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Opera Touch comes to iPhone

Opera has announced that Opera Touch, the mobile browser launched in April on Android, is now available for iPhone.

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“We are releasing Opera Touch just in time with Apple’s new iPhone XS, XS Max and XR because we believe that our browser is the perfect one to make these new devices really shine,” said Maciej Kocemba, Opera Touch Product Manager. “Today’s new phones have big, beautiful displays, but conventional browsers are yet to adapt to this development. Our product is aimed at people who want to fully appreciate their iPhones.”

According to data from StatCounter, 95 percent of iOS users in the US currently stick to their device’s default browser, Safari.

“We’ve witnessed this situation before with a web browser reaching a dominant market position. This slows its progress. We want to encourage iPhone users to try something new: a carefully designed browser that gives them a better web experience on their beautiful phones,” said Kocemba.

Opera Touch (Android version) won the Red Dot Communication Design Award 2018 for its unique user interface, which solves some of the current finger-gymnastics smartphone users struggle with in their everyday lives.

The new iPhone XS Max has nearly twice the display size of the original iPhone that premiered in 2007.

“This shift in size calls for big changes in browser design. With Opera Touch we made it faster and easier to browse the web when on the go. This is especially useful when you’re using a smartphone with a large display”, said Kocemba.

To prove our point, we have prepared a side-by-side comparison of how users go about their daily tasks such as performing a web search in Opera Touch and Safari.

Opera Touch is packed with features and design solutions that make using the browser a pleasant and efficient experience.

  • Fast access to search: the browser starts directly in search mode so you can find things faster
  • Designed for one-handed, easy web browsing with key browser elements at the bottom
  • End-to-end encrypted Flow connects multiple devices and sends images, notes, links and videos between them
  • Instant Search with text and, QR/barcode search features
  • Access to tabs from the Opera desktop browser on the iPhone browsers home screen
  • The browser adapts to you: Your top sites will automatically be added to the browser’s home screen
  • Built-in ad blocker with cryptojacking protection

With Opera Touch, Opera wants to provide people with an exquisite browsing experience fit for the cutting-edge hardware Apple delivers and to give an impulse for change to the mobile browsing world.

Opera Touch vs. Safari: a side-by side comparison of the key UI elements

Looking at the image attached you will notice that, the home screen in Opera Touch looks more modern. It not only dynamically adapts to your browsing patterns, displaying your favorite websites but also displays the last tabs from your computer browser.

The Fast Action Button in Opera Touch (pictured in the middle) gives you access to your most recent websites, making it very easy to multitask and switch between them. This is unlike in a traditionally tab view, that simply lists tabs sorted by the date they were created.

The device on the right shows Flow, Opera’s stream of things you can save for later and share across your devices. You can add links, notes, images and videos to Flow, which makes it a more versatile solution, fit for modern browsing patterns.

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Get your passwords in shape

New Year’s resolutions should extend to getting password protection sorted out, writes Carey van Vlaanderen, CEO at ESET Southern Africa.

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Many of us have entered the new year with a boat load of New Year’s resolutions.  Doing more exercise, fixing unhealthy eating habits and saving more money are all highly respectable goals, but could it be that they don’t go far enough in an era with countless apps and sites that scream for letting them help you reach your personal goals.

Now, you may want to add a few weightier and yet effortless habits on top of those well-worn choices. Here are a handful of tips for ‘exercises’ that will go good for your cyber-fitness.

I won’t pass up on stubborn passwords

Passwords have a bad rap, and deservedly so: they suffer from weaknesses, both in terms of security and convenience, that make them a less-than-ideal method of authentication.  However, much of what the internet offers is independent on your singing up for this or that online service, and the available form of authentication almost universally happens to the username/password combination.

As the keys that open online accounts (not to speak of many devices), passwords are often rightly thought of as the first – alas, often only – line of defence that protects your virtual and real assets from intruders. However, passwords don’t offer much in the way of protection unless, in the first place, they’re strong and unique to each device and account.

But what constitutes a strong password?  A passphrase! Done right, typical passphrases are generally both more secure and more user-friendly than typical passwords. The longer the passphrase and the more words it packs the better, with seven words providing for a solid start. With each extra character (not to mention words), the number of possible combinations rises exponentially, which makes simple brute-force password-cracking attacks far less likely to succeed, if not well-nigh impossible (assuming, of course, that the service in question does not impose limitations on password input length – something that is, sadly, far too common).

Click here to read about making secure passwords by not using dictionary words, using two-factor authentication, and how biometrics are coming to web browsers.

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Code Week prepares 2.3m young Africans for future

By SUNIL GENESS, Director Government Relations & CSR, Global Digital Government, at SAP Africa.

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On January 6th, 2019, news broke of South African President Cyril Ramaphosa’s plans to announce a new approach to education in his second State of the Nation address, including:

  • A universal roll-out of tablets for all pupils in the country’s 23 700 primary and secondary schools
  • Computer coding and robotics classes for the foundation-phase pupils from grade 1-3 and the
  • Digitisation of the entire curriculum, , including textbooks, workbooks and all teacher support material.

With this, the President has shown South Africa’s response to a global challenge: equipping our youth with the skills they’ll need to survive and thrive in the 21st century digital economy.

Africa’s working-age population will increase to 600 million in 2030 from a base of 370 million in 2010.

In South Africa, unemployment stands at 26.7 percent, but is much more pronounced among youths: 52.2 percent of the country’s 15-24-year-olds are looking for work.

As an organisation deeply invested in South Africa and its future, SAP has developed and implemented a range of initiatives aimed at fostering digital skills development among the country’s youth, including:

AFRICA CODE WEEK

Since its launch in 2015, Africa Code Week has introduced more than 4 million African youth to basic coding.

In 2018, more than 2.3 million youth across 37 countries took part in Africa Code Week.

The digital skills development initiative’s focus on building local capacity for sustainable learning resulted in close to 23 000 teachers being trained in the run-up to the October 2018 events.

Vital to the success of Africa Code Week is the close support it receives from a broad spectrum of public and private sector institutions, including UNESCO YouthMobile, Google, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Cape Town Science Centre, the Camden Education Trust, 28 African governments, over 130 implementing partners and 120 ambassadors across the continent.

SAP’s efforts to drive digital skills development on the African continent forms part of a broader organisational commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, specifically Goal 4 (“Ensure quality and inclusive education for all”)

A core component of Africa Code Week is to encourage female participation in STEM-related skills development activities: in 2018, more than 46% of all Africa Code Week participants were female.

According to Africa Code Week Global Coordinator Sunil Geness, female representation in STEM-related fields among African businesses currently stands at 30%, “requiring powerful public-private partnerships to start turning the tide and creating more equitable opportunities for African youth to contribute to the continent’s economic development and success”.

Click here to read more about the Skills for Africa graduate training programme, and about the LEGO League.

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