Saturday, 26 April 2014

South African News Apps

If you've been reading News24 of late you'll find that they have a new app for the elections (download here if you want).  This kinda makes me excited in that it seems South Africans will be able to participate more in the events around them.
So this got me thinking that perhaps it was time for a review of the news apps in South Africa. News24 doesn't get me excited, their news is fast, it's just generally boring. Maybe is just the way they tell it...
So, I've downloaded eNCA, EWN, Business Day and News24.  (You can click on any of the headings to be directed to the relevant app in the Play store)

Let's start with the classic.

With over 500 000 downloads this is by far the most popular local News app available.  While I like their app, as I mentioned already, their news is told in a very straight forward manner that doesn't interest me.  Its like a history teacher running through event dates. I switch off pretty fast, often just the headlines are enough for me!
One of my pet hates in this app and most SA News apps is that every time you turn your phone (turn it sideways or upright again) it automatically scrolls back to the top, to the top of the story, to the top of the list of articles. Drives me insane!  I don't read the news every single day, so when I do I tend to scroll to find an interesting story, but having to scroll down to where I was each and every time is really infuriating! (I like to lie down and read).  You also have to scroll back to where you were when you finsihed reading a story and go back to the list of articles.
Of course the best thing about News24 is the reason we all downloaded News24.  It was that it was the best at getting the news to you first.  Things appeared so quickly that it seems like days had gone by when you watched the news that night, it was old news already.

I've had this news app for some time as well because I was looking for something with better content than News24. While I like the content, the app hasn't really been updated in.... like... ever. It does say November 2013 in the Play Store, but there was no change to the app functionality. It does nothing new and has the same infuriating "starting always at the top" functionality.  
So in conclusion there is not much to say. This app has some interesting news, but the lack of updates makes you feel Business Day doesn't want you to consume their content this way. With less than 10 000 downloads no wonder BD doesn't care much about it, this is even less downloads than the new News24 Elections app! They've just done it to put it out there and tick the box.

This seemed like a great app when I first opened it, but that was as far as I got.  I only opened it and never opened it again.  Opening it again it seems that they really want to use it to drive you to their DSTV Channel.  The opening splash screen states this very clearly.
eNCA Android App Splash Screen advertising DSTV for free

This app is solid though and provides a lot of good news coverage.  This is reflected in that it has surpassed Business Day's app in regard to downloads with between 10 000 and 50 000 downloads.


This to me is the "new on the scene" app of local South African News apps.  I managed to discover this when I downloaded the News24 Elections App (ironically), so I checked it out.  Have a look at this huge spacing!
Eye Witness news Android App news sample with so much spacing in the story
It could be because of the phablet I am using, they probably haven't optimised for all screen sizes and the variations of Android. That should come with time, but I found myself immediately captured by the stories, and you can get the latest news bulletin streaming to your phone with just a few taps.
I think this app is great and is worth checking out.  My favourite thing about this app is that you can easily carry on from where you left off browsing, in fact, it is so integrated that as you browse the story and get to the end if it, if you keep scrolling down you will go straight into the list of stories that were below the story you are reading.  It was so smooth and seamless that I didn't realise what was happening until I was already back in the Story List and carrying on from right where I left off!
Here is a screen shot of it.
Eye Witness news Android App Scrolling at the end of the story brings you right back into the Story List

I highly recommend this app as a result, good content and a good browsing experience.

If you have any other Local News Apps you are using please post them below in the comments and I would love to check them out and add them to the list.
Also let me know your favourite News App.  Personally I love News Republic for my International News.  Don't really know why, but it is mostly because you can tailor the News you receive.  There are plenty other news apps now that allow you to tailor your news.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

I upgraded my Note 2 to Android 4.3

You know that feeling, your old device is getting an update, a breath of new life into your device so that you can catch up to the rest of the world with new features and exciting interface.

You run the update and start to explore it..... then.......everything is so much slower than before.  Disappointment! Big Mistake.  So in my search online I found that the Samsung Galaxy S4 has then same problem as my Samsung Galaxy Note II (or Note 2 if you prefer).

