KEeping It Local: Windows Phone Apps for Kenya| The Weekend Collection

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Keeping it Local - The Weekend Collection
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As mobile landscape in Kenya transitions from “dumb” feature phones to smartphones, the importance of apps with local content grows every day. Apps enable consumers to discover what’s new around them, quickly order and use a variety of services, conduct transactions like shopping and financial management, the possibilities are endless.

In a continuation of our “KEeping It Local: Windows Phone Apps” series, we look at the apps that provide local content to Kenyan Windows Phone users. The apps divided into 5 categories:

  • Banking & Personal Finance
  • News
  • The Weekend Collection (Local Events And Point of Interests)
  • Online Shopping
  • Multimedia (Music, Video)
  • Transportation / Commuting, Non Profit, Government Services, Utilities

TIP: You can now purchase apps in the WindowsPhone Store using your Safaricom Airtime (Nunua Apps Na Credo).

The Weekend is here and you need to go out and find things to do, have fun with your friends and travel around this beautiful country. Here’s how to do it with the best Kenyan Windows Phone apps for discovering local content.

As this is a pretty lengthy article, it divided into following sections.

  • Discovering Things to Do
  • Foodies Look Here
  • Blame It On The Alc…
  • Take A Trip (Flights & Hotels)

Discovering Things to Do

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KenyaBuzz (Raha) (Free) KenyaBuzz Raha

Kenya Buzz, is one of Kenya’s leading P.O.I. (Point of Interest) and Event aggregating websites. You can filter out a local events by categories, date and location. KenyaBuzz is Kenya’s largest event and fun listing website.  Search events by city and area, date, or type of event including- art exhibitions, festivals/craft fairs, films, kids events, live music events, nightlife, photography, fashion, sports, theater, dance, yoga/meditation, campus events and so much more.

Though this is the first version of the app, local developer Lee Mungai, told Techweez that he has lots of features planned for the next update including improved design, Live Tiles, GPS Filtering (sporting events based on your location), add events to calendar and more. Highly Recommended.

Ticket Sasa (Free) TicketSasa

TicketSasa not only provides information about upcoming events, hotels and flights but offers users the ability to purchase tickets digitally. The TicketSasa platform also you to save your purchase history securely. I had been waiting for this app for a long time, and the TicketSasa team didn’t disappoint. The design and navigation of app is superb (matching their website). TicketSasa are on the way to become the “Ticketmaster” of the East Africa region.

Description from Windows Phone Store:

Ticketsasa brings to you the easiest way to book and pay for your travel and entertainment needs within East Africa. Download the App to get access to event tickets, Holiday package offers, Flight and Hotel Booking facilities, all provided with online payment PesaPal (M-PESA, Airtel, YuCash, Visa, Master-card amongst other payment methods).

This first effort by the Verviant Development team (who also developed the excellent myNSE app) is stellar and makes it into my top 5 locally developed Windows Phone apps. I hope the team will add features like Live Tiles, Pinnable Sections, GPS Filtering, saving events to calendar.

Local Events for Facebook (Free) LocalEvents for Facebook

Because the majority of event promotions in Kenya are done through Facebook, the LocalEvents for Facebook is crucial app in the Windows Phone weekend. Once you sign into the beautiful app with your Facebook account, you can quickly discover and filter upcoming events, check on the events that you have already signed up for. The power of the app is you can browse the events that your Facebook friends are also attending. The app will also keep you informed on the events you signed up for through its Live Tile and the notifications. Highly rated by users, this is a staple app in my collection.

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Foursquare (Free) Foursquare

With 50 million users worldwide, Foursquare allows to find local establishments within their geo location. You can also share information about these establishments with your friends on the network.  The Windows Phone app also links to your navigation for quick directions to your selected destination. I’ve discovered that though many establishments in Kenya won’t have a website (and thus are not searchable), I could quickly find them on Foursquare. NOTE: Foursquare decoupled their check-in feature (now called Swarm) to focus their main app on POI discovery.

Swarm (Free) Swarm

Foursquare’s new check-in app Swarm, landed on Windows Phone a month ago. It focuses on connecting with your friends on your social activities.

Description for the Windows Phone Store

Swarm, the new app from Foursquare, is the fastest way to keep up and meet up with your friends. With Swarm, you can easily see who’s out nearby and who wants to hang out later.

  • Want to meet up with friends? Quickly open up the app to see who is out nearby.
  • Want to share what you’re doing? Checking in is faster and more fun than ever.
  • Got an idea for something fun to do? Easily message all of your nearby friends.

HERE Explore Beta (Free) HERE

HERE Explore Beta is the next version of the popular HERE City Lens app. It uses virtual rendering to find what’s close to you, then recommend the places based on various factors. You can save your favorite places into locations and access them quickly in the other HERE apps (eg HERE Maps. HERE Drive).

Description for the Windows Phone Store

HERE Explore Beta helps you find places using a new contextual recommendation engine. Find a late night snack, a scenic vista point, or a selection of interesting places around you. HERE Explore Beta recommends places to go based on your location, the quality of places, and the time of day. Search and discover places to eat, stay, or sightsee and save these to your own private collections. And when you’re ready to go, just hold up your phone and see your destination revealed by a floating sign.

MilePress (Free) MilePress

Mile Press is a well-designed app that lets you post messages about news, events, jobs etc. to electronic billboards in your area. Other users can then see and responded to these messages.

