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Huawei 6.1” HD Ascend Mate ‘Phablet’ Out

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Huawei_1Huawei has  launched its Huawei Ascend Mate with a 6.1″HD Screen with highest screen-to-body ratio for optimal experience for gaming, reading text-heavy webpages, and viewing photos and videos.

The Ascend Mate has a 4050 mAh battery and 1.5 GHz quad-core processor featuring QPC and ADRX smart power-saving technology, the smartphone provides up to two days of ordinary usage on a single charge. Its Magic Touch offers the convenience when users need to wear gloves, such as in cold winter. It also has the “Guiding Wizard” function into the map which uses AR navigation technology. When you switch it on, it opens the phone’s camera, and the direction instantly appears against the camera view and tells you which turn to take.

The phone’s smart reading function facilitate reading for  users plus translation, search and Wikipedia menus which can constantly be switched between. Its Magic Touch’ technology gives users enhanced touchscreen responsiveness adding to its emotion user interface.

Ascend Mate supports five 3G frequency bands plus four GSM bands. We will let you know when it is available in Africa but the Ascend Mate will start retailing in Australia April 20 for $429.

Specs:

Smart phone
Platform
Operating System Android 4.1
Band UMTS 850/900/1700/1900/2100 MHz
GSM 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
CPU 1.5 GHz quad-core Hi-Silicon K3V2 + Intel XMM6260
Appearance
Style Bar
Color available in Crystal Black and Pure White
Dimension (H X W X D) 163.5 mm x 85.7 mm x 9.9 mm (6.5 inches x 3.4 inches x 0.4 inches)
Weight 198g
Display
Size 6.1-inch HD IPS+ 1280 x 720 LCD touchscreen with Corning® Gorilla® glass
Camera
Camera resolution 8.0-megapixel AF rear-facing camera with HDR
1.0-megapixel HD front-facing camera
Capacity
RAM 2GB
Connectivity
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, dual-band, DLNA, Wi-Fi Direct, Wi-Fi hotspot
Bluetooth Bluetooth 4.0 LE EDR
Entertainment
Video player supports AVI, MPEG4, mp3, AAC+, Enhanced AAC
Headphone 3.5 headset connector
Sensors
Gyro Supported
Battery
Capacity 4050 mAh (typical)
Standby time up to 9 days on WCDMA

 

Asus Announces The Asus Fonepad Tablet | Available In Stores May 2013

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Fonepad 2World’s top three notebook vendor, ASUS, today announced the ASUS Fonepad™, the first android tablet that runs the new Intel processor with real voice capabilities and incorporating phone and tablet functions altogether.

Launched earlier this year at the Mobile Wireless Conference (MWC) in Barcelona by ASUS chairman Jonney Shih, the seven-inch, 340 gram budget friendly tablet  was built upon the successes of the ASUS 7” android tablet range.

Regional Director of Asus Africa Shawn Chang says, “Africa is a priority market and ASUS Africa will release all their new products at the same time with other markets. Users will now be able to enjoy the ASUS quality and value without the wait.”

The Android based tablet runs on Jellybean 4.1, and added onto it a 1.2 megapixel front camera and a 3 megapixel back camera. The Fonepad has a smooth metal back, making it drastically different from similarly sized tablets. The back panel houses the usual antennae, and hidden underneath are both the micro-SIM slot and the micro SD reader which supports up to 32GB cards.

Intel Inside

The Asus Fonepad will have the new Intel processor a 1.2GHz Atom Z2420 to be exact. This processor was specifically designed by Intel for smartphone and tablet devices. “Extending our long history of collaboration, including most recently on the Ultrabook™ and Intel®-based tablets, we are very excited to be partnering with ASUS again,” said Hermann Eul, Intel® vice president and co-general manager of the Mobile and Communications Group.

“Intel’s new Atom™ Z2420 processor delivers the power, performance and flexibility required to accommodate a range of devices and market needs. We think the ASUS Fonepad™ is a very innovative device in an emerging category of 3G tablets with telephony features.”

