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Sean Bacher

Something on the Side: Soaked devices get a second chance

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This week, SEAN BACHER introduces a Gadget Saver that drains moisture from wet devices, the Leather Flip Shell for the BlackBerry Q10, the Drift HD Ghost camera, the iRig microphone and the WakaWaka solar powered torch and smartphone charger.

Gadget Saver

The Gadget Saver is designed to extract moisture and water from electronic devices like cellphones, MP3 players, watches cameras and tablets. Should a device accidentally get wet, put it in the sealable Gadget Saver bag and leave it overnight. Charge the device, power it up and it should be fully functional. The bags are available in two sizes: 10x15cm and 24x28cm.

Expect to pay: R199 for the small size and R249 for the larger bag.

Stockists: Order from www.gadgetsavers.com

BlackBerry Q10 Leather Flip Shell

Extend battery life and help protect a BlackBerry Q10 with the BlackBerry Leather Flip Shell. The hard shell with flip closure provides an increased level of protection for a smartphone and an LED message indicator window makes incoming notifications visible when the phone is covered up.

Expect to pay: R300

Stockists: Find a dealer at www.knrflatrock.co.za

Drift HD Ghost camera

The Drift HD Ghost is a wearable and durable camera designed for all-weather use. A user would strap the camera to a helmet, bike handlebars or even a wrist and let it record while skiing, cycling or scuba-diving. A remote control with LED indicates in which mode the camera is (video or single image capture). The camera features a 2‚” Gorilla Glass LCD screen and it is WiFi enabled, allowing for videos and images to be streamed directly to a smartphone, tablet or notebook.

Expect to pay: R4 650

Stockists: All major electronics retail outlets.

iRig Microphone for iPhone

The iRig Microphone is designed for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. The microphone clips onto the top of the device and records directly to the phone or tablet’s memory. It can be used for recording podcasts, interviews and lectures. Due to its portability, it can even be used to record voice memos on the go.

Expect to pay: R600

Stockists: Order from www.mantality.co.za

WakaWaka solar power torch and phone charger

The WakaWaka offers three light settings when in torch mode: bright, medium and strobe. At the same time it is able to charge most smartphones and tablets via the USB port. Eight hours of sunlight will fully charge the WakaWaka, giving the user around 20 hours of illumination. The stand offers various positions, including the ability to clip onto the neck of a beer or wine bottle.

Expect to pay: R700

Stockists: Order from www.wakawaka4light.com

* Follow Sean on Twitter on @SeanBacher

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AppDate: MTN ramps up international transfers

In his latest app roundup, SEAN BACHER focuses on MTN Homeland, big growth in FNB’s eWallet spend, Nedbank’s Money App Lite, Afri Ride and iKhokha Vend.

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MTN Homeland

MTN is ramping up its efforts to enhance access to digital and financial services for its customers. The company’s latest fintech innovation is a mobile remittance application – MTN Homeland –  aimed at facilitating money and airtime transfers from Europe to Africa and parts of the Middle East.

MTN Homeland allows remittances from Europe to Cameroon, Congo Brazzaville, Ghana, Guinea Conakry, Rwanda and Uganda, while airtime can be sent to Afghanistan, Benin, Botswana, Cameroon, Congo Brazzaville, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Guinea Conakry, Liberia, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Swaziland, Uganda, Yemen and Zambia.

MTN Homeland also supports MTN’s contribution to the achievement of the tenth UN Sustainable Development Goal, which is to reduce inequality within and among countries. One of these SDG’s targets is to reduce the price of remittances to under 3% of the value of the remittance into Africa. MTN Homeland has been priced with that target in mind.

Platform: Any device with an up-to-date Internet browser

Expect to pay: A free service

Stockists: Visit MTN Homeland here

Read more about FNB’s increased usage in eWallets, Nedbank’s new Money Lite app, Afri Ride app for ride sharing, and iKhokha Vend.

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AppDate: Livin’ it Up improves money management

This app roundup by SEAN BACHER includes Livin’ it Up, MiBlackBox, Makro’s WhatsApp service, My Deezer Year and Giggle.

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Livin’ it Up

Capitec Bank has launched a game called Livin’ it Up.

The game allows users to test their money skills in a virtual world, while picking up tips for real life. Users play as different characters, all trying to achieve typical financial goals South Africans are striving to save for – like putting a sibling through university or buying a car.

Built by Cape Town-based games and animation solutions provider Sea Monster, Livin’ it Up was created for Capitec as a fresh, innovative approach to building South Africans’ financial capability.

“We want people to think differently about their money and to learn while having fun,” says Jean Rossouw, head of financial education at Capitec Bank. “The emphasis is on how you plan and prioritise your spending to balance your immediate ‘wants’ with the dreams you have for your future.” 

Players are required to use savvy money management strategies to deal with work and life events, including (occasional) load-shedding, while trying to save enough money to achieve their characters’ long-term goals. In the process, they get to design their own 3D homes and play a variety of career mini-games. 

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: A free download

Stockists: The game can be downloaded here 

Visit the next page to read about a personal safety “Black Box”, Makro’s WhatsApp service, Deezer’s 2019 recap, and a social platform exclusively for women.

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