Top 10 Trusted Mobile App Developers in Kenya

A good mobile app developer in Kenya should create a revenue-generating tool for your business idea. For this reason, people are looking for someone who can make their idea explode and make them a profiting entity.

By looking at the need in the market, there are companies that have gained a good reputation due to their commitment to quality app development in Kenya. These companies have mastered the skill of developing award-winning and user-friendly apps.

Each one of them has a solid foundation of top developers backed up with heart-winning strategies and exceptional technical skills. You don’t need anything else other than choosing one among them, particularly one that matches your specific business idea and needs.

Here are the top 10 trusted companies for app development in Kenya.

1. Muva Technologies

This company has a wide variety of app solutions meeting the needs of different clients. Muva develops applications for BBM, IOS, Java, Android and Windows phone as well. There is almost everything you need around the design and development of your app. Customizations are made based on your needs. More than that, the professionals will offer guidance to you if you are not conversant with the mobile app world.

2. TrendPro Systems Limited

This is a software design and development company based in Kenya. TrendPro Systems Limited provides user-targeted software for both established businesses and startups. They are experts in web development especially using Ruby on Rails. They have also established themselves in the mobile app development industry in Kenya with Swapp CRM Mobile app as one of their best projects.

3. Appological

Appological will not only develop an app for you but also follow it up and monitor how it is fairing in the market. The company makes applications for organizations and individual clients as well. They have offices in Nairobi and London. Among the key apps that they have created include Root Checker Pro and Betting Tips Chat among others.

4. Zoom IT Limited

This company has had a major contribution in the education, agribusiness and security sectors in Kenya in terms of app development. Through their expertise, the company has made agricultural activities easy, enhanced security measures and made education easily accessible.

5. Elan Telemedia Limited

With more than 6 years of experience in the industry, Elan Telemedia has established itself among the top trusted app development organizations in Kenya. The company has a team of professionals who are masters in apps design and development.

6. Smart Web Kenya

Smart Web Kenya started out as a web design and development company. Later on, the company diversified into the development of mobile apps mainly for android phones. The company has established quite a number of partnerships with several learning institutions and created learning and institutional apps as well.

7. Kenya Web Developers

More than doing web hosting services, this company has been at the forefront developing apps in Kenya and has, as a result, won the hearts of many. Most of their apps are inspirational and are inclined to conveying some positive message.

8. Litchman Consultants

A Nairobi-based Digital Solutions Company involved with the development of mobile applications alongside other website services. They are the minds behind such projects as Wakilipro and the Stock Brockers Research Portal among several other works.

9. Space Kenya

Any applications in the field of geography, mapping, location identification and allied aspects are in the heart of Space Kenya. More than that, they also develop gaming apps for use on android platforms.

10. Umptech LTD

Umptech LTD has also found a place in the app development industry in Kenya. They design and make applications for both android and windows platforms, serving different needs as dictated by their clients.

App development is a costly investment and therefore, making the right choice of uncompromised quality and delivery of your app is the best thing you can ever do. To be confident of your move, here are the top 10 trusted app developers in Kenya to choose from.

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How to Work Remotely Effectively During the Coronavirus Crisis

We just ended the second week of working remotely as a company because of the Coronavirus crisis.

We promised to share our experience as we go along to help you understand what it takes to keep all staff members engaged remotely.

One thing we need to agree on is that no one saw this crisis coming. It was a “Chinese problem” until it began to affect other nations.

The Kenyan government was quick to catch on with the safety measures to control its spread. We have moved from calls to work from home to mandatory dusk to dawn curfew.

Our journey of working from home got better in the second week. Here are the lessons shared by our team so far:

1. Set up your new office

If you have been working from your employer’s office for years, chances are that you have no working space at home.

Our team had the same challenge as shared in our previous post. Setting up the workspace does not happen overnight.

We cannot predict when it will be safe for us to work closely again in an office setting and neither can you.

The temptation is to curl on your couch or bed with a laptop. We have tried that. It does not work as you expect. You will be snoring after an hour or so!

Even with limited space at home, you can set up a new workstation with a comfortable desk and seat.

Here is the danger of working from your couch. By the time the crisis is over, you will be complaining of back and neck pains.

Your couch was designed for rest, TV, and family talks, not long working hours.

You may start there but by now, you should have an ergonomic workstation.

The workspace will help you in the future when you need to do assignments or personal studies at home.

