It is now four years since @iLabAfrica partnered with Samsung Electronics for research and development work on making Samsung products that are relevant for the African market. Samsung Electronics has moved aggressively into this space, quickly becoming a market leader in electronic and mobile devices. Under the research theme “Built for Africa”, @iLabAfrica has been helping the tech giant develop products attractive to consumers in the African market, especially through product research and mobile apps development.
Six mobile applications were launched at a demo dubbed “Samsung Show and Tell” in the Samsung research lab at @iLabAfrica on the 18th February 2014. All the applications launched had local relevance, meaning they would be useful to Kenya mobile apps consumers. They included:
- Christian Church App– the Christian Church App is useful for keeping tabs with church proceedings, downloading sermons and viewing personal contributions to church activities.
- Michezo– this application provides users with information on local sports event. The app is customizable to any sport with league tables, player profiles, news feed and social commentary. With this app, sports fans can utilize a maps functionality to find directions to match and tournament venues.
- Kitoweo– Kitoweo is a crowd-sourced recipe directory that encourages users to share recipes of African dishes with friends.
- Kenya Law Reports– a rich source of Kenya law reports and publications. The KLR app can be used by layers or citizens to access a legal publications and the Kenyan constitution with great ease. Publications in this app include the Kenya Gazette, Laws of Kenya, Key Legislation and the Judicial Calendar.
- SBS Application– the SBS application is a custom mobile app for the Strathmore Business Schools. Using this application, Strathmore Business School scholars can enjoy a full learning experience using a tablet. It provides for access to e-learning resources, assignments, notes and course cases, announcements and news. The applications also has a digital rights management system to safeguard distribution of copyrighted material, assignment reminders and a booked room viewing facility to help learners schedule group meetings and classes.
- Pharmacy and Poisons Board App– The application helps users access a wealth of information regarding medication as well report and give feedback to the Pharmacy and Poisons Board. Some of the features include access to lists of registered pharmacists, pharmaceutical technologists and representatives. Other key features are a search function to locate nearby pharmacies and a reporting functionality to raise alarm on suspected poor quality and counterfeit medication as well as suspected drug overdose reaction.
The launch was attended by among other guests Samsung’s COO East Africa Robert Ngeru. He noted the vast opportunities for developers in Kenya to have a stake in the 500 million plus subscribers of the Samsung app store. The director of @iLabAfrica Dr. Joseph Sevilla observed that mobile apps development is now the new trend for self-employment, citing the example of flappy bird, a recent mobile game that took the world by storm. The game was developed by a Vietnamese developer in about 3 days and earned him $50,000 a day.
The mobile apps launched are available for download on the Samsung App Store. @iLabAfrica is keen on continuing to develop and deploy apps that are consumer-driven to provide value for the users on the Samsung app store.