Vodacom gives 500MB of free data

Vodacom gives 500MB of free data

Vodacom is giving 500MB of free data to customers affected by recent billing problems on its network.

The data will be valid for three days and customers can check if they have received it by dialling *111#.

Many Vodacom subscribers complained that their data was depleting for no apparent reason on 21 August.

Vodacom acknowledged the problem and corrected the issue before working to reimburse customers.

The provider later confirmed it had reimbursed all affected customers and apologised for the inconvenience – which was caused by a billing system issue.

“We are allocating FREE 500MB data valid for 3 days to those customers, for the inconvenience caused,” said Vodacom.

Samsung’s Bixby assistant is finally available worldwide

Samsung has faced a tough slog getting Bixby to the masses, but now its voice assistant is accessible in more than 200 countries including the UK, Australia, Canada and South Africa. It’s been available in South Korea and the US since July, when it launched after months of delays.

Part of Bixby’s appeal is its positioning beyond that of a simple voice assistant. Samsung claims it learns over time, recognizing “natural language” to make interacting with your phone easier and more intuitive. It understands cross-application commands and thanks to deep integration it can be accessed without any interruptions to what you’re already doing on-screen. So you can turn down screen brightness while scrolling through Facebook, for example. Users can also create custom voice commands. Instead of setting an alarm and turning on do-not-disturb mode individually, you could simply use “good night” as a shortcut.

Bixby promises a lot, hence the anticipation around its release, and Samsung plans to roll it out to further devices in the future. It recently unveiled a Bixby-powered smart speaker and is already working on a range of smart appliances, so the company clearly has designs on powering whole homes with its voice assistant. But — and here’s the kicker — only if you speak English or Korean (and it took long enough to get it English-ready). Because despite its roll-out to hundreds of countries worldwide, Bixby still only recognizes those two languages. Samsung claims it’ll get additional language support “in time”, but given the delays it’s faced so far, non-English and non-Korean speakers could be waiting a while.

Google launches Android 8.0 Oreo

Google launches Android 8.0 Oreo

Google today announced the next-generation version of its Android operating system, which is named Oreo.

Android Oreo includes dozens of new features, ranging from notification improvements to picture-in-picture support to new emoji.

The update introduces an iOS-like feature called Notification Dots (aka app badges), designed to make it easier to see which apps have new content to display. A long tap on an app icon now displays information like the last notification received and app widgets, much like a 3D Touch does on iOS.

Picture-in-picture support allows users to watch video content while using other apps, while a new autofill feature remembers login information to allow for quicker username and password entry.

Support for new Unicode 10 emoji is included, introducing emoji like exploding head, vampire, zombie, hedgehog, giraffe, fortune cookie, and more. Existing Android emojis have also been redesigned to do away with the iconic Android emoji blobs.

Instant Apps, designed to allow developers to create apps that can run instantly, are now enabled by default, and Google has made improvements to the overall speed of the operating system for faster launch times along as well as introduced security improvements.

A full rundown on the new Android Oreo features is available on Google’s site for those interested. The update is available today through Google’s Android Open Source Project, with Google planning to roll it out to Pixel and Nexus devices in the near future as soon as carrier testing is complete.

Though Pixel and Nexus owners can expect to get access to Android Oreo in the near future, owners of other Android-based smartphones will need to wait much longer, if they get the update at all. The previous version of Android, Android Nougat, is still only installed on 13.5 percent of devices despite the fact that it was released a year ago.

Google launches Android 8.0 Oreo

The majority of Android devices continue to run Android 5.0 Lollipop and Android 6.0 Marshmallow, released in 2014 and 2015, respectively.