A lot of the comments suggest making use of cleaners that close apps regularly, I didn't think this was the problem because I had used the Android functionality to manually close all open apps and free up memory, sure my phone was a bit faster, but then I used the apps again and the phone simply immediately got slower again.

Anyway, to cut a long story short I think the problem is really again a case of a slower processor trying to use an OS that requires a fast processor. (the reason I remember swearing about Windows updates)
So to compensate for this you need to change the "Animation Scales".  You do this by enabling the "Developer options" Option (this is enabled by tapping the Build number of your phone 7 times).  Then you reduce the three Animator Scales to 0.5 or 0 if you so choose.  I found that 0.5 was enough.

Here was the original post that helped me solve my problem!

Happy Androiding!

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Renewing your car licence

It is actually very easy to renew your vehicle license.  I always feel sorry for all the people in the queue down at the Vehicle licensing department trying to get new License Discs.  It is always a very long queue and I'm sure they stand for at least an hour trying to accomplish the task.  Not that you don't sometimes stand for an hour in the queue in the Post Office!  At least at the Post Office, if the queue is long, you can quite easily come back later.  Also there is often a separate queue for MVL's!

But, Yes, you can renew your licence at your local post office.  If you don't have the Notice of Renewal they send in the post you can simply fill in a form at the Post Office and they will still be able to process your renewal.  However, if you have any problems it will be because of outstanding fines that you will have to sort out first (of course they don't tell you this while you are at the Post Office, you just get a grunt and a shrug of the shoulders).  Then you won't be able to avoid going to the Vehicle Licensing Centre.

Remember, not all of the Post Offices offer the Motor Vehicle License Renewal, but many do.  Here is the list of Post Offices in Gauteng that offer the service according to the Post Office Website (you can view it here, the other provinces are also available as an excel file download)

However by my own admission I think it is not a great list.  The Sunninghill Post Office in Sunninghill Village doesn't seem to appear.

