VENTURES AFRICA – In 2012 developers produced a wide variety of new applications, with the African consumer base in particular gaining a range of new communications, professional and entertainment apps to freshen up the mobile user experience.
Blackberry Messenger 7
Research in Motion (RIM) this year launched the latest version of the Blackberry messaging app, which now allows users to make free voice calls to Blackberry Messenger contacts across the world via a Wi-Fi connection; in an upgrade the original text-based messaging app. Blackberry Messenger 7 also features a split-screen multi-tasking option, for more efficient device use.
Princeton Telecom this year announced the West African launch of its new app Mobile Cockpit – the business solution set to enable business owners to run professional programmes on their smartphones, as well as providing a range of features such as real estate and job classifieds, and a social network to name but a few of the unique innovations. The app is to be available on Android, Blackberry and iOS smartphones in the first months of 2013.
This year Nigerian movie app Afrinolly made significant progress, ramping up its user base and announcing its expansion to new devices including iOS and Windows handsets and tablets. The app – which is currently exclusive to MTN Nigeria users – lets users watch trailers for African-produced movies, with a focus on Nigerian “Nollywood” movies, as well as music videos and comedy productions.
This year 3 students from the University of Lagos became the winners of Google’s Apps Developer Challenge, thanks to their innovation – known as Form +. The application is an easy to use drag-and-drop interface which allows users to produce Curriculum Vitae (CVs), feedback and submission forms, as well as use the app for a host of data-collection purposes.
Tough Jungle is the brainchild of Gerald Kibugi, the winner of the inaugural Vodafone App Star Challenge which took place this year taking nominations from across Africa and the Middle East. The Kenyan inspired action adventure gaming app features the culture, history, imagery and wildlife of the East African country with players navigating landmines and dangerous animals across “18 levels of fun”, according to Kibugi.