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What next for BlackBerry phones after end of TCL partnership?

What next for BlackBerry phones after end of TCL partnership?

Do you have a BlackBerry phone, or are you planning on purchasing one? Your options could have to be revisited. The phone maker has announced that its partnership with TCL Communications will come to an end on August 31, 2020.

TCL is the company that has the rights to design, make and sell BlackBerry-branded devices.

The BlackBerry-TCL partnership began in 2016 with a series of devices including the DTEK50, DTEK60 and BlackBerry Keyone. These were designed and built by TCL and ran secure software by BlackBerry.

At one point a market leader, BlackBerry has been loved by its loyal fans for its unique set of smartphones with the full-qwerty keyboard. Actually, the company once had a 50 percent share of the smartphone market in the US and over 20 percent on the global scene.

However, the rise of the love for Apple and Android handsets matched with the failure to make equally good devices has not left tables up. This saw BlackBerry’s market share decline gradually. Actually the company is said to have been ready to leave the smartphone market to focus on other services until TCL came along.

Those having BB phones on them do not have to panic yet because TCL will continue to provide customer service and handle warranties until August 31 2022.

There’s however some hope for BlackBerry, as a company. With reliable and secure enterprise services as well as the running of QNX, an OS for automotive applications, we might still see some life in there. And you never know, another company might come up to replace TCL and even do better.

blackberry mobile tcl partnership

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Author: Kikonyogo Douglas AlbertWhat next for BlackBerry phones after end of TCL partnership?

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Uber increases UberX fares effective 29th January 2020

Uber increases UberX fares effective 29th January 2020

Ride-hailing company, Uber, has increased its UberX fares for yet another time in just 3 months. In what the firm has termed as “Investing in technology to enhance trip safety”, the changes – which take effect on 29th January 2020 – shall see an increment in the per kilometre and per minute fares charged on trips.

uberx fares change

As the base fare and minimum fare remain at UGX 1,250 and 6,000 respectively, the per kilometre fare has been increased from 700 to 850 while the per minute fare from 100 to 130.

Uber says the increase is because “of the increased costs for driver-partners.” The company recently implemented an in-depth earnings review to ensure that the app continues to be a “reliable economic opportunity for driver-partners, as well as an affordable option for riders.”

Accordingly, the new fare structure will enable Uber ably invest in improvements to its existing technology to help keep you safer on the road.

Second UberX fares increase in just 3 months

In October last year, the company put into effect its fare changes for UberX users in Kampala with a 13% rise in the charges incurred for trips made.

The changes saw an increase in the Base Fare from UGX 1,000 to UGX 1,250; the Per Kilometre charge from UGX 600 to UGX 700; Per Minute charge remaining at a constant UGX 100 while the Minimum Fare was increased from UGX 5,000 to UGX 6,000.

In a bid to understand the changes, and their implications on both the app users and drivers, an Uber spokesperson detailed to us then that Uber is emphasizing the provision of safe, reliable and affordable rides to its customers.

What are Uber’s new safety measures?

  • Trusted contacts: you’re able to select up to 5 loved ones as ‘Trusted Contacts’ and can choose to be prompted to share trip details with them during every ride – with a single tap.
  • GPS tracking: all Uber rides are tracked by GPS from start to finish, so you can follow your ride and see exactly where you’re going.
  • 24-7 Customer Support: whether you have a query or a problem with a trip, it’s easy to get the help you need with 247 in-app support.
  • Rider insurance coverage: In the unfortunate event of injury, death or disability while on-trip.
  • Plus the PIN code feature for riders to identify the right drivers

Read About: Uber expands to Ivory Coast

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Author: Kikonyogo Douglas AlbertUber increases UberX fares effective 29th January 2020

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Poll: Is Uganda (and East Africa) any ready for 5G?

Poll: Is Uganda (and East Africa) any ready for 5G?

The tech space in Uganda has been excited, since the end of last week, with the news that the telecom company MTN is to start testing 5G superfast mobile internet in Uganda, a first for East Africa.

Part of the live 5G demonstrations that MTN is experimenting in Kampala include showcasing real life applications of 5G technology such as cloud virtual reality, bionic robots, buffer-less 4K streaming, among others.

Interestingly, this is not the first time 5G is put to test in Africa. MTN has already done similar live 5G demos in Nigeria and South Africa; with Nigeria highly hopeful to start rolling out 5G in select cities in 2020. South African data provider rain offered 5G customers in parts of the country, while Gabon Telecom also did tests on 5G mobile in Libreville. Not to forget, even Lesotho has keen interest in the next generation of connectivity.

