APP ALERT: MA3ROUTE

Drivers are always searching for the fastest route. This at times leads to the clogging of roads and too many drivers on one road with the aim of beating the traffic. Ma3ROUTE is an innovative Android Application that works to help you beat the crazy Nairobi traffic as well as get information on traffic hotspots. This happens through receiving traffic updates, incident and accident reports from other MA3ROUTE users.

WHAT IS MA3ROUTE?

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Ma3ROUTE home

MA3 ROUTE is an integrated trafficking application that uses traffic mapping and incident reporting to provide traffic information on the roads of Nairobi. Drivers can thereafter find the most optimal route based on that information. Nairobi Traffic is labeled as one of the worst in the world. Traffic information can be received in several modules which are via SMS, WEB and through their android application. The information is not only real time but also Coded which makes it easy to use.  The codes used are Moderate, Clear, Bumper to Bumper, poor visibility and Impassable which alerts the user on which routes to use and which ones to avoid.

FEATURES

COMMUNITY AND FEEDS

The application has a “community” where users are able to share traffic updates in real time and a feed is created on social networking sites and this informs the user of traffic hotspots and they are aware of the traffic situations. There are several traffic applications that I have used such as K-TRAFFIC, RUSH HOUR but THIS FEATURE sets Ma3ROUTE apart. The ability to convert the traffic information into a feed with codes makes it not only reliable but also clear cut. I hope soon we shall have a group in the “community” where I can interact with other commuters in my area.Codes

MA3ROUTE Traffic codes

TRAFFIC MAPPING

Through Traffic mapping, the application can be able to correctly predict which roads will have a lot of traffic and at what time. This is particularly important to the user who doesn’t have time to search through the feeds to find the information. In fact as one buckles their seat belts before igniting the car, they can receive SMS updates from MA3ROUTE and decide which route is best to use.

OTHERS

Other core additional features that the application has included; directions to various places, reporting of traffic incidents and accidents, news and stories as well as FAQs on roads and traffic from around the world which are delivered through the application and website provide a forum for one to learn more.

mulika Dere

The “Mulika Dere” function, enables one to report incidents of bad driving.

THE DEVELOPER

Laban Okune of Nasoft Technologies

THE GOOD 

The Application is reliable, integrated, simple to use and all in all a trend setter as far as traffic updates are concerned.

 The Bad

The aesthetics. The developer worked towards making it simple and integrated at the same time. However, Great Application right there.

FUTURE

Ma3route has great potential. Road users are already embracing it majorly due to its credible information and it is already at use by media houses to report traffic around Nairobi.  I see new frontiers for Ma3route being used  to find taxis nearby where the driver can directly interact with the client on the other end. Seamless integration with car system to offer both directions and traffic updates, Creation of  SOS feeds where in case on an incident I can alert roadside rescues through the application. I am also looking forward to Ma3route widget for my desktop. Perhaps a scoreboard for the users who dutifully use the application to update on road situations. Probably Ma3Route will evolve into a traffic location sharing app more like traffic foursquare?

Rating

8.5/10.

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Resources 

Website: http://www.ma3route.com/

Twitter: @ma3route

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

 

 

APP REVIEW: Pesa Droid

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M-PESA is one of the products that really changed the world’s perception of Kenya. Bill Gates had this to say about M-pesa “Kenya’s M-Pesa proves that when people are empowered, they will use digital tech to innovate on their own ” . Despite the acclaim, most of us don’t keep track of our M-pesa transactions.

Using M-Pesa on Android? Pesa-Droid is the app for you!!

Pesa Droid is an application that analyses your M-pesa Transactions,through your sms and from that generates statements.

                                                                Features

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Above is Pesa Droid Home

My transactions Feature

Once you download the application and  sync it with your sms inbox , it automatically retrieves all M-pesa transactions. Monies received, monies sent, used to buy airtime, pay for utilities and service charges.

my-transactions

A sneak of my transactions feature. Take note of how the application lets keep track of your spending.