Nokia 3 vs Nokia 6 vs Nokia 8

Nokia 3 vs Nokia 6 vs Nokia 8
Device Nokia 3 Nokia 6 Nokia 8
OS Android (7.0) Android (7.1) Android (7.1)
Dimensions 5.65 x 2.81 x 0.33 inches (143.4 x 71.4 x 8.48 mm) 6.06 x 2.98 x 0.33 inches (154 x 75.8 x 8.4 mm) 5.96 x 2.90 x 0.31 inches (151.5 x 73.7 x 7.9 mm)
Weight 5.96 oz (169 g)
the average is 5.4 oz (155 g)
5.64 oz (160 g)
the average is 5.4 oz (155 g)
Materials Main body: Plastic; Accents: Aluminum Main body: Aluminum Main body: Aluminum
Features Touch sensitive control keys Fingerprint (touch), Touch sensitive control keys Iris scanner, Fingerprint (touch), Touch sensitive control keys
Rugged Splash resistant
IP certified IP 54
Colors Black, Silver, Brown, Blue Black, Gold, Gray, Blue Silver, Brown, Blue
Physical size 5.0 inches 5.5 inches 5.3 inches
Resolution 720 x 1280 pixels 1080 x 1920 pixels 1440 x 2560 pixels
Pixel density
294 ppi 401 ppi 554 ppi
Screen-to-body ratio
67.28 % 71.58 % 69.44 %
Peak brightness 450 cd/m2 (nit) 450 cd/m2 (nit) 700 cd/m2 (nit)
Features Scratch-resistant glass (Corning Gorilla Glass), Ambient light sensor, Proximity sensor, Polarizing filter Scratch-resistant glass (Corning Gorilla Glass 3), Ambient light sensor, Proximity sensor Scratch-resistant glass (Corning Gorilla Glass 5), Ambient light sensor, Proximity sensor
Camera 8 megapixels 16 megapixels 13 megapixels
Flash LED Dual LED Dual LED
Aperture size F2.0 F2.0 F2.0
Camera sensor size 1/3.06″
Pixel size 1.12 μm 1 μm 1.12 μm
Hardware Features Autofocus Autofocus (Laser, Phase detection) Dual-camera (13-megapixel, 78-degree viewing angle, F2.0 aperture), Optical image stabilization, Autofocus (Phase detection)
Software Features Touch to focus, Face detection, Self-timer, Digital zoom, Geo tagging Touch to focus, Face detection, Self-timer, Digital zoom, Geo tagging Touch to focus, Face detection, Self-timer, Digital zoom, Geo tagging
Settings Exposure compensation, ISO control, White balance presets Exposure compensation, ISO control, White balance presets Exposure compensation, ISO control, White balance presets
Shooting Modes High Dynamic Range mode (HDR) Burst mode, High Dynamic Range mode (HDR), Panorama Burst mode, High Dynamic Range mode (HDR), Panorama
Camcorder 1280×720 (720p HD) (30 fps) 1920×1080 (1080p HD) (30 fps) 3840×2160 (4K)
Features Video calling, Video sharing Video calling, Video sharing Video calling, Video sharing
Front-facing camera 8 megapixels 8 megapixels 13 megapixels
Features Autofocus Wide Angle, Autofocus Wide Angle
System chip
MediaTek MT6737 Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 8937 Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 MSM8998
Quad-core, 1300 MHz, ARM Cortex-A53, 64-bit Octa-core, 1400 MHz, ARM Cortex-A53, 64-bit Octa-core, 2500 MHz, Kryo 280, 64-bit, 10 nm
Graphics processor
Mali-T720 Mp2 Adreno 505 Adreno 540
System memory
Built-in storage
16 GB 32 GB 64 GB
Storage expansion
microSD, microSDHC, microSDXC up to 128 GB microSD, microSDHC, microSDXC up to 128 GB microSD, microSDHC, microSDXC up to 256 GB
2650 mAh 3000 mAh 3090 mAh
Type Not user replaceable, Li – Ion Not user replaceable, Li – Ion Not user replaceable
Talk time (3G) 18.00 hours
the average is 18 h (1071 min)
Stand-by time (3G) 32.0 days (768 hours)
the average is 25 days (606 h)
Music playback 22.00 hours
Screen mirroring Wireless screen share Wireless screen share Wireless screen share
Music player
Filter by Album, Artist, Genre, Playlists Album, Artist, Genre, Playlists Album, Artist, Genre, Playlists
Features Album art cover, Background playback Album art cover, Background playback, Dolby Atmos Album art cover, Background playback
Radio FM FM, RDS
Speakers Earpiece, Loudspeaker Earpiece, Stereo speakers Earpiece, Loudspeaker
Additional microphone(s) for Noise cancellation for Noise cancellation, Video recording
GSM 850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz 850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz 850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz
UMTS 850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz 850, 900, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100 MHz 850, 900, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100 MHz
LTE (FDD) Bands 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 20, 28 Bands 2, 3, 4, 7, 12, 17, 28 Bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 20, 28
LTE (TDD) Bands 38, 40 Bands 38 Bands 38, 39, 40, 41
Data LTE Cat 4 (150/50 Mbit/s), HSPA, UMTS LTE Cat 4 (150/50 Mbit/s), HSPA LTE-A Cat 9 (450/50 Mbit/s), HSDPA+ (4G) 42.2 Mbit/s, HSUPA 5.76 Mbit/s
Nano SIM Yes Yes Yes
Multiple SIM cards 2 slots, Yes 2 slots, Yes
VoLTE Yes Yes
Sensors Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Compass Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Compass, Hall (for flip covers) Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Pedometer, Compass, Hall (for flip covers), Barometer
Notifications Haptic feedback Haptic feedback Haptic feedback
Other features Voice dialing, Voice commands, Voice recording Voice dialing, Voice commands, Voice recording Voice dialing, Voice commands, Voice recording
Bluetooth Yes 4.1 5.0
Wi-Fi 802.11 b, g, n 802.11 a, b, g, n, dual-band 802.11 a, b, g, n, ac, dual-band
Mobile hotspot Yes Yes
USB USB 2.0 USB 2.0 USB 3.1
Connector microUSB microUSB USB Type-C (reversible)
Features Mass storage device, USB Host, USB charging Mass storage device, USB Host, USB charging Mass storage device, USB charging
GPS, A-GPS GPS, A-GPS, Glonass, BeiDou GPS, A-GPS, Glonass, BeiDou
Navigation Turn-by-turn navigation, Voice navigation Turn-by-turn navigation, Voice navigation Turn-by-turn navigation, Voice navigation
Other NFC, Tethering, Computer sync, OTA sync NFC, ANT+, Tethering, Computer sync, OTA sync NFC, ANT+, Tethering, Computer sync, OTA sync