Developed locally by: Comfied Mobile Media

 Foodies Look Here

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Eatout Kenya (Website)

Eatout.co.ke is undoubtedly East Africa’s leading culinary and restaurant guide. With a vast database of restaurants, Eatout allows users to quickly find Restaurants within their location and sort by price range, and menu offerings. The EatOut team have been a leader in providing a mobile friendly website for its local users e.g. you can give the web site access to your location, and it will filter out restaurants. I am positive that when EatOut releases their mobile apps, it will be on par with their beautiful website.

TIP: Follow the excellent EatOut blog, Yummy, by adding its RSS feed to your preferred Windows Phone News Reader app.

HelloFood Order Food Delivery (Free) HelloFood

HelloFood is the perfect app for those lazy Sunday afternoons, when you don’t want to leave the comfort of your couch but need some grub. Once you select your country (HelloFood is available in 20 countries across the globe), you can search for a restaurant in your area, check out their menu, place an order and wait for fresh food to be delivered to your door step. Need I say more, nom nom nom.

Read the HelloFood Android app review here.

I hope the HelloFood Team will improve this app with automatic geo location filtering, select favourite restaurants, live tiles and more.

Food & Drink (Free) Food _ Drink

In the event that you don’t want to go out to eat or order in, then flex your culinary skills with the help of the Microsoft’s Food & Drink app. Part of the excellent Bing Apps suite from Microsoft, this app aggregates recipes from the top recipe websites and world class chefs. Once you choose a recipe, it will add the items to a shopping list and remind you the next time you go shopping.  This is also a great app for drinkers and Wine Lovers as it suggests (and educates) Wine and Cocktails to imbibe on. Highly Recommended app.

Blame It On The Alc…

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Vivino (Free) Vivino Wine Scanner

Vivino is THE app for Wine Lovers. It helps you choose the right wine for the meal having, or event you are at. By taking a picture of the wine label, the app will tell you what type of wine it is, and what recommendations it has. You can also lets you share wine selections with your Facebook friends and see what other wine selections are available in your city.

Description for the Windows Phone Store

Take a photo of any wine label to uncork pricing, ratings, reviews, and food paring suggestions and recommendations from a community of more than 4.5 million wine lovers.

  • Get to know any wine in seconds
  • Remember the good and bad wines and new ones
  • Get personalized wine recommendations
  • Share experiences and be inspired by friends
  • Find the best rated wines in nearby shops

Tapped (Free) Tapped

Tapped is to beer drinkers as Vivino is to wine lovers. By joining the worldwide community of fellow beer drinkers, you can share the beers you enjoy, discover new beers in your area.

Description from Windows Phone Store

Designed exclusively for Windows Phone, you can discover beers, breweries and places to find a great beer… all while remaining connected to your inner beer circle. Post your own check-in with a comment, location, rating, and more. Share your check-ins with Facebook, Foursquare, and Twitter. See what’s popular at the local pub, or what’s popular around you. You can even add beers to your wish list to try later.

 Easy Taxi (Free) Easy Taxi

Since Techweez does not recommend drinking and driving, and to save you an encounter with Nairobi’s notorious Alcoblow unit, you should advantage of the Easy Taxi App. Once installed, the app tracks your location and dispatches a driver to you. You can track your taxi in real time, see you the driver is (all drivers are registered).

Description from Windows Phone Store

EASY TAXI helps you to find a cab with a single tap. It’s EASY: just confirm your location, tap on “Request Taxi” and you are all set! It’s SAFE: all drivers are registered. See the name and picture of who is going to transport you. It’s CONVENIENT: You can track your taxi in real-time, so you can know when it is close to you. If you need, you can talk directly to the driver with a single tap. It’s FREE: You don’t pay anything to use this app, and the taximeter will only be turned after you board.

TIP: If you have any questions about the app or service, please reach out to Easy Taxi Kenya (via Twitter).

 Take a Trip

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Trip Advisor (Free) TripAdvisor

Trip Advisor remains the go to source for hotel reviews. Don’t book a hotel without checking out what other guests experienced. Trip Advisor will list the locations based on the location.

Description from Windows Phone Store

Plan and have your perfect trip with Trip Advisor. With over 75 million reviews and opinions by travelers, you’ll find the best places to eat, sleep, and play, wherever you travel. Find hotels, restaurants, and attractions in any destination, see millions of candid photos by travelers and use Near Me Now to discover options near you or any address you enter.

Travel (Free) Travel

Another app in Microsoft’s Bing App suite, Travel aggregates information about flights and hotels into one application.

Description from Windows Phone Store

Bing Travel gives you the best combination of destination info and travel tools to help you plan and book a trip, all from your phone. Get inspired by daily trip ideas, learn more with thousands of destination guides and plan your trip with photos, maps and reviews of hotels, restaurants and places to see. Search flights to compare prices from multiple providers and find the best airfare. Then pin your flight to your start screen, track your flight status or check our airport arrivals/departures board for the latest schedule. If you travel on the fly, use this app to make last-minute flight or hotel reservations. Note: not all features are available in all markets.

Honorable Mention

Hangover Helper (free) Hangover Helper

Tried tested by a blogger who shall remain nameless, this app will help you figure out and recover from the previous night’s shenanigans.

Description from Windows Phone Store

Hangover Helper is your only true friend when you wake up somewhere unknown, with a hangover, after attending a social event involving consumption of alcoholic beverages. The easy and headache friendly panorama-layout starts out by letting you know exactly where you are by providing a taxi-friendly street address and visual map. You can quickly send your current address to someone if you need to get picked up.

 

Please provide feedback to the app developers and content owners on how their app helped you, or what areas they need to work on. If you can’t contact the developer, be sure to reach out to myself @NairobiWP, @Techweez, @NokiaEastAfrica or @MicrosoftEA.

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