2. Create boundaries

We know this challenge so well. Everyone is on a mandatory quarantine. All your family members are working from home or just staying at home.

You are a bit lucky if you live alone but the situation for many of us is a family setting.

The fireplace stories are back. For parents, your kids need attention all day.

We are moving from watching the latest news to sudden meals in the kitchen.

How do you get work done in such an environment? Set boundaries!

Call for a family meeting if you need to and agree on working hours. This means that they cannot ask for anything or walk into your workstation at certain times.

If you are a parent, explain to your kids that you are not out on holiday. Give them assignments to do while you work.

Where possible, ask for help with the kids during your working hours.

Here is a tip with boundaries. Respect other people’s boundaries if you want them to respect yours.

If you constantly interrupt others, they will do the same.

3. Constant communication

You have covered the situation at home, created the workspace you need and communicated your boundaries to everyone.

Your team members are doing the same in their new office setups.

We have noticed that we move faster when everyone is online at the same time. Communication is important when creating an app or website remotely.

You must communicate your progress at every stage and respond to your team members promptly.

This is only possible if the environment at home allows you to focus on your tasks throughout the day.

We understand that technical hitches may come along the way. For instance, a team member may lose power or internet connection.

You may hit a snag with an assigned task and need assistance.

Such a team member has the responsibility of informing others of the challenge immediately.

Luckily, we have multiple channels of communication at Muva Technologies. In our planning period, we advised the team on the best way to use each channel.

Communication is not just for a smooth workflow. Your workmates are like family depending on the relationships you create in the office.

We work more or less like a family. Everyone must check in daily with the current health status and all.

We are also sharing tips on how to stay safe and navigate the uncertainties of the day.

4. Maintain an office-like schedule

Well, this proved tough at the beginning but we are slowly catching on with the schedule.

When going to the office, you set your alarm at a certain time. For most of us, you are ready to start your day at 8am or 9am.

Do not break the routine. Remember that we are working remotely just for a season.

It will be hard to adjust after the crisis is over.

The greater benefit is that maintaining your routine helps you manage your time effectively.

Take the breaks as usual. This means that you might need to prepare your meals earlier or ask for help.

Here is a quick one, do not adopt unhealthy eating habits and blame it on the crisis.

Maintain your discipline in preparing healthy meals before or after work.

Using an office-like schedule means getting off your desk at 5pm or your usual time. This brings us to our last tip for the week.

5. Balance

We get it. You want to prove to your boss or supervisor that you are working effectively from home.

You might be tempted to work extra hours into the night because you can. You can use the time you spend in traffic to work.

However, you need balance to maintain the daily routine. Your family still needs your attention.

If you do not give them the usual time, they will have a hard time keeping the boundaries you created.

You need time to catch up with your friends, catch the latest news, and keep the hobbies you can.

Outdoor activities are limited but you still have options for indoor activities besides watching TV.

Remote working offers an opportunity to do more every day where your work and personal development is concerned.

Learn something new. Learn new ways of doing your job. Develop a new hobby. Spend more time your family now that you can.

At the end of the crisis, you should have tangible results of how you spent the extra hours.

Stay safe!

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Is China’s TikTok App Taking Over Social Media?

Kenyans went on a craze of sharing short videos in January via TikTok. It seemed the fun and easy way of surviving the long month of “Njaanuary” as it has been coined.

It turns out that the whole world is now busy sharing videos via the TikTok app. The app allows users to create and share short videos with a limit of 15 seconds.

If you are on social media, you definitely have viewed multiple videos created using the new app. In a world that loves video content, the Chinese app seems to be overtaking other social media platforms.

Features

TikTok promises to “make your day” with real videos from real people. Sometimes a spontaneous moment is best shared in a video.

The app provides users with tools to create original short-form videos. The simple tools enable users to share bits of their day with the world.

The tools include music, special effects, and filters to create high-quality yet interesting videos.

Music in different genres is available on the platform including rock, pop, hip hop, and country among others.

Users can pause and resume recording a video several times. The feature allows you to capture only the moments you want to share on video.

Other interesting features include the ability to cut, duplicate, and combine different videos. You do not need to leave the app to use these tools.

TikTok app has become very popular among the young people, especially teenagers. Its feed has endless videos that are personalised based on the user’s interests.

The videos are in different categories including pets, gaming, comedy, memes, food, sports, and DIYs among others.

ByteDance owns the TikTok app, which was officially released into the market in 2017. The app is available on both IOS and Android platforms.

