Mobile

BlackBerry licenses its mobile phone unit to TCL to focus on security software

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BlackBerry has licensed its security software and service suite, as well as related brand assets to TCL Communication who will design, manufacture, sell and provide customer support for BlackBerry-branded mobile devices.

The move will allow BlackBerry to develop its security and software solutions, serve its customers and maintain trusted BlackBerry security software, while TCL Communication will manage all sales and distribution and serve as a global distributor of new BlackBerry-branded mobile devices along with dedicated sales teams.

BlackBerry is transitioning its handheld devices strategy to focus on software innovation for devices around the world. BlackBerry already had an agreement with TCL Communication which saw TCL produce DTEK50 and DTEK60 handsets on Android which deliver the standard of security that customers and partners trust.

“This agreement with TCL Communication represents a key step in our strategy to focus on putting the ‘smart in the phone’ by providing state-of-the-art security and device software on a platform that mobile users prefer and are comfortable with,” said Ralph Pini, Chief Operating Officer and General Manager of Mobility Solutions at BlackBerry. “TCL Communication is the natural choice to license BlackBerry’s software and brand on a global scale. We successfully partnered with them on the DTEK series of secure smartphones and we’ve been impressed with their excellence in hardware design, development and manufacturing.”

Samsung releases software update to finally kill all Galaxy Note7 devices out there

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“A software update will be released starting on December 19th and will be distributed within 30 days. This software update will prevent U.S. Galaxy Note7 devices from charging and will eliminate their ability to work as mobile devices,” the firm announced.

Samsung, through various carrier partners, will notify consumers through multiple touchpoints to encourage any remaining Galaxy Note7 owners to participate in the program and to take advantage of the financial incentives available.

The firm added that anyone who was not yet returned their device should immediately power it down and contact their carrier to obtain a refund or exchange. The firm in October announced plans to totally end production and distribution of its Note 7 brand globally after a number of replacement phones exploded too.

Samsung, in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and mobile carriers and retailers extended the recall program since the affected devices can overheat and pose a safety risk. The final software update will kill all the Galaxy Note 7 phones in the market; regardless of whether the phone is working or not.

Samsung is offering incentives, of up to a $100 bill credit from select carrier or retail outlets if a user exchanges their Galaxy Note7 for another Samsung smartphone. Those that have already exchanged their Galaxy Note7 device for another Samsung smartphone, will receive up to a $75 bill credit from select carrier or retail outlets in addition to the $25 their previously received.The expanded recall applies to all Galaxy Note7 devices – including the original and replacement.

Standard Chartered Bank Introduces Fingerprint Login

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Kenya’s Standard Chartered Bank has launched the Touch Login feature for smartphones that allows customers to use fingerprint to access their accounts. According to Telecompaper, the portal is available on iPhones, tablets

The service is part of the Bank’s USD 1.5 billion investment in technology announced in 2015. (image: Pixels.com)

Kenya’s Standard Chartered Bank has launched the Touch Login feature for smartphones that allows customers to use fingerprint to access their accounts. According to Telecompaper, the portal is available on iPhones, tablets and iPads, making it easy for clients to access their bank account balances, cards and investments securely using their fingerprints as identifiers.

According to Telecompaper, customers can access the full mobile banking services. Dubbed the Touch Loging, customers can move money between accounts, check transactions, pay credit card bills and send electronic orders from the tip of their fingers.

Touch Login is available on Apple iOS device with Touch ID sensors and Samsung Android devices. The function was piloted in Singarpore, the UEA and India early this year before it was launched in Kenya.
StanChart believes that the fingerprint technology will bring convenience and security, while verify security with the customers fingerprints, which makes it more secure that username and password.

Huawei Mobile officially launches Mate 9 in the Kenyan market

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Huawei Mobile has officially launched its Mate 9 in the Kenyan market following its global launch early in November. Available in all Huawei retail outlets across the country, the KES69,999 Huawei Mate 9 is a predecessor the Mate 8, which was launched earlier in the year under the Mate series.

The launch of the Mate 9 comes months after unveiling the Huawei P9 in the local market.

So far the device has received much traction in the Kenyan market with over 90% pre-orders made across the region in the past two weeks. According to Mark Hemaobin, Managing Director, Huawei Mobile – Kenya.

Android smartphones face a common flaw – over time, they lose their speed, responsiveness and momentum, in what we refer to as performance erosion. With the Mate 9, Huawei is introducing a dynamic interplay of industry-leading hardware and advanced software that works together to bring consumers a new kind of Smartphone experience that gets smarter and more efficient the more you use it.

The HUAWEI Mate 9’s Kirin 960 chipset puts faster computing at your fingertips, and its innovative, intuitive EMUI 5.0 learns and adapts to your usage behaviors, optimizing performance throughout the lifetime of the device, while also offering breakthrough battery power.

Key Specs

Size: 156.9mm x 78.9mm x 7.9mm

Weight: 190g

Color: Space Gray/Moonlight Silver/Champagne Gold/Mocha Brown/Ceramic White
Display: 5.9″ FHD Display
CPU: HUAWEI Kirin 960, Octa-core CPU (4 x 2.4 GHz A73+ 4 x 1.8 GHz A53) + i6 co-processor, Mali-G71 MP8
Operation System: Android™ 7.0
Memory:4GB RAM + 64GB ROM plus Micro SD card slot, support up to 256GB (uses SIM 2 slot)

USB Type C (High Speed USB)
Sensors: Fingerprint Sensor, G-Sensor, Gyroscope sensor, Compass, Ambient Light Sensor, Proximity sensor, Hall sensor, Barometer, IR

Main camera: 20MP with 4K video recording

Front camera: 8MP
EMUI: EMUI 5.0
Battery: 4000mAh (Typical Value)
Dual SIM Support

NFC: NFC supported
In the box

 

WorldRemit & Xpress Money partner to open up new remittance routes across Africa & Asia

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WorldRemit CEO

WorldRemit, an online money transfer service, and Xpress Money, a global leading money transfer firm have signed a partnership that will see them reach more customers and open up new remittance routes across Africa and Asia.

