Top 5 Smartphone Apps to Keep You Organised

Staff Writer / 23-08-2019 / Apps

Smartphones have gotten a bad reputation for being time-wasters and productivity-killers, and they definitely can be when not used to their full potential. You’ve got a mini supercomputer in your pocket, and it’s capable of a lot more than snapping selfies and watching videos. Here’s our list of 5 powerful smartphone apps for Android and iOS to keep you organised and productive.

LastPass

In this day and age, it’s a smart move to have different passwords for every website, but remembering all of your login details can become an exercise in frustration. You never have to remember (or forget) another password again with LastPass . Just download the app, sign up and create one master password. Simply add all of the sites you visit regularly and LastPass will maintain secure logins for all of them without you having to memorise the details. As the developers state, it’ll be your last password…ever.

Office Lens

This handy app puts a scanner right in your pocket. It uses your phone’s camera to create digital copies of any printed document, and can even digitise text from whiteboards and blackboards. It allows you to trim, crop and edit your captured images. It can even convert scanned documents into editable Word and PowerPoint files thanks to the built-in OCR technology. Office Lens also backs up your scans to the cloud so you can access them from any compatible device.

Pocket

Don’t create virtual clutter by bookmarking web pages you want to view later. Pocket allows you to save any article, video or link from a website or apps like Facebook and Twitter to a centralised location with just one click. It also syncs your list across your phone, tablet and computer so you can access your favourite content from any device, even when you’re offline.

Evernote

Evernote is a one-stop app for taking notes, jotting down ideas and creating to-do lists. It keeps everything organised and searchable across your mobile devices and desktop. It’s perfect for taking notes in meetings or classes, and gives you the ability to attach articles, documents, video and photos to your notes. Evernote even gives you the option of recording your meetings or lectures directly into your virtual note so you can pay closer attention instead of furiously scribbling in a notebook the whole time.

Cozi

Cozi is an app that keeps the entire family organised and in sync. It features a shared calendar for everyone to add their activities and appointments. It allows parents to create chore lists for kids, shopping and to-do lists for themselves, as well as set reminders for important dates. It even helps with the cooking by allowing users to store recipes and adding the required ingredients to their shopping lists.

TECH NEWS

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Are Foldable Smartphones Worth the Investment?

Are Foldable Smartphones Worth the Investment? What Buyers Need to KnowFoldable phones have been around for years, but the technology and appeal haven't always been top-notch.However, in the past year, mobile phone companies have made substantial strides in improving their offerings. Now foldable smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5, the Google Pixel Fold, and the Motorola Razr Plus are dominating the mainstream market.Yet, with their elevated price tags, the question has to be asked: are these types of devices truly worth the investment?We unravel everything you need to know before committing to a fold.Understanding Foldable TechnologyFoldable smartphones are exactly what they sound like – phones that can fold. They typically feature a flexible display that allows the device to bend or fold without damaging the screen. This innovative design offers the best of both worlds: a compact form factor for portability and a larger screen size that imitates a tablet, for enhanced usability.3 Downsides of a foldable phoneBefore rushing to purchase a foldable phone, consider these three potential drawbacks:1. Price: Foldable smartphones are generally more expensive than traditional counterparts due to their advanced technology. For example, deals on the Galaxy Z Flip can start at R1,619, which is more than double the price of a standard Samsung device. As technology matures and competition increases, we expect prices will gradually become more affordable but if your budget is already pushed to the edge, maybe put off purchasing a foldable phone.2. Questionable Durability: While foldable smartphones are designed to withstand bending and folding, they can be more prone to damage than traditional smartphones. Additionally, accessories like phone cases and screen protectors may not be readily available for foldable smartphones thanks to their unique design. If you frequently work outdoors, tend to drop, or handle your phone roughly, or prefer not to use a case, then consider investing in an insurance plan for added peace of mind.3. Not for Apple users:Loyal iPhone users interested in foldable phones may need to wait, as Apple's plans for such devices remain uncertain. Although rumours of a foldable iPhone have circulated for years, there's no confirmation of when or if Apple will release one.3 Benefits of Foldable Smartphones1. Versatility:Foldable devices offer the convenience of a smaller phone that easily fits in your pocket or bag while providing access to a larger screen for tasks like video watching, playing games, working on documents or multitasking. For instance, Google's Pixel Fold introduces a new language translation feature that utilises both the external and internal screens.2. Immersive experience:Foldable smartphones often feature displays larger than traditional smartphones, offering more space for browsing the web or viewing content, which enhances the immersive experience and boosts productivity. They also serve as conversation starters due to their unique design, making them both a stylish accessory and a functional device. They are ideal for users seeking a regular-sized phone for daily work activities that also fits easily in pockets and purses for a night out. Built-in kickstands in devices like the Motorola Razr and Galaxy Z Flip also make it perfect for selfie enthusiasts and group photos.3. Enhanced usability: Newer flip phones like the Galaxy Z Flip 5 and Motorola Razr Plus feature cover screens that allow full app usage even when the device is closed. This facilitates quick access to apps like Google Maps or Spotify and also transforms the phone into a mini smart-display for watching videos, playing games, or reading eBooks when unfolded.Although the unique blend of portability and functionality makes foldable smartphones a compelling choice for many, it's important to consider price, durability, and compatibility before you buy.Sold on a fold? Find a wide range of deals on foldable smartphone options that suit every budget and preference <here>.