Popularity and downloads

We must admit, the app can keep you entertained all day. Even if you do not create any videos, a peep into your feed will do as the app promises, “make your day.”

In 2018, TikTok broke the record of social media platforms in the US. It was the most downloaded app in October 2018.

The video platform was the first Chinese app to achieve such a milestone and in just a year of existence in the market.

By the end of 2018, the app had already reached over 150 markets and translated into 75 languages.

Before releasing TikTok, ByteDance had introduced a similar app Douyin, which was equally successful in China. By February 2019, both apps had over one billion downloads.

Tiktok emerged at position 7 among the most downloaded apps in 10 years between 2010 and 2019. The popularity has continued in this new decade.

Overtaking Facebook and WhatsApp

Facebook and WhatsApp are perhaps the most popular social media platforms you can think of today. Both allow users to share fun stories and videos while making business connections.

The TikTok app seemed to challenge these apps. In 2019, the app overtook Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook in terms of downloads.

Data from Sensor Tower now indicate that TikTok has overthrown WhatsApp, which is also owned by Facebook alongside Instagram.

Facebook seemed to have captured the social media market by owning the three platforms. However, Chinese app developers seem determined to challenge this position.

Recent data shows that both Douyin and TikTok have been downloaded about 104 million times in January 2020. The data include both the Apple app store and Google Play Store.

In addition, the data shows a remarkable 46% increase in downloads compared to the same month in 2019. It also indicates a 27% increase from the downloads recorded in December 2019.

The data only accounted for three major markets, which include the US, Brazil and India. Hence, the actual downloads are much higher when other markets including China’s third-party Android downloads are included.

The total downloads are almost hitting the 2 billion mark. If the trend is another to go by, the app will hit and exceed this mark in 2020.

Security Concerns and Bans

Despite the rising popularity, TikTok raised some security fears. Several countries have banned the app from their markets for different reasons.

In Indonesia, the app was banned for several weeks in July 2018 because of its content. The owners move to edit the content that Indonesian users shared to meet the government requirements.

In China, the government listed 100 categories of content that are subject to censorship for TikTok and similar apps. The grounds for bans in China seem political.

It is interesting to note the tough restrictions in the app’s country of origin.

In the US, the Transportation Security Administration and Army banned the TikTok app in 2019 over security concerns.

The arms of government cited that the Chinese could be using the app to gather data from American users. Apps have become the easiest way for governments and criminals alike to collect private data from unsuspecting users.

The app has also raised cyber-security concerns, especially for teenagers who seem too much in love with the app.

The US government is keen to ban all GPS apps because of the risks involved. Some analysts predicts further censorship for TikTok in the US market given the strained relationship between the US and China.

In India, the app was briefly banned with the government citing concerns that the app was encouraging pornography.

The bans, however, do not seem to deter social media users from taking and sharing videos. The app’s downloads keep increasing every month in the top market including the US.

Concluding Remarks

ByteDance has proved that it is possible to overtake even the most popular and powerful networks in the world. Facebook and WhatsApp have been in the market for a long time. However, in less than four years, TikTok has overtaken the two in terms of downloads.

The owners identified a gap in social media and created a solution for it. Anyone can run a video for 15 seconds and have some fun. What gaps do you see in the world of apps or in your niche? With the right app developers in Kenya, you can fill them and achieve record-breaking results.

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5 Tips to Increase Your Earnings From Your Mobile App

In a previous article, we looked at different ways through which you can make money from your mobile app. If you have already developed your app, you may be tempted to jump right into it and start earning.

However, the reality is that not every app earns money. Some people apply the same money making strategies but fail to earn even half of their investment in developing the app.

If you are not earning from an app, chances are that you got something wrong in the development process.

We always advise that you work the best iOS or Android app developers in Kenya to ensure that you get the app right from the beginning.

However, if you already have the app or cannot afford to hire a designer, you can still earn from your app.

A few changes or updates on the app will get your target users’ attention.

If you are earning little or nothing from your app, consider these tips before dismissing your app as ineffective.

1. Choose a catchy app name

Before launching into the world of app development, realize that the competitor is stiff.

Millions of other developers are trying to earn from the same pool of mobile phone users.

Users have no time to spend on app stores looking for your app. Chances are that they will move to the next best alternative after the first trial.

Remember that the name is the first thing that potential users will see about your app.

Look for a catchy or attention-grabbing name for your app. Think about its function when drafting the name.

