Mobile apps in Kenya are experiencing unprecedented acceptance and growth at the moment. It is in the same breadth that more and more software developers have been venturing into the mobile applications development sub-sector. The increasing popularity of mobile apps in Kenya and in other developing countries is attributed to various factors including:
- The high rate at which people access Internet using mobile phones
- The continuous dropping of prices of Internet enabled devices and smart phones
- The innovation amongst software developers to develop apps that solve the challenges faced by the masses
- Support of the ICT sector from stakeholders and governments
- Popularity of social networks like Facebook which made the ‘app’ phenomena popular among its users and thus paving way for the development of localized apps
As a software developer, I foresee a bright future going ahead because of the increased interest in mobile apps from the consumers and businesses. PesaTracker has received massive interest from many people which is a key indicator of the level of market preparedness to adopt mobile applications. This is a shift from the old when the only applications people could probably access from their phones were the games that came inbuilt with phones. App markets like Android’s Play Store come in-built with android phones and thus enabling users to access millions of mobile apps including the locally developed ones. With businesses and people getting more mobile, the future of mobile apps can only be brighter. Majority of the businesses that require websites now are going to be in form of mobile apps or mobile web in the future. This is not to say that websites will die but with technolgies like HTML5, it is becoming prudent to develop business applications that are accessible across all platforms and devices.
[author ]Vincent Maraba is studying for his Msc. in Telecommunication Innovation and Development at Strathmore University, Kenya. He won the 2012 Safaricom Appstar challenge finance category with his new innovation, PesaTracker, an Android app that allows users to track, analyse and backup their M-Pesa transactions. M-Pesa is an award winning, mobile-phone based money transfer and micro financing service for Safaricom and Vodacom, the largest mobile network operator in Kenya and Tanzania. It allows users to deposit, transfer and withdraw funds via text message.[/author]