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RIM opens second Apps Lab in SA

Published by on Nov 5th, 2012, No Comments

Following the opening of its first lab at the University of Pretoria’s Information Technology Department in May, BlackBerry maker Research in Motion (RIM) has now opened its second Apps lab in South Africa.

The new lab in Cape Town and that which is based in Pretoria, aim to help the development of mobile applications in SA as well as create new job opportunities in the local mobile space with its available resources for students, developers and entrepreneurs.

Of the opening of the Cape Town lab Alexandra Zagury, MD for South Africa and Southern Africa at RIM says that “Cape Town is a key innovation hub, and a natural site for RIM’s second BlackBerry apps lab in South Africa. We are now looking forward to fostering mobile innovation in the Western Cape and helping to grow South Africa’s next wave of mobile app developers. Our investment in this lab is a signal of our commitment to supporting South Africa’s thriving BlackBerry developer ecosystem.”

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Siri to get new movie ticket purchasing feature with iOS 6.1

Published by on Nov 5th, 2012, No Comments

Apple’s voice assist Siri will be getting a new feature that allows users to purchase movie tickets.

According to developers who are currently testing the upcoming iOS 6.1 for the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch in beta, the new feature that lets users purchase movie tickets with voice command, will be available with the release of Apple’s latest operating system.

Apple has also provided a guide that lists commands that can be given in order to make a ticket purchase with Siri. As can be seen in the screenshot below, the exact movie title doesn’t even have to be given.

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Absa bank to launch app Q1 of 2013

Published by on Nov 5th, 2012, 12 Comments

According to a report by My Broadband, Absa’s head of retail marketing Arrie Rautenbach revealed in an interview with MoneyWeb that the bank will finally be launching its very own banking app. The app will become available to staff this month and then to clients in the first quarter of 2013.

While Absa seems to be behind competitors like FNB, who are arguably at the forefront of embracing the banking app, in terms of getting an app to market, Rautenbach claims that once launched, the app will be better than anything that is currently out there at the moment. A bold statement.

According to MoneyWeb, Barclays bank, a majority shareholder in Absa, has recently launched a mobile-to-mobile payment system in Kenya called Pingit. Pingit lets customers send money across borders using just a telephone number.

Absa customers in South Africa can then benefit from these innovative services like Pingit as they will continue to develop and expand, driving innovation over time, says Rautenbach.

Microsoft tests smartphone design in Asia

Published by on Nov 2nd, 2012, No Comments

According to the Wall Street Journal, officials at some of Microsoft’s parts suppliers have revealed that Microsoft is working with component suppliers in Asia to test its own smartphone suggesting that the company is following in the footsteps of Apple Inc. by developing the devices and the software they are powered by.

Rumours about the possibility of Microsoft launching its own branded smartphone have been circulating for some time most notably since the company unveiled it own branded tablet, the Surface. In addition to the Surface, the pricing of which was recently confirmed, Microsoft produces the Xbox videogame consoles.

However, it is still unclear if any such device will go into mass production.

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Flipboard “ready” to support iPad Mini

Published by on Nov 2nd, 2012, No Comments

Flipboard has recently announced that it will be updating it’s app specifically for the smaller form factor of the iPad Mini that Apple officially unveiled on 23rd October.

The announcement was made on its official blog. With the launch of Apple’s latest device, the news reading app says “Flipboard is ready”.

Rather than the update coming as a completely separate app, iPad Mini users will simply have to install the latest Flipboard update. The app will then automatically adjust its text size (making it larger) to fit the smaller 7.9-inch display.

“Flipboard’s layouts and typography have been re-factored for the mini to make it easy to enjoy your Flipboard on the new smaller screen,” said the company in a statement.

Source: The Next Web

Integr8: Microsoft’s mid-market solution provider of the year

Published by on Nov 2nd, 2012, No Comments

The Integr8 Group, has won the Mid-market Solution Provider of the Year Competency Award at the Microsoft Partner Network 2012 Awards.

This award honours partners who use Microsoft technology in innovative ways to deploy critical infrastructure solutions serving customers in the mid-market businesses.

Microsoft says that Integr8 demonstrated innovative excellence and proficiency in deploying solutions that leverage the Microsoft technology stack scaled for mid-sized businesses.

“The company’s winning differentiator was a clear articulation of how the solution significantly helps mid-market businesses with their unique challenges and save money and be competitive,” stated organisers of the Award.

According to Microsoft the criteria for the award are divided into six categories namely, winning new customers, driving customer satisfaction, growing the business, innovation, enabling people and bonus factors.

Candidates for the Mid-market Solution Provider of the Year Award are evaluated according to specific key areas including number of new customers/deployment projects, top implementations, measurable ROI for at least one customer deployment, BEE rating, local or international awards, amongst others.

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Gigham: Taking you inside the Demo Africa 2012 Top 40 finalist

Published by on Nov 2nd, 2012, No Comments

Local startup Gigham has been very very busy lately. Having already represented South Africa at Demo Africa 2012 in Kenya last week where it launched Gigham Nairobi. Of the experience at Demo Africa co-founder, George Gally says, “Kenya was amazing! Things are exploding up there.” The company that makes it easier to discover events around you is now hard at work preparing to launch with Mxit in the next few days.

Bandwidth Blog thought it was time to find out more about Gigham, the people and inspiration behind it and the challenges it overcame that lead it to where it is today. Who better to give the inside scoop than George Gally himself.

 

Q: What was the motivation behind Gigham?

A: Simply put, we wanted to make life better for people. A basic part of people’s lives revolves around entertainment – finding something to do. At the moment digitally, this space is fragmented and the interesting things remain unexposed. Everyone probably knows about the main events going on around them,  but anything more underground or niche is difficult to find. For the people involved in the entertainment industry – artists and promoters – getting the word out has become more and more complex. A typical promoter will print posters and fliers, attempt to rustle up a posse on Facebook send out press releases to mainstream media, engage with blogs, tweet and make a whole lot of other effort to get the word out. We cut out all of this.

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SA one of “most improved” in Mobile Network Performance – Study

Published by on Nov 2nd, 2012, No Comments

In the second annual Cisco Global Cloud Index (2011 – 2016), Cisco forecasts that global data centre traffic will grow four-fold and reach a total of 6.6 zettabytes annually by 2016. The company also foresees that Middle East and Africa will have the highest cloud traffic growth rate at 79 percent Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR); followed by Latin America (66 percent CAGR); and Central and Eastern Europe (55 percent CAGR).

Cisco predicts that global cloud traffic, the fastest growing component of data centre traffic, will grow 6-fold – a 44 percent combined annual growth rate (CAGR) – from 683 exabytes of annual traffic in 2011 to 4.3 zettabytes by 2016. The vast majority of the data centre traffic is not caused by end users but by data centres and cloud-computing workloads used in activities that are virtually invisible to individuals. For the period 2011 – 2016, Cisco forecasts that roughly 76 percent of data centre traffic will stay within the data centre and will be largely generated by storage, production and development data. An additional seven percent of data centre traffic will be generated between data centres primarily driven by data replication and software/system updates. The remaining 17 percent of data centre traffic will be fueled by end users accessing clouds for web surfing, emailing and video streaming.

Key Highlights from the Study for South Africa: (more…)

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