This is the first post by Waldo De Waal, who has offered to share some of his writing with us and is a journalist by trade. Waldo focuses primarily on Cars, Technology & Travel. He also sits on the panel that judges the South African Car of the year awards. So, expect some great content from Waldo in the next couple of months. Great to have you on board mate !
Here’s something for South Africans with a sense of humour: Well-known cartoonist Zapiro recently introduced two apps for both iOS and Android. The apps feature the artist’s works in two versions: Zapiro-Toons offers a chance to enjoy the Zapiro’s latest cartoons; while Zapiro Annuals feature just that: A collection of 17 Zapiro Annuals. Both apps are universal, though the extra screen real estate of the iPad does make the experience more enjoyable.
So, what are they like? The apps, we mean – not the cartoons (those are VERY good). Here goes:
The app is gratis, which is always cool. It is only 5.2 MB in size, and will be ad supported. We say ‘will be’, because at the moment the app has a banner that invites would-be advertisers to support the app. No problem – we all need money, and app development isn’t always cheap.
The load-screen features a strangely square cartoon of Zapiro himself, but the quality isn’t great. Certainly doesn’t look like much on the retina screen of the latest iPad. Once open, the app connects to the Internet to download content, which happens very quickly indeed. From there you get a mass of cartoons to swipe through. You can share via Facebook, Twitter and email, and you can also select a film strip view which allows you to scroll quickly through the cartoons.
Image quality of the cartoons isn’t fantastic, but then again these aren’t pieces of art – they’re pieces of satire, so the line art doesn’t have to be 100% perfect in order for the message to come across. With that said, it does feel just a little low rent. Sure, you want to keep the bandwidth overhead down, but this low? On the iPhone things look much better though.
Overall Zapiro-Toons is a great little time-waster. And in a country where there is always something to create good cartoons about, you’re sure never to be bored with this app on your phone!
Zapiro Annuals (free + in-app purchase)
As with the Toons app, Zapiro’s Annuals is also free to download. But the idea of giving away a bunch of annuals for free, sounded to good to be true to us. And so it was: Upon opening the app, the first thing the user has to do is a buy an annual ($9.99) each. We say ‘each’, but in reality the in-app store only offered Zapiro’s lates annual, But Will it Stand up in Court? More titles may be added later, but as things stand today, the options are limited to just one. As such is also isn’t clear whether the older annuals will be cheaper than this latest version, but then again, $9.99 isn’t THAT bad. A quick visit to Exclusive Books revealed that the same annual in paperback costs R146.00 – significantly more than the R90.00 or so that the iPad version works out to.
The Annuals app feels more polished than the tools app, and works exceptionally well on the latest version of the iPad.
In the end it is great to see the list of South African apps grow. And free stuff is always welcome! Unfortunately we’re not entirely convinced that the general populace will fork out $9.99 for each annual – especially since you can’t leave them in the bathroom for the next visitor to enjoy…