Habari News App, an in-depth East-Africa news aggregator is now live on the Apple App Store on Kenya’s election day to help as many Kenyans in the diaspora to follow election results and news back home.
The app aggregates politics, technology, farming and business news from East Africa, updated frequently, to keep users in the diaspora well informed on matters close to home.
According to Edwin Bosire, the developer behind the app, “We just wanted to launch before elections. we’ll start talking to a few blogs and other news outlets to aggregate massive data.”
Bosire added, ” We are working on the system to get more news aggregated and more news feeds into the app.”
The developer, based in UK and working with his Nairobi-based partner, Bernad Banta said they are still in very early stages and none of our conversations with the publishers have gone really far. They plan to have local media houses working with them and they hope it won’t be an uphill to get permission to aggregate their content.
Earlier they had promised the various versions of the app would be out in a few days but because of distance between the developers forcing them to work remotely it took longer than expected. The delay also gave them time to refine the iOS app to great standards.
Bosire assures users that the East African news reading apps on the app store is the best and nothing provides full articles to be read on mobile, not even Nation’s or Citizen’s own app as all they do is “pull snippets and leave you yearning for more.”
The app has a very simple user interface, clean and quite intuitive, but it does not take the attention the attention away from the news. The news gets updated on a daily basis.
Just days on its availability, Bosire said a number of users were already asking if it can aggregate videos but he maintains that Habari is a news reading app and doesn’t want to be quickly too ambitious at its early stages.
He told TechMoran, “I would like to make it the best news reading app on the store. I have received feedback from people asking for videos, pictures etc, and my answer is NO, we are not doing any of that within Habari. Although to be honest, I am thinking of creating a separate app to handle all of these, it depends on how good Habari performs.”
Habari at the moment is free as the team is yet to sign up more content publishers and they are also keen no to scare away iOS users who are few in Africa. The team hopes that as it remains free, it will be easier to get as many users as possible to fulfill their mission of supplying home news to the diaspora.
“Habari has always been a private project, I would be content if I was the only user, and in fact I use it on a daily basis on the London underground, I am happy to see the problem I had solved,” Bosire said. Habari works on iPads and iPhones. The two are working hard to have various versions of the app to increase its user base.
“Today I had a conversation with my sister and she was surprised about how up to date with Kenya I am. This is why we are building the app. Banta is working on Android and Blackberry versions which will be out soon,” he added with assurance.
Bosire also added that he is working on the app’s icon to symbolize greater Africa and not just Kenya.To him the news will be helpful for people in the diaspora to develop their home countries, solve unemployment and help set up.
You can read more about the app here.