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Opera revamps compression

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A new version of the Opera Mini Internet browser for Android now allow users to switch between different data compression methods, allowing them to optimise their data compression depending on the type of network they are on.

In the newest version of Opera Mini mobile browser for Android, users can switch between two different data compression modes: High and Extreme. With these two modes, they can optimize their data compression for different network conditions.

The new High-compression mode compresses web-pages without affecting the page display, making it the perfect mode for surfing the web on 3G, 4G or Wi-Fi networks.

The Extreme-compression mode compresses web-pages extensively, giving users a very high-speed internet experience while using very little mobile data. This mode is ideal for when users are experiencing slow network conditions, or just want to make their data plans last longer. The Extreme-compression mode can affect the layout of the web-pages and was previously the only compression mode available in Opera Mini.

“Opera Mini has for a decade helped hundred of millions of users across the globe to access their favourite content on the internet no matter which mobile phone they had or how slow their data connection was. With the rise of better smartphones and better network conditions our users now want the option to have a less aggressive data compression mode so they can experience the full internet when network conditions allow for it,” says Christian Uribe, Product Manager of Opera Mini at Opera Software.

On Facebook for example, users can clearly see the difference between the two data compression modes. In High-compression mode, users experience the site with more dynamic content and video playback. In Extreme-compression mode, users get a faster experience, but with scaled-down images and a simpler interface with less dynamic content.

Opera aims to become the dominant browser in fast-growing emerging economies

Opera Mini’s update is an important milestone toward Opera’s goal of reaching 275 million Android users by the end of 2017.

“Only half of the mobile population in India is connected to 3G networks, while in Indonesia, more than half of all smartphone users experience network problems daily. And, people all over the world turn off their phones while traveling, due to fear of data-roaming costs. In each case, Opera Mini offers a better web experience,” says Lars Boilesen, CEO, Opera Software.  “We are continuously striving to improve user experience, lowering barriers to get online in all kinds of conditions.”

About the new Opera Mini for Android

In addition to the advanced compression technology, the latest Opera Mini includes the following features:

  • New and improved UI for saved pages and bookmarks
  • Better handling of bigger downloads in High-compression mode
  • Overhauled tab switch
  • Private-browsing mode
  • Options to customize the browser layout for more thumb-friendly surfing
  • A scalable interface with higher resolution for tablets and large phones
  • Updates to the Discover news feed to provide more of the latest content across the web
  • A data counter to show daily progress on data savings, helping users keep data costs under control

How it works

Opera Mini’s compression technology routes requested webpages through one of its data-saving servers. The server removes any extraneous page elements, shaves off image pixels a user won’t miss, diagnoses the state of the user’s connection and compresses any downloads. All this before sending the page back to the user’s device. Opera Mini allows users to do more on the web while getting the most out of their data plans.

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Taxify enters Google Maps

A recent update to Taxify now uses Google Maps which allows users to identify their drivers, find public transport and search for billing options.

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People planning their travel routes using Google Maps will now see a Taxify icon in the app, in addition to the familiar car, public transport, walking and billing options.

Taxify started operating in South Africa in 2016 and as of October 2018 operates in seven South African cities – Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni, Tshwane, Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth and Polokwane.

Once riders have searched for their destination and asked the app for directions, Google Maps shares the proximity of cars on the Taxify platform, as well as an estimated fare for the trip.

If users see that taking the Taxify option is their best bet, they can simply tap on the ‘Open app’ icon, to complete the process of booking the ride. Customers without the app on their device will be prompted to install Taxify first.

This integration makes it possible for users to evaluate which of the private, public or e-hailing modes of transport are most time-efficient and cost-effective.

“This integration with Google Maps makes it so much easier for users to choose the best way to move around their city,” says Gareth Taylor, Taxify’s country manager for South Africa. “They’ll have quick comparisons between estimated arrival times for the different modes of transport, as well as fares they can expect to pay, which will help save both time and money,” he added.

Taxify rides in Google Maps are rolling out globally today and will be available in more than 15 countries, with South Africa being one of the first countries to benefit from this convenient service.

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Samsung unveils the quad-cam smartphone

Samsung recently unveiled its Galaxy A9, the world’s first smartphone with a rear quad camera.

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“As a global leader in smartphone innovation, we understand the demand for meaningful innovation in a fast-paced world driven by visual communication,” said Justin Hume, Director: Integrated Mobility at Samsung South Africa. “Building on our legacy in smartphone camera development we’re introducing next-generation technology across our entire Galaxy portfolio to give more consumers the opportunity to experience cutting-edge innovation. We’re excited to deliver on this promise and debut world leading smartphone camera technology with the Galaxy A9.”

Samsung provided the following information (including the adjectives):

The Galaxy A9 allows you to capture dynamic and beautiful photos effortlessly. With four lenses, experience even more ways to unleash your creativity and capture, create and share stunning images.

·         Get close without compromise with 2x Optical Zoom for incredible and detailed close-up shots even from far away.

·         Capture the world in its fullest and without limit, with the Ultra Wide Lens, and shoot like a pro with the Scene Optimizer. Thanks to AI Scene Recognition, your camera is now smarter, and able to identify the subject and adjust settings accordingly for the best photo, in an instant.

·         Express your creativity with the Depth Lens, giving you the freedom to manually manage the photos’ depth of field and focus on the subject for stunning, professional looking images.

·         Capture clear and bright images in both bright and low light conditions with Galaxy A9’s 24MP Main Lens, for gorgeous photos at any time of the day.

The reliable 3,800mAh battery life on the Galaxy A9 lets you live without limits and enjoy outstanding long-lasting performance. You can now capture everything, without restriction, store more and delete less with the Galaxy A9’s 128GB storage and up to 512GB of expandable memory.

Designed to make life more convenient, the Galaxy A9 features Bixby, Samsung Pay and Samsung Health and you can take advantage of the many multi-tasking benefits the Galaxy A9 offers, including App Pair.

First Class Design

Building on Samsung’s heritage in first-class design, the Galaxy A9 is styled in three unique colors; Caviar Black, Lemonade Blue and Bubblegum Pink with a sleek and ergonomic design, that fits in one hand with a 3D Glass curved back for a high-quality comfortable feel. The Galaxy A9 will be available in South Africa from December.

Check out the specs on the next page.

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