Nokia 8: Three firsts in one precision designed flagship

Nokia 8: Three firsts in one precision designed flagship

HMD Global, the home of Nokia phones, today announced the Nokia 8, a high performance, beautifully crafted smartphone, designed with content creators in mind. The Nokia 8 brings three world-firsts to Android smartphones, including a debut collaboration with ZEISS optics. With performance and pure Android at its heart, as well as the most advanced aluminium unibody design to date, the Nokia 8 represents all the hallmarks of a true flagship Nokia smartphone.

Be less Selfie, be more Bothie: The Nokia 8 introduces a world-first in enabling Dual-Sight video to be livestreamed natively and in real-time to social feeds such as Facebook and YouTube. Dual-Sight simultaneously harnesses both the front and rear cameras in a split screen visual for both photos and videos. With just one touch, this world-first livestream capability gives more immersive experiences for those who love to create and share special memories.

Nokia 8 is also the first smartphone to feature Nokia OZO Audio, placing exclusive Hollywood technology in the palm of your hand. OZO spatial 360° audio brings a fully immersive audio experience to your 4K video. Leading-edge 360° audio capture ensures the playback lets you truly relive the moment so your memories never fade.

4.6mm thin at the edge and just 7.3mm slim on average, Nokia 8’s seamless unibody is precision milled from a single block of 6000 series aluminium and its pure design has been refined through a 40-stage process of machining, anodizing and polishing. Select models feature a high-gloss mirror finish that has taken over 20 hours to complete to achieve a flawless look. The phone features Qualcomm’s powerful SnapdragonTM 835 Mobile Platform and paired with the pure, secure and up to date Android experience ensures outstanding performance.