The deal will see WorldRemit customers use Xpress Money’s extensive agent partner network to send money instantly or collect cash send to them without having to look for a WorldRemit agent.

The deal will first be rolled in Algeria, Egypt, Ethiopia, Fiji, Lebanon, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Tonga.

According to Ismail Ahmed, founder and CEO, WorldRemit: “We want to offer our customers the widest and most convenient choice of payout options. Xpress Money is a trusted and dependable money transfer brand with a fantastic network of agents across the world. Our partnership will extend our footprint into new territories and will enable even more people to make secure, instant money transfers.”

In October, WorldRemit announced it had partnered with leading Cameroonian financial company Express Union to further support the growing demand for instant remittances to Cameroon. The deal allows WorldRemit customers to send overseas money transfers to be collected at over 700 Express Union cash pick up locations.

This deal with Xpress Money further expands WorldRemit’s reach to more markets and more customers in Africa and Asia growing the firm’s monthly volumes of more than half a million money transfers every month to more than 125 destinations.

UK-based Xpress Money is present in 160 countries and has 180, 000 cash payout agents globally. WorldRemit customers will be able to do cash payouts, account credits, remit card or ATM, mobile wallets and door delivery services via Express Money.

In a statement, Xpress Money COO Sudhesh Giriyan, said: “Customer convenience ranks high on our list of priorities; through this partnership we are elevating our customers’ level of convenience as they can now send money at their fingertips, whenever they want, through the WorldRemit app or website.”

Innovative Mobile Phone POS, BankIT POS Launched by eTranzact at e-banking Conference

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If it is in your mind, it could soon be in your hand. We are in the age where Science fiction is becoming science reality- Valentine Obi, 2016 at CEBIH 2016.

Valentine Obi, CEO of eTranzact (https://twitter.com/mrvalentineobi) was a speaker at this year’s edition of the committee of e-banking heads (CEBIH) conference held at Transcorp Hilton Hotel in Abuja last week. He talked about “Adding value through disruptive innovation” and how disruptive innovation is affecting every part of life from payments to banking to transportation to hotels to health, etc.

He talked about how disruption can be ugly even bordering legality, using the example of MMM which has over 1.2million users in Nigeria, with everyone required to have a Bank account.  He charged the Bankers and other tech companies to look at consumer behavior patterns in MMM and how the knowledge can help transform banking.

bankit-pos-launch

The event saw the launch of BankIT POS, a point of sale application that you can install on your phone to help take advantage of your most used device as a tool of business. BankIT POS allows you simply install an application on your phone that processes debit card and direct bank account payments.

bankit-pos-flier

Earlier in the year, eTranzact launched BankIT, a payment service that allows businesses to receive payment from bank accounts on Mobile, Web, USSD and POS. In a short time since launch, BanKIT has already processed millions of transactions for companies like Multichoice( DSTV and GOTV), Airtel, GLO, Etisalat, Slot, etc, providing the engine for millions of Customers to pay subscription fees using 3899*SmartcardNumber#; buy airtime and data- *444# for Airtel, *805# for GLO and *695# for Airtel, as well on the web for schools and ecommerce companies.

The CEBIH event had in attendance Heads of e-banking from top Nigerian banks; Mrs Ibukun Awosika, Chairman, First Bank; Mitchel Elegbe, CEO, Interswitch; John Obaro, CEO, System Specs; Ade Sonubi, MD, NIBSS; Adia Sowho, Director, Digital Business, etisalat and other professionals in Banking, payments and telecommunication sector.

cebih-execs

CEBIH executives with Mr Adeyemi Adeyemo, Group Head, Business development, eTranzact and Mr Valentine Obi, CEO, eTranzact at the CEBIH conference.

Businesses can sign up to start using BankIT POS here: http://bit.ly/BankITPOS. You can see more pictures below and others here: http://bit.ly/CEBIH2016

cebih-conference

e8d394f0-f0c0-4927-b80d-9221a8b24f34 valentine-obi-2 valentine

6 Reasons why you should buy the Wiko LENNY 3 this Christmas

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Before we tell you the reasons why you should buy the Wiko Lenny 3; find below its key specifications and what you will find in the box on purchase.

Key Specs
OS: Android™ 6.0 (Marshmallow)
Processor : Quad-Core 1.3 GHz, Cortex-A7
Sim CARD : 1 Mini SIM + 1 Micro SIM
Weight : 177g (with battery)
Battery : 2000 mAh Li-ion
Internal memory : 16 GB expandable to 64 GB via Micro USD.
RAM : 1 GB
Main camera : 8 MP with flash.
Front camera: 5 MP

In the box, there is the Wiko Lenny 3 mobile, an AC adapter, the phone’s removable battery, headsets, a micro USB cable, user manual and warranty pack and 2 SIM card holders.

Here is why we think you need to buy it for yourself or as a gift to a friend or a loved one.