Users should get a hint of its purpose immediately after reading or hearing the name.

Right after choosing a name that describes or hints at its function, create a short and clear description of the purpose.

Use the description to display your app on your preferred app stores.

2. Short and informative description

App stores give you space to describe your app after the name and brief description. Use that space wisely.

If the name does not sell it or convince users about its benefit, the description should.

Consider it as your chance to persuade mobile phone users to download, install, and keep the app installed on their devices.

The description should be informative but brief. Few people if any have time to read a full easy on the app features.

The readers should read the main features before clicking on the “read more” button.

Most app users do not read past the first few sentences. A strategy that works for most apps is to list the main features in point form.

Potential users can skim through the list before making a quick decision.

3. Pick the right screenshots

Many people do not read the text in the description section until they see screenshots.

Users can determine if the app is useful or not with just a glance.

Remember that some of your target users have basic development skills.

In addition, some have already downloaded alternative apps that proved ineffective.

You can combine text with the screenshots but ensure that the final image is not clumsy.

The text should explain or name each feature on the screenshot. Remember that the app store will create a line up with the screenshots.

Hence, ensure that the images have a flow from the main features or interface to other pages on the app.

4. Differentiate your app

How different is your app from the competitors’ app?

Before launching your app, visit different stores for iOS and Android apps.

Browse the category of your app and see what your competitors have already done.

You may think you have a unique idea only to discover that another developer has already implemented it.

You can learn from your competitors but not copy everything you find.

Differentiate your app with a unique and appealing design. Ensure that it functions as good as you describe it.

Visit all the pages and sections and ensure that they are all functional. Remember that users will access on different devices with varying resolutions.

Development does not end with launching the app or attracting thousands of downloads.

You must update the app continually to include new features and accommodate the latest technologies.

Keep your users informed of the updates.

Sometimes users forget an app until they are notified of an update.

5. Advertise

You got everything right from the design to the name, description, and functional pages.

The next step is to make noise about the app.

Mobile phone users need to know that your app exists.

Remember your earnings depend on the number of users who click your ads, buy your products or services, or subscribe to additional features.

The more people download the app the higher the chances of converting them into sales.

If you have a business website, encourage visitors to download the app for a better experience.

Social media and email marketing can help get the word out at a low cost.

If you have enough resources, consider the traditional advertisements such as radio, television or billboards.

One promotional strategy that can attract hundreds of users is offering discounts on the subscription fee or items bought on the app.

Advertising goes hand in hand with a great design, offering solutions and constant updates.

Some users may download the app for the discounts or out of curiosity.

The functions on the app will them using the app. Hence, do not over-sell the app in your marketing campaigns or make false promises.

Focus on solving problems or meeting your users’ needs.

If the app meets their expectations and needs, you will have a constant flow of income from it.

Every business requires a strategy including making money through a mobile app.

Do not compromise on your choice of an app developer to save the investment cost.

Experienced developers know the best features and functionalities that will keep your users engaged.

Remember you face stiff competition from developers around the world and hence the need to create a unique and functional app.

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10 Ways to Identify Fake Loan Apps in Kenya

The debate on whether loan apps in Kenya are helpful or enslaving continues. In fact, some people have termed loan apps as modern-day shylocks.

The arguments do not matter much to those facing financial constraints. Most people borrow to meet their basic needs that their income cannot meet.

Recent reports from different groups including the Financial Sector Deepening (FSD) Digital and Lenders Association of Kenya (DLAK) warn Kenyans of rogue apps.

Are you using a fake loan app? Read on…

Statistics

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in association with the government and the FSD conducted a study on mobile lenders. The team produced the Digital Credit Audit report.

The study showed that by September 2018, the two main app stores, Google PlayStore and Apple’s App Store had 110 mobile loan apps.

According to the findings, 74 unique app developers had developed money lending apps.

By April 2019, 65 out of the 110 apps were no longer listed on the app stores.  Instead, 43 new developers joined the stores and introduced 43 new apps.

The changes within just a few months raise many red flags.

The team found out that most of the digital lenders are neither SACCOs nor banks. The lenders are not accredited to any financial institution.

This means that if you save with the lender, your savings are not secured in any way. In addition, such lenders are not insured.

If established banks go down, what do you think of unregulated digital lenders?

If more than half of loan apps are pulled down in just 7 months, why should you consider borrowing money from loans apps in Kenya?

