It only makes sense to have the highest twitter account per capita in the world align with the highest smartphone penetration in the Middle East, according to Mideast Times. Kuwait has a whopping 212% smartphone penetration coming first place with Saudi coming second place with 188%. This means the average person in Kuwait owns two phones.
Just last month I wrote about how Saudi Arabia was lucky to get in the list of accepting money from apps on Google Play. Google has now announced that Kuwait and UAE can now release paid apps. I know many developers that have been waiting for this. I might release a paid app for the fun of it, get 1 download (myself).
For those of you that really want one and haven’t bought a Google Glass yet they’re actually in stock on [blink's website] for KD 575, that’s a lot of money. You can read my thoughts about Google Glass after I got my hands on one [here]. Google has a Google Glass account on instagram that they post cool stuff on.
I know for a fact there’s a huge Android fan base in Saudi so with this recent announcement from Google it got even better. Now developers in Saudi Arabia can publish paid apps (or in-app purchase) and start accepting money. Kuwait and UAE still don’t have that unfortunately but hopefully soon.
Geenpeace, which is an environmental organisation just released statistics on what type of renewable energy each tech firm uses. Clean energy being the best type and nuclear energy being the worst. Google, Facebook and Apple turned to be the best environmentally friendly firms while Amazon, twitter and Vine were the worst.
Its more impressive seeing Google being so environmentally friendly considering they handle much more cloud traffic and operate in a larger number of locations. Keeping in mind some locations are much harder to have a green energy infrastructure in.
Greenpeace has an interactive chart with in-depth details, if you’re interested click [here].
If you’ve guys been reading my blog for well over a year you’ll know that I participated in Startup Weekend 2013. I’m not going to explain what Startup Weekend is in detail as I’ve already done that last year but I’ll summarise. Group of people gather up, some people pitch an idea, other people join their team and work endlessly throughout the weekend to get a prototype ready with a presentation.
By Saturday the presentation and prototype should be ready to pitch to a group of judges that will rate you based on different categories including how inclined they are to invest in your project if they were to. Last year my teams concept was to have a Diet App that allows you to pick a restaurant in Kuwait then pick which diet you’re going with and it will tell you what meal to order.
My team managed to get 2nd place last year, this year however I was aiming for 1st place with a new concept. After working day and night with a team of developers and a business developer I was ready to pitch our concept with a functional android app prototype, we got 1st place. Now that I got what I was aiming for I’ll probably be a mentor on the next Startup Weekend to help competing teams.
I won’t get into too much detail on our project because we are currently in the works of financing the whole thing and making an actual business out of it, something I’m excited about. It’s an app that allows you to browse, book and pay for specific locations in Kuwait. I’ll reveal the curtains once the app is launched and ready to be marketed.
I encourage everyone to join the next Startup Weekend, you get a super productive weekend, meet new people and learn a ton of information about financing a business, validating your customers, validating your features as well as pitching a great presentation in less than 5 minutes. These are the type of contests that everyone leaves a winner because everyone gains so much.
It’s also worth noting Startup Weekend is a worldwide event that takes place in over 50 countries including the GCC. It’s powered by Google and sponsored by Coca-Cola and Amazon. I noticed this year their were more ideas (31 pitched ideas in total) and more teams competing for the prizes, I’m expecting the next Startup Weekend to be bigger.
I was approached by someone from GDG Kuwait who asked me if I was interested in checking out the Google Glass he had in a small black bag. Of course I said yes and started playing around with its features. What I really wanted to know was whether it was worth KD 450. The Google Glass screen is pretty big, it’s equivalent to a 25 inch high-definition screen.
No one can see what you see on the screen unless they really get up close. The way you take a video or photo is very impressive, you just ask it to take a photo “Okay Glass, take a picture”. If you need to take a photo is a quiet area you just wink. Glass has live step by step navigation which is great since you won’t be using any of your hands.
Google Glass runs on Android and already has a decent amount of apps available. The battery life was the only down side, it lasts an hour but because it’s only on when you give it a command or so then goes on stand-by it should give you a day worth of battery life.
I thought there was no way to physically navigate but there is, you swype your finger while touching Google Glass to navigate the menu or a gallery; that came in handy. I think it’s worth the money, just not right now. Wait for the final product.
The Nexus 5 was released on October 31st without an event, it just simply popped up on Google’s Nexus page. No one knows why they didn’t make a buzz about it but I think I might. The Nexus 4 event was cancelled because of a hurricane so it was forced to be released without a big event.
The phone had crazy demand and went out of stock in minutes, it took months for Google to restock. Clearly having no event didn’t damage sales, so they decided to do the same thing for Nexus 5 I suppose. The specs were no surprise, they were leaked a long time before the release date of the device.
I was disappointed for two reasons, it looks very similar to the Nexus 4. The reason I like android is because of variety, and they sort of killed it with the Nexus 5. I wanted a completely revamped design, they barely touched the device. The second disappointment comes with the specs, they’re mid-end and not flagship material.
Has an 8 megapixel camera which I already have on my Nexus 4 and battery life hasn’t improved much, knowing my Nexus 4 battery life after a year of use it being beyond terrible. Should have called it Nexus 4S. I decided not to grab one, instead I ordered an LG G2, I loved the device after writing a full review about it.
There is one situation where I would recommend the Nexus 5. If you’re looking for a clean Android and have a low-budget of around KD 100 then I would highly recommend this device, it’s the best device you can ever get based on its price.