1.Price

The Wiko Lenny 3 is just Ksh 8,999 price phone running beating several handsets to fall in the most affordable and sleek smartphones in the market.  With its Processor : Quad-Core 1.3 GHz, Cortex-A7
Sim CARD : 1 Mini SIM + 1 Micro SIM
Weight : 177g (with battery)
Battery : 2000 mAh Li-ion
Internal memory : 16 GB expandable to 64 GB via Micro USD.
RAM : 1 GB
Main camera : 8 MP with flash.
Front camera: 5 MP

2. Latest software and security updates

Wiko Lenny 3 runs on the latest mobile Operating System on Android 6.0, also called Marshmallow which gives users access to millions of apps right to their fingertips.  Android Marshmallow is also soft on the battery and saves your juice for those important meetings, music and movies you want to use it for.

It allows you to set what info your apps can access and gives you the privacy you want as it lets you define what you want to share and when. You can also turn permissions off at any time, too.

Android 6.0 allows you to skip the crazy passwords and use your fingerprint to unlock your phone and lets you secure your device, music, documents, data and apps from malicious access.

3. Screen size

The Wiko Lenny 3 has a 5” HD display screen which is a super AMOLED display screen and a front 5MP camera with a Wiko logo at the top right.

The Super AMOLED display promises a quick response time for apps and media, use of less power and a clear image due to the thin screen. The thin screen is good for watching movies, reading and viewing photos.

The 5-inch display has a good resolution of 1280×720 pixels but the brightness is low making outdoor use of the phone hard. However, if you adjust its brightness, the Wiko LENNY3 5’’ HD display is good for viewing multimedia content.
4. Performance

Powered by a Quad-Core 1.3 GHz, Cortex-A7 processor, a 2000mAh removable battery, the Wiko Lenny 3 sufficiently powers most functions of the phone well. The phone has a fair performance on reading, listening to music and web browsing. It’s not the best browsing speeds but the phone stacks it up.

Though the  phone is not good for heavy gaming as demanding games slow the processor down, users can play various lightweight games without any noticeable slugs in the processor power. The 1GB RAM matches the phone’s price and functionality with medium speeds on mild multi-tasking. Its 8MP main camera can take some fairly good photos in broad daylight but the quality fades in poor light. The 5MP front camera also has an LED flash and a wider angle for a group selfie.

5. Wiko UI

Like the Wiko Robby, Wiko Ufeel Lite, the Wiko Lenny 3 has a customized Wiko UI for easy access to apps, music and battery optimization and gives the phone a cool feel and appearance away from the Android 6.0 Marshmallow UI which is found on millions of Android devices.

The Wiko UI makes the Wiko phones look stylish and make them stand out from the crowd.

6. Storage

The Wiko LENNY3 has a 16GB ROM extendible to 64 GB via micro SD. If formatted the 64GB can be used to store apps directly from the phone. Apart from apps, the memory card can be used to store photos taken by the phone’s 8MP main camera. Music and movie lovers can find the 64GB enough to carry and transfer their music and movie files from computers at work to their home computers or laptops without any difficulty; making it the best smartphone for use this holiday. Wiko Lenny is targeted at migrating users from feature phones to smartphones and that makes it a perfect fit for sub-Saharan Africa.

Improved Collaboration will save N200b from Cyber Crime and Hard tokens In Nigeria – Valentine Obi,eTranzact

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Fotolia 37375108, 76855752; Thinkstock 454370457, 522205077; iStock 54971658, 20842607

eTranzact International PLC has started the implementation of Applock – a technology that ties mobile financial service apps with mobile phones to help Banks, mobile money operators and other partners reduce fraud and safeguard financial information of customers.

With over 15million smartphones currently in circulation in Nigeria and with efforts by the OEMs to increase this number by making smartphones even more affordable, mobile banking and mobile money adoption in Nigeria has also increased, leading to the need to scale up technology resources as well as think up new ways to make the process easier and safer for consumers. eTranzact has been heavily focused on building the infrastructural backbone of what is required to take this industry to new heights.

etranzact-new-logo

Speaking at the Information Systems Audit and Control Association Conference in Lagos, Mr Valentine Obi, CEO of eTranzact, talked about how fighting cybercrime and fraud is a collective effort, and proper coordination among the stakeholders is currently lacking to the advantage of the fraudsters.

He said; “Fighting cybercrime requires the collaboration of the entire ecosystem from the banks, switching companies, to the regulatory bodies.

The current strategy to fight cybercrime in Nigeria is not sufficient. N127b is lost every year in Nigeria to cybercrime according to the Minister of Communications, Mr Adebayo Shittu.

The payment industry stakeholders need to clearly define the rules of engagement in the event of a fraudulent activity in the industry. Information technology risks have evolved dramatically in the last few years but the approach that financial institutions use to manage them has not kept apace. Hard tokens cost as much as N3000 and if a customer with 4 accounts needs to get a token, that amounts to N12,000 per customer leaving the customer to either get the tokens or be excluded from electronic transactions altogether. We believe this is the age to deploy other cheaper and safer options that are not dependent on hardware.

Fotolia 37375108, 76855752; Thinkstock 454370457, 522205077; iStock 54971658, 20842607

eTranzact has created an Enhanced Strong Authentication system (ESA) which, in addition to the Applock technology, will significantly help reduce cybercrime and fraud in POS, Mobile and web transactions. With ESA, the Mobile phone becomes the token, allowing the user secure multiple bank accounts with one phone. 

ESA will translate to savings of over N120b spent on hard tokens for 40million cards and will result in no foreign exchange loss.  ESA allows the generation of one time password codes and setting dynamic spending limits on ATMs and Cards”.

