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Where Africa and Technology Collide!

Tag: african pixel

Russell Southwood at the iHub

I consider Russell Southwood to be the most well-connected person in the African tech scene, he also happens to have one of the best macro view of what’s going on across the continent in the established tech and media worlds. For a taste of his work, read his article, “Africa’s mobile market will go open access – it’s not if but when and how it all work out“.

On Friday he came to the iHub in Nairobi where he took 2 hours to have a fireside chat with local web and mobile technologist on “The Future of Kenya: what needs to happen for local services and apps to succeed.”

“Russell Southwood looks at the kinds of changes that will happen in Kenya over the next ten years, how the barriers to change might be broken down and the relationship between the ICT business and the broader economy and society. He sets out to try and understand what will produce the success factors for the growth of ICT services and apps businesses across Africa and why Kenya has a key role to play. From these broad arguments, he then focuses down on the needs and type of customers services and apps companies can potentially serve.”

Russells relaxed and intimate chat with the community is going to serve as the first of many new fireside chats at the iHub with Africa’s “big thinkers” and top tech CEOs.

Testing iScribe: African Pixel’s first iPhone app

african-pixel-logoIn the Summer of 2009 I was approached by Wilfred Mworia, a talented programmer in Nairobi. Wilfred’s big idea was to open up a small company where his main goal was to create mobile phone applications for platforms like the iPhone and Android operating systems. This company is called African Pixel, and Wilfred is well on his way to becoming a mobile app developer of some note, regardless of the fact that he lives in Kenya.

His first application is iScribe (iTunes link), a simple tool for writing a journal on your phone. It’s the tool I’m using to write this post as it pushes to WordPress.

Scribe

iScribe was built to be simple. A way for you to write a journal entry quickly, and then add images, video or audio if you so choose. While I’ve been actively involved providing feedback to Wilfred on the app, I’ve had to constantly remind myself not to ask for more features.

iscribe-writing

“How does it work? Simply, type text, take photos or videos, press a button to record and play back audio recordings, save your stuff, press another button to share online or by email and voila!”

Besides the simple journaling and multimedia capabilities iScribe entries can be emailed or pushed to a blog. This is especially useful as few people write solely for themselves.

Here’s Wilfred giving a walk through of the application:

Go ahead and give this first iteration of iScribe a try. Send Wilfred your feedback on how it can be made better or if you find a bug.

My feedback
The pushing to a WordPress blog is where there are a few shortcomings. I did push most of this post from there, but the images didn’t work right, nor was I able to add links. There are some user experience items where the user needs feedback on when they pushed a button and if something is happening. These are mostly minor issues though, nothing which makes iScribe unusable.

African Pixel

This is one application, something that should make some residual income for Wilfred. I know he’s interested in building more applications that he can sell on the iPhone app store and the Android marketplace. That’s the idea anyway, and it’s encouraging to see that he’s doing it from here, realizing that the web/mobile world means that you can do this anywhere.

Wilfred is currently working on a second application, one that he started in August which has even more potential than iScribe. To keep up to date with Wilfred and African Pixels, follow him on Twitter, African Pixel on Facebook and the blog. Guys like Wilfred need seed capital to get going, to buy the time to create those first apps where they can begin seeing cash flow. If you’re interested in that, I know he’d like to talk to you.

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