ARCADIA Nedbank Plaza Street Arcadia
Atteridgeville c/o Seeiso & Mabuwe Street Atteridgeville
Attridgeville East Shop C2D Attlyn Mail Cnr Khoza and Pudifufu Street
Batho Plaza Erf 1630 Shop 6 Moroka Drive and Deadly Nighshade Street Soshanguve KK
BELLE OMBRE 5 Bazaar Street Belle Ombre
Bloed Street Mall Cnr Bloed street and Van Der waltt Pretoria Central Shop No 42
Bronkhorstspruit 48 PAUL KRUGER STR, Bronkhorstspruit
Brooklyn Mall Shop no 69/70 Brooklyn Square Cnr Veale and Middle Street
Celtis Ridge Cnr Seedcracker &  Ruimte Celtis Ridge 
Central City Shop 22 Central City Mabopane Station
Centurion Shop no 109 Centurion Mall
Danville 151 Jan Ellis Street Danville
Denneboom Shop D12 Cnr Watloo and Tsamaya Rd Mamelodi Cross
DIE TREMLOODS Cnr Pretorius and Schoeman Street
Doornpoort Airportweg Doorpark Shopping Centre
Eco Boulevard Shop No 4 Eco Boulevard Centre, Eco Park
Eersterus Shop 17 Hans Coverdale West, Eesterus
Ekandustria LUCKY 7 STORE
Elarduspark Shp No 4 Cnr Delmas And Barnaard Elarduspark
Enkangala Shop 11 Ekashop Ekangala
FAERIE GLEN Shop 22A Glen Village Shopping Centre Faerie Glen
Ga-Rankuwa 9011 zone 1 Ga-Rankuwa
GARSFONTEIN 465 Winnfred Yell Street Garsfontein
Gezina Frederika StreetGezina Stad
Hammanskraal Renbro Shopping Centre Shop no A24
Hatfield Burnett Street Hatfield
Hercules Van Der Hoff Weg Hercules
Highveld Park Shop 5 Highveld Centre cnr  John Voster & Logan Str
Karenpark Wonderpark Centre, Cnr Caressa & Brits RD. 
Laudium 280 Tangerine street Lauduim
Lynn East Shop no 12 Eastpark Centre, Baviaanspoort Rd, East Lynn 
Lynwoodridge Shop no 40 Lynridge Mall
Lyttleton Cnr Craddock and Napier Street
Mabopane 2035 block A Boekenhout Mabopane
Mahube Valley Shop no A4 Tsamaya Rd Mahube Valley
MAJANENG 4375 Mosate section
Mamelodi Shabangu Street 6886 Block T Mamelodi West
MAMELODI EAST 18680 Dlamini and Son Supermarket Hinterland Street
Menlo Park 53 13th Street Menlopark
MENLYN RETAIL Cnr Loius and Garsfontein RD Retail Park
Montanapark Shop U59A Kolonade shopping Centre Zambezi Rd
MONUMENT PARK Shop 15  73 Skilpad Rd Monument Park
MORELETAPARK 680 Reubenstein Dr Moreleta Park
MORULA Shop no S2 A/B Morula complex 0196, Next to Morula Sun and Audi Stadium Mabopane
ONDERSTEPOORT Sir Srnot Tyler Road Onderstepoort 
PIERRE VAN RYNEVELD Van Ryneveld Ave Shop 11 Spar Centre
Pretoria Central (Church Square) Church Square
Pyramid Old Warmbath Road
Quagga Quagga Sentrum Court St Pretoria West
Queenswood Cnr Fontana & Shielieng Road
Raslouw Mall @ Redds Shop 69A Cnr Rooihuiskraal and Hendrick Verwoord
RETHABILE Cnr Thomo and Tsamaya Mamelodi East
Rosslyn 6 Kotzenberg Road Rosslyn
SAULSVILLE No 1 Malebye Street Saulsville
Silverton Cnr Pretoria Rd and Fakkel street
Sinoville Zambezi Shopping Centre Zambezi Road
Soshanguve  2078 Block H
Soshanguve Central Shop no3 Buitekant street Pick 'n Pay Centre
SOSHANGUVE WEST Score Supermarket Nafcoc Shopping centre
Sunnyside 44 Jeppe Street
THABA TSWANE Cnr Andries Pretoruis and Van Rebeeck Street
THE REEDS CNR Rooihuiskraal and Bothrill The Reeds
THEMBA Temba City complex
THORN TREE Throntree shopping Centre, shop no. 3 Corner Mokokone & Mofifi Street
TOTIUSDAL Waverley Gardens Codonia avenue 779 Waverley 
Unisa Rand UNISA Campus Mucklenuk Pretoria 0001
VALHALLA Shop 5A Kampbel Centre Broadway East Valhalla
Wierdapark Cnr Willem Botha and Ruimte Road Wierdapark
Willow Way Shop No 03 Willow Way Centre Lynwood  Road
Wonderboom Junction lavender no 1, Wqonderboom Junction Mall
Wonderboompoort Mayville Mall Shopping Centre Van Rensburg Road Cnr Van Rensburg & Mortinner Street
Woodhill Shop G116, Parkview Mall, Cnr. Netcare and Garsfontein Road, Woodhill

