Winning African developers reveal the power of innovationBy Staff Writer 25 November 2021 | Categories: news
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Huawei recently announced the winners of this year’s Apps UP contest, which aims to inspire talented developers around the world to create seamless, smart and innovative digital experiences. Apps UP saw developers from five regions around the world; the Middle East & Africa, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America and China; compete against one another to create innovative Apps that help users navigate everyday life. Amidst strong competition, four African App developers won awards for their App submission in the Middle East and Africa region.
One of the awarded Apps was Coresthetics, which received a Best App Award, along with $15,000 in prize money. Developed by Kurt Mbanje, Coresthetics is a digital fitness coach that aims to help health-conscious individuals reach their fitness goals. Its key differentiator is that it accounts for the available fitness equipment a user has as well as take into consideration the lack of such equipment.
“Unlike most online workout programmes provided in static form, Coresthetics auto-adjusts its fitness recommendations based on an individual’s capability and feedback from the previous sessions. The App is always learning,” says Mbanje.
Another SA winner, this time in the category Excellent Student Award, was UniAPS, which helps prospective students discover their Admission Point Score (APS) for a wide array of South African universities, as well as get a list of courses they qualify for based on their matric (Grade 12) results.
“The App is unique because it calculates the APS for all universities in one place and generates only the courses you qualify for,” says Velly Dingaan, developer of UniAPS.
Both developers believe that integrating Apps with HMS Core, a collection of tools made for Huawei’s partners and App developers, must be something every developer should give serious consideration to. These tools provide enhanced functionality and services to Apps and ensure that they function optimally on Huawei devices.
“Huawei has a large and continuously growing share of the world’s smartphone market. It only makes sense to leverage their capabilities by using HMS core,” says Mbanje.
Dingaan agrees, adding, “HMS Core is flexible and provides an array of open device and cloud capabilities which can be easily integrated into Apps. It enables developers to deliver next-level user experiences and make premium content and services broadly accessible.”
According to Mbanje, HMS Core makes it easy to quickly deploy an App and not worry about otherwise mundane tasks like user authentication or device authorisation for video playback. Implementing these from scratch would take a considerable amount of time for any start-up developer.
Dingaan says this environment that Huawei provides, allows developers to be more focused on making their App stand out. With all HMS Core kits available for free, it certainly is an environment that helps drive adoption.
“Winning the award has validated that we are on the right track. We plan on investing the prize money in marketing, adding more exercises to the App, and onboarding more health and fitness advisors to the team,” says Mbanje.
For Dingaan, UniAPS’ prize money of $5,000 will help buy the equipment needed to improve the testing, debugging, and production processes of his App.
Mbanje feels that competitions like Huawei’s Apps UP are important for developers.
“Apps UP can help with exposure. Coming first in a region as big as MEA is a big deal. And seeing what other developers are creating is priceless, just to demonstrate the level of innovation taking place on the continent.”
Dingaan is equally enthusiastic about the Apps UP competition.
“This provides a platform for developers to learn more about the latest technology and enhance their mobile App development skills. We also have sight of what other developers are doing and seeing the best Apps in action in the region,” he concludes.
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