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ROUTE 66 Maps hits 1 Million Downloads on Google Play

Published by on Oct 9th, 2012, No Comments

ROUTE 66, a pioneer in mobile mapping and navigation solutions for handsets and tablets, recently announced that its  ROUTE 66 Maps + Navigation app has been downloaded over a million times on Google Play. The number of downloads of the app puts it in the top 1% of all Google Play downloads by volume* with the download rate continuing to increase week on week.

ROUTE 66 Maps + Navigation gives users the option to store complete maps on their smartphone or tablet using Wi-Fi before they go on the road; this helps them to avoid data roaming charges while abroad and ensures instant access with guaranteed performance, whatever the local network reception might be. The app also features Follow Me augmented reality navigation, which shows the real road ahead and adds a realistic virtual car driving in front, guiding users to their destination via a combination of GPS, live video, detailed maps, and spoken directions.

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Subscriptions vs Paywalls

Published by on Oct 9th, 2012, 1 Comment

As a regular user of any product you tend to become fairly attached and expect a certain level of benefits. In the media world many newspapers and media outlets are implementing paywalls in a desperate attempt to generate revenue. However, is the paywall a solution or something slightly different such as a membership club? People love being a part of something collective and I can’t help but wonder if this is a better monetisation strategy than a exclusionary paywall.

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AppMonday: GoMetro gaining massive traction

Published by on Oct 8th, 2012, No Comments

South African apps are coming in by the numbers now, and we often forget that mobi sites are becoming cleverer by the day. Sometimes a mobi site is more efficient than an app, depending on numerous factors, and one of those is your target market. Feature phones sometimes cannot use the apps, most apps are for a specific brand or device, and sometimes what you need to achieve is best done on an ubiquitous platform.

One of these is GoMetro, a mobile community of public transport users in South Africa, pioneered by Justin Coetzee of mobi.lity. While native apps are in the pipeline, GoMetro’s very basic mobi site has attracted thousands of daily train and bus users, all keenly using it and giving feedback for the things they don’t like.

The mobi site does what the app will also do – allow one to see train times (and how late your train will be!), fares, as well as general information and news around public transport in South Africa. However, this “mobile content portal” will soon expand to include user profiles, a communication forum and messaging, ticket purchases – the list goes on and on.

A very effective feature of the current solution is actually curbing labour strikes in SA. If you are a worker coming late to work due to the trains, GoMetro alerts your boss via SMS or email, who now won’t fire you when you arrive. This is done via a mobile check-in system at the station. Until now, companies have blamed Metrorail for trains bringing workers late, and workers blaming them too and striking after being fired.

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Apple expects high demand for iPad Mini

Published by on Oct 8th, 2012, No Comments

Apple is expecting high demand for its new iPad Mini and is planning to ensure that retailers don’t run out of the company’s much anticipated new device once it is launched and becomes available to the public.

Component suppliers to Apple in Asia have reportedly received instructions to produce 10 million iPad Minis in the fourth quarter as Apple expects sales to reach between 5 million to 7 million units in that period.

While the iPad Mini has yet to be officially announced,  a few mock-up pictures, published by Apple.pro, surfaced online in early September.

Apple has declined to comment.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Mobile Payments Suck

Published by on Oct 8th, 2012, 2 Comments

Everyone and their gran has a mobile payment startup from Square to Paypal to Google to everyone. The logic is why carry your cellphone and wallet when you can just carry the cell and pay for everything. You know what I think about this: it’s a dumb idea.

Why Saul, why are you saying that progress is bad? Don’t you want to just carry one device?

You know what: carrying a credit card isn’t actually that much of a hassle. The truth of the matter is that I need a wallet for my drivers license and various other cards so it’s hardly as though I am going to carry less. Maybe with Apple’s Passbook to control my loyalty type cards I could eventually solve this issue but the truth of the matter is that I don’t care.

