WE HAVE MOVED!!!!


Change is in the air. This blog is from this moment on closed and will serve to provide links to content on my new blog emmanuelchenze.com. Please visit the new blog for updates and continuation of the good work that had already been started here. Thank you for the support all along that made this small blog popular in a very short time. Looking forward to seeing you on emmanuelchenze.com

The home page of the new blog. Find us at emmanuelchenze.com
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2011: Year In Review


Please, before reading on take note that this blog has been closed and further comments and enquiries will be responded to on the new blog. For more of this, find me on my new blog: emmanuelchenze.com

Well it’s a wrap for the year 2011. What a year this has been. I look back at what it is that made the year notable in the tech scene both locally and internationally. There’s a lot to mention but since I’ve focused a on mobile devices (smartphones, tablets and stuff) and their corresponding manufactures and their operating systems, this will take a size-able chunk of my review of the year 2011. Kindly read on.

Read the full article on my new blog by following this link

Done Something Bad in 2011? #BlameTwitter [Infographic]


The folks over at CableTv.com released a hilarious “infographic” of sorts. Well, the infographic is an entry to a competition but I found it amusing and since it is open sourced, I found it prudent to share it with the followers of this blog as we take it easy this holiday period. Enjoy

Check the infographic on my new blog by following this link

SIRI FOR ANDROID: Top Virtual Assistant Applications on The Android Market


Please, before reading on take note that this blog has been closed and further comments and enquiries will be responded to on the new blog. For more of this, find me on my new blog: emmanuelchenze.com

Since it’s premier as a core feature of the iPhone 4S, Siri as I outlined earlier, has got everyone talking. Not to be left behind, a plethora of applications has since taken the Android market, Google’s premier app store for devices running it’s flagship mobile (ok and tablets these days) operating system, Android, by storm.

Since last week I’ve downloaded and tested a couple of them that are available free for download on the Android Market (I haven’t yet spotted premium virtual voice assistants). Of all the apps I downloaded, 9 or so,  4 of them impressed me and I hereby give a quick insight on them.

Read this whole article on my new blog by following this link

The iPhone 4S: Hype or Substance?


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Please, before reading on take note that this blog has been closed and further comments and enquiries will be responded to on the new blog. For more of this, find me on my new blog: emmanuelchenze.com

Launched a day before the death of the iconic Apple Inc founder and former CEO and Chairman, the late Steve Jobs, the iPhone 4S, Apple’s latest i-kid has generated a lot of buzz lately.
From the impressive sold out pre-orders (over 4 million sold todate) to the magical personal virtual assistant, Siri, the iPhone 4S has got everyone talking.

My attention is not focused entirely on the hype surrounding the 4S but rather whether the hype is really worth it. What actually roused my itchy fingers is that this wonder device is retailing locally in Kenya at an incredible price. Forget the hype being fronted by Western media and other Silicon Valley media outlets, of course its normal (very normal) for Apple products to generate a lot of buzz and cause a lot of ripples, this phone is either really that good or blatantly overrated.

Read the full review on my new blog by following this link.

iCon STEVE JOBS Passes On: A Tribute To Apple’s Genius


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Steve Jobs, the single combination of Henry Ford and Thomas Edison, passed on earlier today.

I woke up to a flurry of #iSad tweets on my timeline. It took me over 2 hours to publicly tweet my condolences. I just had to go through every credible international news source before I could take in those news. I have never met Mr Jobs himself or even owned any of the devices he masterminded but his inspiration and belief in perfectionism is one thing that I’ve admired. My only interaction with him has been via the iDevices that I’ve had a privilege to use courtesy of my good friends and that is where my love for Apple and the face behind it started. In fact my main motivation in getting an android device early this year was to get a chance to use a system that even though different, closely mimics the iOS experience at an affordable price. This is because love it or hate it, Apple is just king in the world of computing. Thanks to this man Steve Jobs, finesse is what defines a tech giant like Apple.

For the full article on my tribute to Steve Jobs please follow this link to my new blog

iPhone 5: End of Rumor mill, It’s coming


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It’s been an interesting week. To say that we are living in interesting times is an understatement. The technology and social media giants were out with major announcements this week.