 

dot Learn; Compressing Videos to Expand Education

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dot Learn was borne in the Fall 2015 Development Ventures class at the MIT Media Lab (part of the suite of D-Lab courses), where Sam Bhattacharyya and Tunde Alawode met for the first time. They had a common goal of reducing global education inequality, and believed in the power of technology to transform lives

They’re idea is simple—to make online education work for emerging markets? This lead them to came up with their signature encoding technology—to reduce file sizes by over 10,000x. With this, they could fit a full course into 1 MB, and deliver it to students over mobile networks for less than the cost of sending a single SMS.

They are building a scalable localized education platform for Africa through an algorithm that reduces the file sizes of Khan Academy-style videos to 1MB/hr without any loss of quality. This enables video-based education at the data cost of Whatsapp.

Basically they compress video to expand education

With their tech, they’re bringing online education to millions of students across Africa – starting with their pilot: WASSCE-Tutor, an app to help students in West Africa study for the regional college entrance exam.

Less than 1% of students in Africa and India have the broadband to access Online Education, they want to bring Online Education to 50 million students by 2020.

For more information head to their website here.

Chinese manufacturer Xiaomi targets Kenyan market with Redmi range of phones

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Xiaomi the Chinese phone company has increased its smartphone portfolio in the Kenyan market with the launch of  the Xiamo Redmi Note 2 which was launched in partnership with Telkom Kenya, the exclusive retailer of the Redmi Note category in Kenya.

Targeted for the entry level smartphone the Redmi boasts a Dual Sim, 5.5-inch full HD screen, 64-bit Octa-core processor, Android  OS v5.0 (lollipop) and a 13-megapixel camera, the Redmi Note 2 gives the best android phones out there a serious run for their money retailing at kshs.19, 999. The phone also boasts 16 GB storage expanding to 32GB.

Xiaomi is seeking penetrate into more African markets that have proved to be key to their global expansion after their dominance in Asia and the middle East region.

According the Mobile Economy Report 2016, the next frontier for the mobile market expansion will be increasingly focused on the developing world with more than 90% of the incremental 1 billion new mobile subscribers forecast by 2020 coming from developing markets.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 the phone is where quality and convenience meets affordability with the company aiming to infiltrate the Kenyan phone market aggressively in the coming year hoping to bring a fresh new look into the Kenyan mobile scene.

 

Safaricom’s Sendy Ditches Online Taxi Hailing Service

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Safaricom-backed courier firm Sendy has terminated its online taxi hailing service, According to Business Daily this was done in a bid to concentrate on its core logistics business at a time when competition in the cab sector is growing.

According to the Business Daily, Sendy Ride, the on-demand taxi and motorcycle service offered by Safaricom, was shut down last month after just two months in operation.

The tech start-up was launched in September 2014 linking parcel senders to a network of transporters using motorcycle, van and pick-up trucks to deliver goods.

Sendy, which received Safaricom support in November last year through its Spark Fund, ventured into the taxi business in August while also expanding its logistics business to Kisumu, Mombasa and Thika.

Business Daily reports that Meshack Alloys, the Sendy chief executive officer, said the company was piloting the taxi business and the decision to pull the plug on it will enable the company expand its courier services.

Competition in the taxi hailing business has been growing since San Francisco based Uber launched in January 2015, with companies like Mondo Ride, Little Ride, Taxify, Easy Taxi and Pewin now offering similar services.

Mr Alloys told the Business Daily that the pilot was suspended in October due to the demand from customers in the core logistics business. The company’s mobile application allows senders to keep track of the goods in transit through live updates.

The company has a fleet of 800 vehicles which include motorcycles, trucks and pick-ups.

New Lithium Batteries Promises to Extend Smartphone Battery Life

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An MIT spinout is preparing to commercialize a new rechargeable lithium metal battery that offers double the energy capacity of the lithium ion batteries that power many of today’s consumer electronics. This invention may actually prove to be revolutionary, with the company aiming to enter production next year.

Founded in 2012 by MIT alumnus and former postdoc Qichao Hu ’07, SolidEnergy Systems has developed an “anode-free” lithium metal battery with several material advances that make it twice as energy-dense, yet just as safe and long-lasting as the lithium ion batteries used in smartphones, electric cars, wearables, drones, and other devices.

“With two-times the energy density, we can make a battery half the size, but that still lasts the same amount of time, as a lithium ion battery. Or we can make a battery the same size as a lithium ion battery, but now it will last twice as long,” says Hu, who co-invented the battery at MIT and is now CEO of SolidEnergy.

 

The difference with this tech? It’s essentially a very minor variant on existing lithium ion batteries, making it practical to manufacture them on existing production lines. Not only that, but the company has already successfully demonstrated that it works in a prototype iPhone 6 battery.

The battery essentially swaps out a common battery anode material, graphite, for very thin, high-energy lithium-metal foil, which can hold more ions — and, therefore, provide more energy capacity. Chemical modifications to the electrolyte also make the typically short-lived and volatile lithium metal batteries rechargeable and safer to use. Moreover, the batteries are made using existing lithium ion manufacturing equipment, which makes them scalable.

Because the batteries offer twice the energy density, you’d be able to double the battery-life of a product without increasing the size of the battery.

This invention would be revolutionary, to various future consumers, but more so to companies like Apple who will use the tech to instead provide the same amount of battery life as today in ever-slimmer devices.

http://news.mit.edu/2016/lithium-metal-batteries-double-power-consumer-electronics-0817

African YouTube Awards 2016 Winners Announced

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On November 11th, Google announced the winners of the inaugural Sub-Saharan African YouTube Awards. Held in other regions since 2007, the YouTube Awards celebrate the talent and creativity of the YouTube community.

