7 Top Mobile Apps: Phonetradr’s Staff Picks

top mobile apps

Over the last few years, app makers and developers around the world have truly taken a leap into the future. Not only are there millions of apps to choose from at any given time, there’s also an app – literally – for everything. In fact, so much so that it is almost impossible to go about your daily life without delighting in the ingenuity of some far away app developer. There’s even app where friends compete to see how high they can throw their phone up into the air. Yup, that’s a real app called Send Me To Heaven.

Despite some of the crazy apps out there, the Phonetradr team has come together to share their most useful ones. Take a page out of our Notes app to see which apps you should download today.

Do Instagram like a pro with Spark Post

For anyone who enjoys photography. Spark Post is an absolute must. The app allows you to create Instagram posts and stories using high res images, logos, fonts, background colours, and borders.

It also offers templates based on the category your posts will fall into, such as travel, business or food.
Many bloggers and brands with a large focus on quality social media content use Spark Post. Download it for FREE on iOS or Android!

Figure out your internet speed with Speedtest

What’s more frustrating than waiting for the robot to go green in 35 degree heat with no aircon? Waiting for your Wi-Fi to do its job, that’s what. Speedtest has the world’s largest testing server network and no matter where you’re based, you’ll can test your internet speed. You can distinguish your upload and download speed, change to a faster server and look at graphs showing connection consistency.

The app also tracks every test you’ve done with a note on which connection was tested. The app is downloadable for free on the App Store and Google Play or check out their site – their FAQ section is loaded with cool information on why knowing about connection speed and servers in your location is important, especially if you work on your phone or laptop.
Another reason is that you can do actual test to make sure your ISP is giving you the speeds you paying for.

Pocket: Collecting the day’s news into one place for later

In a world where you are constantly bombarded with news, videos, trending memes, articles and more from multiple channels, we think an app that puts your content in one pocket is extra cool. See what we did there? You can save the latest (or old favourites) news, magazine articles, videos, recipes, opinion pieces, TV discussions, how-tos and so much more in one place. If you enjoy setting time aside during lunch or after dinner to catch up on the day’s activity, simply whip out Pocket and it’s all there.

Even better, the app can read articles to you on your way to work, during a gym session or while you lie on the beach! Download it for iOS or Android for freeee!

Avoid traffic stops and more with Waze

Waze is like that badass friend you always wished you had. Why? Because the app alerts you to the whereabouts of police, traffic stops, road closures and hazards as if they’re a double agent playing those sides of the field… okay, we’re getting carried away.

What’s also unique about Waze is that it lets you listen to music while the app operates – you can have Spotify or your favourite podcast playing while you drive.

Be an office whizz with Scanner

iScanner is your new best nerd friend. iScanner accesses your camera to turn documents into PDFs which can be saved, emailed, or sent via Slack or Whatsapp.
The app comes in handy when you need to send proof of identification, your signature to documents, or physical-to-digital invoices. The app offers an ad-free version, however, that requires a small monthly fee.

Download the app for zero moolas on the App Store and Google Play.

Stream with Joox (Because we still can’t close Youtube without the music stopping!)

Joox has been downloaded to people’s smartphones across Asia since 2015, and now the app has come to South Africa! What makes Joox cool is that you can download music to your phone to jam without using up mobile data. Finally!

What’s also cool is that you can customise the design of the app for a look that suits your vibe better and you can also listen to live radio from over 50 stations! It’s available for both iPhones and Android phones, however, a monthly fee of R59,99 is needed.

Get somebody to store your stuff with LightStack

Let’s say you’re moving to a new apartment and no longer like that two-seater couch or the 75 scatter cushions on your bed… Or, your a musician and need to store your drum set somewhere. That’s where LightStack comes in! Using their app, they’ll come collect your belongings and keep them safe. When you need them again they’ll drop them back at your front door. Easy!

What’s cool about these guys is that you can even store individual items like large sporting equipment.

You have three storage options to choose from: The ‘walk-in closet’ option costs R320 per month and offers 1.5m x 1.5m in space. The second option is called ‘pantry’ and costs R650 per month and offers enough space to fit a large 3 seater couch, a TV stand, a filing cabinet, and plenty of room for some more boxes. The third option costs R1,050 per month and is the size of a small garage or 2.5m x 2.7m.
Download their app and get your extra stuff stored!

