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IFA: BlackBerry taps KEY2 LE

At the IFA expo in Berlin, smartphone manufacturer TCL Communication unveiled its newest BlackBerry smartphone, the BlackBerry KEY2 LE. 

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TCL provided the following information:

Capturing the balance between iconic BlackBerry design and modern elements, the BlackBerry KEY2 LE features a lightweight polycarbonate frame and a newly designed soft textured back that provides better in-hand grip to prevent drops. It also includes a Full-HD, 2.5D display and will be available in three exciting accent colour options: Slate, Champagne and Atomic. With similar BlackBerry KEY series dimensions, the BlackBerry KEY2 LE is both thinner and lighter, and boasts a redesigned keyboard with keys that are nearly 10 percent larger than those featured on the BlackBerry KEYone. Designed for accuracy and precision, the physical keyboard includes the Speed Key that enables shortcut access to a number of functions on your device at any time, without having to return to the home screen or search in an app folder to access the apps, contacts and functions you use and communicate with most. The Speed Key is complimented by 52 customizable shortcuts, so you can program each key to instantly bring up the contacts and apps you use most.

Enhanced Privacy You Control

Now you can take personal control of your smartphone privacy with features like Locker that allow you to manage what information is shared in the cloud, like your photos and documents. Locker provides a personal space on the device where you can store apps you want to keep private along with sensitive documents and photos. Firefox Focus, the privacy browser by Mozilla, is also included so you can avoid trackers and automatically delete your browsing session when the app is closed. The BlackBerry KEY2 LE also includes the refreshed DTEK by BlackBerry application that brings new scanning features for proactive security checks to easily identify and mitigate potential security risks, such as unwanted data access by a downloaded application on your smartphone. And a commitment to monthly Android security updates means you’ll always be protected from the latest threats.

Productivity You Can Only Find In A Blackberry Smartphone

With the BlackBerry KEY2 LE, you have all the features you need to manage your work, travel, and personal life on the go. This includes support for dual personal accounts and business ready software that makes it easier to manage all aspects of your life. Dual account management is built in to enable you to separately manage both personal and professional social media profiles on apps like Facebook and Instagram, and on the dual SIM variant of the BlackBerry KEY2 LE, you can also have dual WhatsApp and other accounts that require unique numbers.  It also comes loaded with BlackBerry Hub which brings all your messages into one consolidated place – including emails, texts and messages from almost any social media account, including WhatsApp.

Power To Get You Through The Day

Delivering the power and performance expected from a BlackBerry smartphone, the BlackBerry KEY2 LE comes with 4GB of memory and in both 32GB and 64GB storage variants – with both offering expandable storage MicroSD support. It is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and an efficient battery that offers up to 22 hours of mixed use to get you through the busiest of days and often into the next day. In addition, the BlackBerry KEY2 LE features Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0, enabling up to a 50 percent charge in about 36 minutes – enough power to get you through a normal work day. The BlackBerry KEY2 LE also comes with a Boost mode charging and contextual battery reminder which will learn from your daily charging habits and calendar appointments to recommend when to charge so you have the battery power you need when you need it most.

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Opera launches built-in VPN on Android browser

Opera has released a new version of its mobile browser, which features a built-in virtual private network service.

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Opera has released a new version of its mobile browser, Opera for Android 51, which features a built-in VPN (virtual private network) service.

A VPN allows users to create a secure connection to a public network, and is particularly useful if users are unsure of the security levels of the public networks that they use often.

The new VPN in Opera for Android 51 is free, unlimited and easy to use. When enabled, it gives users greater control of their online privacy and improves online security, especially when connecting to public Wi-Fi hotspots such as coffee shops, airports and hotels. The VPN will encrypt Internet traffic into and out of their mobile devices, which reduces the risk of malicious third parties collecting sensitive information.

“There are already more than 650 million people using VPN services globally. With Opera, any Android user can now enjoy a free and no-log service that enhances online privacy and improves security,” said Peter Wallman, SVP Opera Browser for Android.

When users enable the VPN included in Opera for Android 51, they create a private and encrypted connection between their mobile device and a remote VPN server, using strong 256-bit encryption algorithms. When enabled, the VPN hides the user’s physical location, making it difficult to track their activities on the internet.

The browser VPN service is also a no-log service, which means that the VPN servers do not log and retain any activity data, all to protect users privacy.

“Users are exposed to so many security risks when they connect to public Wi-Fi hotspots without a VPN,” said Wallman. “Enabling Opera VPN means that users makes it difficult for third parties to steal information, and users can avoid being tracked. Users no longer need to question if or how they can protect their personal information in these situations.”

According to a report by the Global World Index in 2018, the use of VPNs on mobile devices is rising. More than 42 percent of VPN users on mobile devices use VPN on a daily basis, and 35 percent of VPN users on computers use VPN daily.

The report also shows that South African VPN users said that their main reason for using a VPN service is to remain anonymous while they are online.

“Young people in particular are concerned about their online privacy as they increasingly live their lives online,” said Wallman. “Opera for Android 51 makes it easy to benefit from the security and anonymity of VPN , especially for those may not be aware of how to set these up.”

Setting up the Opera VPN is simple. Users just tap on the browser settings, go to VPN and enable the feature according to their preference. They can also select the region of their choice.

The built-in VPN is free, which means that users don’t need to download additional apps on their smartphones or pay additional fees as they would for other private VPN services. With no sign-in process, users don’t need to log in every time they want to use it.

Opera for Android is available for download in Google Play. The rollout of the new version of Opera for Android 51 will be done gradually per region.

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Future of the car is here

Three new cars, with vastly different price-tags, reveal the arrival of the future of wheels, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK

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Just a few months ago, it was easy to argue that the car of the future was still a long way off, at least in South Africa. But a series of recent car launches have brought the high-tech vehicle to the fore in startling ways.

The Jaguar i-Pace electric vehicle (EV), BMW 330i and the Datsun Go have little in common, aside from representing an almost complete spectrum of car prices on the local market. Their tags start, respectively, at R1.7-million, R650 000 and R150 000.

Such a widely disparate trio of vehicles do not exactly come together to point to the future. Rather, they represent different futures for different segments of the market. But they also reveal what we can expect to become standard in most vehicles produced in the 2020s.

Jaguar i-Pace

The i-Pace may be out of reach of most South Africans, but it ushers in two advances that will resonate throughout the EV market as it welcomes new and more affordable cars. It is the first electric vehicle in South Africa to beat the bugbear of range anxiety.

Unlike the pioneering “old” Nissan Leaf, which had a range of up to about 150km, and did not lend itself to long distance travel, the i-Pace has a 470km range, bringing it within shouting distance of fuel-powered vehicles. A trip from Johannesburg to Durban, for example, would need just one recharge along the way.

And that brings in the other major advance: the i-Pace is the first EV launched in South Africa together with a rapid public charging network on major routes. It also comes with a home charging kit, which means the end of filling up at petrol stations.

The Jaguar i-Pace dispels one further myth about EVs: that they don’t have much power under the hood. A test drive around Gauteng revealed not only a gutsy engine, but acceleration on a par with anything in its class, and enough horsepower to enhance the safety of almost any overtaking situation.

Specs for the Jaguar i-Pace include:

  • All-wheel drive
  • Twin motors with a combined 294kW and 696Nm
  • 0-100km/h in 4.8s
  • 90kWh Lithium-ion battery, delivering up to 470km range
  • Eight-year/160 000km battery warranty
  • Two-year/34 000km service intervals

Click here to read about BMW’s self-driving technology, and how Datsun makes smart technology affordable.

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