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Office 365 turns Microsoft 365. What’s new?

Office 365 turns Microsoft 365. What’s new?

Effective April 21st 2020, what we’ve known to be Office 365 will become Microsoft 365. The new package, according to Microsoft, builds on the foundation of Office while adding in new artificial intelligence (AI), rich content and templates, and cloud-powered experiences.

The experiences have been infused in to empower you to become a better writer, presenter, designer, manager of your finances, and deepen your connections to the people in your life.

Key changes include the expansion of Microsoft Editor, now accessible across Word and Outlook.com, and as a standalone browser extension for Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome.

PowerPoint Presenter Coach is adding two new features exclusively for Microsoft 365 subscribers—monotone pitch and speech refinement. With monotone pitch, Presenter Coach will listen to your tone of voice and give feedback in real-time to suggest adding some variation where needed, while speech refinement will give grammar suggestions including how to better phrase your speech.

Another impressive addition is Money in Excel, a new solution for Microsoft 365 subscribers that makes it easy to manage, track, and analyze your money and spending all in Excel.

Microsoft is also expected to roll out two new Microsoft 365 experiences – a Microsoft Family Safety app designed to keep your family safe across the digital and physical worlds, and new features in Microsoft Teams that bring you closer to your friends and family to more deeply connect and collaborate on the things that matter most to you.

Microsoft Family Safety app

An interesting aspect of the new Microsoft Family Safety app is that it is the only app that manages screen time across Windows PCs, Android, and Xbox while also giving you peace of mind when your kids aren’t home. The app helps you stay connected with location sharing and notifications when a family member arrives or departs a location like home, school, or work, to help give you the peace of mind that your family is where they need to be.

You’ll also be able to help protect your kids as they explore and play games online and on their devices. The app helps you understand how your kids are spending their time across their Xbox, Windows 10 PCs, and Android phones, plus you can set limits to help promote healthy digital habits. Additionally, you’ll be able to help steer them away from content that you feel is not age appropriate as they start browsing the web.

The new Microsoft Teams

In Teams, you’ll be able to connect in a group chat, make video calls, collaborate over shared to-do lists and assign tasks to specific people, coordinate schedules, share photos and videos, all in one place. Teams also gives to you the tools to seamlessly manage daily life; share grocery lists, organize across family calendars, store important information like Wi-Fi passwords and account info, and even see location updates when loved ones arrive home or at other locations like work or school.

Revamped Edge browser

Also, the Microsoft Edge browser has been revamped with new features to protect you on the web with Password Monitor, and to simplify research with Collections.

Microsoft 365 Pricing

Microsoft 365 Personal costs $6.99 a month while a family of up to six people can use Microsoft 365 Family for $9.99 a month.

The Microsoft 365 Personal and Family subscriptions you get everything in Office 365, 1 TB of OneDrive cloud storage per person, 60 Skype call minutes, advanced security features to protect you from malware and phishing attacks, ongoing technical support, plus all the new features and benefits announced today.

Source: Microsoft

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Author: Kikonyogo Douglas AlbertOffice 365 turns Microsoft 365. What’s new?

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Digital Featured

How to use the WhatsApp call waiting feature

How to use the WhatsApp call waiting feature

Depending on what you are doing, you might find it disruptive to leave one voice call for another unless the latter is of much importance. The same applies for scenarios such as when on a WhatsApp call. This is the reason why the app introduced the WhatsApp call waiting feature.

If someone attempts to call you on WhatsApp while you’re already on a WhatsApp voice or video call, you’ll receive a notification depending on the call type, and you can choose to answer or decline the call. This won’t interrupt your existing call.

If someone calls you on WhatsApp

You can select to either end the call you’re currently on and accept the incoming call, or to decline the incoming call and remain on the current call.

If someone calls you from outside of WhatsApp

If someone attempts to call you through a landline or mobile phone outside of WhatsApp while you’re on a WhatsApp voice or video call, you can employ the WhatsApp call waiting feature by tapping either of: Answer, Decline, or screen call.

