Mailbox – How to Botch a Good Launch

Published by on Feb 26th, 2013, No Comments


I’m so sick to death of waiting for the Mailbox app on my iPhone I’m almost at the point of deleting it yet something keeps me hanging out. For those not in the know:

“The Mailbox app uses gestures to make quick work of incoming mail, allowing you to clear out your inbox in a jiffy.”

The app is apparently life changing, however I’m tired of waiting and I think this reservation system is a bad way of going about things. The reservation system is fairly simple: “Demand for Mailbox has been incredible, and in order to deliver a world-class email experience we’re filling reservations on a first-come, first-served basis. If you’ve already reserved your Mailbox, download the app and enter your reservation info. If you don’t have a reservation, download the app to get your place in line. Everyone can watch the line move in real-time from inside the app.” (more…)

I Really Want to Go Back to School

Published by on Feb 12th, 2013, No Comments

As a teenager all I ever wanted at school was a locker. There were two reasons for this, firstly so I could have awkward encounters with the pretty girl serendipitously placed next to me and secondly so that I didn’t have to carry all those heavy books around!

Thankfully Core (the distributors of Apple in South Africa) have both solved my historical problems and ruined my serendipity fantasy. Last week the company released ZABooks, a project to get every single South African textbook onto the iPad to get kids learning using digital textbooks.

The concept is simple: you download the ZABooks app onto your iPad (I can see the iPad Mini becoming the de facto choice for schools soon) and then go to the ZABooks website to buy the books you require. You then login to the app on your iPad and you can start downloading books. You can get books from Grade 1 to Grade 12 and at launch there are over 600 textbooks already available. All the major publishers are on board and books are generally at least 25% cheaper than the print editions. I took a random book on the store (Advocates For Change by Moeletsi Mbeki) and while ZABooks charges R180 for it you can get the print edition for R202 on That is without shipping (anything over R250 gets free shipping) and Kalahari is generally cheaper than brick and mortar stores so pricing does seem spot on. From a pricing perspective it’s probably going to take a while to amortise the cost of the iPad but in my house we have an upgrade cycle where an “old” iPad is passed down to the younger members of the family meaning that child already had access to an iPad. (more…)

BWB TV Review: Apple iPhone 5

Published by on Jan 9th, 2013, 1 Comment

This week we posted our review of living with the iPhone 5, and asked the question of whether it is worth upgrading to. While the design is an evolutionary update as is the norm with iPhones, we still believe it is a great phone.

The iPhone is always a difficult phone to review, because by the time it reaches South Africa, interested people have already read everything they need to know about the phone. This time around South Africa got the iPhone quite late in comparison to previous years, and we were all too pleased when an iPhone 5 finally got delivered to us on launch day by Vodacom. First off, we did not want to rush a quick review of the device. We basically wanted to know one thing – is it still the gold standard in the smartphone world? And that meant spending a few weeks with it.

See below for our video review: (more…)

Apple working on “iWatch”?

Published by on Dec 28th, 2012, 1 Comment

Once again the rumour mill is in full swing after a post on TGBUS. Their insider info now has Intel linked to the project, and it will feature a 1.5 inch display and Bluetooth 4.0, which is ideal for for low power transmitting. Intel will be supplying the low power processing in the device, which will be a big shift away from Apple’s current in house processing design used in the iPhone and iPad. The iWatch will apparently pair to the iPhone or iPad, and will in doing so probably also use their data connections.

Ever since the release of the sixth generation iPod Nano in 2010, people have wanted some type of Apple watch. Many buyers of the Nano at that stage mounted the player to their wrists, which made it a somewhat bulky but very cool watch. Apple caught on the fad, and released more watch faces for the software later. Problem was, the watch was an iPod, and nothing more. So no smart features or notification ability. (more…)

Local iPhone 5 Release Date Revealed (Update)

Published by on Dec 3rd, 2012, 5 Comments

Normally iPhone launch dates in SA get announced by the networks that carry the phone, but this time round someone spotted the launch date on’s website:

We have been eagerly awaiting Apple’s latest phone, but it looks like manufacturing difficulties have made it very difficult for the phone to reach South Africa. With shipping times in 1st world countries reaching more than a week in most cases, dont expect massive stock to reach SA. Our advice – start calling you closest Vodacom and MTN stores to get on pre-order lists…

Update: A Vodacom spokesperson has confirmed to us that the launch date is 14 December, and pricing will be revealed closer to launch.

Apple finally releases iTunes 11 – What is New?

Published by on Nov 30th, 2012, No Comments

Apple’s iTunes software has long been a polarizing piece of software – some people love it, others use it just because it is needed for proper use of any iDevice. In its previous versions Apple has never moved away from its “folder view” on the left, with music on the right style. But in the last few years there has been a massive shift to simplified interfaces, partially thanks to iOS and Android interfaces.

If there was ever a piece of software that needed to be simplified, iTunes was it. Every few years the interface gets a subtle refresh, but iTunes 11 is a major refresh (at least from a user interface level).  After some delays, iTunes 11 is here, and its a free download. So what is new, and is it worth upgrading? (more…)

People sure do love the iPad Mini

Published by on Nov 6th, 2012, No Comments

Reviews of the new iPad Mini are flying in thick and fast with the major gadget sites giving it a thumbs up.

Harry McCracken of Time

Aesthetically, the 7-inchers are all nice considering their price. The mini is nice, period. It’s glass on the front and aluminum on the back, and at least as deluxe-feeling as any other iPad Apple has ever made. But the company didn’t quite stick an iPad in a photocopier and press the Reduce button.

…If your budget’s got more wiggle room, the iPad mini is the best compact-sized tablet on the market. Apple didn’t build yet another bargain-basement special; it squeezed all of the big iPad’s industrial-design panache, software polish and third-party apps, and most of its technology, into a smaller thinner, lighter, lower-priced model. The result may be a product in a category of one – but I have a hunch it’s going to be an awfully popular category.


Apple announces Smaller, Cheaper iPad Mini

Published by on Oct 23rd, 2012, 14 Comments

As was expected, Apple today announced a new smaller, cheaper iPad Mini which sports a 7.9 inch display. It is quite a bit smaller than the original iPad, but most remarkably, a lot lighter, coming in at just 308 grams. Apple enthusiastically compared it to a paper notebook’s weight. The price is a lot lower as well – it starts at $329, but thats a wifi only 16GB model. Expect a $130 increase for cellular models.