Samsung Galaxy Fold is finally in Kenya: Why Is Everyone Talking about it?

Do you remember the days of foldable phones? Well, they are back! Samsung broke the limits in manufacturing smartphones earlier this year with the folding design.

Samsung Galaxy Fold was released into the market in February 2019. It has taken several months for the device to reach the Kenyan market. However, the phone has been in use in other parts of the world since its launch with positive reviews.

The head of Samsung’s mobile division in East Africa, Charles Kimari was excited about the launch. At the event, Charles indicated that the device’s capabilities have never been seen in the history of smartphones.

The capabilities and price got everyone talking on social platforms. Here is what you need to know about the device.

Features and capabilities

The Infinity Flex Display of the smartphone is the first in the world. Of course, phone manufacturers will quickly replicate it but Samsung has set the pace.

You can expect cheaper brands with the same design in the coming years. It happens with every new trend in mobile technology. However, it will take the brands some time to catch up with the full capabilities and functions of the new phone.

Perhaps the ability to multi-task while using the folding smartphone will interest you. The Samsung Galaxy Fold is built with the capacity to support heavy tasks including video games.

Watching and sharing videos is fast because of its advanced performance. You know the frustration of waiting for a video to load and play? The new smartphone solves that for you!

In addition, you can run three apps at the same time with 12 GB RAM. It functions more like your PC. Samsung included a high powered AP chipset to help consumers do more.

Try opening 3 apps on your device and evaluate its performance. Most devices in the market stop functioning and prompt you to close all the apps.

The intelligence functionalities set the device apart from other Samsung innovations. Many phones are yet to come close to this level of production.

The Company added Bixby Routines, which enable the smartphone to anticipate your needs. In short, Samsung is enabling you to do more with your mobile device than call, text, and keep up with social media.

You can program your life with the smart device and use your time more efficiently.

The Routines streamlines your phone time to ensure that you do not forget important activities or spend too much time on one activity. Most phone users are guilty of spending too much time on social media chats.

A device with Bixby Routines reminds of specific actions based on the time, event or location. The smartphone adapts to your life and preferences.

The large 7.3-inch display is synonymous with the latest Samsung smartphones. It collapses when folded to a 4.6” display.

Folding the device reduces the resolution of the display as well. However, the resolution is still above many devices’ resolution in the market.

Get this, the Galaxy Fold has 6 cameras! Talk about pushing mobile phone technology to the next level! If you like keeping memories with photos, this phone is definitely worth your consideration.

Phone manufacturers have realised the importance of clear images and videos. In our world of selfies and social media, you need clear photos from all angles.

You are assured of clear shots with 6 cameras at your disposable.

Data Security

Data security has become such a big issue to the extent that Kenya introduced a new law for the same. The concern is not specific to the Kenyan market.

People around the world have become suspicious given the rise of malware that spy on smartphone users. You never know the information that an app accesses and shares from your smartphone.

Samsung thought of this concern among consumers. The Galaxy Fold is equipped with Samsung Knox to improve data performance and keep your information safe.

You can hardly avoid using your phone to shop with the popularity of mobile money transactions. Banking apps have us accessing our accounts from our smartphones.

Hackers target social apps as well through links that enable them to access data on your device.

Samsung Knox enables you to use your mobile device without worrying much about data security. Most of the latest Samsung smartphones come with the security platform.

However, manufacturers cannot give a 100% guarantee on data security. Even with such platforms as Samsung Knox, you still have to be careful of the data you share or upload on your device.

Price

We know you are looking for this part! Well, for most consumers, buying a smartphone boils down to its retail price.

The introductory price of the Samsung Galaxy Fold in Kenya was set above Ksh. 200,000! Too high?

While you are thinking about the price and your bank account balance, the phones sold out immediately after the launch!

The retail price overtook the folding design in most discussions after the launch. It seems some consumers have been waiting for the phone to hit the market since February.

Clearly, owning the folding Samsung is a luxury, just as it was with the first foldable phones back in the day.

The quick sales did not come easy. Samsung ran a campaign for about 2 weeks prior to the launch and it worked.

Samsung Galaxy Fold falls into the category of smartphones that require some consumers to take a loan to purchase. Charles did mention of a plan to provide financing in the future to enable consumers to purchase the device.

