Android Q What to Expect from Google’s New OS

Staff Writer / 23-08-2019 / News

The latest software update for Google’s Android operating system (OS) is around the corner. Known as Android Q, the updated OS promises to be packed with a ton of cool new features. Google have already released both a developer and a public version of the software as part of its beta testing. In fact, the fifth beta version was released on the 10th of July this year and is available on 20 phones across 12 different manufacturers.

Here are some of the hot new features you can expect:

No more Back Button

The back button has always been a part of Android, but the time has come for it to go. Following up on Android Pie, which had both the back button and gesture-based navigation, the new Android Q will be totally reliant on gestures. Swiping up takes you to the home screen, a swipe up and hold reveals the multitasking menu, and a swipe from the left or right edge of your screen takes you back.

Reduce eye strain with Dark Mode

Frequent exposure to the blue light that smartphones emit could potentially harm your eyes. This is why a lot of apps have been introducing a Dark Mode, and Android Q will take it a step further by offering a system-wide Dark Mode that can be switched on or off at any time via the Quick Settings toggle.

New Themes

This new version of Android will allow you to change the colour of the entire user interface. Instead of the default blue, users will be able to choose from Black, Green, Purple, Cinnamon, Ocean, Space and Orchid.

Live Captions

Closed captions (CC) are often used by people who are deaf or hard of hearing. It helps them to understand the content of a video, podcast or movie and is critical for them to understand what is happening on screen. Android Q will offer a feature called Live Caption. It allows for the provision of real-time captions for almost anything on your phone where speech is involved. The great thing is that it happens locally on the device and no internet connection is required.


Security is always a concern for smartphone users and Android Q will provide an extra layer with permissions. The user will have more control over what data apps can access. You get to decide if you would like to grant location access to an app all the time, only when using the app, or even not at all.

Foldable Phones

This year was said to be the year that foldable phones make their grand debut, so Google has optimized Android Q with foldable-specific features and experiences. So, if you decide to venture into purchasing a foldable smartphone, you will still have access to Google’s latest OS.

Android Q is expected to be ready near the end of September


Apple “Time Flies” Event 2020: Everything New from Apple!

Apple held its “Time Flies” Keynote in September and although the iPhone 12 was not announced, the company did reveal a host of new devices and subscription services, including two new Apple Watch models, two new iPad models, a new Fitness+ subscription service, iOS14 and the all-inclusive Apple One subscription bundles. Let’s dive deeper into each offering: iOS 14 First up, the update every Apple fan has been waiting for is now available. Apple’s iOS 14 featuring a host of new features and security upgrades is now available on all Apple devices from the ever-popular iPhone 6s and above. Apple Watch 6 Apple officially revealed the Apple Watch Series 6, which Apple claims can measure your blood oxygen levels in about 15 seconds. It also includes a new power-efficient S6 chip that can charge 20% faster than the previous generation chip. You also get a display that’s 2.5 times brighter and a new range of colour options to suit your style and taste. Apple Watch SE Following on from the trend started with iPhone SE , we now get an Apple Watch SE, which includes a lot of the same features from the Watch Series 6 such as heart rate and fitness tracking. It is powered by the S5 chip and comes with the bigger, brighter display from the Series 6 model at a much lower price point. iPad Air 2020 The new 2020 iPad Air now sports a similar design to the iPad Pro, along with the bigger 10.9-inch Liquid Retina IPS display with 2,360 by 1,640 resolution, a 12 MP camera, stereo sound speakers and Apple’s latest A14 chip. It features a new fingerprint sensor housed in the power button at the top of the device, as well as support for the Apple Pencil 2 and Magic Keyboard. The iPad Air will be available in a range of 5 colours. iPad 2020 The entry-level Apple iPad remains pretty much unchanged from previous models, sporting the same thick bezels and bulkier frame, along with the 8th generation A12 Bionic chip that Apple first debuted in the iPhone XS all the way back in 2018. Still, at a price point of just $329, it’s the best tablet you can get for your hard-earned cash. At this point, they should just call it the iPad SE! Fitness+ Subscription Apple seems to be setting its sights on health and fitness with the new Fitness+ subscription, which focuses on workouts that you can follow right on your Apple device. Apple states that upon release the service will offer you 10 workouts such as yoga, strength training and cycling, with the ability to track your progress and measure your vitals with the Apple Watch. You’ll also be able to get customised workouts and recommendations over time, along with workout tutorials for beginners. Apple One It’s no secret that Apple is staking its future on subscriptions services, and Apple One is their move to bring all their current services under one offer for a slightly discounted, single monthly fee. The individual plan offers Apple Arcade, Apple Music, Apple TV+ and 50GB of iCloud storage for $14.95 per month. The “Family” plan allows up to 6 users to access Apple Arcade, Apple Music, Apple TV+ and 200GB of iCloud storage for $19.95 per month. With the “Premier” plan, Apple is throwing in Apple News+, Fitness+ and 2TB of iCloud storage on top of everything else for $29.95 per month.


The Hisense E30 Lite is a Great Starter Smartphone!