Fonepad 1The Fonepad is part of a range of devices created by ASUS that are targeted towards capturing the growing mobile device market in Africa, with the focus being on mobility and connectivity. The tablet is ideal for people who value both the voice communication features of a smartphone and the entertainment opportunities afforded by a tablet, but prefer the convenience of carrying just one device.

Availability & Pricing

ASUS Fonepad™ and accessories will be available from May 2013. Fonepad™ prices suggested from Kshs. 24,999 (MSRP) for 8GB storage with three-megapixel rear camera.

 

Alibaba Pushing Its Alibaba Mobile OS In China With Incentives To Local Handset Makers

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Alibaba Group, Chinese e-commerce firm has began efforts to push its mobile phone operating system to device manufactures after it was blocked by Google seven months ago on a planned launch on Acer smartphones

The firm’s officials are enlisting device manufacturers, telecom carriers and software developers to help create an  “ecosystem” for the Aliyun (Ali Cloud) OS  or simply the Alibaba Mobile Operating System (AMOS).

So far five additional handset makers were launching Alibaba OS phones. A channel on Taobao will help handset makers sell directly to consumers and  bypass traditional brick-and-mortar as long as they sell Alibaba OS phones.

Alibaba will subsidize handset makers by paying them an ongoing fee of RMB 1 a month for every AMOS-equipped phone they sell.

Software developers who build cloud-based AMOS applications will get funding via a RMB-$1-billion program. It will also work with smartphone makers and telecom operators to sign up consumers to buy phones on credit through an Alibaba subsidiary AliFinance that offers microloans to small online retailers based on their activities on Alibaba e-commerce platforms.

Jonathan Lu, president of the Alibaba Mobile business unit who is set to replace ack Ma as CEO May 10 said Alibaba has “an open attitude” and  “welcomes cooperation with all types of partners to together create a healthy ecosystem” for the mobile Internet.

The firm confirmed five Chinese smartphone makers—KONKA, ZOPO, Amoi, G’Five, and Little Pepper—will be launching six new phones running on Alibaba OS.

Kenyan Photographer Releases Wallpaper Monday For Android

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wallpaperMutua Matheka, a top Kenyan photographer with an eye for cityscapes, architecture and adventure has today launched his Wallpaper Monday app on Google Play for mobile wallpapers.

Before the Android app, photography and wallpaper fans could get his wallpapers from his site for Desktop or on his social media pages but now the app will make it easy for his fans as they can get the wallpapers easily from the app.

Wallpaper Monday requires  Android version 2.2 or up and was developed by the photographer with Skyline Design a Kenyan design agency for web sites, mobile apps, user interfaces and brands.

David Mugo, a Nairobi bloggers and photography fan said, “Great Step, Great App. Being the great photographer Mutua is cannot be expressed better. This is a great gift to the fans of his photography, and as a photographer, I am more inspired! Great work Mutua.”

Now working on “Mutua Matheka’s Africa” a portrait of major cities and sites in Africa after his “Mutua Matheka’s Nairobi” captures the beauty of Africa and her cities in a unique and excellent way. His work has been featured on BBC, African Digital Art and  MNET and he has worked on campaigns for the UN Habitat, Samsung & Nokia among others. Go get a wallpaper today for your Android device here.

IBM & Airtel Ghana Launch Initiatives To Stir Mobile Innovation

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ibm-logo-6IBM in partnership with Airtel Ghana has announced two initiatives to drive innovation in the mobile technology in Ghana.

As part of the partnership, the two companies have opened a new Mobile Centre of Excellence which is the first of its kind in West Africa at the University of Ghana.

The new facility is aimed to provide students with access to cutting edge mobile technologies in order to foster an innovation ecosystem in academic.

The two companies also intend to launch other Mobile Centre of Excellence in some selected universities across Africa, with laboratories in the key markets of Nigeria and Kenya expected to be opened this year.

In addition, the two companies have also organised for competition for Ghanaian university students to encourage the development of new mobile solutions and lay the foundation for start-up enterprises in the country.

In a statement issued to Ghana News Agency on Sunday, Mr Philip Sowah, Managing Director of Airtel Ghana expressed excitement about the partnership which would serve as a platform to drive mobile innovation across Africa.