Such plans involve partnerships with local banks. Hence, you still have a chance to own the device if you cannot pay out of pocket. You just need to wait until Samsung keeps its promise of such partnerships.

Final thoughts

Samsung has set a new standard in the market that other brands will soon follow. The retail price may be high for many consumers but the quick sales show there is a demand for high-end smartphones in the Kenyan market. It also seems like the old saying is true. History repeats itself. The competition in the global market for smartphones is pushing manufacturers to break limits in design and capabilities.

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Whatsapp Has Introduced a Fingerprint Lock Feature for Android Phones


WhatsApp has become one of the easiest and fastest ways to communicate. However, if you share confidential information on the app, you need to be keen about your device’s security.

Anyone who masters your lock pattern or PIN can easily read your messages and misuse the information therein.

Sometimes you just forget to lock your device when the automatic lock is deactivated.

You can now keep your WhatsApp messages private with the new security feature. The upgrade enables you to secure your messages with your fingerprint.

Your fingerprint is unique and perhaps the safest way to secure your phone data.

WhatsApp is not testing the biometric authentication for the first time. The feature was first tested with iPhones in February (2019).

iPhone users have been enjoying both the fingerprint lock and facial recognition safety measures.

How to activate the fingerprint lock feature

For Android phone users, the fingerprint lock/unlock is now accessible via the WhatsApp settings.

You must activate the feature to enjoy the upgraded privacy. Here is the process:

1. Open WhatsApp (You may need to install or upgrade the app it in a new Android device)

2. Open the app’s Settings

3. Click on Account

4. Select Privacy

5. Select the Fingerprint lock option

You will need to confirm your fingerprint when you select this option. In addition, you can select the duration within which the app will automatically lock.

For instance, you can choose to activate the automatic fingerprint lock immediately after closing the app. You can also choose a longer duration like a minute or half an hour.

It all depends on how often you use the app or your current chat sessions.

If you cannot trust your friends or colleagues, it is safer to activate the automatic fingerprint lock immediately after closing the app.

Additional feature

Another security measure that comes with the fingerprint lock is the ability to control the content of WhatsApp notifications.

Most devices give a preview of a new message including the sender’s identity.

Sometimes the preview is the full message from the sender. Your friends can view the message even without unlocking your device or opening the app.

With the upgraded privacy, you can control the content of the notifications that the app gives.

The new security features were tested in Android beta in August and will soon be available on all Android platforms.

Pegasus

The new privacy feature has come at a time when the world is concerned about spyware that targeted WhatsApp users in India.

Pegasus spyware is NSO technology that extracts private data without the knowledge of phone users.

The politics that surround the Indian election are deemed to have prompted the Israeli firm to launch Pegasus in India.

The spyware sends WhatsApp users a link. If you click on it, Pegasus is automatically installed on your device.

You will view the information on the link without realising the security breach beneath the link.

Once the spyware is installed, it extracts data on your device. The developers are interested in your events, contacts, messages, passwords and call log.

Pegasus developers have managed to introduce the spyware to more than 45 countries. India has faced the security breach for the second time.

NSO claims that it developed the spyware three years ago to sell to governments. However, there are concerns that the technology has been misused.

In the case of India, questions arise on the authority to use the spyware to extract data from activists, journalists, and lawyers in an election year.

As a WhatsApp user, you need to be careful with the links you open on the app.

The titles of the links and videos we receive on WhatsApp are irresistible. However, clicking on the links could be the doorway to malware into your device.

Concerns about Cyber Crimes

While Pegasus is no secret to governments, the greatest concern is if the operators have licensed criminals to use the technology.

The same concerns arise about WhatsApp privacy settings.

The current encryption technology ensures that only the two people chatting on the app can read or access the conversation.

The system works for users but not for the police trying to track and stop crimes in time.

It is impossible for law administrators to read encrypted messages on the platform. This means that criminals can communicate on WhatsApp and plan crimes that the police cannot decode.

The new security feature makes it even harder for security forces to track and stop cyber crimes.

Unless the criminal is caught, reading messages on the criminal’s phone will be impossible.

To some security experts, communication platforms like WhatsApp are easy places for criminals to hide and talk.

However, the security concerns do not eliminate that need for app developers to provide the best security measures to users.