Yesterday (21st September) is when it all came to light.

Apple has officially given a go-ahead to tech bloggers to start the iPhone 6 rumour mill. With the announcement by the iGiant that the most talked about device, the iPhone 5, will be unveiled on October 4th ends all the speculation and rumours that have been flying left, right and centre in the blogosphere about the device. All we have to do is sit back and wait for the big day when CEO Tim Cook will take the stage and unveil the new generation iPhone. iPhone 5, there’s no way we can talk about it without mentioning the legendary Steve Jobs. I don’t know whether he’ll attend the media event for the launch but hats off to him, we(ok, not everyone since there are some haters too!) all admire Apple’s spirit of innovation. I just can’t guess what features the new iPhone will have but there’s no doubt it will be truly THE ONE. Yes the one that will be a real competitor of the impressive Samsung Galaxy II. If the leaked photos from Foxconn and the supposedly lost iPhone 5 prototype are anything to go by then we are in for a big product launch. The bad news? Well the iPhone 5 will still not support Adobe Flash. Let’s wait and see. Eyes open, lips tightly closed and fingers closed.

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Windows 8 Out, Facebook And It’s Endless Redesigns, Google+ Rolls Out To The General Public


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The week started with the viral spread of the Developer’s edition and teasers of the new kid from Microsoft, the Microsoft Windows 8 operating system. I am yet to use the new OS but it is worth noting that I can’t wait for the personal edition to roll out. From my interaction with Windows 7 and Apple’s Mac OS X Lion, I am looking forward to using Windows 8. Oh! Windows 8 should be able to boot up in 8 seconds on a proper PC!

I ain’t done with Microsoft yet. The eagerly awaited products of its partnership with Nokia, phones running Windows Phone 7 (7.5) code named Mango, are set to debut early in the coming month. Let’s see what the highly hyped Mango brings to the high alter of competitive mobile phone operating systems. Can it beat Blackberry OS, iOS and Android?

Google+, the social networking service from search giant Google, finally rolled out to the general public on 20th. I have a very harsh review of Google+ and I’ll analyse it properly soon. With the public launch came added features on the Google Plus app for Android. It’s now possible to start hangouts on the android application. I’ve tried the updated G+ app(version 1.0.7) and it is well above the mark. Add the newly included features and those included in v1.0.6 like the ability to reshare posts and you have a nice app. The mobile site has also been tweaked and its great though alot can still be done.

The queen of sideshows and things to attract attention realized that she was getting old and got a redesign. Yes I am referring to Facebook, the dominant social network. In a major redesign, users can now subscribe( FB style of Twitter-like following) to receive updates from other people who they are not friends with. In other words, Mark Zuckerberg and company have made it easier for stalkers to be getting updates from you. There’s also the Tickle which updates posts and activities in real time. The profiles too got a makeover. People can also comment on Facebook pages they’ve never Liked. The introduction of a Twitter-like timeline just sucks. Of cause there was an overwhelming negative outcry but does Zuckerberg care about your hues and cries or the revenue from sponsoring and other corporates?

On the Kenyan twitterverse we call it iTorch, yet it is widely used in tweeting. I mean text-tweeting. Twitter seems to have learnt of user retention because it is now possible to send photos direct to your Twitter timeline using text messaging.

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Kenya: The Tech Rebounds


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In the past two weeks, events have taken place that truly reflect the advancements in technology and social media.

The role of bloggers and influential ordinary (I don’t know why “ordinary”) Kenyans social media in Kenya is slowly being appreciated. For this reason, two of the highest ranked government officers invited tweeps and bloggers to different forums where they were to represent the Kenyans on social networks and the blogosphere. There was the #DinnerWithPM and the #VPmeetup. I was lucky to secure an invite to the Vice President’s meetup. Whatever went on in these meetings(informal) is another matter altogether but the most important aspect is that finally our local politicians are starting to see the importance of the many a times anonymous and little known personalities behind widely popular blogs and Twitter accounts. This in itself presents the dynamics brought about by the increased usage of social media amongst the citizenry to pass information amongst themselves without relying on traditional information sources like newspapers which normally stick with strict media ethics (of course for public good and protection of reputations).