“We have been impressed by the level of talent and dynamism amongst students in Ghana and are confident that with the right support and access to technologies, they can go on to play an important role in developing the mobile technologies and businesses of the future”, he said.

According to recent GSM Association Report, Africa is the fastest-growing mobile market in the world, and is the biggest after Asia. The number of subscribers on the continent has grown almost 20 per cent each year for the past five years reaching over 700 million subscribers at the end of 2012.

Africa is known for its quick adoption of new services using advanced mobile phone technologies, including mobile money transfer services like Airtel Money and HD Voice services which Airtel is currently rolling out across Africa.

Mr Joe Mensah, IBM Ghana General Manager, said Africa had gain a reputation for innovation in mobile technology with a number of applications and start-ups coming under the global spotlight.

He said for this momentum to continue, it was important to foster the culture of innovation in African academia and build the skills and experience required for the development of commercially viable businesses in future.

The mobile innovation competition was launched with the University of Ghana last year which a student develop an application dubbed “Check It” that allows mobile phone users take photo of goods and send them to a standards body for verification.

This year’s competition has been extended to students of Ashesi University and the University of Cape-Coast.

Source: GNA

 

Will Uganda’s Dextop Replace Your PC?

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dx4In a move that will see computers affordable and accessible in Uganda, Caesar Mukama, a Computer Science graduate from Makerere University designed Dextop, a desktop-like portal for one’s cloud-based applications.

The lightweight virtual desktop works like a computer and has all PC functionalities giving users a computer like experience even when they don’t have one.

Now guys don’t have to complain about lack of PC’s anymore.

The free computer application can save messages, emails, play music and games online and replaces the need of hardware and increases access as it is cloud-based and can be used remotely.

Dextop November 2012 won $20,000 after it was voted best in the Google Apps Developer Challenge. It emerged the best  under the‘Personal, productivity, category in Sub Saharan Africa out of the 60 apps that made it to the  finals and just among the three from Sub Saharan Africa made.

Dextop works simply, one needs a computer with internet access, then logs on to the Dextop interface.

After logging in Dextop, there is computer like interface and now using your Google account and saved in Google Drive. The app is free but a version for SMEs has a minimum surcharge. Check it out here and play a game in the cloud.

PIVOT East Application Deadline Extended Till April 22 2013

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PIVOT East has extended the application deadline into its PIVOT East 2013 to give ample time to applicants to prepare their forms.
PIVOT East announced, “Based on the feedback we have received from numerous PIVOT East 2013 applicants after each workshop, it became apparent that more time is needed for them to prepare their entries. On this basis, we are pleased to announce that we are extending the application deadline for PIVOT East 2013 by one more week from the 15th of April 2013 to the 22nd of April 2013.”The one week given is to allow applicants time to get all the necessary details required of them, and avoid filling the forms in a hurry.

PIVOT has also been conducting PIVOT East 2013 Outreach Workshops to educate applicants on what is expected of them and has reached applicants in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, and last week had its last outreach workshop in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania.

PIVOT East competitions, organized by m:lab East Africa, a Nairobi based mobile innovation incubation space, are in their third phase. The first two were held in Nairobi while the third will be held in Kampala June 25 and 26 and will the first time attract mobile entrepreneurs from South Sudan and war-torn Somalia.

The mobile entrepreneurs will be in categories such as Financial Services, Business and Resource Management, Entertainment , Mobile Society and Utilities. Winners of each category will take home $10,000 each apart from the Android category that will get $10,000 more from Google.

Rwanda Launches First Ever SMS App For Statistical Data Collection & Dissemination

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rw-lgflag

A news SMS app has been launched by the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda (NISR) in a move to facilitate the collection and disseminating of statistical data in the country in real-time.
Launched in public beta, the SMS app will help anyone with a phone to access information for right decision-making based on objective evidence, who will from now on have access to statistical information at their fingertips, and more time to enjoy the new mobile phone-based technology.
This innovation- similar to the existing Short Message Service (SMS) – but tailored for the specific purpose of collecting and disseminating official statistics to various stakeholders  eliminates the problem of complexity and high cost that previouslv burdened the task of collecting and disseminating statistics data in Rwanda.
The new SMS-based app can be used by Statistical Data Collectors on the field in sending directly all collected information securely to the central database at NISR, is the ultimate user-friendly application that will be fast and convenient to use will all mobile clients device.

