On the agenda of the MoMo session on September 13 at the iHub was:
Mobisoko by Juliana Rotich
Mlab by Ken Mwenda and Jessica Colaco
I-Match by Akirachix (Judith Owigar, Linda Kamau and Marie Githinji)
App store for Africa
Juliana noted that mobile phone usage grew by 550% in 2009. She also noted that Africans are becoming App and content creators. We as Africans need to create applications that are relevant to us. Mobisoko is a place where we can find applications that are made for us by us.
‘The poor can at least afford poorly designed products and services’ @janchip
Developers can email their applications to Juliana@mobisoko.com for their apps to be added to the mobisoko store. All rights of the app will remain with the developer.
The Mlab is an space where local companies, technologists and experts can collaborate to develop locally relevant applications that meet user demands and build sustainable businesses. It is a mobile lab for East Africa. The *iHub consortium, comprising Nairobi’s iHub,eMobilis, the World Wide Web FoundationandThe University of Nairobi School of Computing and Informatics, was chosen to host the East Africa lab.It is funded byInfodev. It is the first of its kind in Africa, another lab will be set up in South Africa.
The reason it was set in Kenya: Critical mass of quality programmers, universities, technology corporations and a government focused on ICT growth.
Mobile application developers will be able to train, interact, work, and gain access to tools. The lab will provide an environment conducive to the development of solutions that have the potential to scale commercially.
MXit is a South African Tech firm. It was founded in 2004/2005. The MXit presentation took us through the journey of how MXit came to be and how it got to where it is today. The first MXit iteration was developed in flash using the XMPP platform. Infobot was the name of the first MXit bot. There have been many other bots developed. Currently MXit is written on the MXit protocol.
We were also challenged by Dickson Kirathe a developer with futuristic to develop applications for the cheap phones that come from China popularly referred to as china phones. These phones are usually dual sim, with cameras, have touch screen, low processing capacity and are half or even quarter the price of high end phones available in the market. He said these phones do not run java apps (subject to confirmation) or android and seeing their growing popularity in Kenya (and Africa) we should consider them when developing applications. Most run on the MTK operating system.