  • Answer lets you end the call you’re currently on and accept the incoming call.
  • Decline basically declines the incoming call and lets you remain on the current call.
  • Screen call opens up Google Assistant to screen your call, and ask who’s calling and why.

Read About:

  • How to activate dark mode on WhatsApp
  • How to save your WhatsApp chat history

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Author: Kikonyogo Douglas AlbertHow to use the WhatsApp call waiting feature

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Featured Tech

Jumia adopts Contactless Delivery in response to coronavirus

Jumia adopts Contactless Delivery in response to coronavirus

When the going gets tough, the tough get going too! In the wake of the coronavirus disease pandemic, eCommerce platform Jumia has announced the implementation of ‘contactless’ delivery for prepaid packages on the platform. The company is taking additional measures to keep consumers, delivery agents and partners safe.

To drive the initiative, the ‘contactless safe delivery’ option has been implemented through MTN Mobile Money. This enables consumers to make prepaid payments for products online and get it delivered without a direct body contact or cash exchange with the delivery agent. You won’t have to physically pick up your order.

The health and safety of our customers and delivery agents is our absolute priority. We are uniquely positioned to step up and be part of Africa’s response strategy in this challenging time. We have implemented a “Contactless” delivery option, which eliminates any possibility of physical contact. Convenience, social distancing and cashless measures are woven into one solution to combat the current situation.”  said Apoorva Kumar, SVP Logistics at Jumia.

Jumia’s delivery agents have been trained to enforce necessary standards during delivery. They are instructed to call or text when they arrive at the customer’s place and drop off the package at their doorstep, then step back to the safe distance limit and will wait for the customer to take the package before leaving.

Consumers are strongly encouraged to pay “cashless” on Jumia through MTN Mobile Money This will ensure less physical cash coming into contact with delivery riders and  the wider population and will in turn help reduce the risk of coronavirus transmission.

Jumia “Contactless” delivery payment option is available on all cashless delivery modes that are contactless such as MTN Mobile Money.

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Author: EditorJumia adopts Contactless Delivery in response to coronavirus

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Featured Tech

List of African countries that sell paid apps on Play Store

List of African countries that sell paid apps on Play Store

Overtime, we have all known Google Play Store as the ultimate source of authentic apps to use on Android phones. It allows users to browse and download applications developed with the Android software development kit and published through Google.

What you might have not yet known is that every few months, Google opens up developer and merchant registration on the Play Console to more countries. Various nations are able to sign up for an account on Google Play and start distributing their apps.

Late last year we saw Google push to bring developer access to the Play Store to coders all over Africa. A number of countries with access can distribute free and paid apps and games. In these countries, developers can upload and sell their paid software.

African countries that sell paid apps on Google Play Store

  • Algeria
  • Angola
  • Benin
  • Botswana
  • Burkina Faso
  • Cameroon
  • Cape Verde
  • Cote d’Ivoire
  • Egypt
  • Gabon
  • Ghana
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Kenya
  • Mali
  • Morocco
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Niger
  • Nigeria
  • Rwanda
  • Senegal
  • South Africa
  • Sudan
  • Tanzania
  • Togo
  • Tunisia
  • Uganda
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe
  • Burundi
  • Congo
  • Guinea
  • Lesotho
  • Libya
  • Malawi
  • Mauritania
  • Gambia
  • Liberia
  • Sierra Leone

If you like building software and live in these countries, you can sign up for a developer account here.

Using paid apps

Majority of Android users access the apps they use off the Google Play Store, given the freedom it comes with and the numerous lot readily available. However, despite being free, most of these apps display annoying ads and lack so many features that a user would have interest in.

To counter this, you can now utilize Google Play Pass – a monthly subscription service that allows you exclusive access to a variety of games and other apps on the Play Store. The service is now official and it costs $4.99 for you to get any of more than 350 apps and games.

Google revealed that the service shall go further to include other types of apps such as health, fitness, photography, photo retouching, weather and camera apps.