According to the CEO of YouTube, Susan Wojcicki, “We’re incredibly proud at YouTube to provide a platform that shares Africa’s creativity with the rest of the world. Films from Nollywood along with stories like the one of Olympic medalist Julius Yego show that inspiring talent and stories from anywhere can find a global audience. By holding our first ever YouTube Africa Awards, we hope to celebrate these incredible achievements, while also demonstrating our long-term commitment to the continent.”

YouTube Awards were given to 25 creators across 23 categories at a glittering event held in Sandton. Nominees were chosen based on subscriber numbers. Users had to have a minimum of 50 000 subscribers to qualify, and be based and currently residing in one of eight launched countries in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). The eight launched countries in SSA are Tanzania, Ghana, Uganda, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Nigeria, and Senegal. There are over 70 channels from launched SSA countries that have reached over 100 000 subscribers.

“YouTube is about the opportunity for people to express themselves,” says Teju Ajani, YouTube Partnerships, SSA. “Creators across Africa are using YouTube to find their voice, connect with audiences around the world and build channels while earning revenue from it. The number of hours of video content being uploaded in Africa has doubled year over year for the past two years. And the audience has grown with it. Average watchtime on mobile phones is growing 120% year over year.”

Full list of winners:

Broadcaster – Channels Television

Comedy – Kansiime Anne

Comic – Ramscomics / Supastrikas

Education – Retutpro – Photography and Photoshop Tutorials

Entertainment – NdaniTV

Fitness – Six Pack Factory

Games – Slushy AJ

Makeup and Fashion – Kangai Mwiti

Music – Yellow Brick Cinema

News and politics – Millard Ayo

Nonprofit – Jim Nduruchi

People and Blogs – Suzelle DIY

Pets and animals – Earth Touch

Top Subscribed Creator in Uganda – Kansiime Anne

Top Subscribed Creator in Ghana – OfficialSarkodie

Top Subscribed Creator in Kenya – Churchill Show

Top Subscribed Creator in Nigeria – Mark Angel Comedy

Top Subscribed Creator in Senegal – Prince Arts

Top Subscribed Creator in South Africa – Yellow Brick Cinema

Top Subscribed Creator in Tanzania – DiamondPlatnumz

Top Subscribed Creator in Zimbabwe – Mufti Menk

Top Subscribed Nollywood Channel – IbakaTV/Nollywood

Special mention: Yellow Brick Cinema which recently reached 1 million subscribers and was awarded a YouTube Gold Play Button in recognition of the achievement.

Wiko Robby targeted at music & media lovers

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In our unboxing article, and review piece, we look at Wiko Robby’s 5.5 inch HD display screen as suitable for multimedia content such as movies, music videos and photos. But there is one thing we forgot-it’s Dual speakers powered by Auro 3D technology.

The Auro 3D technology gives the Wiko Robby an immersive 3D sound effect, hence an outstanding audio experience great for watching movies, playing a game or listening to music . Auro 3D, developed in 2005 by Wilfried Van Baelen, adds two extra layers to the surround experience: height and overhead which has been used in films like Hunger Games, Mockingjay Part 1, and in Lucasfilm’s Red Tails.

Using Auro 3D is like having more sound coming from more directions and in real time, making the music or movie extremely realistic. The Wiko Robby’s music player comes with an equalizer, surround sound, bass boost with 3D sound by Auro-3D.

The phone’s dual speakers ensure that a user gets loud enough music either on the the speakers or via the headphones or a Bluetooth headset to an external speaker. It’s 2500 mAh battery also allows one to enjoy music and media content for a longer time.

The Wiko’s Robby supports USB OTG which means users can use it as a storage or streaming device for their music and other media to share it to external outputs such as TV, projector and PC for a maximum multimedia experience with amplified sound and better and  bigger viewing capacity. At work, the Wiko Robby can also be used to project to a bigger screen during presentations, pitches among others.

On storage, the Wiko Robby supports Micro-SD cards of up to 64 GB creating more space for a user’s multimedia content from music, videos and films and moments with friends. The memory is also enough for one to download apps for use and stream music or movies on the go to watch via the Wiko Robby’s huge 5.5 inch screen.

The 8MP main camera can also be used to take photos and videos at night using the LED flash or during day in bright light.  Though the video quality might not be 100 percent satisfactory; both the 8MP and 5MP main and front cameras are worth the price of the phone, the major hindrance to media consumption is the phone’s 1GB RAM and its slow processor otherwise the Wiko Robby is just two speakers in a 5.5 inch music box.

 

Wiko Lenny 3 Review

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A few weeks ago, we did an unboxing and first impressions of the Wiko LENNY3, a Ksh 8,999 price phone running on Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) powered by a Quad-Core 1.3 GHz, Cortex-A7 processor. The Gold colored phone weighs around 177g and comes with a 2000mAh  removable battery.

Like most of the Wiko family it’s a 16 GB internal memory expandable to 64GB and has 1 GB RAM with a 5” HD display screen.

Key Specs
OS: Android™ 6.0 (Marshmallow)
Processor : Quad-Core 1.3 GHz, Cortex-A7
Sim CARD : 1 Mini SIM + 1 Micro SIM
Weight : 177g (with battery)
Battery : 2000 mAh Li-ion
Internal memory : 16 GB expandable to 64 GB via Micro USD.
RAM : 1 GB
Main camera : 8 MP with flash.
Front camera: 5 MP

Display & Appearance
At Ksh 9,000, you The review piece of the Wiko Lenny3 comes in a metallic gold back cover with an 8 Megapixel camera at the back, a 5 inch full HD super AMOLED display screen and a front 5MP camera with a Wiko logo at the top right.