Actonville Khan Crescent  1521 Actonville 
Albemarle  Shop No 2 Cnr Hatfield & Onyx streets Albemarle, Tasso Centre.
Alberton C/O Alwyn Taljaard & du Plessis St, Alberton 
Alexandra South Alexandra Spar, 2Nd Avenue, Alexandra 
Ansfrere 19 Frere str,Discovery, Florida
Aston Manor 199 Monument Rd Aston Manor
Azaadville 6 Commercial str,Azzadville
Bedfordview Skeen Boulevard 3 Bedfordview 
Benmore C/O Grayston & 11Th Avenue Benmore Shopping Centre
Benoni Ampthill 51 Ave., Benoni 
Benoni North  Shop E 6/7 Lake Side Mall, Tom Jones Str, Lakeside Mall
Birchleigh 1766 Elgin Rd Birchleigh
Bluegumview Mandela Square,Mandela str, Bluegumview
Boipatong Stand 150-152 Shop 29 Nobel Boulevard N.E. 3 Boipatong
Boitumelo Shop No. 5, Mandela Square, Mandela St, Sebokeng 
Boksburg C/O Pretoria & Leeuport str, Boksburg
Boksburg West 102 Rietfontein Rd Jansen Park Boksburg West
Bonaero park Sho 14 C/O Templehof & Louis Botha Drive Bonaeropark
Booysens No7 Heronmere Drive, Booysens
Braamfontein C/O Biccard& De Korte str, Braamfontein
Brakpan Voortrekker St 682 Brakpan 
Brakpan North 87 Hospital Rd Brakpan North
Bramley  584 Louis Botha Drive, Bramley
Brixton Shop no 57, 80 High str, Brixton
Bromhof Shop no 25 cnr Tin&C.R. Swart str,Bromhof
Bruma C/O Allum & Cumberland Parkmedow Shopping Centre
Bryanston The Posthouse C/O Main & Bruton Drive, Bryanston
Carletonville 13 Gold str, Carltonville
Carlton Centre Shop 261 & 262 Carlton Centre, 150 Commissioner Street, Jhb
Cinda Park 44 Van Wyk Louw drive Parkrand 
Clayville Shop No. 38, Olifantsfontein Road, Clayville.Phumulani Mall
Cleveland Stand 401,Market Spar , Jules Street, Cleveland
Craighall  6th Jan Smuts Avenue, Hyde Park
Cresta Cresta Shopping Centre, Beyers Naude Drive Cresta
Crown Mines 77 Hanover Street, Crown Mines
Crystal Park 111 Totius Rd Crystal Park
Dainfern Shop no 2,Cedar road,The Fern Shopping Centre.
Daveyton 9152 Mocke St Daveyton 
Daveyton  9152 Mocke str Daveyton
DE Deur Old JHB & vereeniging rd, JHB highway, de deur
Diepkloof Shop no 24, cnr Immick and Cuyler Eben Cuyler Ave ,
Diepsloot Shop 32, Diepsloot Mall.
Dobsonville Shop 24, Elias Motsoaledi Str,Dobsonville Centre.
Doornfontein 7 Curry Street, Doornfontein 
Dube 224  Mahalefele str, Dube
Dunswart 35 Atlas Drive Dunswart
East Rand Cnr North Rand Rd And Rietfontein Road, Boksburg 
Ebony Park C/O Bluegumview &Acacia str,Amabele Centre
Edenglen 52 Harris Road Edenglen
Edenvale 74 Voortrekker Road, Edenvale 
Edleen Shop 2 Kempton Gate C/O Rienierdt & CR Swart drive Edleen.
Eldorado Park Circle road, Eldorado Park
Elsburg Spar Centre, Voortrekker str, Elsberg
Elspark Shop8, Kingfischer & Heidelberg Streets, Elspark
Ennerdale Town road,Ennerdale ext 7
Evaton Evaton Plaza Shop No 113 Golden Highway Evaton 1984
Farrarmere Shop 1A Baylie Str Farrarmere
Ferndale 96 Oxford Drive, Ferndale
florida Cnr 2nd Avenue & Lockies Str, Florida Mall
Florida Hills 19 Rare str, Florida
Fordsburg 56 Central Drive, Fordsburg
Fourways North Leaping Frog Shopping Centre,Mulbarton Road,Four ways 
Gardenview C/o Smith & Bradford str Gardenview
Germiston   Shop74/5, Victoria str, Germiston, Golden walk Mall.
Germiston South Spar Shopping Centre No 7 Webber Road Er Shop No 2 
Glenvista C/O  Biggarsberg & True North St Glenvista 2058
Greenside Greenway 137 Greenway Centre, Greenside 2193
Greenstone 1 Greenstone Dr Greenstone Hill X 33
Heidelberg 65 Begeman str, Heidelberg
Helderkruin Helderkruin Spar, Ouklip road,Helderkruin
Henley- On- Klip 963 Eweline Rd, Henley-on-Klip, Meyerton 
Highlands North Athol st, Highlands North 
Hillbrow Shop 40A, High Point Building Corner Kotze & Claim Streets, Hillbrow
Honeydew Shop no7 ,cnr D.F.Malan drive,Honeydew
Houghton 60 Riveira rd,Killarney Mall
Isando C/O Kram & Isando Rd, Isando 
Jeppestown Corner Fox & Browning Street, Jhb
Johannesburg 180 Jeppe & Small Street, Jhb 
Joubert Park C/O King George And Noord St.Joubert Park
Kagiso Shop No 19,Kagiso Mall,Cnr Randfontein&Kagiso str 
Kagiso East 34 Jacobs str,Shop no 11 Chamdor
Katlehong Gamaphutheng Shopping Centre Khumalo Street 
Kelvin C/O Raymond&Southways,Kelvin Shopping Centre
Kempton Park 10 Central drive, Kempton Park
Kensington Shop 21, Darras Centre, Upper Level, Kensington
Khumalo Shop No 1 Sontonga Mall Khumalo, Katlehong 
Kiasha Park C/O Shefield&Wimbledon st, Kiasha Park