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Pros and Cons of Mobile Payments: Convenient or Security Concern?

Cash, Plastic or Smartphones?What’s your preferred way to pay for goods and services online or in-store? Chances are, you’re part of the rapidly growing number of South Africans who are tapping their phones to pay for everything from their morning coffee to online shopping sprees.Ditching coins and cards for mobile payments looks set to be the way of the future, especially when you consider this eye-opening statistic from Mastercard: 52% of South Africans have utilised smartphone and digital tap-and-pay platforms in the past year alone!If you’re considering joining the revolution or if you're already on board but still have security concerns, we've compiled all the pros and cons of mobile payment systems to help you make an informed decision.Cash is king but mobile payments are the new cha-ching But before we dive in, here’s a brief overview of what mobile payment systems are, especially for the 'cash is king' and 'plastic is fantastic' folks in the house.Mobile payment systems can be defined as the contactless method of paying for items using your smartphone, but it can also extend to your other devices like smartwatches and tablets. Payments are mainly facilitated through apps, such as digital wallets with the popular ones being Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay. Other popular mobile payment platforms are banking apps, third-party QR-scanning platforms like Zapper and Standard Bank’s SnapScan, and Mastercard Click to Pay exclusively for online purchases.Here’s how mobile payments work using digital wallets as an example:If you want to pay for goods or services using Apple, Google, or Samsung Pay, you’ll first need to link your credit or debit card details to your digital wallet. Once everything is set up and authorised by your bank, you’re ready to make in-store, in-app, or online purchases with just a simple tap, click, or swipe of your phone. And just like that, you have a high-tech bank card.Pros & cons of mobile payment systemsHere are all the pros and cons you should consider before using your mobile phone to make purchases:ProsDodge the death staresYou’re at the till, searching for your card or trying to find enough cash to pay for your stuff, only to realise you’re R5 short. Not only is the cashier giving you death stares, but so are the people waiting in line behind you. Now, your stress is through the roof, and you wish you stayed at home. Mobile payment systems eliminate this nightmare. All you have to do is present your smartphone to the point-of-sale device, authenticate the transaction, and bam! Your payment is processed almost instantly without the need for you to enter a PIN code. Most importantly, death stares are kept at bay!No longer feel the blues standing in payday queuesAs mobile payments gain traction, checkout lines are picking up the pace thanks to less time spent swiping cards, entering PIN codes, or dealing with loose change. Adding to this increased speed is the lightning-fast mobile transaction processing that leaves good old debit and credit cards in the dust. This makes mobile payment systems an incredible solution to speeding up queues during those chaotic payday weekends when lines seem to stretch into eternity.Fake information keeps criminals awayThe biggest concern many people have about mobile payment systems is their perceived lack of security. In reality, these systems are even more secure than debit and credit cards. How? Well, for starters, they require biometric authentication like fingerprint scans or facial recognition to make purchases. Secondly, your mobile device takes extra precautions by encrypting your payment information during transactions. Each transaction gets its very own unique security code, and your actual card number is swapped out for a random mix of letters and numbers, known only to your device. This means that even if someone with crime on their mind intercepts the transaction, they won't be able to access your real information.ConsNo juice, no useWe've all experienced the frustration of a dying phone battery at the worst possible moment. Now, imagine this happening when you’re about to make a purchase. This is the most glaring drawback of mobile payment systems. Their dependency on your phone's battery life means that if it runs out of juice, you're out of luck when it comes to completing transactions. Until we find a solution for endless battery life, this limitation will always be lurking. So, don’t forget to charge up and carry your power bank with you just in case.Cash & cards are the comfort zone One thing about mobile payment systems is that there are a ton of options out there, it’s like trying to choose a show on Netflix. With mobile wallets, online banking apps, and third-party apps, it’s easy to feel like you're drowning in a sea of options, especially if you're new to the game. And to compound matters, the lack of standardisation and compatibility among these systems only serves to complicate matters. While more and more people are hopping on the mobile payment bandwagon, these hurdles could throw a wrench in the gears, particularly for those who aren't exactly tech-savvy and feel more comfortable using cash and cards.Closing the tech gapAs with all things related to tech, there's a barrier to entry, especially in a developing country like South Africa. This barrier requires owning a smartphone equipped with Near Field Communication (NFC) technology to use digital wallets and banking apps. While NFC is available in almost all modern smartphones, even the most affordable ones, the reality remains that not everyone can afford them.This leaves a significant portion of the population excluded from this type of payment. The good news is that QR scanning for mobile payments serves as a workaround. This method doesn't require the latest smartphone models. You can easily find the necessary support for QR tech in many of the older smartphones, including the most affordable ones. Plus, transactions can also be made offline, making it even more accessible.Tapping into tomorrowMobile payment systems are rapidly reshaping the way we transact, offering unparalleled convenience, efficiency, and security. Even though they have a few kinks to work out, the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks. As technology continues to advance, mobile payments look set to become an indispensable part of our daily lives. So, next time you feel like indulging in a little retail therapy, you can tap, swipe, or scan your way to a smoother shopping experience!

