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June 22, 2017

Twitter eyes SA growth with Lite app.

Twitter is eyeing its Lite application to grow in South Africa to mitigate the cost of data.

In an exclusive interview with Fin24, Twitter senior director Barry Collins said that the company has observed high growth of its service in SA, and is excited about the launch of its lower data application.

“Twitter Lite is clearly a great solution for many parts of Africa today. While we see very strong smartphone usage of Twitter in South Africa, we do expect that large groups of new users will utilise the Twitter Lite client before migrating to the full experiences as more advanced mobile technologies becomes available to them,” Collins said.

The launch of [...]

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June 7, 2017

Microsoft Partners Heed Mixed-Reality Call

Microsoft on Wednesday showcased a new series of mixed reality headsets from partner firms Acer, HP, Asus, Dell and Lenovo at Computex 2017.

The preview marked the company’s commitment to establish Windows 10 as a leading driver of mixed reality capabilities, as well as to open up the market to a wider variety of price points and consumer demographics.

“These devices, coming to market this holiday, use Microsoft’s platform to enable a single and consistent user interface, standardized inputs and a universal app platform for developers,” noted Peter Han, vice president, partner devices and solutions, at Microsoft.

At Microsoft Build, held [...]

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June 7, 2017

Apple reveals HomePod smart speaker

Apple has announced a voice-activated loudspeaker powered by its virtual assistant Siri. Like devices by Amazon and Google, Apple’s HomePod speaker can respond to questions and control smart home gadgets such as lights. Analysts say Apple has been slow to improve its Siri virtual assistant and launch a smart speaker, after Amazon launched its Echo in 2014.

The company has pitched HomePod first and foremost as a music player. “Interesting that home assistant was the last feature they talked about. Focusing on music is smart, main use case for smart speakers,” said Ben Bajarin, of the Creative Strategies consultancy. The announcement was made at the tech [...]

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May 31, 2017

Android creator Andy Rubin launches Essential Phone

Andy Rubin, one the creators of Google’s Android software, has launched his own high-end smartphone.

Mr Rubin left Google in 2014 to create Playground, a technology investment company. Essential is one of the companies it funds – and the Essential Phone is its first product. The device runs the Android operating system and has gone on sale in the US for $699 (£540). However, it will be difficult to break into the huge market dominance of established brands. Samsung currently has the largest share of the smartphone market, with 21% of global sales, according to analyst firm Gartner. Apple enjoys 14%. Aside from Chinese giants offering subsidised devices, smaller [...]

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