This week was yet again filled with tech news stories that grabbed the headlines both across Africa and around the world.
From new innovations and digital transformation, growing economies to emerging startups, here is a round up of some of the popular stories for the week.
Virgin Money Spot app update makes P2P payments even faster
Virgin Money SA has announced an upgrade to its popular person-to-person payment app, Spot, to make it more accessible, increase functionality and make it safer and easier to use. For the first time, people without 3D secure bank cards will be able to use the app, thanks to the addition of a digital Spot Wallet that allows them to add and receive funds using their bank accounts. Read more.
Kenya: Using intelligent technologies to connect with citizens
Public sector companies are not immune to the forces that are reshaping organisations and industry sectors around the world. These exponential forces put pressure on public sector organisations to rethink the way they operate to meet the dynamic needs of increasingly sophisticated connected citizens. UNESCO states that 61% of the world’s population will live in cities by 2030, although World Bank figures indicate that this figure will be closer to 50% for Kenya. Read more.
Huawei unveils the Mate 20 series
On October 23, Huawei held a glittering event at the Kyalami Conference Centre where the smartphone brand unveiled their highly anticipated Huawei Mate 20 Series. The Huawei Mate 20 Series is powered by the Kirin 980 chip, which offers improved performance and a smooth user experience, even after extended use. Lifetime performance is a key focus for Huawei, so the speed of their devices remains as fast as the day you buy them. Read more.
App permissions can be used to exploit your data
very time an application is installed on a device, the user is asked to allow that app certain permissions. These range from being able to view your contacts, to using your camera and microphone, tracking your location, and many, many more. While some of these permissions are necessary in order for the application to function, others are not necessary in the slightest, and are only there to gather and exploit the user’s sensitive information. Read more.
Amazon web services to open data centers in South Africa
Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS), an Amazon.comcompany (NASDAQ: AMZN), today announced it will open an infrastructure region in South Africa in the first half of 2020. The new AWS Africa (Cape Town) Region will consist of three Availability Zones. Currently, AWS provides 55 Availability Zones across 19 infrastructure regions worldwide, with another 12 Availability Zones across four AWS Regions in Bahrain, Hong Kong SAR, Sweden, and a second GovCloud Region in the U.S. expected to come online in the coming months. Read more.
HTC launches blockchain phone Exodus 1, to be sold in cryptocurrency
In May 2018, we heard rumours of HTC launching a blockchain smartphone. Fast forward to Tuesday, October 22, the Taiwanese phone maker has started taking orders for its new blockchain smartphone. HTC said it developed its own cryptocurrency wallet called Zion to make its new phone function as a hardware cryptocurrency wallet. Read more.
FNB delivers another 1st in Africa with SnapChat
FNB became the first brand in Africa to launch a branded SnapChat lens, and the first financial institution in South Africa to use Snapchat filters, as an interactive social media experience to drive brand engagement amongst millenials. Since the phased introduction of the concept in December 2017, Snapchat users in South Africa have spent the equivalent of one and a half years interacting with FNB’s content on the platform. Read more.
Technology, an alternative to rising fuel costs
As South Africans come to grips with the reality of the fuel price hike, which is at an all-time high of R17 per litre, Cisco has looked at technological alternatives that will ease the financial strain of travel costs. Given the country’s constant fuel hikes and the ripple effect on the cost of food, electricity and other commodities – minimising the usage of the car aircon, driving at 60 kmph and carpooling seem to be outdated methods. Read more.
AI to help retailers navigate the 2018 shopping season
A significant portion of retailers’ annual profits are attributed to the festive shopping season – from Black Friday, to the weekend before Christmas Day – which generally spans over approximately three weeks.
This year, however, an extra week of festive season spending means that retailers need to reassess their consumer demand prediction methods or risk being caught unprepared, understaffed and out of stock when shoppers pile in. Read more.
Airtel Nigeria unveils 4G in Lagos
elecoms operator, Airtel Nigeria unveiled 4G LTE network in Lagos eight months after it first rolled out the service in Nigeria. Airtel Nigeria Chief Executive, Segun Ogunsanya, said that the company had launched the 4G network in over 60 major cities across Nigeria since the pioneer rollout of the service in Ibadan in February this year. Read more.