The 177g smartphone is a bit heavier but its rounded curves make it fit and feel good in the palm and feels cool to touch. It’s full HD 5” display screen has a  Super AMOLED display promises a quick response time for apps and media, use of less power and a clear image due to the thin screen. The thin screen is good for watching movies, reading and viewing photos.

The 5-inch display has a good resolution of 1280×720 pixels but the brightness is low making outdoor use of the phone hard. However, if you adjust its brightness, the Wiko LENNY3 5’’ HD display is good for viewing multimedia content.
Hardware, OS & Performance

The Wiko Lenny3 has a metal design back cover and comes in Grey, Bleen, Lemon Yellow, Cinnabar, Gold and Rose Gold colors. The phone uses a 4 core 1.3 GHz, Cortex-A7 processor which sufficiently powers most functions of the phone well. The phone has a fair performance on reading, listening to music and web browsing. It’s not the best browsing speeds but the phone stacks it up.

The phone is not good for heavy gaming as demanding games slow the processor down and a user has to restart it over again to work. The 1GB RAM also doesn’t help and slows speeds and makes the touchscreen insensitive. Its 8MP main camera can take some fairly good photos in broad daylight but the quality fades in poor light. The 5MP front camera also has an LED flash and a wider angle for a group selfie but it won’t take brilliant photos like other premium smartphones with better cameras.

We had a bad experience with the phone’s 2000 mAh removable battery during our review. We expected 2000 mAh to be tougher than it was but the longest time the battery could work on 3G and music was 3 hours and double that on basic phone functions. The weight and the battery capacity are Wiko Lenny 3’s two worst nightmares and we expect the firm to work on a better Lenny version soon. The phone’s apps for battery life optimization aren’t so helpful for users who want a full smartphone experience as they only allow users access to basic functions such as SMS, voice and calculator.

Like the Wiko Robby, Wiko Ufeel Lite, the Wiko Lenny 3 has a customized Wiko UI for easy access to apps, music and battery optimization and gives the phone a cool feel and appearance away from the Android 6.0 Marshmallow UI which is found on millions  of Android devices.

However, with LENNY3 at the price its selling in the market, its 16GB ROM extendible to 64 GB via micro SD and  Android 6.0 Marshmallow, 3G capabilities and the 8MP main camera; one wouldn’t mind giving out as a gift to new smartphone users. Wiko Lenny is targeted at migrating users from feature phones to smartphones and that makes it a perfect fit for sub-Saharan Africa.

What we liked
+ Dual SIM
+16GB internal memory expandable to 64GB
+ The price
+Removable battery
+ 5inch display screen

What we disliked
– Weak battery
– Low RAM
– No 4G
– Low camera capacity
– Poor voice quality

 

Conclusion

Wiko Lenny 3 is worth all its price as its targeted at new smartphone users moving up the ladder from feature phones. The only problem users will have is the weak battery which runs for only half a day. The smartphone is also a bit heavy for its features and Wiko might need to up the battery, reduce its weight and up its camera to make the new version a sale across Africa where the entry-level market is still virgin.

We will abide by latest court decision on artistes royalities-Collymore

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This week, Safaricom was on the receiving end of backlash by members of the public on social after artiste Eunice Njeri complained over unpaid royalties amounting to Ksh. 30 million.

In a rejoinder, Safaricom Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Bob Collymore has said the company will abide with a ruling made by the Malindi High Court   as it is the latest High Court position on this matter, and that directed Section 30A is unconstitutional as it limits the manner in which artist royalties are paid.

 

 

The court further enabled Collective Management Organisations (CMOs) such as Music Copyright Society of Kenya, Kenya Association of Music Producers and the Performance Rights Organisation of Kenya (PRSK) to collect royalties on behalf of artists.

The ruling also directs that Safaricom pay all royalties from Skiza – the music download platform – directly to Content Service Providers (CSPs).

 

The ruling was made on November 1 judgment on Constitutional Petition Number 5 of 2016 and was filed by Mercy Munee Kingoo and Lydia Nyiva Kingai.

The new directive contradicts an earlier judgment delivered by the Nairobi High Court on 11th May, 2016 under Petition Number 317 of 2015.

In that judgment, the Nairobi High Court directed that we pay artists’ royalties through the CMOs, effectively affirming Section 30A. In compliance with the Nairobi High Court directive, and following various consultations with industry stakeholders, in July we entered into an Agreement with the CMOs to pay the artists To date under this Agreement, we have paid out over Sh325 million.

 

We will abide by the Malindi High Court directive, as it is the latest High Court position on this matter. However, we ask that all the parties involved in this dispute – the artists, CMOs and CSPs – to seek clarity on the matter and settle on a payment structure amicable to all.13615441_10208971470178055_1986750935888489710_n

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wiko Robby Review

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In case you missed our unboxing article, Wiko Robby boasts of a huge screen something suitable for multimedia contents such as movies, music videos and photos. You can also read so clearly on the 5,5’’ HD display screen which has IPS technology which improves readability and viewing angles.

Like its sister phones, the Wiko Robby has a metallic finish with a slightly curved back cover to fit in your palm and pocket perfectly. The  Ksh 11,000, Wiko Robby runs Android™ 6.0 (Marshmallow) and has a Quad-Core 1.3 GHz, Cortex-A7 processor. See below more specs.

