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Bits and Bytes – April 2021 Edition

Moe from Mondo / 14-04-2021 / BitsBytes

LG exits the smartphone game

Since the 2000s, South Korean multinational electronics giant LG has been churning out innovative smartphones. Sadly, their pioneering spirit wasn’t enough to match up against the industry front-runners, leading to LG closing up their smartphone shop. But what does this mean for LG smartphone users?

LG has committed to providing Android 11 updates to 13 smartphones for a period of 3 years. These include the LG Wing, the LG Velvet, the LG Velvet LTE, the LG V50S, the LG V50, the LG G8, the LG Q31, the LG Q51, the LG Q52, the LG Q61, the LG Q70, the LG Q92, and the LG Q9.

But for now, it’s a case of farewell – we’ll hopefully see the brand put their skills to use again in the near future.

Coming Soon: The Next iPad Pro

As we get closer to the launch of the iPad Pro, whispers about Apple’s latest offering have been making the rounds. Rumours suggest the iPad Pro promises to deliver better all-round performance – from an outstanding display and improved cameras to the inclusion of Final Cut Pro and compatibility with more accessories aimed revolutionising video content creation!

Your next Playstation could be your smartphone!

Earlier this month, Playstation listed a job opening that lit up the gaming world – Head of Mobile, PlayStation Studios. The ad states that the company is looking to expand their game development “from consoles and PCs to mobile & Live Services with a focus on successfully adapting PlayStation’s most popular franchises for mobile…”

This news bodes well for gamers worldwide as this offers more ways to get your game on and proves that not even Playstation is immune to the power of the smartphone!

Microsoft to get a slice of Apple?

Microsoft is on course to purchase Nuance Communications – the company that laid the groundwork for the creation of Apple’s voice activated virtual assistant, Siri.

The $20 billion deal could help change the face of the health sector, allowing doctors to capture patient discussions and add these to the patient’s file.

This would be one of Microsoft’s biggest acquisitions, second only to its $26.2 billion purchase of LinkedIn five years ago.

High-tech toilets – a big deal down under

Japanese-style toilets have become all the rage in Australia recently. Fuelled by an increased need for hygienic practices due the COVID-19 pandemic, the Toto toilet has taken over domestic homes down under. Originally a 5-star hotel purchase, these smart-toilets with heated seats, bidet and an air purifying function – with some versions even boasting remote or auto flushing – have become common place in homes across the country! Who knows, SA may be next to catch on!

TECH NEWS

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Bits and Bytes – May 2021 Edition

Here’s our roundup of the latest mobile and tech news for May 2021: License or Smartphone Please You could soon be handing over your smartphone when asked for your driver’s licence. The South African Government is paving the way for the country’s first electronic driving licence. Department of Transport’s Director-General Alec Moemi, said a new more durable card would be introduced soon, with improved security features and a mobile-friendly counterpart. Spotify Goes from Playlists to the Premier League Spotify raised the price of its premium subscription recently and football fans in the UK believe they know why. CEO Daniel Ek kicked off his attempts to purchase English Premier League football club Arsenal. Ek, a long-time fan of the club, has made a £1.8 billion bid for ownership and has the support of some of the club’s most notable former players, including French football icon Thierry Henry. It’s unlikely the slight price hike was motivated solely by Ek’s desire to own one of the world’s biggest football teams, but players on the pitch and off will be watching closely in the coming weeks. The Social Network Lifeline While India reels from the devastating second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, an unlikely hero has emerged – social media. Critically low oxygen supplies and a lack of both medication and available hospital beds across the country, has forced the Indian public to turn to social media for assistance for their loved ones. Everyone from the average citizen to Bollywood stars, tuk-tuk drivers and medical professionals themselves, have taken to Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp to create an online country-wide network to assist those battling the virus. Heavyweight Fight – Facebook vs Apple In April, Apple introduced a new feature called App Tracking Transparency (ATT) on iOS 14.5 for iPhone users. Barely a month old and the feature has already created friction with Facebook. The social media giant has been trying to block the use of ATT since Apple announced its intentions, but they were not able to deflect the blow. When permitted, the feature blocks targeted ads which are created by tracing the user’s browsing patterns – a major chunk of Facebook’s revenue. Facebook claims the transparency tracker puts small businesses at a disadvantage and are calling on iPhone users not to allow the feature. If ATT is enabled, Facebook plans on sending its own message, suggesting iPhone users who block the tracker will have to start paying to use their app. This match looks far from over! Video Caused an Embezzlement Charge An American woman was left stunned when she discovered there was a warrant out for her arrest thanks to a rented VHS tape that was never returned since 1999. The woman had unknowingly been facing embezzlement charges for nearly 22 years over the late fees on a VHS copy of Sabrina the Teenage Witch that had been hired under her name. The charges were eventually dropped in the “best interest of justice”.

