Here are the top tech stories (chosen by me) that made the news the past week which I have discussed on  @SAFMRadio with @Khanyi_Magubane who is filling in for  @AshrafGarda during Tech Media today:

1.  Android is dominating the marketshare of the smartphone operating systems as 85% of the 300M smartphones shipped in Q2 were Android. This is another milestone for Google’s Android in its world mobile dominance strategy as the Android OS accounted for 85% of all smartphones shipped globally – this has been their highest ever proportion. The android device makers which are seeing the most business are Samsung, even though its market share has declined back to 25% compared to nearly 33% a year ago.

2. Contextualising the dominance of Android in South Africa, Pep (South Africa’s largest cell phone seller) is partnering with Google to bring an ” Africa-friendly” Android operating system which will cater specifically for the African mobile consumer. According to a report by Arthur Goldstuck in a Business Day Live post, Pep has sold about 6.7 million handsets (June ’13-June’14) in a total market of about 15 million with almost all in a prepaid market (about 45%).  The the most noteworthy movement in this mobile customer base is that they have now moved from feature phones to smart phones. Low cost  Android-running smart phones have attributed to this movement, such as the MTN Steppa for R499, Alcatel Pixi for R550 and Samsung Galaxy Star for R599.   Today  Vodacom  also announced another low-cost android phone that costs R549  which is equipped with Android 4.4 KitKat . The negative side-effects of this shift is these  phones (although low cost) are being sold to a market that is still on prepaid, who are in-turn sensitive to data costs (which on most networks can cost up to R2/MB).  Rather than waiting for network operators to come out with a lower data rates, Pep has partnered with the most popular mobile operating system in the market to come up with Android propositions that are more “Africa-friendly” and are working on a user interface that will let the user control his data usage. According to Pep’s cellular executive, the most common refrain of the mobile consumer is that “the phone seals my money” and “if you can make their data usage visable and controllable, then you have got a winner”. Read more on BDayLive

3.Instagram launches “Bolt” – an app to rival  Snapchat- (the self-destructing photo and video sharing app). Instagram (acquired by Facebook in 2012 for $1billion) released the most talked about app over the week, Bolt, which is a version of Snapchat that lets you message your close contacts (differs to Snapchat in that you can only message up to 20 contacts), send photos that will self-destruct after viewed. Bolt was only released to users in New Zealand, Singapore and South Africa because according to TechCrunch, they wanted to release and test the app in an app-market of users  that had the highest Instagram usage, high penetration of Android Ice Cream Sandwich and spoke English.

4.Almost 4% of the world’s population is on Twitter as current stats indicate their monthly active users have grown by 24% over the last 12 months to 271 million users. These numbers do not include the number of people that make use of this service infrequently (less than once a month). The most frequent accessed platform is of course mobile. According to Twitter’s quarterly financial results statement, 211/271 million users  (an astonishing 78%) access Twitter on their mobile phones. Read more on

5. With Twitter being the ‘go-to’ source for breaking-news, celebrity gossip/scandals for people who rely on tweets from reporters or their trusted network , the local office of IRESS takes the stock market to twitter making it easy to get the latest share price of a company you are interested in. IRESS (the principal supplier of share market and wealth management systems in Australia, Asia, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa and the United Kingdom),   is now able to supply data from all the major stock exchanges with just a tweet. By tweeting to the @iress_data account followed by the #sharecode.stockExchange  you are interested at any time of the day, you will get a reply with the share price’s, days’s high, low and change along with the timestamp of when the information was last updated, as the data is on a fifteen minute delay. You do need to follow the @iress_data account. For example, as if I was  interested in Apple’s share price, i would tweet  @iress_data #APPL.NAS  and I would receive a reply as follows:Apple's share price


App of the week : – Hours Time Tracking App

Crafted by an Apple Design Award winning company Tapity, this app ($9.99) literally takes the hassle out of timekeeping by providing a simple and clean UI that:

  • lets you make timers for each task, project or activity that you would like track that you can instantly start, stop or switch between projects.
  • gives you a ‘tv-scheduling’ type of timeline for the current hour.
  • allows you to colour code each task you are tracking making it easy to remember the task you were  working on in the day.
  •  allows for user-customisable notifications that help remind you to start and stop timers (because let’s be honest we are going to forget to do our time tracking)
  • allows reports to be easily exported and sent via email within the app
Overall this is an excellent, well designed app that is simple to use with minimal clicks. Pricey at $9.99 but as a true productivity tool, it certainly makes one conscious of the time spend on any given task during the day and helps keep one motivated to user their hours in the day more productively.  Available for iOS only.
Gadget of the week – Samsung Galaxy Tab 4.0

The 4th edition of Samsung’s tablet was revealed in S.A yesterday. According to Samsung, this device was designed with the modern user in mind and is one solution to address all Samsung touch-points, which includes the smart televisions, smartphones and smart watches (Gear Fit).

This tablet is available in either a 7 or 10.1 inch display and boasts a number of features which includes

  • Android 4.4 (KitKat) Operating system
  • Multi-user mode (storing of up to 8 personalised profiles)
  • high definition display and playback
  • a quad A7 1.2GHx chipset
  • up to 64GB memory (10.1 inch), up to 32 GB memor (7.0 inch).
  • weight of 495g and 7.95 mm thick (10.1 inch) and 276g and 9mm thick (7.0 inch)

The suggested retail pricing for the Galaxy Tab4 70inch is R3 999 and R6 999 for the 10.1 inch.

That is all for this week. Catch me again on the 1st Tuesday of every month on SAFM at  2.30pm. Follow @UAndBMobile for the latest on everything mobile from trends to the latest useful and beautiful mobile  solutions deployed all over the world.