Key Specs
Display: 5.5” IPS Technology
Display resolution: HD (1280×720 pixels), pixel density: 267 ppi
OS: Android™ 6.0 (Marshmallow)
Processor: Quad-Core 1.3 GHz, Cortex-A7
GPU: ARM®, Mali™ 400MP
SIM CARD : 2 Micro SIM
Size: 155×79.1×10 mm
USB™ OTG : Yes
Camera: 8 MP with flash
Front Camera : 5 MP with a selfie flash
Weight: 185g
Battery: 2500 mAh Li-Po
Internal memory: 16 GB expandable via Micro SD up to 64 GB.
RAM: 1 GB

Design & Appearance

Wiko Robby is available in green, blue and rose-gold with a metallic coated back cover gives the 5.5 inch 3G smartphone a premium feel. Weighing 185 grams with its 2500 mAh removable battery inside, the Dual Sim smartphone  lacks a fingerprint scanner but has gesture control allowing users to make voice calls, turn on or off apps minus using the normal buttons.

The phone also has a position sensor allowing the phone to function perfectly even when rotated 180 degrees. Thus, Wiko’s Robby can be used in all four directions.

Overall the phone looks good in design and appearance and can be a fashion item to lovers of bright colors.

Specs and performance

Wiko Robby doesn’t have very great credentials even though it looks beautiful.  It is powered by a 4 core MediaTek’s MT6580M processor running at 1.3 GHz on a 1GB RAM making multitasking to slow the phone’s processor and making simple gaming difficulty especially if one has other apps open in the background.

The 1GB RAM makes it a weaker device for anyone who used to faster load speeds when reading their content online, browsing internet pages or watching YouTube videos. The manufacturers did an injustice installing a 1GB RAM storage for the processor, limiting it to few applications the clock can run at the same time.

On Software and UI, Wiko runs on Android 6.0 and uses Wiko UI which means it will have the latest software updates when they are available from Google’s Android anytime. The Wiko UI means users have access to a customized look and feel away from the boring normal Android UI which is standard to most phones running the OS. With ‘Phone Assist, One Clean and My Launcher on the Wiko UI, users have quick access to modified apps simplifying the use of the phone.

Despite its low performance, Wiko’s Robby is not exactly energy saving when compared with other devices. Of course, it should be remembered that Robby is equipped with a larger screen that consumes a considerable part of the energy in many scenarios. The rates are pleasingly low in off and standby. Thus, it is possible to leave the smartphone unused for a prolonged period of time and still have battery power afterward.

Wiko’s Robby 2500 mAh battery can run for slightly six hours on normal use-voice, SMS and camera minus 3G. On 3G it ran for some 5 hours while on heavy use it can for 3.5 hours making it a heavy power drainer maybe due to its huge display screen and resolution. However, it’s USB port supports OTG meaning you can also use it to charge other devices or connect to any USB enabled device such as PC and use it as your computer accessing documents from its 64GB Micro-SD card.

Though the phone is affordable, Wiko ought to know most mobile network operators, including Kenya’s Safaricom are pushing for 4G uptake to bolster their revenues as well as increase load speeds for 4G devices users. Wiko ought to manufacture more 4G devices for the African market to align itself with MNO’s objectives.

We didn’t have a problem with voice calls as the phone has great speakers even when rotated. The phone’s audio is also good for music, movies and YouTube. Wiko Robby has Dual Speakers both supporting Auro 3D sound effects bringing a club experience to music.

Wiko Robby also has double microphones at the top and bottom and the phone works regardless of the side you pick it. It’s noise recognition technology deals with the noise around; making voice calls as clear as talking to the other person in the same room.

The phone’s 8MP main camera with a LED flash and auto focus makes it a better option among devices in its price range. The LED flash allows users to take clear photos even in dark rooms or with less light. The 5MP selfie front camera allows for great selfies and as long as the user balances their light modes, quality photos can be achieved but they can’t be compared to a professional camera or a camera from a high-end smartphone.

What we liked
+ The price
+ The huge display screen
+ removable battery
+ USB OTG
+ Dual speakers and audio surround.
+ Gesture control and dual speakers.

What we didn’t like
– 1 GB RAM
-Poor processor
-Weak battery for huge screen
– Poor camera
-No 4G/LTE

Conclusion
At Ksh 11,000, a 5.5-inch display screen and Android 6.0, the phone will sell thousands of pieces especially to smartphone users who value audio and screen real estate as important for their media consumption. Though it doesn’t support 4G LTE, the phone connects to 3G making it a preference to data conscious users who want to get online but not at a costly price.

Safaricom to disclose M-pesa fees in June next year

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Safaricom will reveal its new M-pesa transaction fees by June next year. This is following a directive by the Competition Authority of Kenya that required mobile money providers to reveal the fees they charge their customers.

At the moment, customers   rely on the Internet or on posters in agent shops to know how much it will cost them for various transactions.

The Business Daily reports that the company needed some time to make the changes required by the CAK.

“It is a bit more technically difficult than the banks. The process that we have at the moment is such that it is going to make it a little bit more difficult. So we have to fix the technical issues,” said Safaricom chief executive Bob Collymore.

Airtel Kenya on the other hand says that it is in the process of making changes on its mobile money platforms to comply with the order from CAK.

“Airtel Kenya has complied by effecting some of the proposed changes. Currently we have made available this service on our USSD platform and, therefore, customers are notified of the charges as they carry out their transactions,” said  the company’s legal and regulatory affairs director, Ms Joy Nyaga.

The company said it will implement the CAK directive on its Kopa Cash loan, Paybill and Lipa na Airtel services

 

 

Faulu Kenya, Branch International and Tala Kenya have already made their changes.

