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November, 2012
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Why you should test your mobile application at m:Lab East Africa's facility

Mobile Testing

November 30, 2012

m:Lab East Africa’s testing facility is one of a kind in East Africa. The platform range and number of  devices is the facility is remarkably unique. With over one hundred mobile devices, the facility on Bishop Magua center caters for the mobile testing needs of the developer ecosystem. Several questions have been asked about the testing facility.
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These are some of the frequently asked questions about the m:Lab’s testing facility:

Why is testing is important?
Mobile devices have a wide range of screen resolutions and platforms. This affects how a program runs on each device. Testing enables developers to analyse usability and functionality of the application across these various platforms.
Why test at m:lab East Africa?
As at 1st Dec 2012, m:lab East Africa testing facility has a total device count of 106 devices, (and growing) specifically dedicated for mobile applications testing.
How do I access testing at the testing facility?
To access testing services at the facility, send an email to [email protected], requesting for a specified time slot. Once the request is approved, the developer will have access to the testing services.

What platforms are available in the testing facility?
The facility is a host to Android, J2ME, BlackBerry, Windows, Bada and iOS mobile platforms.
What devices are contained in the testing facility?
Download a complete list of all the devices present in the facility List-of-Devices-in-the-Testing-Facility
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How much will I pay to test at the m:Lab East Africa’s testing facility?
Courtesy of Qualcomm, the testing facility is accessible for free to all developers wishing to access testing services at the facility. Developers may reserve testing slots in blocks of 90 minutes per session. Read more on this HERE.
Can I borrow devices out of the testing facility? If yes, how do I do it?
Borrowing of devices out of the testing facility for field testing or overnight testing is only limited to the incubatees of m:lab East Africa. This is largely due to the demand for the devices against their limited number. 

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Pivot East 2012 Finalist Wins Shs 1M in Safaricom Appstar Challenge

Finalist, PIVOT East

November 25, 2012

ElanLogoElan Telemedia’s Tough Jungle was this week declared winner of the Safaricom Appstar Developer Competition in Kenya. The company founded by Gerald Kibugi wins Kshs 1,000,000. The company’s application goes ahead to compete at finals of the competition organized in partnership with the Vodafone Group. The finals of the competition will be held in December 2012 in South Africa where finalists from Kenya, Lesotho, South Africa, Tanzania, Egypt, Ghana and Qatar will pitch against each other.
Tough Jungle is an action game application with an African jungle setting. The application tries to show the diverse nature of the jungle with wild animals, rocky terrain, landmines and some extinct creatures claimed to exist in the past. The strategy of the game is to move the warrior across the jungle killing wild animals that attack the warrior.

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Elan Telemedia was a finalist in Pivot East’s category of entertainment and gaming in 2012. Pivot East is East Africa’s premier mobile startups pitching competition and conference. Finalist of Pivot East drawn from startups across East Africa go through intense training workshops and coaching sessions for one month to enhance their entrepreneurial skills with mobile solutions before the final pitching conference.
In 2011, the company’s shopper’s delight application won $25,000 at the android developer challenge for Sub Saharan Africa.
Other category winners at the Safaricom AppStar Challenge included Thomas Kioko, an alumni of m:lab East Africa’s mobile entrepreneurship program with his Nduru Application in the hotly contested utilities category. The application also won 2nd place in the East Africa competition of the Ericsson Application Awards in 2012 through his startup – Kommunity Bora. Thomas Kioko is also the developer behind the FarmPal application.
MTL Systems, a company incubated at m:lab East Africa also partnered with a medical doctor to create the Mimba Bora app which won the Health category of  the competition. Through the app, pregnant mothers and care givers can access information and relevant material between conception and delivery. app provides baby safety tips and first aid care and gives pregnant mothers and care givers the opportunity to consult doctors through Q&A sections and even through calls.
Other category winners of the AppStar challenge were  Gordon Owiti with ‘M-Shamba’ in the agriculture category, Gilbert Rono with ‘Eureka‘ in the eduation category, and Vincent Maraba with ‘Pesa tracker’ in the Finance Category. The Eureka app was also the first runners up overall with the developer winning Ksh 500,000. Category winners in the Safaricom challenge other than the overall winner and the first runners up won Kshs 100,000.
A fledgling mobile entertainment scene
The Tough Jungle application wins amidst an emerging trend where entertainment applications are becoming popular among local mobile entrepreneurs. Other mobile entertainment applications developed in the local scene include Ma3Racer by Planet Rackus who were the overall winners of  the 2012 edition of Pivot East. Leti Games, a company co-founded by a Kenyan and a Ghanaian is another company making headways in the East African gaming scene. Other notable applications in the local gaming and entertainment scene include Tubet, Angry Kenyans and Run for Africa.