Orange Wants To Know You | Launches Tujuane Tarrif

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orange-logoOrange Kenya last night reduced its mobile calling and SMS rates and launched a new tarrif offer, dubbed Tujuane,with reduced off-net calling rates to KSh 3 per minute down from KSh 4 per minute.

Orange mobile customers will also enjoy a 50 percent reduction on on-net and off-net SMS rates, down to KSh 1 from KSh 2. The cost of Orange-to-Orange calls remains consistent at KSh. 2 per minute and this includes calls from Orange Mobile to the company’s fixed line network.

Company CEO Mickael Ghossein said the new tariffs are Orange’s response to price elasticity of the market, which significantly influences usage habits of subscribers.

“Our reduced pay as you go tariffs assure our customers of affordable service, whether they need to communicate on our network or to another network,” said Ghossein.
Customers that are currently subscribed to bundled offerings on Orange will still the benefits of the new Tujuane tariffs. When not subscribed to a bundle offer, they will automatically roll onto this new pricing plan.
Tujuane, which is valid till May 31, 2013, is available 24-hours at no subscription fee making it attractive to entry level users who, typically, have less disposable income.

As additional value, Tujuane comes with free access to Facebook Zero as well as to Wikipedia, the world’s largest online encyclopedia.
“The mobile phone is becoming an increasingly vital communications tool. However, calling rates can restrict access for price-conscious consumers. We aim to remain responsive to our consumer needs and expectations,” said Ghossein.

Other value-for-money offers that Orange is known for in the market include Holla, Usinyamaze and Jienjoy na Mbao.

In Brief:

25 percent drop in off-net call charges
•    50 percent drop in off-net SMS charges
•    On-net calls (GSM and Orange Wireless) remain at KSh 2 per minute (on-net calls from Orange Mobile include calls to Orange Fixed lines)
•    Offer is available round-the-clock and will apply as the default ‘pay as you go’ rate
•    Pay As You Go refers to the tariff enjoyed by customers who do not subscribe to a bundle

Google Becomes Futuristic | Wants You To Think About Your Death

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According to a post this morning by Andreas Tuerk, Product Manager at Google, “Not many of us like thinking about death — especially our own. But making plans for what happens after you’re gone is really important for the people you leave behind. So today, we’re launching a new feature that makes it easy to tell Google what you want done with your digital assets when you die or can no longer use your account.”

The new feature dubbed Inactive Account Manager is  on the Google Account settings page and let’s a user tell Google what to do with a users’s Gmail messages and data from Google’s several services in case the account becomes inactive.

Options include having the data deleted — after three, six, nine or 12 months of inactivity. Or one can select trusted contacts to receive data from some or all the following services: +1s; Blogger; Contacts and Circles; Drive; Gmail; Google+ Profiles, Pages and Streams; Picasa Web Albums; Google Voice and YouTube.

Not wanting to kill users who are traditionally inactive may be due to dependency on other email accounts, Google first send a warning text message to a user’s cellphone and email the secondary address one provided on sign up.

Though it sounds sad, getting ready for a digital afterlife, the service protects one’s data ensures them privacy and security and makes life easier for their loved ones or next of kin.

 

Samsung Launches Series 9 Premium Ultrabook With Full HD

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series 9

The Series 9 Premium Ultrabook with Full HD (1920×1080) resolution and features 13.3-inch full HD display, Intel® Core™ i7 processor and 128GB SSD and retails for $1,399.99.

Its SuperBright™ display (300 nit) makes it up to twice as bright as standard notebook screens and reproduces up to 16 million colors, making it ideal for viewing photos and videos. It weighs only 2.5 pounds, a half-inch thin-ultra-thin body.

It has been sand-blasted for fingerprint resistance, keeping it pristine at all times. It’s Intel® Core™ i7 processor and 128GB SSD starts it rapidly and has  quick load time for instant content access.