 

 

M-pesa

 

#EtisalatPrizeForInnovation Winners to be announced today| Meet the contestants

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Innovation is rising in Africa, but African innovation is not yet getting the level of global recognition and support it truly deserves.  The continent is brimming with a rising crop of innovators and Entrepreneurs who are not afraid to isolate the problems in the continent and solve them.

Catalyzing the innovation spirit, encouraging and celebrating valuable innovation in the African market led to the birth of the Etisalat Prize for Innovation by Etisalat Nigeria in 2012 with winners across a product and an ideas category.

The 2016 winners of the Etisalat Prize for Innovation will be announced at Eko Hotel in Lagos today, and Techmoran will be at the venue.

The first prize of $25,000 is for the most innovative product or service launched in the previous year and a second prize of $10,000 for the most innovative idea for driving mobile broadband use in Nigeria (SME or Individual). Beyond the cash prizes, there are other value-based opportunities available to the top applicants as they journey through the Prize activities, some of them include trainings, seminars and networking opportunities.

Last week, we interviewed some of the innovators in the products category at a pitch event held at 4Points by Sheraton in Lagos. There were a total of 577 entries, cut down to a shortlist of 10.

prize-for-innovation

See the list of product innovators below. You can also watch some of the short video interviews on our twitter timeline @techmoran.

Adegoke Olubusi

One Medical: OneMedical is an advanced digital health records platform designed specifically for Nigeria. It’s highly user-friendly, cloud-based and works on any device including a dedicated android app. Hospitals sign up for free and patients pay a small fee of N500 to create their file.

Ugochukwu Nwosu

GetJama: Getjama is a market data gathering solution poised to unlock real time and authentic data verified by human intelligence. We see unlocking data as the veritable tool to help organizations build business intelligence, while encouraging financial inclusion in Nigeria. Our growth plan will thrive on a balanced reward for all parties; e-workers earn for every submission, Clients get authentic information, partners earn commission for sales and businesses grow through intelligence

Samwul Datong

Recit-E-Receipt Platform: Recit (https://www.recit.com.ng) is a free invoicing platform that targets tech savvy sole entrepreneurs and small businesses. It enables them send e-receipts to their customers email addresses as a way of acknowledging a sale. The sales data supplied to send the e-receipt is also recorded to help the business keep proper records of their sales

Michael Onuorah

Nibule: Nibule is an online illustration engine, and content generation and curation platform. It enables users, content creators, and digital marketers easily and swiftly build custom illustrations to express their ideas without any prerequisite drawing skills. Illustrations created with Nibule can be sold in stickers stores like BBM Store, or shared on social media to promote ideas, products and services. They can also be printed on an array of products like greeting cards, t-shirts, phone cases etc and delivered to your doorstep.

Funke Talabi

City Hires Nigeria: City Hires is Nigeria’s Premier Video Resume Portal. It is the first video recruitment portal launched in 2015 that provides the recruiter an all in one solution; profiles of qualified candidates with resumes and also with pre-recorded video resumes reducing time wasting in sorting for the right candidate and giving job hunters the platform to audition for the role.

Ideas Category

  1. DressesbyAloli.
  2. Smart Office
  3. Smartguard
  4. FarmIntel
  5. Juris Court reporting software

We will be providing live updates on twitter.

 

Huawei Introduces the HUAWEI Mate 9

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Huawei has introduced the HUAWEI Mate 9 and the exclusive PORSCHE DESIGN HUAWEI Mate 9, the newest members of the Mate Series provides users with an all new Android experience – featuring the Kirin 960 for the fastest computing performance, SuperCharge technology and a stunning new UX.

The HUAWEI Mate 9 features a Kirin 960 chipset processor,  EMUI 5.0 user interface,  superCharge technology that delivers a full day’s charge in 20 minutes and second generation Leica dual-lens camera with 12-megapixel RGB sensor, 20-megapixel monochrome sensor and Hybrid Zoom, featuring a superior 2x magnification.

The Kirin 960 is the world’s first chipset to feature an ARM Cortex-A73/A53 Octa-core CPU and Mali G71 Octa-core GPU and combines a 4000 mAh high-density battery with Huawei’s all new SuperCharge technology which increases battery life to provide over two days of uninterrupted performance.  The HUAWEI Mate 9 features the second generation dual-lens camera co-engineered with Leica.

The HUAWEI Mate 9 features a 5.9” FHD display and is both beautifully designed and comfortable to use.

The PORSCHE DESIGN HUAWEI Mate 9 is a limited edition smartphone with a remarkable 5.5” curved AMOLED display that offers a smooth, sleek feel. It will be available exclusively in Graphite Black. (See additional PORSCHE DESIGN HUAWEI Mate 9 details.)

14910434_1134165039986144_6490910375330801880_n With EMUI 5.0, the HUAWEI Mate 9 becomes more intelligent and efficient over time by understanding consumers’ behavior patterns, and ensures the highest priority applications are given preference subject to system resources.

Pricing and Availability

  • The HUAWEI Mate 9 is available in Black, Space Gray, Moonlight Silver, Champagne Gold, Mocha Brown and Ceramic White.
  • The exclusive PORSCHE DESIGN HUAWEI Mate 9 is available in Graphite Black.
  • The HUAWEI Mate 9 will be available in the following first-wave launch markets:

 

Huawei also launched the HUAWEI FIT, a fitness watch featuring heart rate monitoring, automatic step counting, sleep tracking and support for multi-sport activities. The HUAWEI FIT is available in Titanium Gray and Moonlight Silver for €149.

Version                                 EUR (includes tax)

HUAWEI Mate 9 4GB + 64 GB €699
PORSCHE DESIGN HUAWEI Mate 9 6GB + 256GB €1395