4 MUST HAVE KENYAN APPLICATIONS

Aside

From managing our finances, security, gaming to trafficking these mobile apps have come a long way. They have clearly earned the spot and it’s about time we crowned them here.

Traffic and Social Location

Ma3Route

This is a mobile, web and SMS platform developed by Nasoft Technologies with the aim of having passengers and drivers share traffic information through the creation of coded traffic feeds. I am a regular user of this application (@MrEricWainaina) and to say the least it’s a total bliss. The app not only lets you know what’s happening in your route but also gives real time fare charges on the same route. It also allows you to find directions using social location apps such as foursquare and Google maps. Added feature #discover lets the user learn amazing facts about road safety and transport in general. The explore town feature also lets you discover towns around Kenya. I am looking forward to an update that will let me interact with other road users on my route. A past review of the Application can be found here https://ericwainainaonline.wordpress.com/2013/01/28/app-alert-ma3route/ Don’t have the App yet?

Download Link: https://play.google.com/store/apps/Ma3route

Subscribe to traffic notifications through SMS short code is 7955. Send “vipi roadname” to get latest traffic update. For example, “vipi Forest road”

Follow on twitter @ma3route

Rating 9/10

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Ma3route Helps find the route fare and get coded information about your route.

 Security

WIPEOUT

When a pal of mine lost their Galaxy Note, I set out looking for a Kenyan Application that would offer my droid the security I needed. And yes I Found it. Wipeout! The Application running on Android and Symbian lets you back up your information and restore it when needed. Now to ensure the security of your device, it lets you wipeout the data of your device (Factory Reset) whenever it’s lost meaning that all your personal information is safeguarded. This also means that the contacts and SMS you had on your phone are not lost. To add on, you can change the screen lock of your lost phone and also control when and how to change the screen lock of your lost phone. It also lets you monitor how many screen lock attempts have been made onto your lost device. The App is available on Nokia Store and Google Play for a one week free trial where it will then cost the user 650/=.

Rating 7/10

Download Link: https://play.google.com/store/apps/Wipeout

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           Wipeout Home and Interface,Awesome Application

Financial

PESA DROID

I have been using this application for close to a year now and I enjoy every aspect of it. Regular updates and amazing features. Currently on version 0.4.3, the app has improved graphics, is more user friendly as well coupled up with a superb user interface. Pesa Droid is an application that lets keep track of your M-PESA transactions ensuring that you are accountable on how you use your funds. Read more on the Application here https://ericwainainaonline.wordpress.com/2013/01/15/pesa-droid-2/.The App lets you generate statements over a given period of time. Among the enhancements that have been bolstered on the application are security features meaning no unauthorized persons can randomly use your information as well as a transaction assistant which is available on the Payable module (Alfajiri) that helps you perform your M-PESA transactions.  The other is the feature for M-PESA agents to track their transactions. Pesa Droid is just the Premier M-PESA Application!!

Rating 9/10

Download Link https://play.google.com/store/apps/Pesadroid

Twitter @Pesadroid

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     Pesa Droid Home and Transaction Assistant

Gaming

Tough Jungle

This is gaming application offers all round entertainment and keeps you captivated that you even lose track of time. The application gives you a feel of the wild as you battle it out with wild animals and evade the land mines to move to the next level. The game also gives you the Temple Run thrilling as you escape the hurdles in it. The Application is very much Kenyan with traditional Maasai Music tunes belting out as you spear a Lion and Jump over the landmines and rocky terrain. A help in form of a raven appears with extra spears and arrows to help you navigate.

Try It out

Download Link: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.elan.telemedia.game

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Tough Jungle Home and Gaming Interface.

There you have it People, Get these Apps.

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BLACKBERRY : The Aftermath

blackberry

Since the launch of the blackberry OS 10, there have been blogs, columns in newspapers, articles on the web, analysts on TV all reviewing  and asking the question, can the Blackberry OS 10 SAVE Blackberry? I watched, read, analyzed and here are my thoughts.

The blackberry OS 10 has paved way for the development of the Blackberry Z10 and the Blackberry Q10 which pundits say are revolutionary products in BlackBerry’s quest to take over the smartphone market which they previously dominated. Firstly I would like to thank Blackberry for giving its enthusiasts a product that they have waited for and which I believe is worth the wait. Remember the story about the Eagle in its quest to have a new lease of life? I see Blackberry as the Eagle which flies to the high mountains when, it is aged and undergoes the painful process of shedding its feathers and talons in order to acquire new ones after which it flies even higher and becomes better. To say the Least, it has been that period for Blackberry. The last three years have seen the Canadian smartphone maker go through a painful process.

