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Hands On Review: The HTC One X

Published by on Jun 12th, 2012, 7 Comments

So here we have another latest and greatest Android “super phone”, the HTC One X. HTC’s latest smartphone is an absolute beauty, with a great looking white polycarbonate shell while also sporting a massive display. The specs are nothing to sneeze at either, but in the Android market specs will always be bested by the next phone from the competition – so how does the One X differentiate itself?

HTC has been having a bit of an image problem, seeing as they were releasing new phones at a rapid rate, which eventually meant they left their existing users in the cold when it came to updates. So HTC decided to start from scratch, and simplify their lineup with the new “One” range, consisting of the X on the top, a midrange S model and a lower end V model.

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EasiOnline.com launches in SA

Published by on Jun 12th, 2012, 3 Comments

eCommerce websites in South Africa are on a roll, and a boom. We’ve seen numerous online buying portals jump up over the past year, after the group buying website influx the year before that. It is a channel consumers are following, and regardless of the fact that offline retail will probably always be larger, online buying is here to stay and to grow.

However, many of these sites still don’t display a SSL badge (such as Verisign/Thawte), online chat support, a hotline or even a proper contact page. Just launched is EasiOnline, which has all of those, and much more. EasiOnline is an online eCommerce site offering all manner of products at superb prices. And while many of the more recent sites we’ve seen have taken on a niche market, EasiOnline is aiming for an “unforgettable online shopping experience” over a very large range of products.

Despite currently displaying more homeware, baby and kitchen appliances, EasiOnline’s Ardi Coetzee promises a huge increase over the next month as they grow their offering. “This is through the recent acquisition of numerous large and medium brands, such as everyday electronic appliances, Panasonic, Kenwood, Salton, Krups, Jamie Oliver and many, many more,” explains Coetzee.

EasiOnline has a strong focus on the customer. “We’ve covered the usual user interaction channels, such as a hotline and online support,” says Ardi, “while keeping a good site design and creating a flowing online purchase experience. We have a lot of work still to do on our site and our mobile offering, which will be in place well before the end of the year.”

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Apple WWDC 2012 – what is being announced? (Live)

Published by on Jun 11th, 2012, 1 Comment

While we cannot be at WWDC, there are more than enough sources on the internet to keep us, and you the reader, informed. As products and features are announced, we will be adding them right here.

So what can we expect? First iOS6 (Apple has not exactly covered up banners promoting it), Mountain Lion, and maybe even a few new Macs. But maybe there will be a few other unexpected announcements!

So here goes:

Tim Cook has taken the stage, and has started thanking all the developers who arrived for WWDC. He also mentions that the conference was sold out in under two hours.

The Appstore:

  • Apple has now 650,000 apps on the appstore, with 225,000 just for the iPad.
  • Over 30 billion downloads from the Appstore, more than $5 Billion dollars have been made by developers.

Hardware:

  • The new Macbook Air sports the same shape, but now has a dual core Ivy Bridge processor, and up to 8GB RAM, and also up to 512GB SSD. USB 3 ports, 720p facetime camera, 11 and 13 inch models. 8GB looks like an optional upgrade (won’t be part of standard specs). Available today in the US.

MoMo Cape Town: Mobile Apps and the Developer Community in SA

Published by on Jun 11th, 2012, 1 Comment

Mobile Monday returns to Cape Town this month with “Mobile Applications and the Developer Community in South Africa” sponsored by Vodacom Digital Media.

With smartphone penetration in South Africa at 17% and rising, apps are going to be a critical tool for us in the way we use our mobile devices.

As a sponsor, Vodacom Digital Media, is involved in advancing the Mobile apps and the developer community in South Africa with the launch of its Mobile Developer Programme at the beginning of 2012.

A presentation given about the Vodacom Developer Programme will explain how it can help grow a vibrant developer community here in South Africa. The event will then include a 10-minute panel discussion on mobile application development with a  panel of some interesting individuals.

New at the event will be the opportunity for three developers to pith their apps. The winner, as judged by the panel, will receive free promotion and be featured in the Vodacom App Store. To stand a chance to pitch your app at the event fill in the form here.