Ways to identify fake loan apps

If your income can meet your bills and emergencies, you may not think of a loan. Again if you can access an unsecured loan from a local bank, an instant loan may never cross your mind.

Unfortunately, this is not the case for millions of Kenyans. Many depend on loans to survive.

Banks have also turned to online lending after the stringent rules that the Banking Amendment Act 2016 introduced.

Hence, if you don’t land in the hands of private digital lenders, you will end up in Mshwari, KCB-Mpesa loan, Stawi loan app, Kopa Chapaa by Faulu, Timiza from Barclays, Eazzy loan from Equity or Co-op Cash.

You may not qualify for a loan from these apps. Your alternative is private or international lenders like Tala, Zenka, Branch, or Saida.

New names have also in the Kenyan market such as Berry Loan App, KopaKash, Okash, Tumiwa, Uwezo Kash and Pezesha among others.

How can you tell if you are just about to borrow money from a rogue digital lender?

1. High registration fee

According to the Digital Credit Audit report, rogue lenders charge anywhere between Ksh.200 to 400 as registration fee.

Of course, the lenders know by now that borrowers are looking for free apps. With the high number of apps in the stores, coming clean with the registration fee is not an option.

Look out for claims that the fee is for checking your CRB record or score. You will never see the evidence that they actually checked your score.

Actually, you may not have access to the app after sending your registration fee. Some begin malfunctioning immediately and deny a fresh registration with the same details.

2. Data access

Beware of the permissions you grant to any app including loan apps when installing. For instance, an app may request to read your exact GPS location, which is expected with loan apps.

However, why should you grant permission to your phone gallery or messages/SMS app? Some will not install until you grant access to your call logs or your device identity.

A genuine lender does not need such information. You never know how the app owners use such information in this age of cybercrimes.

Also Read: Top 5 Instant Loan Apps in Kenya

3. Mimicked names

We know about brands like Tala, Branch, Fuliza, and Coop Cash. As you search the app store, you will come across loan apps in Kenya with twisted names.

For instance, you may see Tala Kash, Fuliza Sasa, Tala Pewa Loans or Mkopo Branch Rahisi.

Such lenders target borrowers who are unaware of the right brand names of loan apps. Stay away from such apps.

4. Rewards or prizes for referrals

If you need to refer other borrowers to an app to gain points, rewards, or qualify for a higher amount, you are in the wrong hands.

Some fake apps will not even grant the first loan before you enlist other borrowers and earn enough points.

Your creditworthiness should be sufficient to qualify you for a loan from a genuine lender.

5. Minimal details asked

How easy is it to qualify for your first loan? Is the app promising a high amount even with a low credit score?

Lending online does not eliminate the need to verify the identity and creditworthiness of the borrower.

If the lender needs few personal details to issue loans, chances are they have obtained the information illegally. Else, the app may go down at any time after earning a high interest from you.

See Also: Safaricom’s Fuliza Wins a Prestigious Award Months after Launch

6. Fake physical address and contacts

Most borrowers do not bother to check the contacts and address of digital lenders until they run into trouble. Check this information first no matter how pressing your financial need is at all times.

If you cannot get through the phone numbers given at any time of the day, discontinue the service. A loan app should be accessible and functional 24/7 with a quick support team.

7. Negative reviews

Do not believe every promise that an online lender makes. Check other borrowers’ reviews on the app store.

If all you read are complaints, do not ignore and assume that your experience will be different. Check the lender’s response to the complaints as well.

8. Exorbitant interest rates

Even the best loan apps in Kenya charge higher interest rates than banks do. However, rogue apps go beyond the normal rates for apps.

Compare the interest rates from established brands first to determine the prevailing interest rate.

9. Sudden changes in terms

Have you ever used app, qualified for a certain amount but your limit went down after payment? Loan apps promise to increase your limit when you pay in full and on time.

If the terms change suddenly, you are probably dealing with crooks who cannot sustain their business.

They come up with excuses for penalizing defaulters or changing loan limits even with evidence of previous communication.

10. Frequent breakdown 

Here is one more red flag for rogue loan apps. An app hangs when you are trying to request a loan or choose a longer repayment period.

The malfunction rarely comes before you repay for the first loan or send the mandatory registration fee.

If you can hardly complete a process without a dysfunction, you are most likely using a rogue app.

You will not miss the red flags if you do your homework. Do not take chances. Seek for information before you share your confidential data with unknown digital lenders

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