FNB has released a new Banking App customised for tablet devices, complimenting a much larger tablet device strategy for the Bank. From today, the App is available for download from today in app stores across Apple, Android and Windows 8 devices.
“The new Banking App, designed specifically for tablet devices, was developed with ease-of-use as a key priority and utilises the full capability of the latest tablet devices. It is completely custom-made and not a re-skin of our existing smartphone App.” says Farren Roper, Head of FNB Connect ISP and Business Operations.
One of the early Facebook features that many people got to know was the “Poke” feature. It did not do much – it simply showed a notification on the receiver’s Facebook page. But here we are a few years later, and Facebook has finally given the Poke name something that is of actual use.
Facebook yesterday launched its new Poke app for iOS, which is incredibly simple to use. Just like an instant messenger, you click a friend’s name and start typing, or sending images and video. But Poke has stolen a page from Snapchat in that the message disappears after a pre-set time up to 10 seconds. The receiver also has to hold down the person’s name in order to see the message, which does make it a little more difficult to capture with a screenshot.*
What is also quite interesting about the Poke app is that Mark Zuckerburg was actually very involved in the coding and design of the app. One of the strange little parts of the Poke app is the notification noise – which is a heavily processed voice which says “Poke!”. (more…)
We first looked at Onavo in May 2011, but since then the service has rolled out to Android as well, and most of the initial bugs have been fixed. Battery life is also not affected anymore, so we can now wholeheartedly recommend Onavo. This post is updated to reflect new changes in the App.
Many of you probably know and use Opera Mini, which allows the user to browse quickly, but also saves money by compressing data before it arrives on your phone. The result is that some images might look slightly more pixelated, but at the end of the day it is well worth the cost savings and improved speed.
Samsung has introduced the Smart App Challenge 2012, a global app competition aimed at boosting the mobile ecosystem for GALAXY Tab and GALAXY Note users.
The contest is divided into two categories – ‘Samsung Apps Super Apps’ and ‘Best S Pen Apps’. A total of 80 entries will be selected as winners, receiving a record total of $4.08 million in prize money along with a variety of promotional benefits.
The challenge is open to all mobile application developers across the globe. Developers who wish to participate should sign up directly on the App Challenge website (http://www.smartappchallenge.
“Given the size of prize money and a variety of other benefits, we expect the competition will foster the growth of the ecosystem for GALAXY Tab and GALAXY Note applications,” said Craige Fleischer, Director of Mobile Communications at Samsung Electronics SA. (more…)
Vodacom and RIM today announced that Vodacom customers in South Africa can now enjoy the ease of purchasing apps on BlackBerry App World with the convenience of charging the transaction directly to their contract or prepaid account. This means that BlackBerry users no longer have to register a credit card in order to purchase apps for the BlackBerry – which has always been a significant barrier in SA.
The new billing service will enable Vodacom customers to buy apps with a seamless experience. Vodacom customers will also be offered the flexibility of charging in-app purchases to their regular bill or deducting the costs from their prepaid account, which allows digital goods to be purchased without interrupting the app experience.
“We have worked closely with RIM to make this functionality available for our BlackBerry smartphone customers. Once again, Vodacom is improving the customer experience by unlocking the power of its network and services,” said Prins Mhlanga, Managing Executive of Vodacom Digital Media.
“We’re delighted that Vodacom’s BlackBerry smartphone customers will be able to purchase apps on BlackBerry App World and conveniently charge them to their regular phone bill from Vodacom. By working closely with Vodacom, we are able to offer customers easier access to tens of thousands of apps ranging from productivity to entertainment,” said Bob Bose, Regional Managing Director at RIM.
2012 is set to be the year that home-grown apps take off in South Africa. In September 2011, Vodacom was the first network operator to launch a local app store. The express intention was to spur the development of a local app industry, creating apps relevant to the unique environment in South Africa as well as creating jobs and income opportunities at the same time.
