Saturday, May 21

4 Brilliant Apps for Your Smartphone


What makes some apps “stick” while others fade away into obscurity? For an app to find a permanent place on your smartphone’s home screen, it of course needs to be useful. But how do you know the difference between an app you will download and forget and one you will use on a regular basis?

Here are our picks for the most useful and best apps to download onto your smartphone this month. From apps that promote learning to investment apps that are sure to impress, there’s something on this list for everyone.

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Invigilator App

Invigilator App

Also read: Buyer’s Guide: Best Smartphones for Every Budget

Traditionally, examinations are monitored by a physical invigilator or an academic staff member, to ensure the student is writing in the correct venue, writing the correct paper and that no talking is taking place while the exam is in progress. This all changed as a result of the pandemic with examinations and assessments taking place online. But, this left a massive problem for universities that still needed to carry out monitored examinations. Enter the Invigilator App.

“If examinations are assessed inadequately, the integrity and value of the qualification endures a loss of credibility, impacting future employment”, points out academic and entrepreneur Nicholas Riemer. Together with two senior university lecturers and his software engineer brother, Nicholas was determined to develop a South African solution to this problem. Their pioneering Invigilator App was designed by academics who are familiar with the online assessment challenges, allowing students to write remotely while ensuring they are written under examination conditions. The all-inclusive solution is currently being used by some of South Africa’s biggest universities and colleges and has been specifically designed with the South African and African context in mind.

Find out more here.

Telkom Pay

Telkom Pay

Telkom has launched Africa’s first Mastercard virtual card for use on WhatsApp, enabling Telkom Pay customers to make e-commerce payments. This move is expected to empower millions of South Africans – even those without a bank account – to access the digital economy and transact online. Telkom Pay is a digital payments wallet that enables its users to make and receive payments using WhatsApp on their mobile phone. With the addition of the Mastercard virtual (non-plastic) card to the wallet, users can now make payments to local and global online merchants that accept Mastercard, including Uber and Netflix.

This exciting new tool is an important step forward in improving access to the digital economy. South Africans are increasingly shopping online, yet many people are left out as they lack the financial tools needed for e-commerce. This digital-first solution bridges the divide by giving consumers instant access to a virtual payment solution through WhatsApp, without compromising the safety and security of transactions. The virtual card solution is safely stored on the Telkom Pay app and customers can temporarily block, cancel or replace their card via the app, providing them with additional security and control.

Download the Telkom Pay app for Android here.

The Panda App

 Panda App

Also read: Huawei Nova 9 Launches in SA

As mental health issues become of greater concern for many people in South Africa and across the globe, help is on the way in the form of the Panda app. This free-to-download digital app is designed to put mental health information, community support and expert help literally in the palm of your hand. The brainchild of clinical psychologist, Allan Sweidan, the app makes it easy for anyone to invest time into their mental wellbeing by anonymously connecting to an array of valuable resources to assist them on their journey to improved mental health.

Users of the app have free access to the ‘Bamboo Forest’, which allows them to engage with a community of other app users who may be facing similar challenges. The app also offers scientifically validated assessment tools to enable users to objectively measure their mental wellbeing. And a gamified tracking tool lets them document and monitor the progress they are making on their personal mental health journey. A library of evidence-based content, based on key themes from dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) and positive psychology, is available to app users who can then participate in supporting activities designed to help them enhance their life skills.

The Panda app also allows users to book up to seven 30-minute text-based chat sessions with mental health professionals over a period of 14 days. Future functionality will allow users to book 1:1 sessions with mental health professionals who host sessions in the Bamboo Forest or who are listed in the marketplace section of the app.

 The Panda app is available for iOS and Android.  Search for ‘JoinPanda’ to download it and register for free.

Bolt Food

Bolt food

Bolt Food has launched its food delivery services in Cape Town and Johannesburg, giving both city’s residents access to food deliveries from hundreds of restaurants and fast-food outlets. Bolt Food delivers customers’ orders from a wide range of restaurants and fast-food outlets, including Burger King, Pizza Hut, Subway, Andiccio’s, and many others.

The service in Johannesburg is currently available from Bryanston in the north to Braamfontein in the heart of the city and will expand across the city as more restaurants join the platform. What’s more, Absa customers can get up to 30% cashback on their Bolt Food orders paid for with qualifying cards – making Bolt Food even more appealing.

Download the Bolt Food app from the Google Play or Apple app stores. 

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