But the bigger question to be answered is: Is Uganda really ready for 5G?

What is 5G?

5G is the abbreviation for fifth generation. It’s the next generation of mobile internet technology and comes on the heels of the 4G LTE standard. The new tech is predicted to offer amazing yet faster download and upload speeds, with websites opening in microseconds, and videos downloading in seconds.

The other aspect expected of 5G is the least latency or lag when using your internet, such as when talking on WhatsApp or playing video games online.

To run on your device, 5G makes use of radio waves to transmit and receive data between an antenna or mast and your phone. Unlike the earlier technologies, it relies on higher radio frequencies.

Key to note is that 5G networks need a denser network of base stations or masts to operate successfully, and is better suited for areas with a dense population – such as urban areas where many people are going online at the same time.

5g uganda east africa

Are we about to have 5G in Uganda and East Africa?

GSMA once reported on 5G in Africa, and estimated that by 2025, only seven African countries, including South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya, will have 5G by 2025. And this will account for only 3% of mobile data compared to 16% globally.

To this, enterprises and public institutions will be the initial 5G customers and that they will access 5G via a fixed access point. This means that it will take a while for 5G to be fully available for mobile devices.

GSMA also believes that 5G will be a key enabler of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, as technology is seamlessly embedded within society and especially in commercial and industrial processes. This improved capability and performance will come from a more advanced core network, increased spectral efficiency and capacity, and further network densification.

The costs of 5G

Governments need to develop regulations to allow for a 5G rollout. Also, telcos have to incur the infrastructure costs that come with the advancement. They need to build the vast network of masts or antennas to transmit the signals.

Plus, a mobile carrier can’t launch full 5G services until the country’s communications regulator holds a spectrum auction to sell the rights to transmit over specific frequencies. This calls for expensive investment.

Then the question of affordability also comes in. It’s been written that “If African consumers can’t afford 4G, they certainly won’t be able to afford 5G or the new devices necessary to use 5G on a smartphone.”

We can only wait! Give us your thoughts on 5G in Uganda, East Africa, and Africa as a whole.

The post Poll: Is Uganda (and East Africa) any ready for 5G? appeared first on SautiTech.


Author: Kikonyogo Douglas AlbertPoll: Is Uganda (and East Africa) any ready for 5G?

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Forget Google Instant Apps, here’s Huawei Quick Apps

Forget Google Instant Apps, here’s Huawei Quick Apps

The Google-Huawei divorce from last year left a lot to mend if the latter was to continue doing business. There were unanswered questions on what new Huawei mobile releases would look like without Google services pre-installed.

Towards the launch of the Huawei Mate 30, it was already evident that Google would not offer its mobile services to the series, despite there being a temporary lift to the ban imposed earlier. On the launch day, we would get to know of the Huawei Mobile Services, the perfect alternative to Google Mobile Services (GMS).

Now, the manufacturer has made public the availability of Huawei Quick Apps, the most likely alternative to Instant Apps from Google. Quick Apps has been built to be a gap-filler for Google’s Instant Apps framework, while offering  users an installation-free app experience on Huawei’s smartphones.

As has been the case with Instant Apps, Quick Apps wants to make users less reluctant when choosing to install an app.

What’s the big deal with Quick Apps?

Ease of access: You can get Google’s Instant Apps strictly through a deeplink URL and through the Google Play Store. But Huawei widens the access to Quick Apps to more options such as through the Huawei AppGallery, through Search, Instant Access, Smart Care, through the Huawei Quick App Center app, and through deeplink URLs.

Ease of use: Huawei has made Quick Apps easy to open instantly, and be used without having to install. Huawei also claims that they can update automatically, and take up limited storage space. When closed, you can rediscover them easily through the home screen icon, or find them through Recently Used apps, or through Push notifications.

Fast build: The time actually involved in building a Quick App or Quick Game is really quick. If you already have an existing H5 app or game, you can have a Quick App or Game up and running within an hour. The timeframe expands by two more days if you wish to incorporate Huawei’s account or payment services. Huawei claims that new Quick Apps can be developed and released in as early as under a week.

The downside of Huawei Quick Apps

If your app/game is very large in size, there is a loss in performance that becomes apparent because of the larger reduction in the volume of the package. Also, if your app relies on some rarely used APIs, you will be unable to migrate completely in a clean fashion.

Huawei also notes that apps that require special permissions, such as theme APKs for example, are not supported through the Quick App format.

Quick Apps also need to run on the “Quick Application Center” platform, which will be preloaded on devices through their Android 10 updates. Devices not on Android 9 need to download and install the platform once to be able to run Quick Apps.

