2016 with BlackBerry Limited, and will be available next week in Vodacom stores.

The KEYone is an Android smartphone using the latest release of the operating system, Nougat 7.1, and includes BlackBerry Limited’s proprietary Android security features, making it one of the most secure smartphones in the world.

“With our new Android powered BlackBerry smartphone, we’ve built a highly reliable and durable device with a strong display that packs enough battery life to get you through a busy day,” said Bob El-Hawary, EMEA head of carrier operations for BlackBerry Mobile, a business unit within TCL Communication. “We are convinced this distinctly different smartphone is the perfect companion for today’s professional consumer.”

Davide Tacchino, Vodacom ME for Terminals, said that Vodacom would be fully committed to the phone: “We are excited to launch the BlackBerry KEYone with its unique form factor designed to meet the needs of the modern generation and professional consumer.”

BlackBerry Mobile provided the following details of the phone:

●      Built to last – An iconic BlackBerry smartphone made reliable for the demanding user, the BlackBerry KEYone combines a sleek aluminum frame and soft grip textured back built to offer the best in durability.

●      Runs Android 7.1 Nougat – giving users access to the entire Google Play store and apps – and will receive Google security patch updates.

●      The keyboard reimagined – Forget what you knew about keyboards, the BlackBerry Keyboard goes beyond typing. It can be easily programmed to launch up to 52 customizable shortcuts, providing even greater ease of use.

…And use it to scroll through web pages, the picture gallery or to take a picture.

●      Loaded with BlackBerry Hub – Bringing all your messages into one consolidated place; including emails, texts and messages from any social media account.

●      Unrivalled security features – The BlackBerry KEYone is designed to offer the most secure Android smartphone experience possible.

●      Long battery life – Featuring the largest battery ever found in a BlackBerry smartphone, the BlackBerry KEYone offers roughly 26 hours of mixed use, thanks to its 3505mAh battery.

●      Impressive photo quality – The BlackBerry KEYone includes a 12MP rear camera with an industry leading camera sensor that captures sharp, crisp photos in any light. And for when you have to take a video conference on the go, it includes an 8MP front camera with fixed focus and 84-degree wide angle lens.

The BlackBerry KEYone will be available exclusively at Vodacom stores from 8 August 2017 for a limited period. Thereafter it will be available from other operators,

* Pre-orders for BlackBerry KEYone now open on Cellucity’s website: www.cellucity.co.za/mobile/preorder/.

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YouTube Music announces Smart Downloads, SA playlists

The service has introduced Smart Downloads which takes allowing users to store and play hundreds of tunes offline, automatically.

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The latest updates from YouTube Music, for subscribers of its Music Premium and Premium services, include a new feature that allows users to switch seamlessly between a song and its music video for an uninterrupted experience.

It has also introduced Smart Downloads which takes the work out of downloading music, allowing users to store and play hundreds of tunes offline, automatically. YouTube Music has also announced new playlists for South Africa. 

The updates all reflect features that are popular on the global leader in music streaming, Spotify, and that have been key to its growth.

YouTube said in a statement on Friday: “Imagine listening to a new track by your favourite artist in the YouTube Music app and having the ability to seamlessly switch over to watch the music video – no pauses, no interruptions, just a simple tap that keeps the music flowing. This standout new feature from YouTube Music allows YouTube Premium and YouTube Music Premium subscribers to make a seamless transition between a song and its music video for uninterrupted listening and/or watching. Whether you’re in the mood for listening or watching (or a little of both)… it’s all here – no app switching required.”

With Smart Downloads, YouTube Music automatically saves music at night, when connected to Wi-Fi, helping subscribers to use less mobile data, enjoy a smoother updating experience and save up to 500 songs offline using Liked Songs playlist as well as other playlists and albums. 


Previously, music lovers could use the Offline Mixtape feature to download up to 100 songs, specifically chosen for them based on what they listened to most on the platform. Now, with Smart Downloads, they select the number of songs they would like automatically downloaded by toggling their YouTube Music Settings. This means YouTube Music Premium subscribers with Smart Downloads enabled on their mobile devices can now access hundreds of tracks regardless of connectivity. 

This feature is currently available on Android, with plans to bring it to iOS in the future.

Click here to read more about YouTube Music playlists, and find out what is inside them.

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Make cars, not waste

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Jaguar Land Rover is trialling an innovative recycling process which converts plastic waste into a new premium grade material that could feature on future vehicles. 

It’s estimated that the amount of waste plastic is predicted to exceed 12 million tonnes globally by 2050*. Today, not all of this plastic can be recycled for use in automotive applications – especially in vehicle parts that are required to meet the most exacting safety and quality standards.

Working in conjunction with chemical company, BASF, Jaguar Land Rover is part of a pilot project called ChemCycling that upcycles domestic waste plastic, otherwise destined for landfill or incinerators, into a new high-quality material. 

The waste plastic is transformed to pyrolysis oil using a thermochemical process. This secondary raw material is then fed into BASF’s production chain as a replacement for fossil resources; ultimately producing a new premium grade that replicates the high quality and performance of ‘virgin’ plastics. Importantly, it can be tempered and coloured making it the ideal sustainable solution for designing the next-generation dashboards and exterior-surfaces in Jaguar and Land Rover models.

Jaguar Land Rover and BASF are currently testing the pilot phase material in a Jaguar I-PACE prototype front-end carrier overmoulding to verify it meets the same stringent safety requirements of the existing original part.

Pending the outcome of the trials and progression in taking chemical recycling to market readiness, adoption of the new premium material would mean Jaguar Land Rover could use domestically derived recycled plastic content throughout its cars without any compromise to quality or safety performance**. 

Chris Brown, Senior Sustainability Manager at Jaguar Land Rover, said: “Plastics are vital to car manufacturing and have proven benefits during their use phase, however, plastic waste remains a major global challenge. Solving this issue requires innovation and joined-up thinking between regulators, manufacturers and suppliers.

“At Jaguar Land Rover, we are proactively increasing recycled content in our products, removing single-use plastics across our operations and reducing excess waste across the product lifecycle. The collaboration with BASF is just one way in which we are advancing our commitment to operating in a circular economy.”

This is the latest example of Jaguar Land Rover’s commitment to addressing the challenge of waste plastic. The company has collaborated with Kvadrat to offer customers alternative seat options that are both luxurious and sustainable. The high-quality material, available initially on the Range Rover Velar and Range Rover Evoque, combines a durable wool blend with a technical suedecloth that is made from 53 recycled plastic bottles per vehicle. 

Jaguar Land Rover has already met its 2020 target for Zero Waste to Landfill for UK operations. This includes the removal of 1.3 million m2 – equal to 187 football pitches – of plastic from its manufacturing lineside and replacing 14 million single use plastic items in business operations. 

Together, these efforts are driving towards Jaguar Land Rover’s vision for Destination Zero; an ambition to make societies safer and healthier, and the environment cleaner. Delivered through relentless innovation to adapt its products and services to the rapidly-changing world, the company’s focus is on achieving a future of zero emissions, zero accidents and zero congestion.

Editor’s notes:

https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/3/7/e1700782.full

** All Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles tested have achieved a Euro NCAP 5* rating.

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