Even Details:

When: Monday 18 June, 5:30 for 6pm – 10pm

Where: Five Flies, 16 Keerom Road, Cape Town

This event is FREE.

To register for the Mobile Monday Cape Town event click here. 

Samsung Galaxy S3 SA launch: Hands on preview

Published by on Jun 11th, 2012, 11 Comments

Following the international launch of Samsung’s (and Android’s) most anticipated device in history on May 29th, it is now also available in South Africa on most carriers. A lucky few, including myself, were able to attend the official launch of the Samsung Galaxy S3 at the Sandton Convention Centre on the 7th of June, and we were there to get our first hands-on experience of the new flagship device.

Now, we will look at the first impressions of this impressive device with a hands on preview, that will soon be followed by a full review once we get the opportunity to use it on a day-to-day basis.

Function and Media Briefing:

Coming off the success of its predecessor, Samsung has decided to go all out in the world wide release of the Galaxy S3. It is now available in 129 countries. They expect to sell even more than the record breaking 20 million units shipped of the Galaxy S2 and this was very evident when we arrived at the convention centre.

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Twitter runs first TV advertisement, promotes new hashtag

Published by on Jun 11th, 2012, No Comments

Twitter ran its first ever TV advertisement in the U.S. on Sunday as part of its collaboration with NASCAR during the broadcasting of the 2012 Pocono 400 NASCAR race.

The short clip features NASCAR racer Brad Keselowski, an active user of Twitter, using his iPhone to take pictures while in his race car. Twitter features are built into Apple’s smartphones that allow users to directly upload pictures to the site.

The new hashtag that appears after the advertisement, is the start of Twitter’s promotion of its new hashtag pages, possibly an intention to turn the hashtag into something more similar to a web domain. Rather than using the typical Twitter.com/NASCAR url, it has now been replaced with the hashtag sign Twitter.com/#Nascar that redirects to http://twitter.com/hashtag/nascar. The NASCAR ad was the first of several aired during the 2012 Pocono 400 NASCAR race.

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Microsoft Azure finally lands in SA

Published by on Jun 11th, 2012, 1 Comment

In what is being viewed as the largest release in Windows Azure history, Microsoft South Africa has announced both the local market availability of Windows Azure and the preview of new Windows Azure services, along with several updates to existing services, several of which are currently available already.

This is a huge announcement as far as developers and web developers are concerned as Windows Azure provides an open and easy to use set of services to build and run any application in the cloud, says Stephen Cakebread Azure Marketing Manager at Microsoft SA.

“The platforms offers customers the choice and flexibility to move existing applications or develop new ones using the language and platform of their choice and customers can feel safe in knowing they’re getting the best of cloud computing in that they are now able to leverage a flexible, reliable platform in their own data centre, Microsoft’s Secure globally distributed datacenters or a hybrid.”

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BlackBerry voted as “Coolest Brand” in SA

Published by on Jun 11th, 2012, 3 Comments

South Africa’s youth has once again named BlackBerry as the ‘Coolest Brand Overall’ in the Sunday Times Generation Next 2012 Brand Survey Awards.

BlackBerry also topped the ‘Coolest Cellphone’ and ‘Coolest High-Tech Gadget’ categories for the second year running.

The results of the eight annual Generation Next Brand Survey Awards were announced at an event at Montecasino, Johannesburg on 31 May. The popularity of the BlackBerry brand in South Africa’s youth market is a reflection of how BlackBerry products and services address the needs of tech-savvy young people who lead increasingly connected lives.

Says Lanie Visser, Marketing Director for South Africa at Research In Motion (RIM), the company behind the BlackBerry solution says: “We are delighted that South Africa’s youth has chosen BlackBerry as their smartphone of choice and as South Africa’s coolest youth brand for the second time. These awards reflect how the BlackBerry smartphone has become an indispensable social tool and lifestyle device for active, connected young South Africans and we would like to thank our young BlackBerry customers for their continued loyalty.”

“BlackBerry smartphones are designed to look cool and stylish, yet are packed with excellent features such as social networking and instant messaging”, she adds. “The brand also offers a choice of smartphone models, ranging from full-featured entry level devices right through to premium smartphones, giving users a wide range of choices suitable to their lifestyles and budgets.”

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