Technology Web

The Grid Apps for iPhone and Android

Image by movirtu via Flickr

While MTN’s social networking endeavours seem to amount to simply making more Africans text each other more, Vodacom actually seems to be embracing mobile social media with their “The Grid” location-based social network. It boasts a number of features, and is probably worth trying out – some pretty good stuff is being/has been rolled out, including Facebook and Twitter integration, a mapping solution for driving directions (!!) and an Instant Messaging feature. Even better, they haven’t locked the service into a single network provider – The Grid works the same no matter which network operator you’re using (apparently). And now that they’ve developed a The Grid application for the JesusPhone as well as the Android platform, the barrier of entry to joining The Grid is much much lower, so presumably more of your social circle will be using the platform.

Now all Vodacom has to do is make mobile data dirt cheap.

Personally I haven’t registered yet for a few reasons:
1) I hate Java apps but I love Nokia – there’s no native Symbian client, and Java kills battery life.
2) The niggling privacy issue where you can be tracked by a local company that is subject to South African law corruption.

Anyway, enough of my bitching, here’s the latest press release:

Vodacom’s The Grid, South Africa¹s first location-based mobile social
network, today launched iPhone and Android applications, allowing these
users to see their friends on local street maps, chat to them via instant
messaging and upload or view geo-tagged content.

This new Grid iPhone application combines the iPhone¹s GPS functionality and
Vodacom¹s location based (LBS) technology to display a user¹s approximate
position on a map. Maps on the Grid are populated by user-generated content
(text, images and videos) that are geo-tagged to a specific location. In
addition users are notified when their friends log onto the Grid and are
shown their position on a map to make it easy and simple to meet up.

The Grid iPhone application is available for free download on the Apple
iPhone App store.

Android application

In addition a Grid application for Android, a mobile software platform
initially developed by Google using the Linux operating system, has also
been made available. Aside from having access to Grid functionality such as
instant messaging, map browsing and media sharing, the Android application
allows users to share photos and videos straight from their cellphone¹s

The Grid Android application is available for free download on OpenMarket,
Android’s online application store as well as on The Grid website,

Integration with other social networks

The latest Grid application releases, follow Grid integration with other
social networks Twitter and Facebook. Grid users can now automatically
update their Twitter and Facebook statuses from the Grid’s mobile
application or website, with the added benefit of their location being
tagged e.g. ‘Mark is in the mood for a coffee (near Bryanston)’.

Says Shameel Joosub, Managing Director, Vodacom South Africa: “The
opportunities offered by location-based technology is starting to have a
lasting impact on people’s lives. We’re making it easy to make use of the
Grid on new handsets and also by integrating existing social networks,
adding a whole new dimension to the way people communicate.”

For further information visit

Blogging Featured

Win a 3 year School of Advertising Bursary

AAA School of Advertising (the name must be a legacy yellow-pages hack) and Springleap just sent me details of a competition for aspiring designers and marketers at high schools across the country. Design a T-Shirt, market it to get votes, most votes wins. The prize: a 3 year bursary to learn everything the AAA School of Ads can teach you, which is hopefully a hell of a lot. That’s a damn good prize, kids.

I’ll let the, uhm, video, explain a bit more. You may want to turn your speakers down a bit – clearly the caffeine has been flowing thick and fast at Springleap HQ… 🙂

More details can be found here: Teen T-shirt competition.

So once you’ve got a design, then what? Here’s a few ideas once voting starts:

  • SMS/MMS your buddies about the design/competition.
  • Facebook your friends – work it – start a group for your t-shirt design – pimp your facebook status out to the mercy of your friends’ votes.
  • Mxit up and start the discussion on the design.
  • I hate to say it, but get your school involved – the lower classes can’t enter the competition, but a vote is a vote…
  • Go old school – contact your local newspaper and let them know – you’d be surprised at the results.
  • Stand on a street corner and sell your body for votes.

I think you get the idea.

Oh, and there’s something there about Drug Education too. Yes, teenagers, you should always know the difference, between kat, tik, and cocaine. 😉

Computing Technology

Xobni Makes Outlook Rock

Microsoft Office Outlook
Image via Wikipedia

If you’re like me, you often find yourself stuck using tools dictated by corporate policy and tradition. One of my pet peeves in this area is Microsoft Exchange and the enforced use of Microsoft Outlook that Exchange brings with it. Yeah sure, nowadays you can actually use the free Evolution client, but sometimes that is just not an option. So what do you do when you’re stuck with Outlook and Exchange and data hidden in the murky depths that .pst files are? You get yourself a Xobni install. (Yes, duh, that’s Inbox, spelt backwards).

I’ve been using and testing Xobni for about a year now and I will never go back to using plain old vanilla Outlook. Xobni’s mail search feature is the shit, and the attachment handling is a godsend. Xobni takes Outlook and turns it into a useful, responsive and helpful application. It improves your access to the data in your mailbox, rather than hindering that access, which is what Outlook is traditionally so good at.

The latest release alongside LinkedIn also boasts Facebook and Skype integration, turning Xobni into even more of a social tool, and making email that much more useful. And as a cherry on top there’s the analytics features which should prove useful in making your email time a bit more GTD friendly.

If you’re using Outlook, you’d better go download Xobni now.

Xobni Demo Video


Entertainment Humor Technology

25 Things To Hate About Facebook

Julian Smith gives us a great video of 25 things he hates about facebook. I feel pretty much the same about all of them. I’m sure you do too.

Via: Laughing Squid

Computing Entertainment Security

Handy list of Facebook Privacy Settings recently published a handy list of 10 Privacy Settings Every Facebook User Should Know.

Included in the list are instructions for creating custom friend lists, removing yourself from search results, preventing tagged photos of you from being visible to all, and restricting access to stories and contact information. It’s a very handy guide with some seriously good tips on how to protect yourself in the big bad world of friendface. 🙂