Kibler Park 1 Service Street, Kibler Park 
Kliptown Shop no 5, Walter Sisulu Mall, Valley Road
Kocksvlei C/O Steyn & Market str, Kocksvlei
Krugersdorp C/O Ockerse & Kruger St Krugersdorp 
Kwa Thema C/O Nkosi & Chaka St KwaThema
Kwa-Xuma Shop no 51, Jabulani Mall,Cnr Koma & Bulani
Kyalami Shop 15, cnr Aurthur & Main rd,Kyalami
Lenasia Animone &Eland st, Lenasia
Lenasia North Shop no 24, Salaheem Plaza, Lenasia North
Linden Linden Square,C/O 4th ave & Eight str, Linden
Lonehill Shop no UL8A,Lonehill,Boulevard.
Mafatsane 284/5 Union Road Evaton 
Maraisburg  Cnr 07th ave & 10th str, Maraisburg
Marshalltown C/O Fox & Sauer, Marshalltown
Masoheng shop no.20 Sebokeng Plaza, Moshoeshoe str, Sebokeng
Meadowlands Hack street ,Meadowlands
Melville Shop 2, Campus Square, corner kingsway & University Road, Melville
Meyersdal Shop no 29,Hennie Alberts&Michelle ave
Meyerton 14 Fenton st, Meyerton.
Mohlakeng 660 Ralerata str, Mohlakeng
Mondeor Shop no 12, Columbine Square, 82 Swartgoud str
Morningside The Wedge Shopping,Centre, Morningside
Moroka 1810 Mntambo str,Dlamini 1
Motsoaledi Shopno5,AsambeCentre,Shopno5,ChrisHani drive
Munsieville 650 Mogale str, Nobela Centre
Nigel Hendrik Verwoerd str, Nigel 
Norkem Park 337 Pongola rivier Dr Norkem Park
North Riding Northgate Shopping Centre, Northumberland Avenue
Northlands 30 Rudd Road, Illovo
Northmead Sho F14 Oreilly Merry Str Northmead Square
Norwood  Shop no 1a&1b,cnr Hamlin&6th rd Norwood
O.R.Tambo Terminal One, O.R.Tambo Int. Airport, Kempton Park
Orange Grove C/O 3rd drive& 6th str,Orange Grove
Orlando 6515 Mooki str,Orlando
Park South  Shop no.2, Cnr Frikkie Meyer & Chopin str, Vanderbijlpark,Riverside Boulevard,
Parkview 73 Cnr Dundalk & Innes str.,Parkview 
Petersfield 1 Geduld Rd Paul Kruger X1 Petersfield
Pimville 959 Mgaji str,Zone 7, Pimville
Pinegowrie 77 Barkston Drive,Blairgowrie
Primrose 37 Shamrock Road, Primrose 
Protea Gardens  Shop 11, Gardens Mall, Protea South.
Protea Glen CNR R558 and Protea Boulevard, Protea Glen
Protea North Shop no 18, Protea North Shopping Complex
Randburg Shop 94,Sanlam Shopping Centre, Pretoria str 
Randburg West The Bright Water Commons, Shop no G52, Republic Road, Randburg
Randfontein 28 Stubb str,Randfontein
Randhart Cnr Venter & Jacqueline Ave, Randhart
Randjiesfontein Shop 16, Corpoprate Park, Midrand
Reigerpark 380 Leon Ferreira Drive Reigerpark
Rivonia Shop29 Rivonia Square, Cnr. 9th Ave and Rivonia Boulevard
Roodepoort 24 Van Wyk str, Roodepoort
Rosettenville Shop U17,Rosetenville Junction,Geraniam Str,Rosettenville
Ruimsig Cnr Doreen & Hendrik Potgieter, Ruimsig
Rynfield 176 Pretoria Rd Rynfield
Sandton Cnr Sandtondrive & Alice Lane, Sandown
Saxonwold Shop no 11/12, Rosebank Mall
Sebokeng C/O Wessels & Moshoeshoe Street, Sebokeng 
Selcourt 197 Nigel Rd Selcourt
Sharon Park Sharonpark Shopping Centre
Sharpville 3880 Khabasheane St, Sharpeville 
South Hills No 1, Linroy Str, Pick & Pay Centre, Steeldale, 
Southdale Cnr Landsborough & Alamien Str, Southdale
Southgate Shop 55, Southgate Shopping Centre
Springs Poskantoor Drive ,Springs 
Spruitview Spruitview Shopping Centre, Shop 20, Spruitview.
Stretford Palm Springs Mall, R55 Road, Stretford, 
Strubenvale 66 Ermelo Rd Strubenvale
Sunninghill West Shop LL14,Edison, Crescent,Sunninghill West
Sunward Park Shop 1 Kinfisher str ,Pick & Pay Centre, Sunward Park
Symridge No 5, Howe Circle, corner koede & turnhout str, Sunnyridge
Tembisa 9 Tembi Mall, Tembisa
Tembisa South Shop 26 Tembisa Plaza,583 Anfrew Maphetho Str, Tembisa
Three Rivers Shop 48 river square centre, Three Rivers
Tokoza 8039 Khumalo Street Tokoza 
Tsakane 1/7940 Modjadji str, Tsakane Mall
Tshiawelo 989 Sibasa St, Tshiawelo
Turffontein 109 cnr Church&High str,Turffontein
Vanderbijl Park C/O Pres. Kruger & F.W. Beyers St, Vanderbijlpark 
Vereeniging C/O Merriman & Leslie St, Vereeniging 
Wadeville Shop 6, Steenbrass & Dekema str, Wadeville
Weltevredenpark C/O 14th ave&Golf Club,TerraceWeltevreden Park
Wendywood C/O Wendy & Daphne str, Wendywood
Westgate Ontdekkers Rd Horisonview 
Westonaria Edwards Drive Westonaria 
Wibsey C/O Commando & Main Reef rd, Industria
Wilro Park Shop no 7&8,cnr Cr Swart & Mimosa,Wilro Corner.
Witbeeck C/O Van Lill & Trizona str, Mindalore Shopping Centre
Zola Dobson Point Centre, Mohajani rd,Dobsonville ext 3

