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Uber launches cash indicator

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Uber South Africa has introduced a new, pilot cash indicator feature. The cash indicator allows Uber driver-partners to choose whether they’d like to accept a cash trip request or not.

“We’ve received a lot of feedback from driver-partners expressing their need to be able to choose the kind of trips they want to accept,” says Jonathan Ayache, General Manager Uber South Africa. “This feedback came from our focus groups, comments at partner appreciation events and recent safety working groups. We’ve taken heed of this request and believe the new cash indicator pilot will address their needs.

“While some driver-partners have asked for the cash option to be removed, other driver-partners feel the cash option has opened them up to new riders and provides the consumer with more choice. Cash is a dominant payment method in Africa and many riders do not have cards to use on the app; cash removes the barrier for those without a card who want to use Uber.

“That’s why it’s not feasible to remove the cash option completely – we believe riders should have the freedom to pay for rides how they wish, but we also believe that driver-partners should have the freedom to accept cash trips or not.”

The cash indicator will only appear to driver-partners on cash trips – no indicator will pop up for card trips. The indicator will be clearly visible directly under ETA (estimated time of arrival) on the driver’s app. The dispatch process will not be impacted at all, should a driver choose to decline the request, the app will immediately alert another driver-partner. This also means that driver-partners who decline to accept a cash trip will not face any consequences – they will not be penalised for declining a cash trip, nor will they be deactivated for doing so.

“We are in the business of technology; we’ve introduced many key safety features that did not exist before the introduction of the Uber in South Africa,” says Ayache. “We remain committed to using and investing in technological solutions to any issues, safety included.

“Unfortunately, Uber’s technology cannot prevent crime, but with the introduction of core safety features such as GPS tracking, 24/7 support, an emergency number for drivers, as well as our partnership with multiple security companies, and now, the cash indicator, we are doing everything we can to prioritise the safety of those using the Uber app. We will regularly monitor the success of the pilot.”

Uber says it remains committed to working with the authorities, who it says have promised to prioritise the safety of Uber driver-partners in Gauteng and around the country.

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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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