First, was the ouster of the Company CEO and Founder Michael Lazaridis after shareholders felt he was not doing enough to keep the firm in profitability? According to the Verge theverge.com/rim-blackberry-mike-lazaridis-jim-balsillie-lost-empire, Lazaridis saw Blackberry then called RIM as the same old firm he had created as a young engineer. The other painful part of the Blackberry process of shedding the feathers was the flop of the Blackberry products such as the Porsche, Milan, and London which had been named after cities to make it easy to identify with the user. I remember reading about them (Telegraph.co.uk/technology) and the comments from users weren’t as pleasing. Their flagship[ tablet the playbook was dismissed as a disaster based on the fact that it lacked what most Blackberry’s were known for swerve email capabilities. The ouster of Blackberry as the premier smartphone by small players such as Samsung from Korea and others such as Apple was a hard pill to swallow to. Subsequently, the Blackberry shares nose-dived.  I remember my Friend Emmanuel Chenze telling me Blackberry is as good as gone. It’s the next Kodak.

rim shares

Rim shares Nose-dive

PLAYBOOK The Playbook Tablet

Moving on with our analogy of the Eagle, Blackberry moved up the “hills” Being its Waterloo Headquarters and reorganized itself. The firm acquired small firms which would strengthen its research and development wing and help it develop what is today the Blackberry OS 10. In addition to that Blackberry was notorious for having few applications in the BB App world and it held events known as the Blackberry Jam that brought together App Developers who created Blackberry Apps. To tackle the problem of apps, The Blackberry OS 10 is now lets you download Android Apps and use them on your Blackberry.  Other old talons that have been shed are the dropping of the name RIM to Blackberry which was a concrete Re-branding exercise. The reconstitution of its Board to include members who would help the firm steers in the way of its goals was also a key decision that has enabled the firm re-energize.

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Blackberry Z10, running on BB10.

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The Blackberry Torch-Running on Blackberry OS 7

A peep at the BB10

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 Blackberry 10 launch

First the new Blackberry OS has totally changed its face. According to Crackberry.com, not a single line of Code from Blackberry OS 7 was used in the Blackberry 10 which goes on to tell the amount of time and resources that were invested in making it a good product. In fact, Users have had to wait for 3 years to get their hands on the new OS which explains how much hard work was put into. Users of the new OS admit that the OS is actually awesome especially with the Peeking ability that lets you balance full screen usage such that you can balance the usage of your device. This allows “Fluid Workflow” which to me is simply multitasking. Blackberry is set to launch an update for their tablet the Playbook. Meaning users will soon us the BB10 on their Tabs something they have longed for. Blackberry is a product that was tailor made for the enterprise or the business people. Blackberry has included mobile cloud into the new OS which will be offered as data Centre as a service meaning your Blackberry will act as your Virtual Machine (I shall talk about Cloud computing soon). Others are swerve multitasking as well as better functionality and simplicity.

SECURITY

BB SECURITY SYSTEM  The complex Blackberry security

Security is a critical aspect of the BB range of devices. As you may well remember, during the Egyptian uprising, Blackberry services popular known as BBM was widely used to spread messages on the revolution as the RIM’s system couldn’t be penetrated. BB is widely used in firms due to its robust systems and ensures that company data is not accessed by unauthorized parties. In this regard, BB10 has integrated the Blackberry Enterprise Server with the awesome Blackberry Balance framework thereby ensuring users jeep personal and business data on the same device without the option of either being accessed.

WINNING?

There is a popular saying that Once you go Black, You never Go Back.  Whoever said this must have been intimating at Blackberry. Blackberry has a cult following and millions of loyalist who didn’t abandon the brand even when it was on the blink of collapse. BlackBerry needs to know that to succeed it will have to do so with the Users. Most of them love Blackberry for their Blackberry Internet Service.BB10 was initially developed without the capabilities which have prompted the firm to launch the update today after massive backlash from users. On top of that, it needs to ensure that consumers enjoy multitasking capabilities as well as regular updates of the OS. In addition, a wide array of smartphones from which consumers can choose is also something Blackberry should do if winning is part of the game.

BBM The very popular Blackberry Messager (BBM)

I also posted this on my twitter page today www.twitter.com/amarueric that Blackberry needs to concentrate on gaining back its market share from the competition and then concentrate on individual markets. Just this afternoon, Blackberry announced that the BBZ10 will not be launching in Japan and other non-core BB markets. This may have been prompted by the fail of the City named BB smartphones. This strategy will ensure that Blackberry makes more sales and also stage an aggressive marketing       campaign as they badly need the sales. In this regard BB also needs to engage carriers to market the new smartphones aggressively. This is already underway in South Africa, the States, and The UK and hopefully Safaricom will do so soon.

Hurdles

Off course, there are a few problems BlackBerry will face in its quest. The market is already saturated with Smartphones and content at this stage is King. The phone maker needs to come up with an all-round strategy tackling both the app world, the OS, the marketing and research and development if it is to edge out the competition. The competition, in this case Samsung, has come up with Safe, to offer robust smartphone security which is one of the areas that gave BB an edge over the competition. The timing is also a bit wrong as the S4 is launching sometime in May, windows phone and also the next apple product. However, Thumbs up to Blackberry You did IT!!!

bb10 logo

GO BLACKBERRY!!!