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How Does the Huawei US Ban Affect South Africans?

Staff Writer / 23-08-2019 / News

US President Donald Trump issued a ban last month, barring American companies from trading with certain Chinese companies, including Huawei, which has grown rapidly over the years to become one of the major players in the market with the release of popular devices like the Mate 20 and P30 Pro. As you may know, the ban means that Google would have to cut off Huawei’s access to its Android operating system, Google apps and security updates, leaving Huawei smartphone owners worried that their beloved devices just turned into expensive paperweights. There’s no need to panic, yet.

Not long after the ban was announced, Huawei was granted a 3-month grace period that would allow them to continue doing business with Google, meaning that current users of its devices would not be affected and can still access the Google Play Store, download apps such as Gmail and YouTube, and receive security updates and patches. The long-term plan is still unclear though as no-one can predict what will happen after the 3-month grace period ends on 19 August 2019, but just in case, Huawei is developing a backup plan.

Once news of the ban broke, Huawei revealed that it has been working on its own app store and operating system, similar to Apple’s App Store and iOS. It’s reportedly called Hong Meng, but details on whether it will be ready in time if the ban continues after the grace period have been scarce. Another concern is whether there is room for a new operating system, as Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android pretty much dominate the smartphone industry worldwide. Even Microsoft had to abandon their Windows mobile OS because of poor adoption and lack of support from app developers. The other option Huawei has is switching all users to the open-source version of Android, but this OS will be limited in terms of access to Google’s apps, which will have to be accessed via a web browser or by side-loading the apps on devices, which may seem like too much trouble for the average user looking for a phone that just works right out of the box.

Huawei recently released a statement to the media: “Huawei has made substantial contributions to the development and growth of Android around the world. As one of Android’s key global partners, we have worked closely with their open-source platform to develop an ecosystem that has benefitted both users and the industry.

Huawei will continue to provide security updates and after-sales services to all existing Huawei and Honor smartphone and tablet products, covering those that have been sold and that are still in stock globally. We will continue to build a safe and sustainable software ecosystem, in order to provide the best experience for all users globally.”

For now, Huawei users will not be affected by the ban and can continue using their phones and updating them as usual. Just in case you were wondering, you cannot return your Huawei smartphone to the network you bought it from as, according to law, sellers cannot be held liable or responsible for external events that are out of their control. The bottom line is that you may never need to sell or dump your Huawei smartphone as the ban could be lifted even before the grace period runs out should Trump’s trade negotiations with China move ahead amicably.

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Review: The Samsung A32 4G is here!

Samsung’s newest offering launched last month. Rest assured, the A32 has some impressive tricks up its sleeve - on a budget! Under the Hood The first in the A series range to boast the 90Hz Super AMOLED display, the A32 provides a crisp, clean viewing experience with high refresh rate. The device memory is the same as other mid-range smartphones on the market - 64GB with 4GB RAM or 128GB with 4GB - 8GB RAM. The device comes equipped with the latest software (Android 11) right out the box which is a pleasant and welcome surprise. Screen and Body There is no compromise on screen size when compared to its predecessor, the A31. Gamers will be impressed by the smooth operation the A32 has on offer. The brightness of the A32’s display and the safety net of the Eye Comfort Shield (which makes the brightness manageable for your eyes) is another point in this device’s favour. This smartphone is slickly designed. The camera is embedded within the casing – rather than situated on an island as we've become accustomed to – adding to the A32's sleek look. Released in four colours in some countries, South African's are limited to two versions – Awesome Black and Awesome Blue. Although this isn't much of a pain point because Awesome Blue is bright and funky enough to hold its own. Camera Quad cameras are the standard we’ve come to expect when with smartphones and the A32 doesn’t disappoint. The primary lens is an impressive 64 MP camera equipped to capture every moment in striking colour. Extra camera capabilities include an 8 MP Ultra-Wide, a 5 MP Macro and a 5 MP Depth Sensor with autofocus to make your subjects truly stand out. Selfie fans won’t be disappointed either, not with the 20 MP selfie camera that puts the focus on what really matters – you! Battery For all its awesome specs, it’s the A32's battery that really let’s this device shine. Capable of going nearly two days without a charge, supported by 15W quick-charge, this is a fantastic option for those who are constantly on the go. Verdict This is an outstanding budget smartphone. Coupled with the phone’s battery life and excellent display, it’s sure to be a firm favourite in 2021.

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Bits and Bytes – April 2021 Edition

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!

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The Top 6 South African Apps You Need to Download Today!

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