Swiftkey now free

SwiftKey is a fast, intuitive way to input text onto your smartphone and, for me, just pips Swype when learning what I want to say and how I want to say it.
However, the one issue with SwiftKey has always been that while it’s good, it’s also not free. Sure, it’s only $4, but given that there are decent alternatives out there, gratis, it’s some indication of its power and usability that people go out (or stay home – this is online stuff, after all) and choose buy it.

But from now on, SwiftKey is going to be free.
Why? Because (according to its inventors):

We’ve come an incredibly long way these past six years, from two university friends with an ambitious idea, to becoming the global best-selling app on Google Play the past two years running. We founded SwiftKey to make it easier for everyone to create and communicate on their mobile devices, and as a company we’re working hard to reach that goal.

This is why today we are making SwiftKey free. We believe this change is the best way to achieve our global vision for SwiftKey, as we can now reach many more people around the world without price as a barrier.

Alternatively, of course, it could be that:

…in SwiftKey’s case, it [could] help it in going head-to-head with similar, free technology that Apple will soon offer to iPhone users.

But I think it’s more likely that they just want the people of the world to talk to one another, right?

All of us who have previously paid for the app got this email:

To say thanks for your support as a paid SwiftKey user, we’re giving you a ‘Premier Pack’ of 10 new premium themes worth $4.99 for free! 

Yeah, whatevs, themes-schmemes, but it’s a decent gesture, I guess. Note that I was happy to pay $4 just to be able to use the app, so I’m not really put out by this.

SwiftKey is cool, and now it’s free, so go and get it on Play Store.

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OMG! A brand finally recognises that Dads exist!

Finally, after all the times that I’ve moaned about the lack of recognition that Dads get in the whole parenting process, including this infamous piece, it seems like Dove for Men have understood that there’s more than one person doing the parenting in many families.
Or maybe they just wanted to appeal to their target market, he thought, cynically.

Either way…

Recognising the Mums, there’s society, helpfully and regularly propped up by stuff like the 2012 P&G ad, (they did one for the Sochi games too) and belittling the Dads, there are things like this baby outfit:


How utterly condescending.

It’s not, as I have pointed out before, that I am suggesting that Mums aren’t valuable, hardworking, wonderful people when it comes to being a parent.
And I’m not even claiming that Dads should expect to be celebrated for their role in bringing up kids. All I’m saying is that fairly regularly, there are two doing the parental tango. And it seems awfully unjust that one of them is routinely overlooked.

Anyway, here’s that heart-warming, worm-has-turned, just-in-time-for-Father’s-Day Dove for Men ad:

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Lovely. The monkey bars and bottom wiping scenes seem particularly familiar.

As the ad people say:

Three quarters of dads say they are responsible for their child’s emotional well-being, while only 20% of dads see this role reflected in media. It’s time to acknowledge the caring moments of fatherhood that often go overlooked.

Christ alone knows where those 20% have been looking.
Look, I think that it’s going to take more than 61 seconds of Youtube video to even things up, but I’m glad that someone has at least made a start.

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Here’s my five year old daughter’s answer to “What do you want to be when you grow up?”


Meh. The practical work is fun, but the paperwork can be annoying and the pay is lousy.
Still, it’s better than working in an office.

P.S. When asked “What is your favourite place?”, she chose the Black Oystercatcher wine farm.
We’re totally winning as parents.

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England arrive in Brazil

With all of South Africa giggling at this (admittedly rather amusingly captioned) photo of the England football team arriving in Brazil:


I did feel that some degree of perspective may be required:



Right, I’m off home in disguise so as to avoid the lynch mobs.

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Move to rename Table Mountain

“In a move that will be welcomed by many people who have been praying about this issue for years”, a group of prominent Capetonian furniture makers have met with the Western Cape Provincial Geographical Names Committee (WCPGNC) on Friday May 30, and proposed the renaming of the Table Mountain.

Table Mountain is clearly not a good name for the mountain which, together with Devil’s Peak, towers above Cape Town. Nor has it always been the name chosen for the geological feature. A map dated somewhere around the 1660s indicates that the peak was known as The Flat Rock, while in the 1700s, it was known by the Afrikaner population as Die Aambeeld or The Anvil. Because it looks a bit like an anvil, see?

Tony Balding of the South Africa Association of Cabinet Makers (SAACM) stated:

Obviously, Table Mountain is poor choice of name for the Mountain. It only shares one feature with a table: the flat top. There are no legs, which make up at least half the interesting bits of a table, and it’s giving our customers a false impression of what to they’re going to get when they order a table from one of our members. Many of them fully expect their commissioned project to be made of sandstone on a partially eroded granite basement, whereas we tend to work in wood or metal.
In addition, many of our customers expect our products to last for hundreds of millions of years and have a cable car from the floor to the top of their table. And don’t even get me started on the whole size issue.
It’s frankly creating unrealistic expectations and all because of the utterly terrible moniker given to it by some unimaginative and quite possibly short-sighted Dutchman.
It needs a new name and we won’t stop until it gets one.

This is merely the formalisation of a campaign which has been going on for many years. Previously, carpenters have climbed Table Mountain carrying a selection of exquisitely-crafted dining chairs and walnut sideboards in an effort to publicise their campaign and seek guidance from whoever would listen. There is a record of a letter being sent to President Thabo Mbeki in 2001, requesting a name change, but rumour has it that he refused to acknowledge the plea as a means of getting back at the local cabinetmaking community after he trapped his finger in a wardrobe in the mid-90s.

If the SAACM campaign does manage to gain some degree of traction, however, it will also give hope to the Christian community of Cape Town who, having rather too much spare time on their hands after 1994, given that they were no longer having to help prop up Apartheid, decided that Devil’s Peak was a bit of a rubbish name for… er… Devil’s Peak.

Many prominent members of their community have now got together and sidelined some of the money which could have been used to feed hungry children in order to petition the Provincial Government into changing the name of the kilometre high rock which has, for centuries, apparently cursed the inhabitants of the Mother City.

A spokeswoman for the group said:

The thing is that Capetonians don’t know just how great life could be if we renamed Devil’s Peak and removed the demonic possession which has hung over the city since the mountain was named. If we can get it renamed to Dove’s Peak, then everything would be instantly sorted out: there would be no more poverty, no more crime, no more meltdowns from Helen Zille on Twitter – even the South Easter wouldn’t ruin our springtime any more. If we can get it done before next April, then One Direction might even cancel their concert.
It will just be rainbows and sunshine and unicorns for all once this pointy lump is rid of its demonic name.

When it was pointed out that Johannesburg suffered many of the same problems as Cape Town, yet doesn’t have a mountain named after Beelzebub on its doorstep, the spokeswoman responded:

Yes, but that is a city of sin. God is omnipotent, yes, but I think we need to understand that even He has limits.

Posted in response this this “news” story, detailing how “a group of prominent Cape Town Christians” want to change the name of Devil’s Peak.

Because that’s absolutely the worst thing facing the Cape Town community at the moment, obviously.

9 Comments | Tagged , , , , | Posted in annoying people, in the news, this is south africa