Read About:

  • Google Play Pass: Everything you need to know about it

  • How to join and win from Google Play Points rewards program

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Author: Kikonyogo Douglas AlbertList of African countries that sell paid apps on Play Store

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Digital Featured

How to enable multiple signatures on your Gmail

How to enable multiple signatures on your Gmail

Gone are the days when you have to always edit your signature to define your messages. It’s now possible to use multiple signatures in Gmail. Like you may wish to have it, having a number of them gives you the flexibility to use different signatures for different situations.

This includes if you would like to communicate across various personnel, across different languages, as well as for new emails and replies, and even more. Google says that this feature will be available by default.

How to enable multiple signatures on your Gmail

To create multiple signatures, in Gmail go to Settings (gear icon) > Settings > General. Then, scroll down to “Signature” and select “Create New” to enter multiple signatures. To use the additional signatures, open the signature menu in the compose action toolbar to switch signatures.

Add a signature if you’re using the “Send mail as” feature

If you use the “Send mail as” feature to send from different addresses in your account, you can add a different signature for each address.

To select an address, use the drop-down menu above the signature text box on the Settings page.

If you don’t see the drop-down menu:

  1. Open the Accounts and Import settings page.
  2. Check that your addresses are listed in the “Send mail as” section.

Editor’s Note: Because of the COVID-19 outbreak, there has been a delay in the rollout of the multiple signatures feature. Rapid Release will now begin rollout on April 8th with Scheduled Release rollout planned to begin on April 22nd.

Read About: How to send large video files through Gmail

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Author: Kikonyogo Douglas AlbertHow to enable multiple signatures on your Gmail

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Featured Startups

Here’s Odukar Store: A quality electronics online shop

Here’s Odukar Store: A quality electronics online shop

The world today is about convenience. A number of innovations and inventions are deemed successful if only they can stand out in offering products and services without the customer having to do the most work. This is what e-commerce sites have been loved for – taking customer orders and shipping these within hours to wherever you are.

But what about the newly found need for quality electronics and accessories shopping and shipping? Odukar store is bridging the gap.

Odukar is a new Ugandan-based online shop offering quality electronics at affordable prices. The site sells mobile accessories including power banks, phone wall chargers, USB cables, HDMI cables car phone chargers, phone holders, power extensions with USB charging, portable hard drives, Flash disks, name it.

How to signup on Odukar

To register, look out for the Login/Register option on the site, and select create account. You will be asked to fill in your details and set a password for your account.

With an account set, you can ably make and track orders, set an address to where your orders are delivered, as well as reliably pay for your purchase.

How to place an on Odukar

  • You can order online from the website.
  • Alternatively, you can inbox Odukar via their Facebook page or contact the team on +256770459339 or +256758827621 with what you want.

Once you have placed your order, you can be sure to get delivery either on the same day or the next for Kampala residents. Customers are charged a standard fee of Ugx 5,000 for all deliveries within Kampala. You can also pick your Odukar order at their stores on Ntinda Turskys building.

In the event that you don’t like what you have bought, you can return it within 3 days of delivery.

No, Odukar is not a Jumia competitor

The first thought that would come to mind if you got to know about Odukar is whether there is any sort of competition with Jumia. The reality is the opposite. 

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Author: Kikonyogo Douglas AlbertHere’s Odukar Store: A quality electronics online shop

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Featured Telecom

2 years later: The impact of social media tax on Ugandans

2 years later: The impact of social media tax on Ugandans

As of 23rd March 2020, Uganda has only confirmed one case of the novel coronavirus. The President of Uganda recently issued directives which saw all schools in Uganda closed effective March 20, all gatherings banned, the border’s closed, international flights banned, citizens urged to stay home and many others in order to curb the spread of the virus.

But some of the measures for curbing this virus such as having people work remotely, students study at home and an increased reliance on digital transactions, are all hindered by Uganda’s social media and the mobile tax that were introduced in the country in July 2018.

In July 2019, one year after the tax was introduced, Uganda Revenue authority reportedly collected only UGX 49.5 billion out of the targeted UGX 284 billion from OTT and was short by up to 83 percent of the country’s estimates. Doris Akol, a commissioner from the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) proposed plans to drop the current Over the Top Tax (OTT) stating that many Ugandans had resorted to using Virtual Private Networks (VPN) and wireless networks in their offices to avoid paying the tax.