Sender and Recipients

This feature helps the user view transactions with a given person or institution. It features the date of the transactions, the transaction number, description of the transaction and the amounts involved. It also offers a mini statement on the particular person.

senders and recipient

Pesa droid offers an easy way to view who you sent or received money from

Export Feature

It also has an export feature where you can share your transactions via bluetooth or back them up to your email.The feature allows for permanent storage of information as well as easy retrieval.

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The export feature.One could send them via email or share via bluetooth.

                Groups

 It enables the user to group their transactions into either family, bills and utilities, friends and colleagues, clients and tenants, agents and service providers. Users can on request get statements for each of the groups they have created. Groups offers simplicity It also allows one to create a group and place a given person into it.This can be of particular importance to a landlord in Kinoo who wants to keep track
of the tenants who havent paid or Chama Members who want to know who contributed what amount and the exact date.

groups

Groups feature, one can add a group to this such as Chama members,tenants.

STATEMENTS

This happens to be my favourite feature of the application that allows you to keep track of the money received and withdrawn and the point of withdrawal.This feature depends on the transactions feature and one can have a record of their usage in a given period analysed . Users can either get daily, weekly or even monthly statements. The statements shows the total cash into phone, total cash sent out of the phone, as well as the service charges.It also Lets you also export to excel. This feature makes you think hard of why you bought that airtime worth 100 shillings whenever you are looking at your statements. :-). It is particularly important to the businesses that use M-pesa as the means of payment as they can be used as a source of financial information in book keeping.

statement

multiple-months

One could generate weekly,monthly or even quartely statements based on the transactions.

PLATFORM

The application runs on android and has two modules. The Alfajiri which is a paid up version and Bwerere. Both are available on Google Play for download.

The Future

I am looking forward to Pesa Droid for Dealers which will ensure that M-pesa dealers get to keep track of what goes on at their shops. I also look forward to Pesa Droid synced with M-shwari as well as the usage of Pesa Droid not only for Android devices but in multi platforms.

The developer

Felix Kiptum

Contacts

Website: www.pesadroid.com

Facebook:       http://www.facebook.com/pesaDroid

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/#!/pesaDroid

Download Links

Bwerere

Google play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.pesadroid.free

Or

Alfajiri paid up for $ 2.99-
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.pesadroid

Website: www.pesadroid.com/download


TOP KENYAN MOBILE APPLICATIONS (PART 1)

As we proceed into 2013, I have put together a list of must have applications, and I hope you’ll find it interesting. With over 12 million internet users in Kenya, the importance of mobile applications cannot be over emphasized.

 NIKO HAPA

The application is a social location sharing application that allows users to use either SMS or their android application to give their location. The SMS Service is charged at 1 shilling.

  Imagescreen shot of NikoHapa, ‘The Kenyan Foursquare’

PLATFORM: Android and SMS

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

Rating 7/10

Tough Jungle

I like to think of this Application as Temple Run of some sort. It’s quite captivating and very addictive.

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PLATFORM: Android

Developer: Elan Telemedia Limited

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

Rating 7.5/10

OLOLASHE

Ololashe means brother in Maasai and the Application lets you make SOS by sending an SMS that you are in trouble with a link to your location to all your ICE (In case of Emergency ) Contacts.

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PLATFORM: Android

Developer: Capefield

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

Rating: 7/10

NDURU APP

Nduru App is a road safety application that lets you manage incidences related to road safety. Nduru is Swahili for scream. The application lets you report emergencies, send complaints, first aid guide among others. The one feature that makes it exception is the ability to report in real time for traffic updates and the speedometer feature that allows passengers to detect the speed.

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PLATFORM: Android

Developer: Thomas Kioko (@code_wizard)

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

Rating: 6/10

SAFARICOM APP

I must confess this is one of my favorite applications. Imagine of this, having an app that has all the Safaricom codes and that you don’t have to remember them all. This is one application that is regularly updated and one doesn’t have to struggle finding out what’s the code of the new service Safaricom has. Try it out!

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Some of the shots of the app I took from my Phone

THE DEVELOPER: Jacob Ayienda

PLATFORMS: Android  

Download link: https://play.google.com/store/apps/safaricom.app

Rating: 8/10