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iPad Pro packs in 12.9 inches

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Apple has introduced the iPad Pro, featuring a 12.9” Retina display with 5.6 million pixels.

The new larger iPad Pro is thin and light and provides all-day battery life. There are more than 850,000 apps in the App Store designed specifically for iPad, and the new iPad Pro will enable a new generation of advanced apps ranging from productivity, design, illustration, engineering and medical, to education, gaming and entertainment.

Apple also introduced Apple Pencil for iPad Pro, a precision input device available for purchase separately, which makes drawing and sketching feel fluid and natural. The touch subsystem of the Multi-Touch display in iPad Pro has been redesigned to work with Apple Pencil to reduce latency and deliver accuracy for activities like fine art illustration and detailed 3D design. Advanced sensors in Apple Pencil measure both pressure and tilt for a fast and fluid drawing experience, while a built-in Lightning connector makes for quick pairing and charging. Apple Pencil also works with apps like Mail, Notes, Procreate and Office 365 for iPad.

Apple’s new Smart Keyboard further extends the utility of iPad Pro, offering a full-sized keyboard in a thin, durable design. The Smart Keyboard, available for purchase separately, attaches to iPad Pro’s innovative Smart Connector port, eliminating the need for a separate battery, on/off switch or Bluetooth pairing. The Smart Keyboard is covered in custom woven fabric and features keys that provide the accuracy, stability and key feel of standard keyboards, but is also easily foldable and can transform into a Smart Cover. The Smart Keyboard also works seamlessly with new QuickType features in iOS 9.

Apple-iPad-Pro

“iPad Pro is the most advanced and powerful iPad we have ever made. Its beautiful and large 12.9-inch Retina display has 5.6 million pixels and provides an immersive experience for content and apps. The iPad Pro is far and away the fastest iOS device we have ever made — its A9X chip beats most portable PCs in both CPU and graphics tasks, but is thin and light enough to hold all day,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “The innovative Apple Pencil and new Smart Keyboard enable users to customise their iPad Pro experience to the particular apps they use and the work they do, making iPad Pro ideal for everything from professional productivity to advanced 3D design.”

Apple provided the following information:

iPad Pro’s 12.9-inch Retina display, with 5.6 million pixels and refined Multi-Touch technology, is the most advanced and highest resolution display ever in an iOS device. It delivers greater contrast, more uniform brightness and improved energy efficiency through photo alignment technology, oxide TFT and variable refresh rate. A new four-speaker audio design provides powerful, clear and rich stereo sound, and a refined unibody enclosure of anodised aluminium gives iPad Pro a sturdy feel with a thin and light design that is easy to hold.

Powerful Technology

iPad Pro delivers groundbreaking performance and energy efficiency, so you can tackle the most demanding tasks. Apple’s powerful new 64-bit A9X chip, with third-generation 64-bit architecture, provides desktop-class CPU performance and console-class graphics. Ultra-fast wireless connectivity keeps you connected wherever you go with 802.11ac Wi-Fi with MIMO technology, support for a wide range of LTE bands and other fast cellular network technologies (DC-HSDPA, HSPA+).* All-day 10-hour battery life** delivers the efficiency that users have come to expect from iPad.

iOS 9

iOS 9, the world’s most advanced mobile operating system, brings more intelligence to iPad with proactive assistance, powerful search and improved Siri features, all while protecting users’ privacy. New multitasking features designed specifically for iPad allow users to do more at the same time, while built-in apps become more powerful with a redesigned Notes app, detailed transit information in Maps and an all-new News app*** for the best news reading experience on any mobile device. The foundation of iOS is even stronger with software updates that require less space to install and advanced security features to further protect your device.

Pricing & Availability

iPad Pro comes in three gorgeous metallic finishes including silver, gold and space grey and will be available starting in November from Apple.com, Apple’s retail stores, through select carriers and Apple Authorised Resellers. For more information, please visit www.apple.com/ipad.

Smart Keyboard will be available in charcoal grey. New polyurethane iPad Pro Smart Covers will be available in charcoal gray and white. New iPad Pro Silicone Cases will be available in charcoal grey and white. iPad Pro accessories including Apple Pencil will be available starting in November. Pricing will be announced at availability.

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SA startups in Visa final

Leading fintech companies from the Sub-Sahara Africa technology startup community have made it to the finals of Visa’s Everywhere Initiative.

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Among the 12 chosen, from the 238 total entries, South African startups Howler and FinChatBot will compete against innovators from across Sub Sahara Africa for a chance to secure funding of up to US$50,000 to develop their ideas when the initiative concludes in Johannesburg on July 24. 