Be less Selfie, be more #Bothie

There are two sides to every story and the Dual-Sight feature of Nokia 8 is designed to help you create and share the full picture. The front and rear-facing cameras on the Nokia 8 have been co-developed with ZEISS optics for an optimum all round experience. Content creators can natively broadcast their unique #Bothie stories to social media through the Dual-Sight functionality located within the camera app. Fans can also enjoy unlimited photo and video uploads to Google Photos.

A new dimension of sound with OZO Audio

Featuring OZO Audio, Nokia 8 combines three microphones with exclusive Nokia acoustic algorithms to capture audio with immersive 360° spatial surround sound. Share your 4K videos with OZO Audio anywhere – binaural codecs enable high fidelity playback even on devices without OZO Audio.

Innovation and precision engineering

Powered by the Qualcomm® SnapdragonTM 835 Mobile Platform, Nokia 8 doesn’t compromise on performance.The Nokia 8 has been designed from the ground up with the consumer in mind to deliver unique content capture and sharing experiences. This requires it to be as meticulously designed on the inside as it is on the outside. To keep your phone working harder for longer, the design, innovation and engineering teams worked hand-in-hand to deliver. The result is a full-length graphite shielded copper cooling pipe that dissipates the heat generated by the high performing system across the full length and breadth of the handset. The Nokia 8 runs cooler in even the most demanding situations.

Nokia 8 is Qualcomm® Quick Charge™ 3.0 compatible, meaning when your battery is running low you can get back to recording your important moments sooner.

Juho Sarvikas, Chief Product Officer of HMD Global, said:

“We know that fans are creating and sharing live content more than ever before, with millions of photos and videos shared every minute on social media. People are inspired by the content they consume and are looking for new ways to create their own. It’s these people who have inspired us to craft a flagship smartphone which perfectly balances premium design, an outstanding experience and powerful performance.”

Always pure Android

Nokia smartphones always offer a pure Android experience, with no unnecessary apps slowing down the performance of your device. And with Nokia 8, pure Android combined with our innovative engineering processes unleashes the full potential of the SnapdragonTM 835 Mobile Platform. With monthly security updates, the Nokia 8 is safe and up-to-date. Your device is secured with biometric fingerprint authentication, delivering enhanced security and making Nokia 8 a versatile companion whatever your needs.


We offer a range of accessories perfectly tailored to suit the active lifestyle of any Nokia 8 owner. The Nokia 8 works beautifully with the Nokia Active Wireless Headset – a lightweight, water, sweat, and dust proof premium headset. Carved from aluminium for the perfect match, this headset features a beautiful diamond cut design. The full portfolio of accessories for Nokia phones includes a range of headsets, portable speakers, in-car chargers, cases and screen protectors.


Nokia 8 will be available in four colours: Polished Blue, Polished Copper, Tempered Blue and Steel and will be available at a global average retail price of €599 with roll out throughout September.

There is no confirmed release date or pricing for South Africa.

Technical specifications for Nokia 8

Device Nokia 8
Networks GSM: 850/900/1800/1900

WCDMA5: 1, 2, 4, 5, 8

TDS-CDMA: 34, 39

LTE:1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 20, 28, 38, 39, 40, 41

Network speed LTE Cat. 9, 3CA, 450Mbps DL/50Mbps UL
OS Android Nougat 7.1.1
Chipset Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 835 Mobile Platform

  • MSM8998 (Quad* 2.36GHz + Quad* 1.9GHz, up to 2.45GHz for single)
Storage 64GB internal memory with external MicroSD card slot (support up to 256 GB)
Form factor Splashproof IP54 touch monoblock with capacitive system keys
Display 5.3” IPS LCD QHD 2560 x 1440, 700nits screen brightness, Corning® Gorilla® Glass 5, 2.5D Glass
Camera with ZEISS optics Primary camera: 13MP (Colour + OIS) + 13MP (Mono), 1.12um, f/2.0, 76.9˚, PDAF, IR range finder, dual tone flash

