WhatsApp Users can now Call Without Internet thanks to Rwandan Made Prototype

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It is easier for a WhatsApp user in diaspora to audio or video call or chat with his or her counterpart in Africa who has the same application than traditional telephone calls and text messages. The situation is the same for people who use Skype, Facebook Messenger, Viber and WeChat, to mention a few. But at the moment, the number of smartphone holders is very small in many developing countries especially in Africa. For instance, the number of smartphone holders in Rwanda is below 1.2 million. This challenges service providers…

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Bitcoin and Ethereum hit by massive decline, Other cryptocurrencies dropped even worse

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Most major digital currencies sold off sharply on Tuesday, but the declines in bitcoin, ethereum and litecoin prices weren’t as bad as much of the rest of the market.  Bitcoin was down 17 percent at that time, ethereum was down 19 percent and litecoin was down 19 percent, according to the same site. The declines followed speculation in the market about what regulators in Asia may be planning for digital tokens. On Monday, a report from Bloomberg, citing unnamed sources, said Beijing plans to block domestic access to Chinese and…

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Five African tech trends to watch in 2018

Internet of things
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The BBC’s Clare Spencer picks five African tech trends to look out for in 2018. Land registry you can’t tamper with The idea: Documentation is often lacking in parts of Africa, leading to land disputes because it isn’t clear who owns the land. Even when there are records, sometimes they have been tampered with. A record that cannot be deleted, using something called blockchain, could be used to prevent these disputes. Blockchain is a method of recording data – a digital ledger of transactions, agreements, contracts – anything that needs…

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Apple ‘to buy Shazam for $400m

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Apple is close to buying the music recognition app Shazam for about $400m (£300m), media reports say. Shazam, a UK company founded in 1999, allows people to use their smartphone or computer to identify and buy music through a snippet of sound. Shazam, which says it has more than 100 million monthly users, makes most of its revenue from commissions paid on referrals to Apple’s iTunes Store. Neither Apple nor Shazam have commented on the reports on the TechCrunch site. If the deal is confirmed, the music identifying App will…

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Google Maps will soon tell you when it’s time to get off your train or bus

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Google is about to launch a small but useful update to Google Maps that will give you live guidance and interactive real-time notifications during your journey. The idea here is to give you real-time updates while you are on your transit journey. These updates will appear in the Google Maps app and, maybe most importantly, on your Android lock screen. To get started, you search for your transit directions in Google Maps as usual. So far, so good. What’s new here is that you’ll soon be able to tap a…

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Google launches a data-friendly search app for users in emerging markets

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Google is continuing its push to make its services accessible for people with lower-end mobile devices or slow internet connections after it introduced Google Go, a data-friendly search app. The app was first spotted in beta in August — when it was known as Search Lite — and now it has been released for select Android devices (here). At just 5MB the app won’t take up huge amounts of space on a device — that’s important because cheaper devices that are popular in emerging markets have limited capacity — while…

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Millions caught in virtual keyboard app data breach

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Security researchers claim to have found the personal data of 31 million Android users of the keyboard app Ai.type after finding an open database online. The app offers themed keyboards for phones and tablets.The researchers claimed data left visible included names, phone numbers, locations and Google queries. The boss of the Israeli company behind the app admitted the breach but said most of the data was not sensitive. Bob Diachenko, from the Kromtech Security Centre, part of security company Mackeeper, said the amount of data required by the app at…

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Gym-As-You-Go wants to let you pay per exercise

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Wish you didn’t have to pay as much if you rarely went to the gym? Gym-As-You-Go wants to offer pricing based on usage rather than monthly subscriptions. The project uses NFC to let you check in at work-out machines. You’re then charged a fee for how long you use the machine, and Gym-As-You-Go keeps a percentage. Pay-as-you-go pricing could give lazy people who rarely work out a way to waste less money, and gyms a way to attract a different type of customer. Especially popular machines could be surge priced…

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