Fintechs in Africa are making incredible strides; not only to bring more convenience to consumers, but also to enable people who would not otherwise have access to financial services or even a way to connect to the formal banking system. Venture funding for African startups jumped by 51% to $195 million in 2017 and fintech in Africa is expected to grow exponentially in the next few years as it continues to disrupt the traditional financial sector. With a clear goal of reducing reliance on cash, building digital payment based economies and increasing financial inclusion, Visa is committed to fostering an entrepreneurial spirit and driving innovation in its payments landscape. 

The Sub Saharan Africa edition of the Visa’s Everywhere Initiative challenged local fintech startup to deliver solutions based around three real life business challenges: 

  • How can startups leverage Visa Developer APIs to either:  Enable smaller merchants to accept payments in-store digitally OR Provide a safe and secure solution for online merchants to drive eCommerce and reduce cash on delivery?
  • How can startups use Visa’s APIs to leverage mass reach and social media partner platforms like Facebook to help businesses operating in fast-paced consumer centric environments improve cash flow and receive payments? 
  • How can startups leverage technology to provide services that are functional for illiterate customers to provide them with secure transaction experiences that build and enhance their confidence in the banking system?. 

Entrants were asked to submit ideas to leverage Visa’s network and technologies to resolve against at least one of the challenges. One winner per brief will be selected, with each receiving funding of US$25,000. Winners will be invited to a working meeting with Visa and may be presented with the opportunity to create a prototype. Visa will then select one overall winner to receive an additional US$25,000.

Geraldine Mitchley, Senior Director – Digital Solutions, Sub-Sahara Africa, Visa, said: “We are delighted with the response to our Visa’s Everywhere Initiative and the quality of submissions we received is an indication of the region’s rich talent pool and innovative spirit.”

“Launching this innovation program in the region has been an exciting time for the Visa SSA team, and the takeup reflects Africa’s enthusiasm to develop and pioneer solutions to the continent’s challenge – particularly in the payments technology space. I would like to congratulate the finalists and  wish them luck as they enter the final stretch.  When they come together for the final, they will not only have the chance to turn their ideas into reality, but also potentially help shape the future of payments in the region.”  

Howler which enables cashless transactions and end-to-end ticket handling for consumers and event organisers is competing in the first challenge and FinChatBot, which aims to automate part of customer services for financial service providers through AI-powered conversations is competing in the third challenge. 

The SSA edition of the Visa’s Everywhere Initiative will wrap up on July 24 in Johannesburg, with each finalist having an opportunity to pitch their ideas to a panel of expert judges from Visa and the payments industry. 

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Win a Poster Heater with Gadget and Takealot.com

This winter Gadget and Takealot.com are giving away three Poster Heaters, which look like posters but become heaters when you plug them in.

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Three Gadget readers will each win a unit, valued at R550 each. To enter, follow @GadgetZA and @Takealot on Twitter and tell us on the @GadgetZA account how many Watts the heater consumes.

What’s the big deal about these heaters? Many of us are struggling to keep the balance between soaring electricity costs and the need to keep warm this winter.

However, the recently launched Poster Heater by EasyHeat and distributed in South Africa by Takealot.com is not only one of the most cost effective electric heaters currently on the market, it is also easy to setup and use.

As the name indicates, it is a poster similar to one you would hang on a wall. But, plug it in and it turns into a 300 Watt heater. The Poster Heater isn’t designed to heat hallways or large rooms, but rather smaller ones like a bedroom or a baby’s nursery or a dressing room.

It uses radiant heating, which means that it heats up in a couple of minutes and the heat is directed at the objects or people around it, quickly taking the chill out of the air and providing a comfortable ambient temperature.

The other advantage of radiant heating is that it doesn’t dry out the air like infrared or gas heaters. Users also don’t have to worry about their children or pets getting too close to it because, even though it gets hot, it can be touched.

To enter the competition follow the steps below:

Competition entry details:

1. Follow @GadgetZA and @Takealot on Twitter. (We will ONLY be accepting entries via Twitter, so please don’t enter through the comments section of this article.)

2. Tell us on Twitter, via @GadgetZA, mentioning @Takealot in your posting, how many Watts the Poster Heater consumes.

cleardot.gif3. The competition closes on 31 July 2018.

4. Winners will be notified via Twitter on 1 August and Takealot.com will be in touch to organise delivery.

5. The competition is only open to South African residents.

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