Airtel Kenya CEO Rene Meza left for Vodacom TZ to work in the same capacity in a company owned by Vodafone UK, the parent company of Safaricom Ltd, Airtel Kenya’s main competitor. How this will affect the local telecommunications sector is yet to be seen. However, the issue of inconsistency and unpredictability at Airtel (Kencell, Celtel, Zain) is what comes to mind in light of the latest developments.

Just days after the Communications Commission of Kenya, CCK, backed out of a plan to switch off all counterfeit cellphones, President Kibaki ordered the switching off of all unregistered SIM cards. Now that this is a presidential directive, I hope CCK, working with the service providers will move in fast and not only switch off all unregistered SIM cards but also the counterfeit cellphones (read China phones).

With Kenya’s expected digital migration, plans are underway to have set top boxes made in Kenya and specifically at the University of Nairobi. This will be a big leap because it will not only lead to a decrease in set top boxes’ prices but it will also be an avenue for students to learn a lot as regards emerging technologies.

The Business Insider released its widely acclaimed Top 100 startups to watch out in 2011 and beyond. Two were from Kenyan developers. Pesapal and Ushahidi made it to this coveted list. Kudos to them. It is also very encouraging to local developers. We can toil knowing that at the end there’s hope.

Orange Kenya, after several false starts, finally unveiled its long awaited 21 Mbs 3G network. I am yet to experience it thus I am forced to imagine it was a Nairobi only launch and a complete roll out to other parts of the nation is coming up. I hope so.

Samsung is getting bigger and bigger in Kenya. This is demonstrated in its two high profile product launches in Nairobi over the last two weeks. It unveiled locally both the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and the Samsung Galaxy S 2. Even though the devices are targeted for the high end market, they are the best that there are in terms of devices running the Android operating system.

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Roundup


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Since my last commentary on the goings-on in technology and social media, a lot has happened. The happenings just can’t be water under the bridge. They are significant to all who keenly follow advancements in technology. Though these may be stale news by now, Here’s an overview.

Apple successfully got the Samsung Galaxy Tab sales banned in the European Union market due to what it terms as patent infringement. Apple has of late been on an offensive suing competitors by citing patent infringement and copyright violations. Apple has sued Samsung and Taiwanese phone maker,  HTC on the same grounds. The two companies have retaliated by also filing lawsuits citing patent infringement and copyright violations by Apple. Can’t these tech giants just get it right? There’s a lot to be done. It’s actually Apple who started this whole circus.  How things will end up is upto the courts to decid or agreements on out of court settlements. Whichever way things go, healthy competition must be encouraged. When there’s competition, superior devices emerge and consumers can look forward to more quality stuff. I am a great Apple fanboy but I must say Apple got it wrong here. Competition must be there. The iPad,  Apple’s flagship tablet computer and market leader in the tablet market had (and still has) a strong competitor in Samsung’s Galaxy Tab (7.7,10.1 and above). Baring competition in the name of patent infringement and copyright violations isn’t right. I know Apple is a darling of innovation and originality but the lawsuits aren’t the way to go.

This was big news. Google’s acquisition of Motorola came as a surprise. Google was prompted by the need to have a large patent portfolio under its control due to looming lawsuits from other industry players. Remember the Apple,  Samsung wars above? This acquisition of Motorola will also help Google in it’s push to dominate the smartphone and tablet market with its Android operating system.

Of course the biggest news in the tech world recently was the stepping down of the legendary and revolutionary co-father of the Macintosh computers, the CEO of the largest, richest tech company, Steve Jobs of Cupertino based, Apple Inc. His resignation from Apple, prompted by cancer is a big blow to all of us in the young generation who loved the way he officiated the product launches of Apple’s greatest and revolutionary devices of all time, the iPod, iPhone and iPad. His successor, the immediate former Chief Operating Officer of Apple, Tim Cook has very large shoes to wear. To succeed such a figure like Jobs is a once in a lifetime privilege but also a daunting task. I wish Cook the best and thank Jobs for his contributions in the world of computing.

HP finally threw in the towel and decided to halt production of its flagship tablet computer, the HP TouchPad running WebOS. This means just one thing, the domination of Apple’s iPad will continue.

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