It has Samsung’s Fast Solutions technology, allowing the laptop to boot in less than 10 seconds and resume from sleep nearly instantly, allowing users to rapidly pick up where they last left off. Its integrated Intel® HD Graphics 4000 chipset which, when combined with the Full HD screen, makes this the ultimate laptop for consuming multimedia. It offers up to 5.8 hours (Mobile Mark 2012) of battery life on the go.

Twitter Introduces Trends In Over 160 Locations, Kenya Top On The List

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twitter_logoTwitter yesterday April 11 introduced local trends for Kenya and 160 plus countries and cities for the first time in a move to bring the world a little closer through country interaction.

“We’re introducing Trends in more than 160 new locations. Included in that list are a number of countries that will be getting Trends for the first time: Belgium, Greece, Kenya, Norway, Poland, Portugal, and Ukraine, plus more than 130 new cities in countries that already have Trends,” said Twitter’s Sofware Engineer, Trends team, Royce Cheng-Yue (@rchengyue).

According to Cheng0Yue Trends are an easy way to find out what people are talking about in real-time be it across the world,  in one’s country, or city. Users follow Trends to easily great stuff relevant to them or find breaking news.

A user can change the Trends from city to country to country deepening on what is relevant for theme. To change a Trend a user heads to “Change” in the Trends sidebar on twitter.com on the then picks om a select the city or country they are interested in.

Trend is working on getting more locations to allow users follow info that matters to them at ease, Cheng Yue said,” We’re constantly working to bring Trends to more locations –– be on the lookout for even more in the future. In the meantime, don’t hesitate to check out our support article on Trends for more information.”

Eat Out Kenya, Kopo Kopo & Safaricom Partner To Launch An M-PESA Restaurant Payment Platform

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eatSafaricom, Eat Out Kenya and Kopo Kopo on Tuesday April 16 will launch an M-PESA restaurant payment platform to enable restaurant patrons conveniently pay for their bills via M-PESA.

Restaurant owners who want their restaurant connected, are required to bring a copy of Certificate of Registration and Kenya National ID/Passport to sign up on the platform.  The launch will be held at the Michael Joseph Centre, Safaricom Centre in Westlands Nairobi
Kenya at 9.00 AM to 11 AM.

The M-PESA restaurant payment platform launch will be attended by Safaricom’s CEO Bob Collymore along with Eat Out’s MD Mikul Shah and Director Ben Lyon from Kopo Kopo.Eat Out Kenya, the proponent of the service, is East Africa’s most up to date and comprehensive online restaurant search tool and guide wants to help you locate a restaurant, book your lunch or pick your favourite hotel corner seat from the simplicity of your phone.

eat out1Eat Out has reviews and a catalogue of  bars, cafes and restaurants with directions by name, area location, type of cuisine or price and allows users to book simply without leaving the site.

Founded in 2009 by Mikul Shah, Ami Doshi and Chris Cellini, Eat Out is a comprehensive restaurant and hotel guide for Kenya’s major cities and towns and is expanding into East Africa. Users take advantage of the sites restaurant listings, reviews, menus and a directory based on location, price and type. The M-Pesa payment platform will make it easy for patrons to book, eat and pay conveniently using M-Pesa.

Samsung Launches The 6.3 & 5.8 Inch Samsung Galaxy Mega

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mega-1365673617South Korean electronic giant  has today announced its 6.3 inch HD screen and the 5.8 inch Samsung GALAXY Mega running on  Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, with Dual Core Processor, spacious internal storage along with up to 64GB of expandable memory

The devices’ advanced software also facilitates more efficient processor use for improved battery life, meaning users can enjoy longer talk time and multimedia use.

The GALAXY Mega will be available globally beginning May from Europe and Russia. The product availability varies by market and will be rolled out gradually.

JK Shin, CEO and Head of IT & Mobile Business, Samsung Electronics said,“We are aware of a great potential in the bigger screen for extensive viewing multimedia, web browsing, and more.”

“We are excited to provide another choice to meet our consumers’ varying lifestyles, all while maintaining the high-quality features of the award-winning GALAXY series,”   added Shin.