Phonetradr has partnered with FASTA to bring you instant credit

instant credit

When you think of the traditional credit application process, a few things may come to mind: Lengthy phone calls, background checks, heaps of paperwork and a lot of your precious time wasted. And even after you’ve played along, you still may not be approved for credit. We understand not everyone can afford to make a purchase in full. We want to help customers afford the smartphone they want with instant credit!

So, if you’re looking to get credit to purchase a used smartphone, we can help.

What’s cool about it?
– You apply online on the Phonetradr website and the deal is done in real-time. Simply choose a phone that has the “instant credit” badge then for a payment method, choose “instant credit”
– You’ll get an answer if your application is approved within minutes of applying
– No phone calls, no paperwork, no call centres
– It’s interest-free!
– An applicant can choose their own payment terms of up to six months

All we’ll need from you is…
– A 33 % deposit to verify that you’re serious about the deal
– Your South African ID number
– Three months of bank statements

Get instant credit, online, in minutes. A first for South Africa!
Shop now and apply during checkout.

Five tips to shopping Black Friday like a pro

Black Friday

We’ve all heard the horror stories or seen the video footage of shopping on Black Friday. It’s chaos, and furthermore, the pandemonium doesn’t disappear just because you’re shopping online. From crashing websites to depleted stock, learning to (successfully) shop online on Black Friday has become an Olympic sport. Here are our top five tips to winning #BlackFriday.

Start your shopping at midnight (yes, that’s correct)

This may sound a little extreme, but take it from us – you’ll be grateful you sacrificed your sleep for this. Many online stores begin their Black Friday deals at midnight, which many don’t know about and don’t take advantage of. Set your alarm clock for 11:55pm, boil the kettle, then get shopping.

Create your wish list days in advanced

This is something avid online shoppers do anyways, so why not utilise it on Black Friday to avoid your shoe size from running out? Stock gets depleted extremely quickly, especially on once-a-year events like this, so make an effort to add all of your items to your wishlist beforehand. That way, you can log in and simply pay without sifting through hundreds of discounted items before you find your picks.

Set a budget

Each year, financial advisers say, “Don’t fall victim to Black Friday!” because of how many people spend money they don’t have on items they don’t need. Just because something is 50 percent off, doesn’t mean you’re making a “saving” – you’re still spending the other 50 percent! Set a budget using funds you know you can spend – shopping responsibly is a thing, people.

Sign up to email newsletters

Believe it or not, if you create an account or sign up to receive email newsletters, you are likely to cash in on extra deals. Many online stores give first-time buyers or customers who’ve signed up an additional discount, free delivery or an early heads up on their deals. You know the saying: the early bird catches the worm!

Shop on websites you trust

If a deal seems too good to be true – especially on a site you’ve never heard of – it probably is. South Africa has many established, trusted online stores that make online shopping a safe and easy task. Do your research: If a site has a good social media presence, plenty of good reviews and is recommended by a friend of yours, you can most likely trust it.

Happy shopping!

Three ways to removing ads from your iPhone apps

remove ads on my iphone

Facebook, TV and even Snapchat – it’s hard to get away from adverts these days, especially in the era of unprecedented technological innovation. From the moment you access the internet – whether it’s from your smartphone or desktop computer – you’re being bombarded to buy this, use that, or become this person. In fact, from 2017 to 2018, South Africa’s internet and video game marketing expenditure jumped from $303.4 million to $399.3 million.

How does Apple get ads onto my apps and games?

When you think of Apple, the first thing you may not think of is an advertising agency, however, part of how Apple makes money is by selling ad space through iAds on iOS to businesses and brands through apps and games you download to your smartphone. Smart for them, but annoying for us. iAds allows app developers to earn money without having to do any of the advertising themselves, and in turn, Apple is able to gather information on you in a similar way to Google. For example, when you use an app or a game that has placed iAds in them, Apple can see and store your location, your installed apps and games, how often you use a particular app, which movies or TV shows you’ve watched or what music you listen to on iTunes.

In other words, Apple uses all of that information on you to select specific ads based on your data to target your apps and games. Long gone are the days of ads being a thing of the TV generation.