Which phones can run Huawei Quick Apps?

All Huawei smartphone launched after the Huawei Mate 30 directly support Quick Apps, while other selected Huawei and Honor devices will support it when they receive their Android 10 update.

The post Forget Google Instant Apps, here’s Huawei Quick Apps appeared first on SautiTech.


Author: Kikonyogo Douglas AlbertForget Google Instant Apps, here’s Huawei Quick Apps

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Facebook puts plans for ads in WhatsApp on hold

Facebook puts plans for ads in WhatsApp on hold

For all the fears we had that Facebook could initiate the presence of ads in WhatsApp, the verdict is now clear. It is highly reported that the company will not go on with the plan, as reported by WSJ.

Over the past months, WhatsApp was doing its best to find out how to integrate ads into the service and there was a likelihood that this would take effect this year .

Initially, WhatsApp was making money off download fees and a then $0.99 annual subscription, but the service became free to use upon Facebook acquiring it. The parent company would later unveil plans to generate more revenue from the app with the option of selling ads.

Lest we forget, this is one of the reasons app founders Jan Koum and Brian Acton decided to resign from the company. WSJ reports that these two, in 2016, changed WhatsApp’s terms of service to explicitly forbid displaying ads in the app.

Probably the bigger concern was that a commercial messaging feature would force WhatsApp to weaken its end-to-end encryption.

Actually, as of last May, Facebook officially unveiled prototypes for ads in its Status feature, where one can spot ads in between status views. But all has been put to rest.

Much as the plans to introduce ads to Status could be implemented at a later time, the focus for now shall be on building out money-making features that let “businesses communicate with customers and better manage those interactions”.

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Author: Kikonyogo Douglas AlbertFacebook puts plans for ads in WhatsApp on hold

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Uber introduces PIN code feature for riders to identify the right drivers

Uber introduces PIN code feature for riders to identify the right drivers

As part Uber’s strategy to beef up the safety of its riders, the company is offering users a four-digit PIN code to assist in ensuring that they board into the right car.

The ride-hailing company is rolling out the new feature across the U.S. and riders will be able to use the PIN codes to identify the right drivers to navigate them as well as to ensure that there is no impersonation of these drivers.

This follows the death of 21-year-old Samantha Josephson, who was murdered in March last year after getting into the car of a man that claimed to be an Uber driver.

Also Read About:

  • Uber expands to Ivory Coast
  • Why Uber increased uberX fares in Uganda
  • Uber launches its boat service in Nigeria

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How to save your WhatsApp chat history

How to save your WhatsApp chat history

Your WhatsApp chats are automatically backed up and saved daily to your phone’s memory. Depending on your settings, you can also periodically back up your WhatsApp chats to Google Drive. If you uninstall WhatsApp from your phone, but don’t want to lose any of your messages, be sure to manually back up your chats before uninstalling.

How to back up your chats

To back up your chats and messages, follow the procedure below:

  • Go to WhatsApp
  • Tap More options
  • Go to Settings, and then to Chats.
  • Select Chat backup and choose BACK UP.

How to export your WhatsApp chat history

If you want to export a copy the chat history from an individual or group chat, you can use the export chat feature. Key to note is that this feature isn’t supported in Germany.

To export your chat history:

  • Open the individual or group chat.
  • Tap More options
  • Tap More.
  • Tap Export chat, and choose whether to export with media or without media.

An email will be composed with your chat history attached as a .txt document. If you choose to attach media, the most recent media sent will be added as attachments.

When exporting with media, you can send up to 10,000 latest messages. Without media, you can send 40,000 messages. WhatsApp says these constraints are due to maximum email sizes.

Read About: How to your restore deleted WhatsApp chats

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Author: Kikonyogo Douglas AlbertHow to save your WhatsApp chat history

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2020 Telegram update: New Theme Editor, Send When Online

2020 Telegram update: New Theme Editor, Send When Online

The internet and any interaction on it revolves around social media. With more than a billion social media users actively switching between the various apps through which they link up and exchange messages as well as share moments, these platforms offer constant updates to enhance experience and offer users more value.

As we start 2020, Telegram is the first messaging app to make an update available and there are quite a number of interesting features and revisions made on this one.

A new Theme Editor

Telegram has unveiled a new theme editor in Chat Settings through which you can change the style of elements in your Telegram chats and add beautiful effects to both your messages and your background.

The app has also added new predefined color schemes for its default themes. The new options can be accessed under Classic, Night, Day, etc.