The GALAXY Mega enables an exceptional widescreen view for various applications including web browsing, video, and Social networks. It has Group Play for easy content sharing for up to 8 devices on the same Wi-Fi network. Samsung WatchON’ which transforms the phone into an IR remote controller for a richer TV experience. Samsung Link for streaming photos, videos, notes, or music to your television, tablet or computer. The S Translator for instant text or voice translation even for email and Chat and ChatON for chats.

 Its split screen capability for a variety of applications including email, messages, MyFiles,’ ‘S Memo,’ ‘S Planner’, and more, makes for increased efficiency. With the popular Air View feature, customers can preview information in emails, photos in Gallery, and speed dial contacts.

The GALAXY Mega is equipped with an enhanced 8 megapixel rear-facing camera with a 1.9 megapixel front-facing camera, along with a variety of camera modes including  ‘Drama Shot’(merging continuous shots of a moving object), ‘Sound & Shot’ (captures 9 seconds of sound and voice together as the picture is taken to capture moments), ‘Rich tone,’ ‘Sports’ and more. The device also packs various newly-introduced features for endless entertainment, including:

• ‘S Travel’: Provides trip information, local guides and resources and more
• ‘Story Album’: Allows customers to create albums of daily events, keep special moments in one place using a timeline, geo-tag information and publish digital albums in hard copy

Samsung GALAXY Mega 6.3  Specs

 

Network

LTE100/50Mbps, HSPA+21/5.76

Display

6.3-inch (159.7mm) HD TFT  

Processor

1.7GHz Dual Core AP 

OS 

Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean)

Camera

Main (Rear): 8 megapixel rear-facing camera

 

 

Samsung GALAXY Mega 5.8 Product Specifications

Network

HSPA+21/5.76

Display

5.8-inch (147mm) QHD TFT   

Processor

1.4GHz Dual Core AP 

OS 

Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean)

Camera

Main (Rear): 8 megapixel rear-facing camera

 

Rocket Internet’s payleven Introduces Multi-Account & Various Printer Systems Support

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payleven
Europe’s mobile payment platform payleven today launched multi-accounts and support for various printer systems on its platform making the daily use of the mobile Chip & PIN payment solution more efficient and flexible for merchants.

Perfect for larger businesses with more than one branch or with numerous employees out on the road, the introduction of multi-accounts now lets merchants manage multiple Chip & PIN devices from a single master account. Features such as monitoring the earnings of each device and granting or revoking permission to give refunds can all be controlled and analysed from a single place. Multi-accounts is available today for iOS users (iPhone and iPad) while the Android version will be released shortly.

payleven is also announcing support for various printer systems. Receipts for debit or credit card payments made on payleven can now be printed on stationary or mobile printers. payleven offers a wide range of supported printers from multiple manufacturers, including   the Bixolon (SPP-R200II), Epson (TM-T88V with UB-R03) and Star Micronics (SM-S220i).

According to Konstantin Wolff, CMO and founder at payleven: “payleven is focussed on developing a one-stop mobile payments solution for businesses that provides both, functionality and ease-of-use. This is the future of mobile payment and helps our customers in efficiently running and growing their businesses.”

payleven’s latest innovation, Europe’s first mobile Chip & PIN device, is a compact and secure card reader that links to a smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth. Customers simply enter their PIN on the keypad of the device to conduct easy and smooth mobile payments. The device provides highest possible security standards for both merchants and customers, as card transactions are as secure as paying at a traditional card terminal.

Google Maps Launches Turn-by-turn Mobile Voice Navigation In Kenya

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Google today has launched Google Maps Navigation (Beta) for phones running Android 2.2 (or above) and iOS 5.1 (or above).  Now available, Google MapsNavigation (Beta) is an Internet-connected GPS navigation or ‘satnav’ system that provides turn-by-turn voice driving directions as a feature of Google Maps for mobile.

Google Maps Navigation (Beta) uses phone Internet connection to give the latest maps and driving directions with a free application. Google’s navigation tool is regularly updated with the most recent data from Google Maps, which means users will not be required to purchase map upgrades or manually update their devices.

