Archive for the ‘web’ Category

Out and about

February 16, 2009

Having fun, dealing with Africa time, good times.

Posted via email from Design in Africa

Mail on Ovi; low end devices, high user adoption

February 2, 2009

Photo credit

Nokia announced Mail on Ovi late last year, it was picked up well, and seen as a milestone to delivering email to most of the planet.

“At Nokia we believe email should be available for everybody. We also launched Mail on Ovi, a free email service primarily aimed at the billions of first time email users, 75% of world’s population.” Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo – President and CEO, Nokia stated recently.

Mail on Ovi is free and preloaded on all Nokia Series 40 devices launching in 2009, and a wide range of devices currently out there. Its easy to use, because you don’t have to install anything, you don’t need a computer at all, it ‘works out the box’.

Now here is the interesting part, if you want to install the gmail app on a S40 Nokia, you can’t, you cannot download it; it will tell you that the file size is too big. I stand to be corrected, but I tried 2 different s40 devices, same result. And that is after figuring out how to find the app on the internet. But you can set up gmail in the mail setting pretty easily though, but that would imply you already have a gmail account.

What does that mean? Is it because there are hardware limitations to keep costs low, or is the s40 software is not sophisticated enough to deal with 3rd party applications? Could it be a clever business move to eliminate competition? Or could it just be that Nokia saw an opportunity to make email as simple as possible without too many hurdles. And who do you think is more recognized to 75% of the world’s population?

Now all that needs to happen is for service providers to lower data costs, a ubiquitous internet that can be viewed on all devices and we could be seeing the next internet really take off.

Posted via email from Design in Africa

Ushahidi in Democratic Republic of Congo

November 8, 2008

Ushahidi is being deployed in the DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo) as a working prototype.

‘We need to get the message to the people on the ground in the Eastern Congo that this tool is now available for them to report incidents in on. If you have contacts there, or can help spread the word through some other means, it would be a great help if you did so – even if it’s just point them to the website or telling them about the SMS number.’

The number is +243992592111 website is

Spread the word.

Posted by email from Design in Africa (posterous)

Mobile internet research

November 2, 2008

Tino Kreutzer is working on a research project, Getting the Numbers Straight that looks into mobile usage, particularly internet use by low income teens in Cape Town. Tino has quire rightly discovered that there is not enough data currently available in this growing area.

Here are some quick numbers; 97% have used Internet from a cell phone, 83% use the internet on a typical day. Almost half of their mobile use is dedicated to the internet on a daily basis. Here is what they do in order of popularity on an average day;

  • get news or weather online
  • download songs, videos or ringtones
  • go online for no particular reason
  • send and receive email
  • information about a hobby or interest
  • hunt for a particular fact
  • use an instant messaging client
  • look for health or medical information
  • information about movies, books or other leisure activities
  • information on further education
  • look for information for school

The implications for learning applications on the (mobile) internet is an opportunity space that is only beginning to be realized as a tool for change.

Posted by email from Design in Africa (posterous)

Google news-Africa

October 25, 2008

Lots happening in South Africa. They even have a HIV/TB advice gadget. I prefer the Project M approach, because it targets a much wider audience using mobile phones.  About two-thirds of all people infected with HIV, 22.5 million, live in Sub Saharan Africa according to the Global Health Council, 2007.

Posted by email from Design in Africa (posterous)

Google and connecting the next 3 billion

September 9, 2008

Google announced today that it will invest in O3b Networks, delivery internet access to people in emerging markets in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East via satellite at competitive prices.

The O3b Networks system will offer fiber performance over satellite, at prices comparable to fiber in developed regions. By allowing direct connection to core networks and 3G Cellular/WiMAX towers, the O3b
Networks system will completely change the economics of telecommunications infrastructure in the world’s
fastest-growing markets for communications services’ Market watch reports.

The implications of this means that in 2 years, people who have never even heard of the internet will have access to it, and they will help shape and direct what it will become. Exciting times ahead!

via Appfrica

Posted by email from Design in Africa (posterous)

Opportunities in Africa

September 7, 2008

‘Emerging markets are the next big frontier for the Internet, but the old business models fall away. In Africa the Internet is now about how to get it to cellphones’
Google CEO Eric Schmidt, Sunday Times, September 7 2008

Posted by email from Design in Africa (posterous)

New Ushahidi design

September 4, 2008

Erik Hersman from White African has announced that Ushahidi has been updated and has a additional funding.

The Ushahidi Engine is a platform that allows anyone to gather
distributed data via SMS, email or web and visualize it on a map or
timeline. Our goal is to create the simplest way of aggregating
information from the public for use in crisis response.

Posted by email from Design in Africa (posterous)