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The Honor Magic V2: The Porsche of 2024’s Smartphones?

Honor just dropped the Porsche of smartphones and things are getting racy! Say hello to the Magic V2, Honor's slimmest, most lightweight book-style foldable in the world - for now at least.When closed, the difference in size between this phone and a regular non-foldable is barely noticeable, making this device truly one-of-a-kind.Want to find out more about what’s hiding under the Magic V2 hood?Strap in, we’re going on an adrenaline-pumping ride as we unpack the Honor Magic V2 and its iconic Porsche personality that’s changing the foldable game.You have never seen a phone as Porsche as thisIt’s time to put the pedal to the metal as we take a spin with the Porsche-inspired Honor Magic V2 RSR. Porsche describes the design as bringing the ‘racetrack to your palm,’ making it perfect for those niche individuals looking for a smartphone with the heart of a sports car. Inspired by the iconic Porsche 911, the Magic V2 RSR features a metallic Agate Grey colour on the back, paying homage to the 911’s signature hue. The 3D glass on the cameras takes inspiration from Porsche windshields, while the phone's back mirrors the sleek flyline of the Porsche 911, running the length of the device. Even the interface draws inspiration from the 911, with the iconic tail light influencing the design, and the charging screen mirroring the current Porsche cockpit aesthetic.The featherweight champion of the foldablesAs the thinnest and lightest foldable phone on the market, the Honor Magic V2 nearly matches the weight and sleekness of the iPhone 15 Pro Max when folded. This is an incredible feat for this form factor. Honor has released three different designs for the range, including a vegan leather back option, a Porsche-inspired design named the Honor Magic V2 RSR, and a glass-backed version. The first two designs measure just 9.9mm in thickness when folded, 4.7mm when unfolded, and weigh only 231g. The glass version is slightly thicker and heavier.With these dimensions, the Honor Magic V2 is substantially lighter and thinner than competitors like the Galaxy Z Fold 5, Pixel Fold, and OnePlus Open. You can easily slip the device into your jeans pocket or joggers without feeling like you’re dragging a small tablet along on your adventures.Glorious & magical triple-threat displayYes, Honor has achieved something incredible here – a foldable phone that feels just like a regular bar-shaped phone. But let’s not forget, this device opens up like a book, revealing a glorious 7.92-inch inner screen that'll get your heart racing.It’s a multitasker’s dream, giving you the power to use apps across the entire display or in split-screen mode. And if that wasn't enough, you also have a third window that hovers over the display. This setup means you can do multiple things at once – from watching Netflix in one window to online shopping in another, all while chatting on WhatsApp in the floating window. In other words, all your different personalities can finally be entertained at once!The surprises don’t stop there. The screen used when the device is closed is a big 6.43 inches. It’s ample enough to use for your daily tasks and reaches a peak brightness of 2,500 nits for clear visibility in the outdoors.Both the cover and inner screens sport