Google Maps Navigation was built from the ground up as an Internet-connected GPS system, allowing users to search for their locations through a voice recognition. In addition to offering address search, Google Navigation allows users to search for locations by their business names. You can just say “Embassy of Senegal” or “Mavuno Church” and Navigation will provide directions to the required destination. Navigation (Beta) brings plenty of features including identifying landmarks along the route such as petrol stations, restaurants and parking areas.

Google Maps Navigation (Beta) has many benefits:

○      Easy to use:  Google finds your destination: Just type — or say your destination — and Google Maps Navigation (Beta) finds it, just like when you search on Google Maps. No need to know the address. Misspelled queries are corrected, and ambiguous queries return multiple results so the user can choose the right one.

○      It’s always fresh:  No updating or downloads — always the most recent maps, businesses and traffic. Being connected to the Internet means you’re always using the latest data from Google Maps. You never need to buy map upgrades or manually update your device. Where traffic data is available, Navigation can even automatically route you around bad traffic.

○      It’s free with your smartphone: Like the rest of Google Maps, Navigation (Beta) is free (Note: carrier data plan charges still apply). Additionally, since it’s part of your phone, you don’t need to carry an extra device.

○      Turn-by-turn, voice-guided navigation: You no longer have to look at your phone screen to follow the route, you can simply listen for indications.

To get Google Maps Navigation (Beta), search for and download the newest release of ‘Google Maps’ in Google Play  or the Apple App Store.

Google Play Gets New Look

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Play Books Home - TabletGoogle Play, the Android marketplace has a new look to help users find discover books, music, games or entertainment easily.

Michael Siliski, group product manager for Google Play said in a blog post,” Today we’ve started rolling out a redesigned Google Play store on Android phones and tablets that is simple, clean and — most importantly — helps you find great entertainment, fast.”

Siliski added that the new design aims at bigger images that jump off the page and groups together similarly themed content so a user can find it easy to hone in a magazine to read or an app to try.
“As you move down the page, new recommendations continue to appear so there is always more to see and explore. We’ve also simplified purchasing so you can breeze through checkout and get to enjoying your movie rental or other content,” he added.

The redesigned Google Play store app starts rolling out April 9 for Android phones and tablets running Android 2.2 (Froyo) and above and over the next few weeks across the world.

Introducing PrittyNote, Kenya’s EverNote To Be

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pretyynotesPrittyNote is a web application that makes sticky notes or images. According to the developer, PrittyNotes are sticky notes that you’ve written a joke, advice, quote, lovely message, or anything and left it somewhere for friend, relative, family or just anybody. You design them online and download them to your PC.

PrittyNote was developed by Eugene Mutai, a web application developer with skills in HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP and MYSQL (RDBMS).

TechMoran met with Mutai and this is what he told us.
How do you make money out of this?
We offer a FREE and PRO version of the tool in which anyone can use. The FREE version a.k.a “Try Out” is actually the full (PRO) version of the application/tool, only that it has a limit of how many “prittynotes” one can make. The limit is 150 “prittynotes”, after that you will be unable to use the application/tool since it will always prompt you to buy the PRO version to continue your creativity.
The PRO version is a one year subscription pay off, where you can make unlimited number of “prittynotes” within that subscription as a PRO user/member. The PRO version is $ 2.99 in cost.

 

Can I print the PrittyNotes?
It is an image, so yes you can. You have all the rights of the image once created.

When did you develop PrittyNote?
1st April, 2013.

 

What inspired you to launch the service?
The rise of social networks has brought a lot of ideas with it, one of these ideas is which PrittyNote has been built upon. You see the likes of such caption images everyday you use any social network, some jokes, sarcasm, love messages, quotes, advices, opinions and so forth. These images are not exactly similar to the ones PrittyNote makes though, since with PrittyNote we’ve worked on making them presentable and much more better, or you could say cooler.

