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All posts by Hadlee Simons

  • Apple cracks down on lootboxes, devs now have to disclose details

    Lootboxes have become one of the most contentious issues in the gaming industry in recent times, as everything from PC and console titles to smartphone games offer the feature. Whether it's an endless running game or a blockbuster action title, "randomised" item drops have become a key fixture in games. And developers have allowed users to actually buy these item drops too, making for a key avenue of cash. Now, Apple has decided to step up to the plate, Polygon reports, issuing a new set of guidelines for App Store developers that implement lootboxes. "Apps offering 'loot boxes' or other mechanisms that...

  • A (non) update on Amazon Alexa coming to South Africa

    Earlier this year, we got word from LG that it was targeting Alexa-enabled appliances for South Africa in 2018. The Korean firm quickly distanced itself from these remarks though, saying it can't confirm the local timing for Alexa-enabled appliances. At the time of the news, we attempted to contact Amazon's representatives to get the story from the horse's mouth, but to no avail. In any event, we've since circled back for another attempt, finally getting an answer of sorts. "I understand you're curious to learn about whether Alexa is heading to South Africa in 2018. Thanks for your interest," an Amazon...

  • Yes, Apple is basically throttling older iPhones (but here’s why)

    The iPhone has hit the headlines for some interesting reasons this week after a reddit thread and testing by respected developer Primate Labs. Primate Labs, the developer of the GeekBench benchmark tool, as well as redditors, pointed out that iPhones with degraded batteries saw throttled performance. In fact, the reddit thread saw the user run a Geekbench test, replace their old battery with a new one, and then re-running the test. "I did a Geekbench score, and found I was getting 1466 Single (core) and 2512 Multi (core). This did not change whether I had low power mode on or off. After changing my...

  • Gearburn’s top 10 smartphone features of 2017

    Yes yes, every website and their mum is doing a yearly roundup article -- we're just joining the party. But we had plenty of solid (if we may say so ourselves) smartphone features in 2017, ranging from the best budget wares to an interview with then HMD CEO Arto Nummela. Check our picks below. Huawei Mate 9, P10: a few interesting camera tidbits The Chinese firm has come a long way with its camera capabilities, virtually tied with leading players when it comes to all-round photographic capabilities. We fired off a couple of camera-related questions to the company, covering hybrid zoom, the...

  • Our favourite exclusive stories of 2017

    Producing globally relevant tech stories can be a tough endeavour in South Africa. After all, our continent is geographically separated from traditional tech hubs and we're often treated as an afterthought by tech firms. But ever so often, we manage to get scoops here at Gearburn, be they locally or internationally relevant. Whether they fall into our lap or we work for it (mostly the former), here are a few of our more notable scoops this year. AG Mobile confirms liquidation It seems like just the other day that AG Mobile was a pervasive South African brand, sponsoring EFC Africa and having a high-profile deal...

  • Has the FCC revealed Nokia 9 spec sheet?

    We may have only seen one HMD flagship this year, in the form of the Nokia 8, but rumours have pointed to the existence of the Nokia 9 as well. Now, the USA's FCC regulatory body has let slip a few key details, it would seem. The information comes as a result of HMD filing papers for the device, being spotted by Mobielkopen.net. According to the papers, the new Nokia-branded phone (named TA-1005 in the filing) is packing a Snapdragon 835 processor (MSM8998), 128GB of storage, a 3250mAh battery, a 12MP+13MP dual camera setup and a 5MP front-facing camera. We also see a...

  • 9 noteworthy Nintendo Switch games coming in 2018

    The Nintendo Switch has enjoyed a barn-burning launch year, delivering a host of must-play video games in less than 12 months on the market. 2018 will be a difficult follow-up year, after all, we got Super Mario Odyssey, a Mario Kart entry and Breath of the Wild. But that doesn't mean we don't have some good picks coming for the hybrid console... Bayonetta 1+2 Nintendo announced earlier this month that Bayonetta 3 would be coming to the Switch as an exclusive title. But we don't have a release date for this title unfortunately. We do however have confirmation and a February release date...

  • Inside and T20 Card Cricket: this week’s top mobile games

    Welcome to Gearburn's Mobile Game Picks of the Week, a weekly series in which Hadlee takes a look at the latest, most entertaining, or time-consuming mobile games on portable screens. The end of the year is less than a dozen days away, but we're still seeing some great mobile games being released. Don't believe us? Then scroll down to find some fantastic titles, including the critically acclaimed Inside. Inside (free to start - iOS) Probably the most critically acclaimed game on the list, Inside is the brainchild of Limbo developer Playdead. So what does that mean? This generally equates to a side-scrolling platform/puzzler with...

  • Samsung Galaxy A8 2018 official: it’s basically a cheaper S8

    Samsung's Galaxy S8 (review) brought a great design to the table, even if it does feel a little fragile. Now, the company is bringing some of these features to the Galaxy A8 and A8+2018. The Galaxy A8 2018 series offers the same 18.5:9 screen ratio and tiny borders as the 2017 flagship, being more evidence of these trends coming to cheaper devices. The vanilla A8 offers a 5.6-inch 2220x1080 display while the A8+ offers the same resolution but cranks the size to six inches. Samsung has also slapped a dual-front camera on the device (16MP+8MP f/1.9), capable of portrait selfies and...

  • LG V30: check these camera samples

    The LG V30+ was a rather surprising entrant in the South African smartphone space. We thought we'd be getting the vanilla V30. After all, we received the least exciting LG G6 variant. Between the Snapdragon 835 processor, 3300mAh battery and OLED screen, there's plenty to like about the phone on paper. But what about the camera setup? The phone packs a rather noteworthy 16MP f/1.6 aperture main camera, backed up by a f/1.9 13MP main shooter. These aren't the biggest sensors, nor do they have the biggest pixels (at 1 micron), but do you notice this? We've got a few samples,...