the finest flagship display features, from OLED technology and 120Hz dynamic refresh rate to an immersive 90% screen-to-body ratio.Never unhinged, at least for the next 10 yearsOpening and closing the Magic V2 is all made possible by the all-new titanium hinge that Honor says allows for 400,000 folds in total. That’s 100 times a day over 10 years! The design is seamless and creaseless, marking a huge improvement over its predecessor, the Honor Magic VS.Fasten your seat belt: Things are ramping up to wild levelsNow onto the powerhouse of the phone: its premium Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset. You may have noticed that this is last year’s flagship chipset; that’s because the Honor Magic V2 was first released in China in July 2023 before it hit the global stage at the beginning of 2024. Although it isn’t the latest Gen 3 version, the chipset remains an excellent performer that handles anything you throw at it with rapid speeds and no hiccups.But here’s where Honor has taken things to a whole new level. The device boasts a whopping 16GB RAM and 512GB internal storage. And if you get your hands on the Porsche design, storage ramps up to 1TB!Cameras for all your anglesSo, what does the thinnest, slimmest foldable phone offer in the camera department? Get ready to have your mind blown. Honor has packed the Magic V2 with five cameras, yes, five! Triple cameras on the back and dual 16MP selfie snappers - one on the cover screen and another under the display of the inner screen.It’s no secret that foldable phones prioritise their high-tech flexible displays over top-notch camera specs. However, Honor has done an impressive job here, particularly with its 50MP main shooter featuring Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS) and a 20MP telephoto lens offering 2.5x optical and 40x digital zoom. Daytime images are vibrant, colourful, sharp and detailed. The telephoto lens shines, capturing distant objects with clarity and depth, even in low-light environments.A cool feature to look out for is the HONOR AI Motion Sensing Capture. It allows you to snap selfies hands-free using the three back cameras. With the Magic V2's foldable screen, the cover screen doubles as a convenient viewfinder for the rear snappers, giving you everything you need to shoot that perfect shot without any help from unsuspecting bystanders.Charging brick included! Yay!The Honor Magic V2 rocks an ultra-slim 5000mAh battery, powering up with a blazing-fast 66W wired charge (it doesn’t support wireless charging). But here's the cherry on top for devices shipped to South Africa – Honor includes the charging brick in the box! No need to splurge separately just to enjoy its full charging potential, a rare treat in today's market. Battery-wise, it's a true workhorse, powering through your day from calls to endless scrolling and YouTube binges. For context, you can stream YouTube videos for a solid three hours on the internal screen and only see a mere 15% drop in power.So, if there was any doubt that the Honor Magic V2 is the Porsche of 2024’s smartphones, we’re sure it’s squashed by now.Style. Speed. Sophistication. The Honor Magic V2 is revving up to take its place as one of the most game-changing foldables for 2024, and it’s doing it all with the panache of a Porsche!

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