These kinds of images are made with tools/software such as Paint, Photoshop and Glimpse (Ubuntu) to mention a few. These tools need a little skill building and have learning curves, there is the need of such like images but the downside is it’s a lazy world out there and people are very unwilling to learn new stuff especially not being part of their expertise. Time too is a factor. Photoshop, being the best tool/software, is sold at a very high price, and buying it to make such images ends up being a ridiculous move by anybody (our opinion though).
To spare you the efforts and time needed to acquire such skills to make such like images and also make social networking an even more fun experience the idea of PrittyNote was born with the help of HTML 5 which presented itself at the right time. So let’s say you already know what to write and image to use for your “prittynote”, for a skilled graphic designer it would take 5 minutes, an average user of Photoshop it would take 10 minutes, for a beginner it would take 30 minutes approximately or more to make a similar image. With PrittyNote, stripping off the need of any skills, it would take less than a minute (wow factor).

What technology is your system build on?  HTML 5 Canvas to be specific

 

There are so many online note firms globally, how different are you?
You’ll have to test the tool/application out to really feel the difference. All we can say we have made everything easy, simple, tried to strip off the need of any skills, and added a few features that none of the other note making firms offer, these are image as background capability, be able to emphasize specific words by changing their colors easily, and the integration of twitter social network which we perceived as the mother of all amazing textual content.

 

What do I benefit as a user?
There is this famous quote an Image is worth more than a thousand words .We enable you to connect with people around you for once in a different and powerful way, since images are always a powerful way to express oneself.

 

What are your future plans?
As of now, we have the vision of prittynote being more than a tool/utility/application in the future. We would one day love to be a social network on our own.

Airtel Nigeria’s WhatsApp Data Application Package Now Live

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airtel (1)Airtel Nigeria has introduced “WhatsApp” data application packages to its subscribers in a move to offer its subscribers the best telecoms experience ever.

The WhatsApp data application package follows an agreement recently where “WhatsApp Inc.” gave Airtel Nigeria exclusive rights to launch “WhatsApp” packages for its subscribers.

To access the Airtel “WhatsApp” bundle, customers are to dial *948# at N100/month to enjoy the service exclusively on Airtel platform.

logo-iconAccording to Olu Akanmu, the Chief Marketing Officer of Airtel Nigeria,  the “WhatsApp” data bundle service is the first of its kind in the country and would provide great a channel to connect Nigerian youths to their friends with unlimited access. He added that the new package, available to all prepaid subscribers,attracts no data charges.

“Coming at a time when we are about to start Mobile Number Portability in Nigeria, and with our robust 3.75g broadband strength spread over 180 cities across the country, our customers have just been handed another winner in our collection of bespoke data services throughWhatsApp. We shall continue to push harder to realize our vision of becoming the most loved brand in the daily lives of Nigerians”.

Customers who activate data bundles of 200MB or more can also enjoy unlimited access to “WhatsApp” without having to pay for the value-added service.

With over 700,000 messages each minute, WhatsApp Messenger is a cross-platform mobile messaging app which allows users to exchange messages without having to pay for SMS and is available for iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, Windows Phone and Nokia and several feature phones that can use an internet data plan. WhatsApp users can also create groups, send each other unlimited images, video and audio media messages.

Kenya’s M-Kura App Wants To Change The Face Of Elections Via The Mobile Phone

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Moved by the recent failure of electronic voter kits and contentions in our March 4 general elections  and with same issues allover Africa, a team of developers have come up with M-Kura, a mobile phone voting platform for voters tovote in from anywhere in the world as long as they are registered and have access to a mobile network.

Michael Andrew Nduati, the founder of  McAndrews Group Ltd, the firm behind M-Kura told TechMoran, “Voters simply register with their mobile phone details physically or they details can be entered manually by the M-KURA team and despite of the phone model once registered with the us, they can vote from anywhere.”

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Nduati added that the system brings in convenience and transparency as it can be used anywhere in the world. The diaspora also will not be locked out.

M-KURA, is Swahili for mobile ballot and can be used for association or university elections, company AGM elections, Sacco elections and professional and political party elections.

To Nduati, the M-Kura app can even be implemented for just any elections, even general elections as mobile phone use in Africa is growing. SIM card registration helps introduces transparency as it can already be known how many have registered.

According to the CCK, Kenya has over 29 million mobile subscribers, such applications according to Nduati can help make life easier apart from just voting and can also be used in the business real just as phones.