Speaking about the progress since last year, Prins Mhlanga, Managing Executive of Digital Media at Vodacom said:
“The Vodacom App Store itself is booming and has exceeded all expectations. We’re thrilled that we’ve hit one million downloads in less than six months of launch. But the real challenge has been to realise the ambition of kick-starting an entirely new industry in South Africa. We had to find a way to support and nurture talent and also celebrate the success stories.”
In order to start the process of harnessing local talent, the Vodacom Developer Program commenced in October last year and included a series of initiatives such as the App Star Challenge which is a competition aimed at providing developers with the opportunity to develop local apps.
“We couldn’t just set a challenge without giving the contestants a platform, incentives and support required for developers to focus on the task of creating some truly unique apps.”
The winners of The App Star Challenge were announced at the awards ceremony held at Vodacom World last night. The first prize winner, Kishyr Ramdial developed an astonishing Radiopod, an Android App which offers radio podcast for local radio stations. The second prize winner, Dr David Vanucci developed Mobiraba, an Android App of the traditional African board game, Morabaraba. Glenn Stein who won the third prize developed PhraZApp, a Java App which translates South African languages. All three winners will launch their apps on the Vodacom App store.
Vodacom will continue to provide incentives to the local developers or Mobile App entrepreneurs through the monthly App contests which are currently running and will end on 31 July 2012. During this period, Vodacom will recognise the developers with the coolest App of the month and the popular App with most downloads.
To participate in the monthly App contest visit http://www.vodacom.co.za/developer
“We’re truly delighted with the success of the App Star Challenge. We have seen great local talent come to the fore and we’re excited about the income opportunities that lie ahead for the developers,” Mhlanga concluded.
The Vodacom Apps Store has reached 100 000 downloads in its first month, and the company is now launching a program to support local talent in applications development. This Vodacom Developer Program aims to create an environment of collaboration and innovation amongst the local developer community.
The program will launch in Johannesburg on 7 October 2011 at the Protea Fire and Ice Hotel in Melrose Arch from 6-9pm, and in Cape Town on 10 October 2011 at Vodacom’s main auditorium in Century City from 6-9pm. This is free for those wishing to attend.
Prins Mhlanga, Managing Executive of Digital Media at Vodacom commented: “We see the Apps store as the embryo of an ecosystem. We’re looking forward to building a network of successful local developers, so they can help develop apps that help South Africans.
“With our apps initiative, we hope to complement and enhance this already vibrant community.”
The program promises to be a valuable knowledge sharing and learning exercise for the industry as a whole. Those attending will be provided with the opportunity to:
- engage with the most renowned industry specialists in the mobile apps marketplace;
- discuss tools to monetize apps
- identify training opportunities in the mobile apps environment; and
- gain insight into Vodacom’s innovation incentives and available technical and commercial support.
The Vodacom Apps Store was launched on 1 September 2011, and features a catalogue of over 140 000 applications powered by Appia, one of the world’s largest open application marketplaces. All Vodacom customers who wish to access Vodacom apps can do so by visiting http://vodacom.mobi/apps on their cellphones or from the apps feature on Vodafone live.
“The opportunities for further development in the Vodacom Apps Store are significant considering it also supports all major platforms including Android, Blackberry, Java, Symbian and Windows Mobile,” Mhlanga concluded.
Developers and interested parties are invited to register for the Vodacom Developer Programme at www.vodacom.co.za/developer
Owning an Android device means that you’ll try out a large number of applications over time. Sometimes there are so many that writing a single post for each and every one of them doesn’t really make sense – so we’re introducing a new series of posts that will showcase a few applications at once. This first iteration looks at a few South African centred applications, either developed locally, or targeting the local market.
Probably one of the first applications to come out of South Africa, BatteryFu by local developer Toby Kurien helps you get more out of your device’s battery by periodically toggling mobile data (or Wi-Fi) – so your device is only connected and checking your accounts for a short period of time. A novel idea, and one that apparently works very well.
- Lean and fast (see download size!)
- APNdroid support (use if data is not switching off)
- Widget: tap icon to toggle, tap text to config
- Data while screen is on, with screen off delay
- Data while charger is plugged in
- 3rd party app support (using intents)
- Travel mode (wifi off)