Budding App Sieves News for Kenyans in Diaspora

Kenyans in the Diaspora could soon find it easier following news in Kenya using Habari News App, a three-week old free iPad application available at iTunes store.

The iPad app that targets users searching for Kenyan news has the ability to take up news from different East African news feeds and websites and display them for easy search.

In the past Kenyans in the Diaspora have had to follow Kenyan news by surfing through different news sites. Edwin Bosire, the application developer, says this has been frustrating, time consuming and cumbersome.

“I was saddened by lack of Kenyan content on his iPad and in the iTunes store. I also loved news and spent most of his time on the Kenyan new sites while in the UK. I read news every day, and I would rather read it on my way to work using my iPad or iPhone,” Bosire told HumanIPO.

Habari News App has about 520 downloads at the moment. The majority of the users, according to Bosire, are from the US and UK, probably Kenyans in the Diaspora. Bosire notes that the main challenge has been getting quality news. He hopes that that Nation media, Standard, Star , New Vision and several others would allow their feeds to be aggregated on the app.

At present, apps robust system pulls news from publicly available feeds which are prone to get out of date within a day or a week. The App requires a 6.5 MB storage space and is compatible with any iPad using iOS Version 5.0 or later. It is available in English and German. A Swahili translation is underway.

Bosire is working on the final touches for the app to work on iPhones. He is also redesigning the interface, signing up more news sources, personalised feeds, translations and some other hidden bells and whistles.

With more than 130,000 Huawei Ideos Smartphones sold in Kenya by December last year alone, an Android version of the app is in the pipeline, says Bosire. The application is still in version 0.8. This will help assess how the server would handle the load and how people would react to it. A full release is expected soon, says Bosire.

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