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American Airlines hands out Galaxy Notes to flight attendants

Published by on Sep 21st, 2012, 1 Comment

Major U.S. airline, American Airlines has expanded on its new tablet program that it initiated by handing out Samsung Galaxy Notes to 17, 000 of its flight attendants.

The first of its kind, the in-flight tablet program was launched in order to give flight attendants more access to information by providing insight into customer preferences, real-time flight data and customer records. The goal is for each and every AA flight attendant to have a Galaxy Note to service customers better and more efficiently.

Lauri Curtis, American’s vice president of flight service, said the tablets will help employees improve the “customer experience.”

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2go: The South African mobile app that’s bigger than Facebook

Published by on Sep 21st, 2012, 2 Comments

One of South Africa’s quietest tech success stories that has managed to get from startup to profitability in four years is mobile social network 2go. It has come to dominate the Nigerian market, where it has over nine million active users – several million more than Facebook.

The secret, says director Peter Lockhart, has been balancing a tight focus on what 2go’s users really want – a cheap, easy way to chat and socialise using their mobile phones – with the deep technical expertise needed to deliver that experience across thousands of different devices.

“Building mobile technology for an African market is tough,” says Lockhart. “Data and SMS are expensive, and our users are price sensitive and savvy. That means we have to deliver an application that uses the absolute minimum of system resources and bandwidth. Our response has been to develop proprietary communications protocols and compression algorithms that minimise the app’s data usage.”

The 2go team has also cracked the technical challenge of producing an app that works equally well on all of the myriad feature phones that still dominate the African market. “It’s much, much harder to develop for feature phones than for smartphones,” says Lockhart, “partly because there is such a variety of platforms and operating systems. You need deep technical knowledge. This technical knowledge also extends to our ability to scale the back-end in a very resource efficient manner.”

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HTC introduces the Windows Phone 8X and 8S

Published by on Sep 20th, 2012, 1 Comment

Windows Phone 8X

HTC has introduced two new phones to what it calls “the growing Windows Phone 8 family” in New York.

The Windows Phone 8X and 8S will be available on more than 150 carriers in more than 50 countries from November.

The Windows Phone 8X sports a 4.3-inch Super LCD 2 display with Gorilla Glass 2 protection and 720p resolution, a dual-core 1.5GHz processor, 16 GB of storage, and two cameras: The 8MP rear camera shoots full 1080p video, while the front has a 2.1MP, 1080p-capable camera with an 88 degree viewing angle.

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SA First: Virtual tax assistant TaxTim becomes multilingual

Published by on Sep 20th, 2012, No Comments

Local startup TaxTim, that was featured on Bandwidth Blog, now offers South African tax payers the ability to file their tax returns in English, Afrikaans, isiXhosa and isiZulu.

TaxTim, a new web based digital tax assistant aimed at young professionals, is easy and fast and even makes filing your tax returns an enjoyable experience.

For the first time ever, 63% of South Africans can now do their own tax returns in their home language. And so, TaxTim is now the only tax assistant in South Africa that has a multi-language offering.

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Samsung create new S3 ad ahead of iPhone 5 release

Published by on Sep 20th, 2012, 2 Comments

With the release of Apple’s much anticipated new iPhone 5, Samsung Mobile USA have used the opportunity to create yet another cheeky advertisement for the Galaxy SIII titled ‘The next big thing is already here’.

As a follow up to their Galaxy SII advert back in November 2011, it shows excited Apple fans waiting in long queues outside Apple stores around the U.S for the latest device, only to be passed by by Samsung smartphone owners with the latest offering already in their hands, the SIII.

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Hands on Review: Android 4.1 Jelly Bean

Published by on Sep 20th, 2012, 9 Comments

At the end of July, at the Google I/O 2012 conference, the search giant announced many interesting products and concepts. Other products notwithstanding, the one that would have the biggest impact on anyone on our shores was the newest version of Google’s open source operating system. Android 4.1 Jelly Bean debuted in mid-July on Nexus devices, but time varied according to the partner companies’ ability to roll it out.

I found it quite poetic that I would receive this latest version of the software in an update the morning after the latest iPhone was announced on 12 September. I was itching for the update and finally it became available in SA. I immediately installed it on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and fell into its features right away.

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The 2012 South African eCommerce Awards Top 40

Published by on Sep 20th, 2012, No Comments

Over the past month, over 300 nominated websites have been competing for public votes to secure their place in the Top 40 of the 2012 South African eCommerce Awards and compete in the second round of evaluations.

In the second round of the 2012 South African eCommerce Awards, evaluations will be conducted on the Top 40 websites to determine the contenders for the final round of the awards. Independent design company, Druff Interactive, will conduct the design evaluations in round 2. The Top 20 websites will be announced on 15 October 2012.

The 2012 South Africa eCommerce Awards Top 40 are:

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Q&A with Top International Digital Thinker, Nathan Martin

Published by on Sep 19th, 2012, No Comments

The producers of The Digital Edge Live Show set to take place in Cape Town in October, put some time aside to do an in-depth interview with international speaker Nathan Martin, CEO of Deeplocal who will be headlining the event. Coined by Forbes Magazine as “Willy Wonka with a toolkit from Mythbusters”, Nathan has been instrumental in shaping innovation in the ad industry with projects like the Nike Chalkbot robot for the Tour de France and the Prius bicycle with mind-controlled shifting.

With clients that include the likes of Nike, Toyota and Volkswagen, and awards that include AdAge Small Agency of the Year Northeast and Cannes Lions Grand Prix, Deeplocal (with Nathan at the helm) is a force to be reckoned with in the digital marketing sphere. Here’s a sneak peak of how the conversation unfolded:

Q: What do you love about the digital marketing industry right now?

A: What excites me most is the competition to be creative. When Deeplocal entered the industry almost four years ago, I don’t think many creatives were pushing (or able to sell through) ideas that really blurred the boundaries between art and advertising. Having come from the art world, I see many ideas and work that remind me of the creative use of technology of my previous life. As more work that defies categorisation begins to exist, more clients begin to buy in to more wild ideas and more amazing work is brought to life. And the best is yet to come for digital marketing.

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