The competition in the entry-level and mid-range smartphone market is fierce, but with the E30 Lite, Hisense may just have a leg up on the competition. The Hisense E30 Lite is priced right for people entering the smartphone market and does enough to give it a competitive edge. Under the Hood In terms of processing power, the E30 Lite is kitted out with a quad-core CPU and 1GB of RAM. This is not a device for hardcore mobile gaming or video editing, but it does an admirable job as a daily device for social media, email, chat, as well as music and video streaming. As long as you manage the 16GB of onboard storage and don’t cram the phone full of apps, you shouldn’t experience any lag or disruptions. The Hisense E30 Lite is loaded with Android 9 Go, without the ability to upgrade. As we mentioned, you get 16GB of memory out of the box, but you can upgrade this with a microSD card up to 128GB. Screen and Body The E30 Lite is available in two sleek colours - Black and Nebula Blue. It weighs in at 88 grams, which is on par with most similar smartphones, and even though it’s around 161mm long, it’s comfortable to grip in the palm of your hand. The 6” HD+ display is gorgeous and makes watching videos, browsing social media and using your favourite apps a truly pleasurable experience. A Snap Happy Camera Hisense has generously included front and rear dual cameras in the E30 Lite, both of which feature an 8MP and a 2MP lens. The rear camera also features an LED flash for night images and videos. All-Day Battery Power It can be frustrating if the battery on your smartphone requires constant charging. The E30 Lite is equipped with a 3000 mAh removable battery, which is sufficient for a full day of average usage and takes around 3 hours to completely charge. Other Features Hisense manufactured both single and dual SIM options for the E30 Lite which is perfect for data management and keeping those costs down. The only downside is that you’ll have to choose between extra storage space or a dedicated SIM for data. Verdict As you progress from an entry-level device, the Hisense E30 Lite is a reasonable gateway to the world of mid-tier smartphones . It retails between R 1,499 and R 1,599 which means you don’t have to break your budget for a little sophistication in your pocket.


A Guide to Better Smartphone Photography: Tips and Tricks

The world of photography has evolved in leaps and bounds since the invention of the camera. Just a few decades ago, the best that everyday consumers could do were cumbersome cameras with rolls of film and disposable flashlights, but then along came digital cameras and finally, smartphone cameras, which changed the game and gave amateur photographers pretty much the same tools as their professional counterparts. Today, almost every person is a photographer thanks to the technological advances of the smartphone. However, taking pro-quality pics requires a little more knowledge than simply touching a shutter button, so we’ve put together this handy guide of tips and tricks to help you master the art of smartphone photography. Clean the Lens This is often overlooked on smartphones. Before you’re about to capture lasting memories, it’s a good idea to wipe down the lens. Sure, you may assume your jeans are the ideal spot to rub it down, but over time, you will damage the lens. Rather use a soft, microfibre cloth to remove any dirt from the camera lens and you’re good to go. The Rule of Thirds Professional photographers apply the rule of thirds to capture the perfect image. According to this theory, the screen is split into nine equal blocks, forming a three by three grid in front of you. The key is to have the most important parts of your image in the section where the lines intersect. As a result, your image is well-balanced and level, which is more appealing to viewers. You can access the grid by checking your smartphones camera settings as it’s available on both Android and Apple products. Fix Your Focus When you whip out your smartphone, it immediately focuses on the objects closest to the camera lens. However, you may want to capture an image that is further away than your lens is sensing. All you have to do is adjust the focus of the lens. You do this by simply tapping on the object on your screen. You may find a square or circle icon on the screen which allows you to shift the focus to any object in your view. Highlighting the Subject There’s always an interesting point in every image you snap. When you decide on what that subject is, take the picture so that the subject stands out as the focal point of the image. The professionals recommend that the subject doesn’t fill the entire frame and instead two-thirds of the frame should be negative space, helping the subject to stand out. Tapping your screen to focus on the subject further assists with highlighting the subject. Post-production work could be handy here by improving colours or brightness to bring attention to the subject. Find an Angle This is where you allow your creative juices to flow. Taking photos from various angles not only makes the image unique but creates an illusion of depth or height. Focusing the camera upward and using the empty sky as negative space is different. It’s the same with taking pics from higher up of a subject below. The Importance of Light The flash on smartphones isn’t bright enough to create astonishing images, especially if the subject of the shot is far away. Always use as much natural light as possible so you don’t have to rely on artificial lighting. The colours are truer in natural light, which makes the images sharper. Furthermore, always ensure your subjects have light shining on them from the front instead of the back. When there’s a strong light source coming from behind, you will end up with a dark silhouette of the subject. Keep Steady It is difficult with a smartphone but if you want high-quality pictures, you have to steady your shot. Even the slightest movement could ruin a great picture. Invest in a tripod or use your other arm to ensure the smartphone remains still. Take Photo Bursts The days of considering the amount of film you have left are long gone. You should have enough storage capacity built in to your phone or by using an SD card to allow you the freedom to take photo bursts. Essentially, holding down the shutter button allows the phone to snap multiple images, which is great if you’re shooting a sporting event or if you have that one family member that always closes their eyes. Photo bursts solves that problem as you can save the images you love and delete the rest. Head to your camera settings to activate photo bursts, available for both Apple and Android. Get in Close It’s tempting to use the zoom function on your smartphone, but it will never produce superior quality photos. There will be a hint of pixelation or a grainy effect. To avoid this, get as close to your subject as possible. Unless of course, you’re capturing wild animals. Third-Party Camera You don’t have to settle for the default camera on your smartphone. There are a variety of third-party camera apps which give you so much more. Afterlight is a prime example for both iOS and Android. It allows you to control shutter speed and other factors, such as filters. Editing photos on Instagram is also a good option, but third-party apps tend to do a better job. Candid Camera While posing for photos is the default way everybody takes pics, it’s much more interesting to capture candid shots. People in the act of doing something are far more interesting and can tell a story much better than any posed shot can do. Don’t Be Afraid to Edit Capturing images with your smartphone camera is only the first step of the process. You must focus on editing and put in the time to understand the various factors you can add or subtract from an image. There’s a wide range of filters available that takes an ordinary photo and transforms it into something special. Spend time with your editing apps and learn every aspect of the editor to make your pictures stand out. Happy Snapping!