I’m not the only one that thinks this:

Bill Ready, CEO of Braintree, which powers the credit-card handling portion of various websites, “is that mobile doesn’t solve a huge pain point for either the consumer or the merchant on in store payments.” In other words, none of these methods makes life that much easier. It’s true that mobile wallets could allow for all kinds of new features, from helping shoppers keep track of their spending to giving retailers new ways to reward loyal customers; but technologies tend to catch on fast only when they solve a pressing problem. Those that merely make life a bit better take time for people to adopt.

A credit card is tiny, it pays for anything around the world and people should spend more time getting parking machines to accept credit cards than a cellphone replacing a slice of plastic with a slab of plastic.

Source (Quartz)

WeatherSA Launches Android App

Published by on Oct 8th, 2012, 12 Comments

WeatherSA launched its weather application for all Android devices on Friday. The first WeatherSA app for iOS, developed by Kruran Development, was launched this year in January.

After a positive response from South African users, WeatherSA broadened its offering to BlackBerry, Mxit and now Android.

The launch of the Android application will continue to grow our rapidly expanding user base of over 700, 000 SA users,” says WeatherSA’s director Chris Barker. “The Android application is not a far departure from the existing weather apps and has all the story tracking and notification features that WeatherSA users have come to expect.”

The WeatherSA app has been designed with South Africans in mind. It’s simple to use, yet features detailed weather data conveniently on your mobile. It allows you to easily swipe between locations, view seven-day forecasts across four time slots, view a detailed rain forecast as well as detailed graphs and maps.

It is the only South African app with built-in storm capabilities allowing you to track storms in real-time. The app also allows you to play and zoom live storms, watch activity on the national radar and view lighting strikes in real time.

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Kaspersky Mobile Security focusses on Anti-Theft Features

Published by on Oct 8th, 2012, No Comments

Kaspersky Lab announced the update of its security solution for Android-based smartphones. The new version of Kaspersky Mobile Security brings two important additions to its wide-ranging anti-malware and anti-theft feature set. Extra support for the Web Management console offers easier control over lost and stolen smartphones, while a new Mugshot feature makes it possible to take photos of anyone using your device without permission.

The number of malicious programmes targeting smartphones almost trebled in the second quarter of 2012, with close to 15,000 new threats appearing in April-June. Over 90% of all mobile malware is aimed at Android-based devices, making this platform the most vulnerable to cybercriminals. Kaspersky Mobile Security is one of the best solutions in terms of detecting and blocking various types of Android malware, as confirmed by independent tests. The solution from Kaspersky Lab also detects and blocks malicious websites when using the standard Android web browser.
Two key features introduced in the new version target another important feature set of Kaspersky Mobile Security, aimed at protecting your data if your smartphone is lost or stolen. Kaspersky Lab’s customers can now control the lost device using the special Web Management portal.

This portal makes it possible to wipe the data on the smartphone or restore the factory settings, locate the device using an internal GPS receiver, or block the device so the data stored on it will not fall into the wrong hands. It remains possible to control the device remotely via special SMS-based commands, and the SIM Watch function continues to offer an alternative method of remote control.

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Japan’s new tech start-up dating scene

Published by on Oct 8th, 2012, 1 Comment

29-year-old Shingo Hiranuma presents his map application at a start-up dating salon in Tokyo

The New York Times has reported on an interesting development in the speed dating scene in Japan. While it is commonly understood and assumed that most men and women engaging in speed dating are looking for romance, a new generation in Tokyo are using the event as a way of meeting like minded people within the world of technology, more specifically young entrepreneurs.

A 29-year-old former smartphone engineer at Toshiba, Shingo Hiranuma, who recently launched a new map application called Sanpo said “I want to meet like-minded people — basically, people who get the Internet and I won’t settle for just anyone.” Just as one may have a list of criteria in choosing a potential partner in love, so too are young entrepreneurs looking for people who can meet their requirements as a potential business partner or colleague in a new venture.

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