In order to further understand how the social media tax continues to impact the social, economic and cultural aspects of the day-to-day lives of people living in Uganda, Pollicy conducted a study on the perceptions and behavior of Ugandans towards the taxation in November 2019. Today Pollicy is releasing the second OTT tax report titled “A Shot in the Dark: The Impact of the Social Media Tax in Uganda on Access, Usage, Income and Productivity” which follows the previous “Offline and Out of Pocket” report that looked at findings from the first 7 months after the tax was enacted.

Findings from the new report show that there has been a significant drop in social media usage and around 42 percent of the respondents felt that the tax is unfair. Around 36.4 percent of the respondents were accessing social media platforms more than 10 times a day prior to the tax, which number had dropped to 12.3 percent after the taxation at the time of the study.

When asked what they used social media for, 35 percent of the respondents said they used it for business activities and 62 percent of them reported reduced income following the implementation of the tax. In terms of affordability, 21% percent of the respondents made less than UGX 100,000 per month and the social media tax would take out more than 6 percent of their monthly incomes, for daily use of social media platforms. Around 76% percent of the respondents paid their social media taxes, while around 14% percent continued to use a VPN exclusively as a means of avoiding this tax.

This study was conducted on 1188 respondents living in areas of Gulu, Jinja, Mbarara, and Kampala, with about 58 percent of them identifying as male and the remaining 42 percent as female. A majority (78.5 percent) of the participants were under the age of 35.

Overall, findings from the report show that the OTT tax has continued to be unfair towards many groups and has reduced internet access, as well as productivity. The government should consider removing the taxes as they are largely regressive and the need to use these taxed services is much greater now with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic limiting travel and encouraging people to adopt new remote working strategies.

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Author: Editor2 years later: The impact of social media tax on Ugandans

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Featured Tech

itel A56 first impressions: Big battery, Bigger screen

itel A56 first impressions: Big battery, Bigger screen

In the smartphone era, having a phone is no longer about how much you bought it. The quality of specifications that your handset carries matters a lot to an interested party. The itel A56 is this valuable.

The new phone, in line after the itel A55, comes with an evident ‘Bigger is Better’ trademark right from the screen to the personal experience – within minutes of usage. If your need is a device with a long life, a sizable display, and a fit in your wallet, this is the perfect choice to make.

We received the itel A56 and are now going to make a review of it for you.

What’s inside the box?

The itel A56 box is wrapped in a cool red box. When you unwrap it, you’ll find the phone, charger head, a transparent phone case, earphones, micro USB charger, and screen protector.

itel a56 inside the box

What do we like?

The Big screen: The A56 builds a lot on the A55 and this is very visible with the close to 6.0-inch screen that comes with the new piece. The love for big screen smartphones and the need to make everything easy to do on your phone can be married in with this one. From reading, writing, watching videos, to playing video games, name it! The Itel A56 doesn’t disappoint at all.

itel a56 big screen

The camera set-up: Buying the itel A56 does not just bless you with a big screen, you are sure to get a good camera device on you. It comes with a dual cam setup on the rear, something to fall for on any modern smartphone, as well as a really bright front selfie camera. In simple terms, having a single camera phone is no longer a deal to anyone.

itel a56 camera

The Battery: The itel A56 is equipped with a cool 4000 mAh battery capacity to keep it running through out the day and even more if you are a battery saver. A four thousand-er can assure you of active usage for all that vigourous work that is required of a smartphone.

The body: The itel A56 comes with a 2.5D slight curvature at the edge of the display, also known as a contoured edge. The phone is a perfect fit in pockets, making you feel that safety you deserve away from theft and misplacement.

The performance: itel put a cool software look on the new A56 and this makes it feel like a 6GB smartphone – before you check the specs. Anyways, the phone is an Android Go product and has just as much software that is needed for a phone of its calibre and this makes it amazingly fast and easy to use about.

Security: The A56 has a fingerprint sensor at the back for ordinary security. There is also a face unlock feature that is safe and convenient, as it prevents thieves from stealing your information.

What don’t we like?