Okay, I want to stop Apple from advertising through my apps and games. How?

Although you are anonymous to the advertisers using your downloads to target you, just knowing that tech giants are able to use personal information of yours to make more money can rub anyone up the wrong way. So, if you’d like to disable Apple’s iAds on your phone, here’s how…

Option 1: Block websites and advertisers from tracking you in Safari

iOS 11 has built-in features with privacy protections against ads, however, it’s not made obvious to iPhone users. Safari is just like Google in the sense that they use tools and techniques to target you with ads based on your location, browser history and more. Blocking this from happening in pretty easy. Simply go to your Settings and follow the below instructions:

  • Select “Safari”, then “Privacy & Security”
  • Toggle the “Prevent Cross-Site Tracking” to ON
  • You can also toggle “Ask Websites Not To Track Me” and “Block Pop-ups”
Option 2: Limit iAds tracking in your apps and games

This will be specific to the games and apps on your smartphone. Follow the below steps:

  • Tap “Settings”, then “Privacy”
  • Scroll to the bottom, then tap “Advertising”
  • Toggle “Limit Ad Tracking” to ON
  • You can also tap “Reset Advertising Identifier” to clear your data used by iAds to target you
Option 3: Limit location-based ad tracking

Location tracking is one of the most commonly used tools Google and Apple pack your social media accounts and search engine searches with adverts. To limit this, follow these steps..

  • Tap “Settings” then “Privacy”
  • Tap “Location Services” then scroll down and tap “System Services”
  • Look where it says “Location-based Apple Ads” and toggle OFF

Let us know if this blog post has been helpful by sharing it to Facebook or commenting below!

Four bad smartphone habits we all need to lose

bad smartphone habits

Because who doesn’t need a good cleanse every now and then? We’ve listed some bad smartphone habits most of us are guilty of having every once in a while. Let’s clean the slate for 2019 and get rid of these!

Closing your background apps

Research done in April 2018 has shown that some apps on Android phones use data even if you’ve closed them. These apps may continue to refresh your feed and send you notifications, or Snapchat stories and Twitter notifications. You can turn off an app’s ability to connect to “background data” as it has been termed. Open your settings, select ‘Data usage’, select the app and lastly, tap ‘Restrict app background data’.
For iPhone users, go into your Settings, tap ‘Cellular’ and as you scroll down, you will see all of your apps on your phone. After an app is downloaded, it is automatically given the green tab to use cellular data. Deselect all of the apps you don’t want using data, then simply re-select them if you need to use any particular app.

Texting while driving

One of Phonetradr’s very own experienced a close call when a driver texting on her phone almost collided with him while he was cycling. Luckily, the cyclist had noticed that the oncoming driver was on her phone and was able to move out of the way in time. These close calls happen every day. 25% of car crashes in South Africa involve the use of a phone and over 77% of crashes in total being the cause of human error. If you are in need of answering an urgent call or text, ask the front passenger to kindly assist. Better yet, using a hands-free kit will allow you to make or answer a call without touching your phone. On takealot.com, hands-free kits range from R217 to R899.

Texting at the dinner table

It’s Thursday evening which means it’s time for the family’s weekly dinner. The one rule at the table is that no texting is allowed, however, you’re waiting on an important email from a co-worker. Or, you’re making big plans with friends for upcoming holidays and your phone keeps buzzing. What do you do? Instead of whipping out your smartphone while your mother is leading the prayer, wait until a break between meals to simple excuse yourself to the bathroom. That way you can take your phone with you to quickly check your emails or answer any urgent texts. No one will suspect a thing and grandpa won’t give you the hairy eyeball.

Scrolling through social media out of boredom

When there’s nothing on TV and you’re bored at work, what do we often do? Sit on Facebook or Instagram aimlessly scrolling through the feed. Social media usage in South Africa has grown 20% just from 2017 to 2018, with the latest data from Global Web Index showing that the average internet user spends six hours a day online – that’s roughly one-third of a person’s life!
Take a break from the world of social media and listen to an audio book or a relaxing playlist on Youtube instead. Your mind and your data bill will thank you for taking a virtual world detox every now and then.

Keep up to date with Phonetradr’s latest deals and blog posts on our blog or get social with us on Facebook.