Light Start – Kenyan Street View, new Amazon Fire, Ford apps, inside the Mini 4, and Mxit in the mire

Sit right there, we’re going on a tour of Kenya’s Samburu National Reserve

KenyaIf virtual tourism actually ever catches on, we’re pretty sure that large sections of Africa are going to be a lot poorer but at the moment it’s just a really, really cool alternative to the real thing. Google has given the world the chance to explore the Samburu National Reserve in Kenya without leaving the comfort of their homes by creating a virtual elephant safari in conjunction with charity Save The Elephants. Pay it a visit — you know you want to. (P.S. Nothing will ever replace standing face-to-face with actual African wildlife — but this will do for a desk-bound Friday).

Source: Google

Amazon has started a few new Fires (two of which are in HD)

Amazon Fire HD8Amazon may have killed their Fire smartphone but that just left a bit more room for a new set of Fires. The company have announced a whole new set of devices, from the Amazon TV updates (with a Stick, 4K and Gaming edition of their streaming box on the way) to new tablets. The new tablets range from a Fire for the kiddies (which will be replaced “no questions asked” by Amazon — for two years, anyway) to the standard Fire, as well as a Fire HD 8 and Fire HD 10. The Fire goes for $50 (R660) and packs a fair whack of features in a decidedly low-cost 7-inch tablet. The HD 8 and HD 10 are set to go on sale for $150 (R2,000) and $230 (R3,050) respectively and they have improved specs to match.

Source: Amazon

Ford drivers to get car stats on their wrists, including a ‘driving score’… oh dear… 

Ford AppDon’t panic, it’s not going to assess your driving skills. Not all of them, anyway. But Ford have just announced and released a smartwatch app that will work for owners of specific vehicles (the Ford C-MAX Energi, Ford Focus Electric and Ford Fusion Energi — a bit useless here at home) and specific devices (the Apple Watch or an Android Wear smartwatch). Users will be able to check battery levels, distance remaining as well as their driving efficiency, including braking, mileage and other metrics. Once it tells us that we suck at taking a corner, smartwatch technology will be complete.

Source: Ford

This is what it looks like inside the iPad Mini 4

iPad Mini 4 TeardownWe don’t often take a look at the strip-down antics of iFixit, who love to get their hands on the newest tech and see what it’s made of, but this time we’re interested in what they’ve got to say about the iPad Mini 4. Because it’s new, we haven’t seen it in person yet and Apple have made themselves a miniature iPad Air 2. At least that’s what the teardown says, because they’ve gone for mostly iPad Air 2 components inside. And a newly-laminated screen, which contributes to the iPad Mini 4’s thickness. Gaze upon its innards. Gaze upon them, dammit!

Source: iFixit

Mxit’s Monthly Active Users (MAUs) drops by about half, year-on-year

Mxit LogoWe haven’t given South Africa’s messaging platform Mxit a whole lot of thought of late, and it looks as though we’re not the only ones. A report, called “South African Social Media Landscape 2016”, from World Wide Worx has said that Mxit has lost a lot of its monthly active users — down from 4.9 million in 2014 to 2.7 million users this year. This is at odds with Mxit’s own numbers and Mxit CEO Francois Swart has previously taken issue with reporting on their user base, saying in March that while “…the MAUs for South Africa are lower than the same period last year, it is much higher than reported in the media. Our users continue to be the most engaged of any social media, and spend more than 90 minutes per day on the platform”.

Source: TechCentral

Stuff South Africa’s online editor and print assistant editor, Brett Venter has churned out more words on more titles than most journalists will in a career. He’s kind of shy.

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