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Understanding Government's and NGO's initiatives in the Mhealth Ecosystem in Kenya

Health, Wireless Wednesday

November 2, 2012

Samsung Kenya partners with m:Lab East Africa to bring the second MHealth focused Wireless Wednesday meetup on 7th November 2012. The event is themed: ‘‘Understanding Government’s and NGO’s initiatives in the Mhealth Ecosystem in Kenya.” This event aims to let the stakeholders in the MHealth Ecosystem know, understand and discussion what the government as well as non-governmental institutions are doing and how the other stakeholders can collaborate in these initiatives to enhance the Ecosystem. 698px-Samsung_Logo-small This is the second meet up on mobile for health this year. The first of these meetups was held on Wednesday 3rd October at m:lab’s premises and was themed “Understanding Kenya’s mHealth Ecosystem”.

The meetup will be attended by representatives from Health NGOs, Government, Phone Manufacturers, mobile operators, entrepreneurs, mobile app developers among others. Key discussants during the event will be:

  • Dr. Ogara Esther- Head of eHealth (GoK)
  • Khalila Salim – E-merge Consulting
  • Victor Gathara – Text for Change
  • James Ngatia – Telehealth Society of Kenya
  • Dr.Davies Kimanga – NASCOP
  • Among others...

All the stakeholders have a role to play in the ecosystem.Government has a role in providing basic healthcare to its citizens, cost effectively. Also through the ministries of Public Health and Sanitation, Medical Services and other government facets, the government plays a key role in in health development by strengthening health systems, finance and provision of other resources. This allows health systems to improve healthcare, reduce the cost of services and effectively respond to health needs. They also advise on vaccines, conduct vital researches and ensure preventive measures are put in place through early information dissemination and preventive infrastructures in case of outbreaks.

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Attendees during the previous Wireless Wednesday

  Non-governmental institutions mostly work with donors to provide health care to marginalized and conflict zones. Some work very closely with the government in researches and provision of capacity development in areas of need to develop sustainable health solutions. They also help in identifying and training communities on health related issues, this can give them a crucial role in the MHealth ecosystem by being the community mobilization agents. NGO’s also support outreaches that are health focused, this gives them the linkage role in the Mhealth ecosystem. They can be the bridge between the other stakeholders in the Ecosystem and especially between the community and health providers. Because of their nature of operation,NGO’s can help in locating and mapping initiatives in the MHealth ecosystem as well as the vulnerable pockets within the ecosystem that can help other stakeholders, especially the government in ensuring availability of health services. They can facilitate sustainable health programs, advocate for Mhealth initiatives, capacity building and ensure quality assurance of health providers; be they private sector, government or other institutions to improve the Mhealth Ecosystem. To understand what initiatives the government and NGOs have in the Kenyan MHealth Ecosystem, join us on 7th November 2012 at m:Lab East Africa premises. Sign up HERE to participate in the event. About Wireless Wednesday Wireless Wednesday meetups are aimed at creating a forum for exchange of views and networking between mobile application developers and practitioners in various industry sectors. The series of meetups on mHealth in particular aims to give the different stakeholders in the health sector a platform to share their thoughts on how to grow

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the regional mHealth ecosystem.

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