Send When Online

The way you’d want to deliver some news or message just when the recipient is available, Telegram has added the option to schedule messages that are delivered as soon as the recipient comes online.

Note that this option is only available if you are allowed to see your recipient’s online status.

View Search Results as a List

Telegram’s Search function allows you to look through messages containing a keyword – or sent by a particular person, or even from a certain day. Now, with the update, if you tap the bottom bar you will be able to switch to a list view in case you want to see all the results on one page.

On iOS, you can also select several messages without leaving Search Mode.

What’s new On Telegram for Android?

Switch to Night Mode Faster: With the Night Mode Switch at the top of the menu. Tap the moon icon and you’ll activate the dark mode. .

Select Parts of Messages: Android now also lets you select a portion of the message text to copy or share, instead of only the full text. Sometimes you only want a slice, rather than the whole pie.

And Other Android Goodies

  • You can сhoose video quality in a more intuitive way when sending videos.
  • Sending contacts now uses a simple, card-style interface that won’t take up your whole screen (unless you pull up to expand it).
  • When you’re done listening to a voice message with your phone up to your ear, Telegram automatically records a reply – but now you can disable that by turning off Raise to Speak in your Chat Settings.

What’s new on iOS?

Text Size, All the Way: You’ve been able to adjust the size of message text on Telegram from the beginning, but now you can scale the font size throughout the app. I’m not sure if Grandma reads this blog regularly, so you may have to tell her yourself.

Choose Your Browser: External browsers are now supported for opening links – you can select your preferred app in Settings > Data and Storage > Other.

Share Sheet Settings: Your most popular Telegram chats were recently added to the iOS Share Sheet. In case you‘d like to control what can (or can’t ) appear there, you can use the new toggles under Settings > Data and Storage > Other > Share Sheet.

Switch Accounts Faster: Superman has had a hard time finding phone booths lately, so we added a way to swiftly switch accounts right from your home screen on iOS 13. Simply hold down on the app icon any time you need to change costumes.

Storage Usage At a Glance: The Storage Usage page has been redesigned to more quickly find the settings you‘re looking for. It also shows your device’s storage status, and how much space all those other pesky apps are using compared to Telegram. Bigger, after all, is not always better.

You did know that with Telegram there’s no need to store every silly meme people ever sent you on your precious device, right?

Cache-Clearing Shortcuts: Selecting multiple messages in a group or channel gives you the option to clear the chat’s cache. Like we said, no need to store what you don’t need – but also no need to delete actual messages. Just keep things in the cloud, like the cool kids.

Check out Settings > Data and Storage > Storage Usage for more options.

Member Lists: The Shorter Scrolls

In case you’re looking to leave some large groups and start fresh in the new decade, long member lists will collapse, so you can get to the ‘Leave Group’ button without scrolling.

By the way, swiping on a group or channel from the chat list and selecting ‘Delete’ is still the shortest way out, but now there is more than one way to leave the New Year’s party early.

Find out more here.

Read About: How to enable 2FA on Twitter without using your mobile number

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Author: Kikonyogo Douglas Albert2020 Telegram update: New Theme Editor, Send When Online

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This is why you should not write on currency notes

This is why you should not write on currency notes

In a strong wave of political activism and economic imbalance, there have been numerous attempts by individuals to put writings on various monetary notes and other currencies. Various social media posts have indicated marks and writings imparted on money to state their political ambitions and aspirations.

Bank of Uganda has come out to warn the public against this act and has advised the pubic not to accept any bank notes with marks and writings other than the official ones, as these have less value.

This is the statement from Bank of Uganda:

Bank of Uganda (BoU) is by law the only authority that can issue currency in Uganda and that includes the power to determine the features that can appear on any currency note or coin.

The Bank has noted with concern the several social media postings circulating images of Uganda’s currency notes with hand written political campaign messages. This is to advise members of the public that stamping, writing, and /or markings on currency notes interferes with the security features that are useful in establishing the authenticity of the genuine currency notes. Stamping, writing/or marking on bank notes or coins also amounts to defacing which exposes the holder of such a note or coin to the risk of loss of its value.

The public is, therefore, strongly warned against the use of currency notes for any other purpose other than for making or receiving payments and the public is also advised to accept only those notes that bear features as designed by Bank of Uganda.

Individuals involved in the defacing, and/or those accepting defaced notes risk losing the value of their Banknotes.

Bank of Uganda assures the general public that it is committed to the preservation of the integrity and value of the currency of the Republic of Uganda.

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Author: Kikonyogo Douglas AlbertThis is why you should not write on currency notes