While the information shared on social platforms may be inaccessible to strangers, the operators can access the data from their servers.

The police can request for records of chats for specific numbers when investigating a crime.

Final Thoughts

App developers in Kenya and elsewhere around the world care about the data security of their users. Developers will go out of their way to outsmart cybercriminals with new security features. Facebook-owned WhatsApp has given users a new layer of data security. It is up to the users to activate the settings.

The same applies to malware links that cybercriminals send to app users. You can reduce cyber-attacks significantly by ignoring suspicious links on all social platforms on your device.

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Everything You Need to Know about Google’s Latest Products (Pixel 4, Pixel 4 XL, Buds)

We know Google as a search engine and a global marketing platform. Did you know Google sells hardware too?

In the latest hardware event, Google unveiled new smartphones, that is, Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL. We will discuss the specs of the two phones shortly but the company is big on competing with the world’s tech giants.

In addition to the smartphones, the Company announced new laptops and smart home devices.

Why announce new products at the close of the year, you ask? Well, we are headed to the Christmas season. The world goes into a shopping craze during the holiday.

Let us now look at the new products that Google released into the market

Smartphones: Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL

How would you like to take a clear picture of the stars at night? Have you ever tried that with your smartphone? We bet you did not like the output!

Google’s Pixel 4 enables you to get a clear picture of the Milkyway.  It has a powerful night camera not to mention the normal day-camera.

The company’s initial target market is the US. Buyers will thank Google for having this phone on during a car crash. The phone has a unique feature that detects a car crash.

It will automatically dial 911 when this feature is activated. That means the owner gets immediate medical attention.

Here is another feature that smartphone users will love. Google included a detection feature for gestures. Pixel 4 has the fastest face unlock, which competes with other phones in the market with such features.

With the radar detection, you can make a gesture in the air and the device will immediately unlock. You can also swipe in the air to move from one app to another.

The main difference between Pixel 4 and XL is the size. Pixel 4 XL has a 6.3 inch screen display while the normal Pixel 4 has 5.7 inch display.

The manufacturer has gone a step further to include 90hz display. Such a display prolongs the device’s battery life.

Another advantage of this new display is that it makes scrolling smoother and easier compared to the traditional display. You can turn the display on and off as you desire.

Google has made the new phones more accessible to buyers than previous Pixel models. For previous models, buyers had to unlock them from vendors including Google or from Verizon.

The new smartphones will be accessible through all the major carriers in the US. Are you curious about the price?

We know you are! The new Pixel 4 will start from $799.

Pixelbook Go

Google has explored the market for laptops alongside other hardware. In the event, the company introduced a new version of its Pixelbook laptop.

You can expect improved features every time a manufacturer has a new version of the same device. The new Pixelbook Go is lighter than the original version.

In addition, the bottom design gives you a better grip on the laptop. It has a longer battery life (12 hours). Yes, you read right, it is 12 hours.

Pause for a moment and consider the battery life of your current laptop. Can you work with it all day without charging?

Other improvements on the laptop include a magnesium casing and a larger 13.3-inch diplay.

The price of Pixelbook Go starts at $649.

Pixel Buds

Google introduced new Pixel Buds in the event. They will be available in the market in 2020. Music lovers will enjoy these Buds because of their amazing features include the wireless design.

Google introduced a previous version of the same buds that were connected through a wire. The new buds are completely wireless, so you can forget about tangled wires.

Look out for its adaptive sound technology. What does that mean?

You do not need to adjust the volume every time you change your environment. The Pixel Buds will automatically increase or reduce the volume to suit your environment.

The buds have a spatial vent design, which protects you from clogged ears. If you have used headphone for a long time, you know the irritation in your ears.

Google has boosted the speakers to improve the output and updated the sensors as well. However, the buds are still light to carry around.

Another feature we need to mention here is the long-range for the Bluetooth connection. You can enjoy the music on your headphones even when you move further from your device.

Nest Home Devices

Google has a Nest package of smart home products. The products in this package that have improvements include the Nest Aware and Nest Aware Plus.

The coverage for both programs has expanded. The updates will be available to Nest customers in the coming year.

Google has upgraded the Nest Wifi routers with 25% more coverage. The routers are faster than the previous routers. Starting November, customers can now choose between a 2 pack or 3 pack of the new routers.

The Nest Mini is also brand new with better speakers.