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Selling your vehicle without the buyer

I seem to have lots of fun at the Vehicle Licensing Department.  I sold that motor bike in 2012 and have been nagging the buyer to register it in his name for about two years.  Having had to pay for the license disc for these two years I thought enough is enough, time to go to the effort to get it out of my name!

I ventured off to the Vehicle Licensing Department in Marlboro JHB armed with a Transfer of Ownership form, a copy of the sales contract, a previous License disc (the full document) a copy of my ID and a copy of the buyers ID.

I then pitched at the front desk and was told I needed an Affidavit and that this affidavit needed to state that I had sold the vehicle to the buyer.

So I popped out, got the affidavit at the nearest Police Station and returned.  To my pleasant surprise I was able to get the motor bike out of my name WITHOUT the signature of the buyer!  Yes, the guy at the counter noticed that it was not signed, but with the affidavit it seemed not a problem at all.

What a nice change to have something work for a change!  So, don't forget to take the following documents if you have the same problem:
1. Completed Notification of a Change of Ownership Form (which can be downloaded from here, if they will accept the printed form is another question though)
2. Copy of your ID (they stated that it did NOT have to be a certified copy)
3. Affidavit stating that you sold the vehicle to the buyer
4. The Sales Contract and a copy
5. It may help to take a copy of the ID of the buyer if you have one)
6. You don't need the previous license disc form, but i was able to pull the vehicle VIN Number, register number etc. from the document.