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Vodacom announces new “Smart Plan” contracts for Smartphones

Published by on Jul 9th, 2012, 11 Comments

Vodacom announced the launch of all-in-one Smart Plans which include the smartphone, data, talk time and SMS. These Smart Plans, specifically designed for smartphone users, will be available from 07 July 2012 and will be supported by a wide range of smartphones, great network coverage and unmatched customer experience introducing a Smart New World to Vodacom customers. This is a great move seeing as modern phones are very dependent on data plans.

With Vodacom’s new all-in-one Smart Plans, customers will be able to choose their monthly commitment by selecting a suitable plan based on their needs.  Customers also have the flexibility to add more bundles as required.   (more…)

Amazon Releasing Smartphone Soon

Published by on Jul 9th, 2012, 1 Comment

Bloomberg has reported that Amazon is developing their own phone in order to compete with both Android and the iPhone. They are working in conjunction with Foxconn, who also produces chipsets for Apple. However, the company won’t officially comment on the matter. Reportedly, Amazon has started to acquire several patents from different parts of the mobile world to ensure that the phone will not come under scrutiny from their competitors, adding fuel to the fire that is the recent patent wars.

With the huge success of the Kindle Fire tablet, and the next one expected to be launched in Q3 of this year, it is no surprise that Amazon would take a stab at a smartphone. It will most likely run a heavily-modified version of Android, like the Kindle Fire does. The Fire is not really an Android tablet, though, as there is almost nothing recognizably Android, with the Google Play Store having been removed.


AppMonday: South African Translation Apps

Published by on Jul 9th, 2012, 2 Comments

While perusing South Africa’s apps, I came across a few that are translation apps. With other AppMonday posts, I have occasionally tried to get hold of the app developer, to ask more about why they built it and what they want to do in the future. This time, one of the easiest apps to use was called PhraZApp, and the developer responded quickly.

Glenn Stein is an excellent young app developer (read on!), and while completing his current studies (Diploma in IT Programming, Computer Science) and interning for 2go at the same time, he still finds space to burn the midnight oil on his app: PhraZApp. Believe it or not, he’s done his app in Blackberry. And he’s done it pretty well, since it came third in the Vodacom Appstar application development contest.


Bandwidth Blog’s Top 5 popular posts in June

Published by on Jul 6th, 2012, 1 Comment

Here are the top 5 most popular posts for the month of June on Bandwidth Blog. This month you enjoyed reading a mix of posts about all the big names in tech including Samsung, Apple, Microsoft and Nokia. The one thing in common between them? New product launches both locally and abroad.

1. Samsung Galaxy S3 Launch in SA: Hands on Preview:

Bandwidth Blog’s contributing writer Theunis Jansen van Rensburg headed up to Joburg for the official launch of the Samsung Galaxy S3 and had the opportunity to test out some of the new flagship phone’s features in a hand’s on preview.

2. ZunguZ now lets you buy iTunes in SA:

Facebook-based payments platform ZunguZ announced this month that it has now made US iTunes vouchers available to South Africans which can be purchased through Facebook.


20 voice search demos on Jelly Bean

Published by on Jul 6th, 2012, 1 Comment

Google’s latest operating system Android 4.1, also known as Jelly Bean, has finally arrived with Google saying it is the fastest version of Android yet. One of Jelly Bean’s most exciting new features is Google Now.

Google Now, officially announced at this year’s Google I/O, uses your search history, calendar and all other Google services you use or have used to put together information applicable only in the context of the person using it, predicting what you want and when you want it. It is also Google’s attempt at competing with Apple’s voice recognition service Siri.

A user by the name of J Lishere decided to test out Jelly Bean’s voice recognition service and post a video of it on YouTube. Due to the unexpected success of his original video, he  received a number of requests to conduct additional examples and here they are.

Watch Jelly Bean’s performance in the video below:


SA Service Providers Need to Embrace Wifi

Published by on Jul 6th, 2012, No Comments

A recent Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) survey has found that increased global demand for mobile devices and network connectivity sees Wi-Fi and traditional mobile networks playing critical roles to meet the needs of consumers. This means that business and hardware makers should embrace Wi-Fi connectivity as a standard going forward.

The Cisco research highlighted that the majority of mobile devices have Wi-Fi Internet access capabilities. In fact, with the exception of smartphones, Wi-Fi is now the predominant access technology for mobile devices. There has also been an increase in ‘nomadic’ devices like laptops, tablets, and eReaders that almost exclusively connect to the Internet through Wi-Fi.

Research Key Highlights:

  • Entertaining from home – Mobile devices are now increasingly used for entertainment. Almost half of mobile users are consuming all forms of video, music, books, and games on their devices on a regular basis. This trend is expected to increase as devices become more powerful and networks become faster. Interestingly, mobile access no longer exclusively means using devices while on the road. According to the IBSG survey, consumers use their mobile devices for more than 2.5 hours at home on a typical day. People are expecting to increase their home use of mobile devices even more. This shift in where people use their mobile devices has seen an increase in the connection through Wi-Fi. Even the majority of smartphone users are supplementing their mobile connectivity with Wi-Fi. With the exception of coverage, people prefer Wi-Fi over mobile to connect their devices. While Wi-Fi is not able to compete with the ubiquity of cellular network coverage, respondents consider Wi-Fi easier to use and more reliable than mobile.

Local student launches CableKiosk.co.za

Published by on Jul 6th, 2012, 3 Comments

CableKiosk.co.za, an online consumer electronics accessories store, has recently launched after six months in development and testing. Cable Kiosk, founded by Rhodes University student, Andrew Lynch from his digs in Grahamstown, offers customers iPod and HDMI cables, adaptors, chargers and more recently cable management all at affordable prices.

Cable Kiosk was conceived when Lynch was looking for a replacement iPod charging cable. When he received poor service both online and in store that offered products at what he considered to be at unreasonably high prices, he couldn’t help but feel ripped off. Lynch then decided to search abroad for alternatives and finally convinced a company in China to manufacture a small batch of cables and ship them to him in South Africa and all for a lower price than a single cable he could find. Lynch explains, “I kept one cable and put the rest on BidorBuy and within two weeks I had sold all my stock.”


Samsung’s 75-inch LCD TV available in South Korea

Published by on Jul 6th, 2012, 1 Comment

Samsung’s brand new top of the line LCD TV is now available in South Korea and was recently displayed in London department store John Lewis.

The new 75-inch ES9000 comes with a variety of Samsung Smart TV features including apps, a webcam , face recognition, internet browsing and Samsung’s gesture control. The TV has a tiny 7.9mm bezel with a frame that is “rose gold” in colour.

It may come as no surprise to you but this TV comes with a heavy price tag. While currently only available in South Korea with no news of when it will come to the UK or other international markets, the ES9000 will set you back about $17 000.

You can read more about Samsung’s Smart TV “smart interaction” technology here.