The itel A56 does not support 4G technology. This keeps us wondering of when we shall ever have a 4G phone from itel. We shall have to keep waiting.

INFINIX HOT 8 SPECIFICATIONS

Display: 6.0-inch IPS FullScreen
Front Camera: 5 MP
Rear Camera: 8 MP + VGA
OS: Android 9.0 Pie (Go Edition)
Network: 3G/2G
Internal Storage: 16 GB
RAM: 1 GB
Processor: Quad-Core 1.3GHz
Battery: 4000mAh

itel A56 price and availability in Uganda

The itel A56 goes for UGX 239,000 at itel branded shops countrywide. Also, customers can utilize the partnership that the manufacturers have with Airtel Uganda to buy the phone from Airtel shops and stores. The phone comes with 3GB of data, and a customer gets to enjoy 100% data bonus whenever they load data for the next 3 months.

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Author: Kikonyogo Douglas Albertitel A56 first impressions: Big battery, Bigger screen

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Featured Telecom

Coronavirus: Airtel Uganda scraps all Airtel Money fees for 30 days

Coronavirus: Airtel Uganda scraps all Airtel Money fees for 30 days

In the wake of the rapid spread of the coronavirus, various companies are crafting initiatives to ensure safety and health. Among these are the telecom companies whose services are an essential requirement in such a time of panic and need.

Following a directive by the president of Uganda to have people in quarantine for the next month, companies have reacted. Airtel Uganda, for instance, has scraped all mobile money and payment fees to ensure fluid cash flow during the period

In a statement issued by the company’s managing director, VG Somasekhar, the company has waived all fees on person to person transactions, as well as making Airtel Money Pay free for both customers and merchants.

The waiver is effective 20th March and will go on for the next 30 days.

Here is the statement:

In the face of unprecedented health risks, the safety and health of Ugandans is of utmost importance to us. Airtel Uganda has moved to support efforts to control spread of the Corona Virus (COVID-19) pandemic by promoting the conversion of physical cash to digital/ electronic transactions.

As part of the support, effective 20th March 2020;

  • All on-net P2P (Person-to-Person) transactions will be free for 3o days for any number of transactions and value.
  • Airtel Money Pay will be free for all customers and all merchants for 3o days

Airtel Uganda would like to thank the government of Uganda and other stakeholders for the continued proactive  measures aimed at ensuring the safety of all Ugandans during this period. We remain committed to working together with all key stakeholders in safeguarding the lives of Ugandans.

Read About: MTN Work from home bundles

 

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Author: Kikonyogo Douglas AlbertCoronavirus: Airtel Uganda scraps all Airtel Money fees for 30 days

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Featured Telecom

How to activate the MTN Uganda ‘Work from home’ data bundle

How to activate the MTN Uganda ‘Work from home’ data bundle

The coronavirus outbreak has affected many of the working class, and has limited their productivity to only work from home. Besides the fear of getting infected while on their way to or even within the physical work places, the pandemic has cut off some of the key tools that assist in ensuring that work is done efficiently.

MTN Uganda has come up with a solution for this through their package in support for the fight against the outbreak. The company’s CEO, Wim Vanhelleputte, has today issued a statement about the package and how to benefit from it.

As you relax at home, you can get to enjoy an all day-time data bundle that will enable you stay on-line and work from home. The telco has done so by introducing the new work from home bundle. To activate it, dial 150*19# to get 1 GB at just UGX 2000 using MoMo. The bundle is limited and valid to time between 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Also, for the next 30-days, customers can send up to Ushs 30,000/- Mobile Money every day to other MTN MoMo customers free of charge. The offer is meant to reduce the risk of transmission by avoiding the physical exchange of currency notes.

MTN is also complementing government’s sensitization drive by availing UGX 500 million in cash and free media channel space (radio, TV, social media, SMS, call centre IVR platform) to promote the Ministry of Health’s sensitization messages.

Read About: Airtel Uganda scraps all Airtel Money fees for 30 days amidst coronavirus fears

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Author: Kikonyogo Douglas AlbertHow to activate the MTN Uganda ‘Work from home’ data bundle