Stadia

Google did not leave gaming fans behind this year. Stadia is a service that enables users to stream their favourite video games.

The stream services started with a cloud feature earlier this year. Starting November 2019, you can use Stadia to stream video games to Google’s devices such as Chromebooks.

The streaming service comes with a special controller and retails at $9.99 per month.

A free take-home lesson

You define the limits for the growth and expansion of your business. Google started with answering search queries. It is the leading search engine in the world.

Millions of website and business owners rely on Google to reach their customers.

Today, Google is competing with top brands for mobile phones, laptops, and smart devices. Do not limit your business to one niche. Explore related niches.

We can also learn the need to keep updating products, including well-performing products.

The global competition is too steep for a company to maintain the same version of a product for years. Product development must be part of your business growth strategy.

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15 Ways to Become a Professional Programmer in Kenya

Programming is one of the lucrative jobs in Kenya. Nearly 38 million Kenyans own mobile phones and the highest percentage of this population access internet on their phones. The statistics push organizations to build their online presence through customized websites and applications. Consequently, the demand for professional programmers increases every year. If you are thinking of building a career in this field, you are thinking in the right direction. Here are some of the ways of becoming a professional Kenyan programmer.

Learn the basics of programming

If you have not studied programming, the first step is to learn the basics including programming languages such as HTML and CSS. Learn different types of programming, and programming technologies or tools as well. You can register for crash courses in a local college or take online lessons. Most online tutors offer video lessons to help beginners understand the concepts fast.

Browse websites and applications

Familiarize yourself with different types of websites including social, personal, data mining, corporate, and informational websites among others. View the design and structure of each website. View the design and functionality of different desktop and mobile applications as well.

Take a graphics design course

Clients expect a complete website or application from a professional programmer. Learning graphics design enhances your competitiveness as a programmer. Learn how to use graphics software.

Learn internet protocols

Your clients will access your websites and applications online. Professional programmers require knowledge in internet protocols and structures including HTTP, POP3, and SMTP among others. Learn how web browsing software and servers work. The knowledge will help you build functional websites and assist your clients when websites develop technical issues.


Practice with simple websites and applications

After learning the basics of programming, internet protocols, and graphics, start creating your own websites. Put the knowledge into practice. You will understand most of the concepts perfectly when you apply them to a real website.

Learn client scripting language

The most popular client-side scripting language is JavaScript. The language is compatible with most browsers. Familiarize with this and other scripting languages.

Take advanced courses in programming language

Do not settle for the basic programming languages. Once you master the basics and apply them on your website, take advanced lessons. Remember your goal is to become a professional Kenyan programmer. Basic knowledge qualifies you for entry jobs and projects. Apply the advanced concepts on your website or pilot applications to test your understanding.

Learn the concepts of visual programming

Visual programming concepts apply to desktop applications. You need this knowledge to create functional applications. Familiarize yourself with desktop applications or software and learn their functions. Start with event-driven programming since visual programming in most cases relies on events.

Create pilot software or applications

Similar to web programming, you will understand the concepts of applications programming when you apply them to real applications. Create pilot software and apply the visual programming concepts you have learned. Start with simple projects and move to advanced software when you have mastered all the concepts.

Explore game programming

You do not have to follow the same trend as other programmers. You can differentiate yourself by learning game programming. In addition to accessing websites and applications, mobile phone users spend hours every day playing games on their devices. You may need to take extra language and graphics lessons to become a professional game programmer. However, game programming uses most of the concepts of desktop applications programming.

Advance to core programming

As you advance your knowledge and understanding of programming concepts and languages, you can explore core programming. Core or package programmers create code units for other programmers. For this advanced level, you may need to enroll in a software engineering program to learn the relevant programming languages.

Study systems programming

If you want to stand out as a professional Kenya programmers, learn systems programming. You will learn the science of programming instead of applying its concepts in real projects. You can train other programmers to apply the concepts instead of working directly with clients.

Learn from other programmers

Continuous learning is important because new concepts and tools emerge every other day. The previous steps involve learning on your own and directly from your tutor. You will learn much more and probably understand programming better when you interact with other programmers. Join discussions groups and forums to connect with other professionals. You can learn from experienced programmers by reading their materials such as books, magazines, journal entries, and blogs.