Front facing camera: 13MP PDAF, 1.12um, f/2.0, 78.4˚, display flash

Connectivity & Sensors Type C, USB3.1 Gen 1 (5Gbps), 3.5mm headphone jack, Ambient light sensor, Proximity sensor, Accelerometer, E-compass, Gyroscope, Fingerprint Sensor, Hall sensor, Barometer, 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (MIMO), BT 5.0, GPS/AGPS+GLONASS+BDS, NFC, ANT+™
Battery Integrated 3090 mAh battery4 with Qualcomm® Quick Charge™ 3.0 (18W, 5V/2.5A, 9V/2A, 12V/1.5A)
Video MP4, 3GP, 3G2, AVI, MKV, WEBM
Dimensions 151.5 x 73.7 x 7.9mm (camera bump 0.4mm)
Weight 160g

Romoss On Promotion – Free Shipping

Romoss On Promotion - Free Shipping Romoss Powerbank

We are having an outstanding special on a wide range of products from Romoss. Romoss is a globally recognized provider of charging solutions specializing in power banks, wireless charging products, battery cases, iPhone replacement batteries, adapters, cables, car chargers and more for all mobile devices.

Romoss products are not just functional but also stylish. My pick of the lot is the amazing ROMOSS Freemos 5 5000mAh Wireless Power Bank. While there only a small number of wireless charging devices at the moment wireless charging is going to the big feature of 2017/2018 and the Romoss Freemos 5 is the best wireless power bank you can buy. The Romoss Freedoms 5 can also be used as a normal power bank as it has 2 USB outputs.

New Android OS launch likely on 21 August

New Android OS launch likely on 21 August Android

Android 8.0 is expected to be release on the 21 August 2017. There is still speculation what the name will be. At the moment it is referred to as Android O with most people expecting it to be Android Oreo.

Here are some of the expected features:


Google’s Doze mode in Android Marshmallow and Nougat helped preserve precious battery life by keeping your phone in a lowered power state when in your pocket, but now Android O promises to do even more to prevent apps from wasting your charge.

Android O will limit what apps can do when they’re idling in the background of your phone, which means cutting off broadcasts, background services, and location updates. Developers may need to find ways to ensure that their current apps can still function with these new automatic restrictions, but the end result should be more efficient, longer-lasting devices.

We should see a bit more speed around Android O, as well, as the Android runtime is said to be twice as fast in some benchmark tests, according to TechCrunch.


Thanks to a new feature called notification channels, you’ll be able to customise certain kinds of categories of notifications from apps – that way, you can block some less-useful notifications and ensure that only the essential ones pull you out of your daily routine. This could be handy with filtering notifications from certain conversations in messaging apps, for example.

Android O also lets developers change the background colour of a notification, useful when there’s a critical alert, and can display more content in the collapsed form. You’ll also be able to silence some notifications and have them return later, while developers can have timed notifications cancel themselves out.

Oh, and if that wasn’t enough, notification dots will now appear above apps that you need to check in on. Anyone who’s owned an iPhone will be very much familiar with this routine, but it’s still a much-appreciated feature for Android users.


Android O will provide a native picture-in-picture framework for video apps, allowing users to continue watching footage in a small window while navigating elsewhere.

This will be handy for continuing to watch, say, a YouTube clip or Netflix TV episode while reading email, summoning an Uber car, or navigating around the OS. Granted, the window will be absolutely tiny on your average smartphone, but it’s still better than having to stop and start every time you need to do something else on the screen.

Sure, we’ve seen this kind of thing before on Samsung Galaxy Note phones, but those are basically dead now. What’s old is new again.


Android device makers often use their own custom OS skins, which can throw off how the look and shape of app icons correspond with the rest of those you download from the Play Store. Luckily, Android O is going to do something about that.

Developers will be able to create so-called “adaptive icons” that offer multiple shape options that automatically shift based on your home screen theme. Circle, rounded square, or something in between? Android O hopes to keep your home screen grid uniform and unified by enabling creators to pack in multiple options.


As headphone ports become less and less standard, more people are being pushed towards Bluetooth earbuds and cans… which they might be wary of. But Google hopes to help ease the transition with some audio quality enhancements in Android O.

Android O will bundle in “high-quality Bluetooth audio codecs” to improve the quality of your wireless cans, and utilise Sony’s LDAC technology to allow for Hi-Res Audio playback over Bluetooth. Sony has apparently been a major partner for that inclusion, contributing 30+ feature enhancements and more than 250 bug fixes to Android O so far.


