Kenya has yet again proved that it is the continental powerhouse when it comes to mobile applications. This is after Kenya's two representatives at the continental finals of Vodafone Appstar challenge beat all other contestants to the first and second positions. The Appstar competition was seeking the best new mobile applications from Kenya, South Africa, Lesotho, Egypt and Tanzania. Gerald Kibugi with his Tough Jungle game emerged overall winner with Gilbert Rono with his educational app, Eureka, emerging second.
Gerald Kibugi takes home US $ 25,000 (KSh. 2.15 million) while Gilbert Rono takes home $ 15,000 (KSh. 1.29 million).
Apps were accepted for Android, RIM (BlackBerry), Symbian and Java mobile ecosystems. The best apps will be featured in Vodafone stores across Africa, including Safaricom in Kenya and Vodacom in Tanzania.
Tough Jungle sees the player represented as a Maasai warrior who faces various challenges in the jungle, such as lions and has to shoot them with arrows. There are various levels through the game which are unlocked with the completion of each level.
Eureka is developed by a first year student at the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) taking Computer Science and Mathematics. Eureka displays solutions to mathematical and arithmetic problems while also displaying a step to step solution to the problem.
Tough Jungle also won KSh. 1.1 million in the Kenyan appstar finals while Eureka took home KSh. 600,000. (http://cio.co.ke/news/main-stories/safaricom-appstar-competition-names-top-apps-,-ksh.-2.1-m-in-prizes)
In third place at the continental finals was Ster-Kinekor Theatres where users can book movies at the SK Theatre Group from anywhere at any time anywhere.
Other apps were EgySmartTrans from Egypt which provides commuters with useful information on traffic, directions and points of interest amongst others.
Yadget from Egypt is a social application for attaching digital content on objects and places in the real world that also comes with a Twitter like tagging feature.
LesWeather from Lesotho is a weather information application with location information for the Lesotho market.
South African Rithmetic is a fun yet effective mathematics learning app for children with several gamification elements built in.
Tanzania's Farm instructor is an Android mobile app that provides offline and online Agricultural Information and speeches to the farmers.
Tanzania's Fish Game sees players play as a shark and have to get points by eating smaller fish while avoiding getting hit by obstacles such as harpoons coming at them. It is an Android touch based game.