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Standard Bank pilots Apple Watch

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Standard Bank has announced plans to embrace wearable technology, with the forthcoming release of its Apple Watch banking app.

In another first for banking in South Africa, Standard Bank’s Apple Watch app is currently being tested with pilot users and will be available to the general public by the end of September 2015. It follows Standard Bank’s recent launch of SA’s first biometric-enabled banking app – giving users access to smartphone banking using Apple’s Touch ID technology.

“We are continuously looking for ways to make our customers’ lives easier and to make banking a seamless part of their daily lives.  With our smart watch app we are providing greater choice to customers about how they would like to stay in control of their finances,” says Magnus Taljaard, Head of Digital Customer Solutions at Standard Bank.

The first version of the Standard Bank’s Apple Watch app will contain a Balance Peek feature – allowing users to check their latest account balances without having to log into internet banking or their smartphone app.

“Balance Peek on smart watches is perfect for those moments when you need to quickly and unobtrusively check your balance,” explains Mr. Taljaard.

“The Apple Watch app will be followed by similar rollouts for Android Wear-enabled watches later in the year,” Mr. Taljaard adds.

As more users start embracing smart watches and other forms of wearable personal technology, Standard Bank will continue to work with customers to understand their requirements and develop a roadmap of banking features for wearables.

Already on the agenda are smart watch services that allow share trading clients to track indices and shares, see the biggest market movers and track changes in their share portfolios.

Importantly, as with any new customer solution, privacy and security issues are high on the bank’s agenda. For this reason, users are able to de-link their Apple Watch from their iPhone, as well as to toggle the Balance Peek feature on or off from the main banking app.

* Follow Gadget on Twitter on @GadgetZA

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Smash hits the
Nintendo Switch

Super Smash Bros. delivers what the fans wanted in the latest “Ultimate” instalment, writes BRYAN TURNER.

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Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, the latest addition to the popular Nintendo Smash series, has landed on the Nintendo Switch with a bang, selling 5-million copies in the first week of its release. The game has been long-anticipated since the console’s release, as many fans consider iy to be a Nintendo staple. And the wait was well worth it.

It features 74 playable fighters, 108 stages, almost 1300 Spirit characters to collect while playing, and a single-player Adventure mode that took about three days (or 28 hours) of gameplay to complete. The game offers far more gameplay than its predecessors, making it the Smash game that gives its players the best bang for their buck.

For those new to the game, the goal is to fight opponents and build up their damage score (draining their health) to knock them off the stage eventually. This makes the game seem chaotic, as many players jump around the platforms as if they were on quicksand, in order to avoid being hit by the other players.

It also services two kinds of players: the competitive and the casual.

Competitive players can be matched on the online service by skill ranking to enjoy playing with similarly high-skilled opponents. This is especially important in e-sports training for the game, and for players wanting to master combos against other human players. The casual gamer is also catered for, with eight-player chaos and button-mashing to see who comes out luckiest. This segment is also important for those wanting to learn how to play.

Training mode is also a place to go for those learning to play. It offers “CPU” players that are graded by intensity to train as a single player to learn a character’s moves, combos and general fighting style. More challenging CPU players can also be used by competitive players to train when there isn’t a Wi-Fi connection available.

Direct Play features in this game, allowing two players with two Switch consoles to play against each other over a direct connection – no Wi-Fi needed. This is especially useful to those who want to have a social gaming element on the go, similar to that of the cable connector of the Gameboy.

Click here to read Bryan Turner review of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

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Win Funko Fortnite in Vinyl

Gadget and Gammatek have nine Funko Fortnite figurines to give away.

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A Funko Pop figurine based on a character set is indicative of reaching the heights of pop culture. It is no surprise, then, that the world’s biggest online game, Fortnite, has its own line of Funko Pop figurines. The Funkos are modeled on the characters in game, including Drift, Ragnarok, Dark Vanguard, Volar, Tracera Ops, and Sparkle Specialist.

Now, local Funko distributor Gammatek has released the Fortnite figurines in South Africa. To celebrate, Gadget and Gammatek are giving away a set of three Funko Fortnite figurines to each of three readers (9 figurines in total). To enter, first click on your favourite Funko Pop on the next page and post the Tweet that appears. Then, follow Gadget on Twitter.

You can put the tweet in your own words, but entries must have the competition’s hashtag (#FunkoFortnite) and mention @GadgetZA to be considered valid.

Click here to select the Funko Fortnite character you want to tweet.

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