Also Read: HitPesa –Advertise, Connect and Grow Your Business! App Review

Build your portfolio

Create a personal portfolio with all the websites and applications you have developed in the learning process. The portfolio should include all the courses you have completed as well. If you are unsure about your pilot projects, create one professional website and application. Apply all the advanced concepts you have learned. You can ask professional programmers to assess the website and application before sending them to potential employers.

Apply for programming jobs

Look for opportunities to apply your knowledge and earn from it. Send your portfolio to the best software companies in the country. Do not shy away from internships especially if you have basic knowledge in programming. Such opportunities introduce you to the real world of programming. You will learn how to work in a team of programmers and deliver satisfactory products to clients.

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How to Shop on Ali Express and pay via Mpesa

The Mpesa success story continues to attract attention around the world. The payment method has made it easy, safe, and convenient for buyers and sellers to complete transactions.  Mpesa API integration in Kenya enables business owners to receive quick payments on online stores. The service has also promoted businesses that sell products or services via mobile apps.

Safaricom has never settled at any milestone. Despite the popularity and profits from Mpesa in the Kenyan market, the company continues to extend the service to new global markets. The MPesa Global initiative led to new partnerships to global leaders that facilitate funds transfer across countries.

Safaricom’s Partnership with Ali Express

Safaricom recently announced the collaboration with Ali Express, a global market place, which was great news to many Kenyan traders. The greatest pain for most entrepreneurs that import goods is paying for the products. Many have been borrowing cards from friends to complete online transactions. The Mpesa- Ali Express partnership has come to the rescue of these traders.

The initiative targets more than 21 million customers that regularly use Mpesa for local transactions. One of the major benefits of the service is that buyers do not need to convert the Kenyan shilling into other currencies. Choosing the Mpesa payment option automatically gives the cost of goods in Kenyan shillings.

How to pay for products on Ali Express via Mpesa

1. Download the Ali Express app

The new service is accessible via the Ali Express app. It is no surprise to the Kenyan buyers since all major companies have been pushing for business via mobile apps. Developers have been offering Mpesa API integration in Kenya services for both e-commerce platforms and mobile apps. However, shopping via mobile apps is becoming more popular because of the deals that sellers offer.

Ali Express sets the pace for e-commerce platforms around the world. Buyers can get almost any product from China on the platform. The same experience and convenience is now available via the company’s app. Hence, the first step for any buyer that wants to enjoy the new service is to download and install the app.

2. Shop for what you need

The good thing about Ali Express is that all the products on the online store are available via the app. You will access the product description with clear images of the products that you need. Add all the items to your cart and proceed to check out.

3. Select the Mpesa payment option

Mpesa appears among the payment option on the Ali Express app. Click on the Mpesa icon and complete the process. The same process of Mpesa payments applies to this service. Provide your mobile number that is registered for the Mpesa service and complete the transaction with your secret PIN code.  The challenge now is for the manufacturer or supplier to deliver the products within the shortest time frame.

Who benefits from the Mpesa-Ali Express partnership?

Kenyans are a bit concerned about the real beneficiaries of the new service. While the launch and campaign around the initiative flag buyers as the major beneficiaries, some think that Chinese manufacturers will benefit most. The reality is that the Kenyan industrial sector is still behind the manufacturing sector in China.

The Chinese e-commerce platform offers a wider range of products at varying prices, which are unavailable in the Kenyan market. It is up to Kenyan manufacturers to expand their product range and quality to meet the needs in the local market. Chinese suppliers will earn higher profits as more Kenyans shop with the convenience of paying via Mpesa. Safaricom will also benefit from the increased Mpesa transactions.

The initiative should spur the interest of Kenyans to build such e-commerce platforms that attract global suppliers. Platforms such as Jumia, Kilimall, Cheki, and OLX have already set the pace for online shopping in Kenya. However, as Mpesa service expands to global markets, Kenyans need to think of e-commerce platforms that meet global standards.

In addition to offering Mpesa API integration in Kenya services, developers have a part to play in setting the standard of online shopping in the country. The choice of Ali Express to offer the Mpesa payment option on the app only points to the need for functional mobile apps for businesses. Shoppers should have the same or even better experience when using a mobile app to buy goods. Developers play a critical role in enabling business owners to give shoppers such an experience.

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