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How to Protect Your Screen from Breaking

We invest a good amount of money to have the latest and most intuitive smartphones. It’s no wonder then, that when something happens to these devices, we feel the blow deep down in our pockets, as well as our hearts. These beautiful yet fragile pocket computers are not immune to damage, especially when it comes to its most fragile area – the screen. Phone screens are commonly damaged when phones are dropped. This can result in anything from a few scratches to a completely shattered screen, often causing a loss of functionality. To prevent this ghastly situation, let’s look at the top 6 ways to protect your precious screen Your screen deserves the best guard A screen guard is your phone’s best form of protection. Sticking to your screen using static electricity, a screen guard absorbs the impact of a fall. It is designed to break so your screen does not, therefore it is advisable to stock up on these. Screen guards can be made from various materials such as tempered glass, hybrid film, and ultra-film. Each has its own unique advantages and offers maximum protection for your phone’s screen. All-round protection with flip cases When used with a screen guard, flip cases offer a second layer of protection. It protects the entire phone and helps preserve the lifespan of your screen guard by reducing the amount of scratches it is exposed to. Phone covers take the fall A phone cover is usually made from a rubbery material that protects the frame and the back of your phone. But what you may not know, is that phone covers help protect your screen in the event of a fall. Thanks to a concept known as screen clearance, distance is created between your screen and the surface your phone lands on, ensuring your phone never touches the ground – even when it lands face-down. Make your car a phone-safe zone If your phone is not secured while driving, your screen will be prone to bumps especially when stopping or turning. The best way to protect your phone in this situation is to invest in a stand or holder allowing you to position the phone out of harm's way. Popsockets for better grip Popsockets are both trendy and useful accessories that give you a better grip on your phone. These circular attachments work by sticking to the back of your phone, allowing you to easily wrap your fingers around it. This is especially needed for bigger phones as these have greater potential to slip and fall, causing screen damage. Out of pockets Many people tend to keep their phone in their pocket, making it easier it to fall out when sit, run or even walk. This can cause damage to the phone as well as expose it to theft. It’s always better and more comfortable to keep your phone in a bag or pouch as you can move around freely without worrying about its safety. Insure your phone for peace of mind Your screen is an expensive part of your phone and can cost anything from R3 000 to R30 000 or more to fix when dealing with newer, more advanced models. This makes comprehensive phone insurance a necessity, as this will not only pay for your damaged screen but cover your entire phone in the event of theft or loss. At Mondo Shop, we not only find you the best deals on smartphones and other devices, we also have a range of phone accessories that will protect your screen and keep your phone looking smarter for longer. Check out our screen protectors and phone covers here and find the best way to protect one of your most valuable possessions.

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Apple App Tracking – Changing the face of Data Privacy

In a bid to help you keep private information and data secure, Apple has introduced a new app transparency feature called App Tracking on iOS 14.5 for iPhone users. Released in April 2021, the App Tracking Transparency feature aims to put the power of your online security in your hands. You can now choose whether or not you want to make your information and interests available to third parties such as Facebook. What this means for iPhone users: Ever run a search for a device or accessory only to find yourself bombarded by display ads for similar products later on? This is because, when you browse, apps monitor and share your activity – as well as personal information like email addresses – with businesses who use this information to show you ads directly related to your interests. This new Apple feature gives you the option of saying “no” to this type of targeted advertising. How it works: When using or downloading an app, iPhone users will receive a request from the app asking permission to “track your activity across other companies’ apps and websites”. Simply tap “Allow” or “Ask App Not to Track” to continue using the app. App Tracking Transparency will not restrict your use and you will continue to have complete access to the app and all its features even if you decide you do not want the app to track your activity. If you choose to opt out, this feature blocks the particular app from tracking your activity and using other information like your email address to identify you or your device and sharing this with other companies. While this doesn’t mean an end to all ads across your platforms, it does mean fewer targeted ads for iPhone users who are concerned about how companies use their personal data.

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