Mobile Technology News & Mobile Fun

The Mobile Minute: Libyan Rebels Establish Cell Network, App Developer Contest in Africa, and a Mobile Music Survey

Today’s news covers a new Android app development contest in Sub-Saharan Africa, Libya’s rebel-created cell network, a look at how Android has become the fastest-growing mobile OS, a study on how mobile owners listen to music on mobile devices, and the growth of mobile Internet in South Africa.

  • Are you an app developer in Sub-Saharan Africa? Google has launched an Android Developer Contest – there are three competition regions (West and Central Africa, East Africa, and Southern Africa) and three categories (Entertainment/Media/Games, Social Networking/Communication, and Productivity/Tools/Lifestyle). Check out the competition’s page to learn more – submissions open on June 1st and are due by July 1st.
  • After Libyan government forces disabled mobile and Internet services in March to cut off rebels’ communication, a group of expatriates set up a new cell network outside of government control. Read the Wall Street Journal’s in-depth coverage of the creation of the system here.
  • Although the Android operating system is now the fastest growing OS in the world, at the time of its launch it was struggling to keep up with the iPhone and other established systems. Wired investigates how the system was developed, the challenges the developers faced with building telcom partnerships and designing prototypes, and why the system has taken off around the world.
  • Do you listen to music over your mobile phone? Nielsen Wire looks at the world of digital music, and has the results from a survey which asked music listeners how often they download music, where they download it to (computer or mobile device), and how much they are willing to pay for the service.
  • A new study from World Wide Worx and First National Bank shows that mobile Internet usage in South Africa has grown dramatically. The study “reveals that 39% of urban South Africans and 27% of rural users are now browsing the Internet on their phones,” and that “three quarters of urban respondents (75%) use their phone cameras, but little more than half of rural respondents (55%). Music players on the phone get the vote of 53% of urban users, versus 36% of rural users. Surprisingly, the gap is reversed when it comes to games on the phone: 54% of urban users enjoy these, compared to 65% of rural users.”

[Mobile Minute Disclaimer: The Mobile Minute is a quick round-up of interesting stories that have come across our RSS and Twitter feeds to keep you informed of the rapid pace of innovation. Read them and enjoy them, but know that we have not deeply investigated these news items. For more in-depth information about the ever-growing field of mobile tech for social change, check out our blog posts, white papers and research, how-tos, and case studies.]

Image courtesy Flickr user QiFei

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