This might sound boring, but it could actually be a really helpful feature: Google is implementing new Autofill APIs that allow users to select password and data-storing apps to act as their preferred autofill app.

Why is this important? Because many people use password management apps to secure and store their vital info, and now Google will make that implementation seamless. According to Google’s Dave Burke, VP of Engineering, it’ll function much like choosing a keyboard app.


We’ll have to see just how useful this is to the average user, but Google is promising some kind of multi-display support “for launching an activity on a remote display.”

This might be something that would come in handy for corresponding with a Chromebook, now that Chrome OS is becoming more and more friendly with Android, or maybe there’s more to it. Right now, we only have this limited info from Google’s developer preview documentation, but we’ll stay tuned to see if it ends up being something really compelling.


On a Chromebook (unlikely as it seems) and feeling left out with some of these phone-specific additions? Worry not: Android O will also allow app developers to enhance keyboard navigation, making it perfect for moving through apps and games when seated at a Chromebook or another Chrome OS-based computer.

Apple has discontinued the iPod Shuffle and iPod Nano

Apple has discontinued the iPod Shuffle and iPod Nano iPod Shuffle iPod Nano

On July 27, 2017, Apple removed the iPod shuffle and iPod Nano from its website and online store, marking its discontinuation after twelve and a half years on the market in various forms. Apple continues to sell the iPod touch with updated pricing and storage. The updated iPod touch comes in a 32GB model, 128GB model. Pricing for South Africa is still to be confirmed.

If you were considering getting an iPod Shuffle or an iPod Nano this is your last chance as the devices will soon be a distant memory.


iPhone 8 expected in South Africa in October

iPhone 8 expected in South Africa in October iPhone 8 South Africa iPhone 8

It’s that time of the year, iPhone launch and this year it is the iPhone 8. Here is what you need to know:

iPhone 8 will be announced on Tuesday 12 September. The announcement will take place at the Steve Jobs Theater at Apple Park. This will be the first time the theater will be used for a public event.

The iPhone 8 will gone of sale on Friday 22 September in US, UK, Australia and a few other countries.

The iPhone 8 is expected to be released in South Africa some time in October. Our guess at the stage is either Friday 13 October or Friday 20 October.

Proposed expiry periods for data bundles

Proposed expiry periods for data bundles

Communications regulator Icasa has published draft regulations that, if implemented in final form, will prevent cellphone operators from expiring users’ data for up to 24 months.

The regulations could have a huge impact on mobile providers, which have developed pricing based on data expiry that’s often as short as 30 days – and sometimes even shorter.

Icasa published a notice in the Government Gazette on Monday saying it intends amending the end-user and subscriber service charter regulations. Regulation 8B introduces “out-of-bundle billing practices” and “expiry of data practices”.

Icasa has proposed that data bundles between 1GB and 5G must remain valid for 90 days, while bigger bundles, such as 20GB and more, must remain valid for 24 months or longer. End users must also be provided with an option to roll over unused data before the expiry date.

Specifically, the proposed expiry periods for data bundles are:

  • 1-50MB: 10 days
  • 50-500MB: 30 days
  • 500MB-1GB: 60 days
  • 1-5GB: 90 days
  • 5-10GB: 180 days
  • 10-20GB: 12 months
  • 20GB and more: 24 months

Among other things, the draft regulations state that operators must provide a mechanism for end users to opt into or opt out of bundle charges when their data bundle is depleted and they must ensure that end users are sent data depletion notifications at regular intervals.

The notifications must be sent at 50%, 75%, 90% and 100% depletion of data bundles. Consumers must not be defaulted automatically to out-of-bundle data charges upon depletion of a bundle.

Where someone does not opt in or out of out-of-bundle data usage when their data bundle has been depleted, operators must automatically disconnect them from out-of-bundle data usage until such time that they give their express authorisation to do otherwise.

Vodacom, MTN, Cell C and Telkom have stated that they will work with the regulator as it goes through the process.