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Correspondence: ‘Creating mobile applications in Africa’
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Correspondence: ‘Creating mobile applications in Africa’

A competition launched by Google for developers of its Android software platform in Sub-Saharan Africa has opened up a whole new world of possibilities for Steven Nsubuga, a 26-year-old from Uganda.

Currently in the Smartphone world, the battle is on between Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android phones.

Microsoft, with its latest mobile operating system, Windows Mobile 7, is also not too far behind.

From my experience, I have noticed that many people who are into this debate as to who actually rules the Smartphone world do not base their choices on logic, but rather on prejudices and stereotypical views imbibed from some self professed experts who really ought to know better.

The simple truth is that whichever one of the platforms you pick, you are guaranteed a good user experience and will certainly get your money’s worth. That being said, I have made up my mind on which platform to patronize – for now anyway.

My programming experience was limited to desktop computers, until recently, when an opportunity arose that has given me a chance to get acquainted intimately with the mobile application development world, and the Android platform in particular.

A whole new world has since been opened to me as I get to appreciate the joys and even the quirks involved in developing applications for the Android. One highlight so far is the recent announcement by Google that it has launched the Android Developer Challenge for Sub-Saharan Africa.

There are three competition regions: West and Central Africa, East Africa, and Southern Africa. The goal is to encourage programmers to develop innovative applications in any of three categories.

These include: ‘Entertainment / Media / Games, Social Networking / Communication, and Productivity / Tools / Lifestyle’, with the winner in each region taking home a cool $25,000. More information is available on the Google site.

Needless to say I am definitely taking part in the challenge, not just because of the $25,000, but also because of the experience and expertise I will pick up regardless of whether I win or not.

The competition is open to individuals as well as teams of participants, and I have teamed up with three other colleagues to come up with a killer app. After all, three heads are better than one, right?

Well, who says you cannot take part as well? Take the challenge! If you decide to sit this one out, then hey, wish us luck.

Time to get started, July 1st 2011 is not that far away!

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