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Must have apps for your smartphone

So if you only use your smartphones to make and receive calls, you are underrating that gadget. But don’t worry. I got you. Here are some of the must have apps for your phone.



I can’t imagine we once lived in a time where smartphones were not a word in the vocabulary. These gadgets are life savers. Literally! Thanks to the numerous apps that have been created to make life easier( not that it gets any easier) for us. One time my single friend was flirting with her Google Assistant and I couldn’t help but wonder the numerous things apps can do for us. Even counting the steps you take in a day. Poooof! Mind-blowing.

So if you only use your smartphones to make and receive calls, you are underrating that gadget. But don’t worry. I got you. Here are some of the must have apps for your phone.

Money transfer apps

Of course we are starting with money. A dear part of our existence. This is a great opportunity to talk about Safaricom’s M-PESA app which launched just recently. I never knew sim-toolkit was slow till I heard the features this app comes with. You can actually send money to multiple people at the same time. What a convenience right? That’s not the best part. This app allows you to request money from people who owe you! The company probably saw memes Kenyans have been circulating about someone living their best life while they owe you money. And they delivered a solution.

Transport apps

You never know where life will decide you get stranded. It could be miles away from a bus station or it could be late in the night. And because you can’t trust free rides, you’d rather pay that extra coin to get you to your destination safely. Bolt got you, Uber got you, Swvl, Wasili, Absolute should I continue? Even though you do not frequently use cabs having the app on your phone is important because you never know when you’ll need it. Apart from cab rides, there are apps for booking flights and bus tickets. I was so relieved when I found out I do not actually have to go to a bus station to get a ticket for travel plans I have the following day. For these, there’s Buupass,, Mobiticket, and many others. Saves you money and time.

Expansion across Africa: SWVL focuses on Lagos and Johannesburg

Social media apps

Networking, connecting, entertainment. Social media got us. These apps, have in the recent years made a huge breakthrough on the internet. I remember when the pandemic started, Houseparty app was the talk of the season. Someone became famous and is now making coins after her TikTok video went viral. Shoutout to Azziad! Twitter is there for your information updates, Instagram, to share pictures and ogle at those of others. WhatsApp for your daily chatting sprees. Snapchat, to make you look like some model on Vogue. Again, they are numerous.

Social apps dominated downloads over past decade - Mobile World Live

Reading apps

Books. Books. Books. You do not have to buy them to read them, thanks to these apps that allow you to access a range of books. My current favourite app is Lightreader. What I love most about it is that is has African books. And that it is a hundred percent free. The best thing about having books on your phone is that you can access them anywhere and anytime. Other apps include, Anybooks, Wattpad, Kindle, Amazon, the list is endless.

Games and puzzles

For the days when you just want to jog your mind, there’s an endless selection of games and puzzle apps on the web. This is a nice way to pass time while also developing your cognitive skills. Depending on what kind of game you want to play, I bet you will find it. My favourites are WordCross, Fruit burst and Jigsaw.

Featured image: Great Performers Academy

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How to use Zoom like a pro

Working from home has become the new normal after, well, Covid. All we need to do is embrace it and use it to our advantage.



Almost everything is held virtually, and this goes for conferences, meetings and seminars too. This doesn’t have to stop you from acing that presentation or interview because applications like Zoom came through for such moments. Now having Zoom is one thing, but knowing how to use its features like a pro is the key to unlocking successful calls.


This feature is a great plus for your presentations. You get to share with other members in the call a PowerPoint you created, or a document and even videos. Some have watched a full movie during those virtual parties thanks to this feature right here.

You can access it by clicking the Share screen icon in the toolbar at the bottom of the meeting screen. Now take note that once you click this option, everyone in the call can see what you are sharing. So mute those notifications, clear your tabs, and you are good to go.

How to Share a Screen on Zoom

Image/ Lifewire


Recently, I conducted a virtual interview for an article I was writing on sexual health advocacy. Recording the whole call came in handy during the writing process for references and quotations. Just like we take records of important events and meetings, Zoom also allows you to do this and have an archive to get back to. On top of the call screen, there’s a recording button which you can click on to save the whole meeting to your device.


If you have to get on a quick call but is worried about your physical background, you can virtually transport yourself to a background of your choice! It could be in space, the beach, an office, and many other options which Zoom avails to its participants.

Simply go to setting, click on Virtual background, and select or upload a background of your choice. Companies have also customized backgrounds to fit that of their company logo which makes it have a more professional look.

How to change your Zoom background | Tom's Guide

Breakout rooms

You can create breakout rooms within a call to create smaller group discussions. For example, if the whole office is in call, each department can have their own rooms to discuss an agenda then get back to the main room for pitches or feedback. Alternatively, this feature is perfect for game nights where the call members each have a team. It brings out the competitiveness and teamwork, making the games successful.

As the meeting host, you can start a breakout room by clicking Account management then Account settings. Under the Meeting tab, click Breakout Room. From there, you can assign participants to their respective rooms.

Beauty filter

If you thought beauty filter was on Instagram and Snapchat only, you thought wrong. Zoom has it too! This is perfect for the days you just need a little touch up to bring out that virtual glow. The ‘Touch Up My Appearance’ feature can be found on the settings button, under video settings. Just like any other beauty filter, it makes your appearance look smooth, and dewy for your calls.



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Best Budget Smartphones in 2021

Now, we know you are confused on which smartphone to purchase next especially with a tight budget. We have a vast array of them that you run out of options. Well, worry no more coz we got you!




You probably have an old phone that bugs you because it hangs a lot or the screen is a cobweb. Or, your phone found another owner in the streets of ‘Kanairo’ and now you are forced to use that ‘Kabambe’ phone that you always ridiculed because you think it is outdated.

Now, I know you are confused on which smartphone to purchase next especially with a tight budget. Smartphones nowadays are like Mtush clothes. We have a vast array of them that you run out of options. Well, worry no more coz I got you!

Here are five budget smartphones that are cheap and affordable in Kenya in 2021:

Redmi Note 10 series

Photo courtesy

Redmi phones have rocked the Kenyan market and it is safe to say Kenyans really love them.

The Chinese based brand owned by Xiaomi released the note 10 series earlier this year. The device comes with 3 versions

  • 6gb Ram, 128gb Rom
  • 4gb Ram, 64gb Rom
  • 4gb Ram, 128gb Rom

Key specifications

  • Screen: 6.43-Inch 60Hz AMOLED Display (1080×2400)
  • SIM: Dual SIM 4G
  • CPU: Octa Core
  • Speed: 2.2GHz
  • Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 678
  • Operating System: Android 11
  • Camera: 48 MP + 8MP + 2MP + 2MP back and 13 MP Front.
  • ID: Infrared & Fingerprint (side mounted)
  • Battery: Non-removable Li-Po 5000mAh Battery with 33W fast charge

With a budget between 15k-20k, you can purchase this mid-ranger giant smartphone without regrets

Samsung Galaxy A series

Photo Courtesy

Samsung is a giant in the smartphone industry and the moment you mention Samsung, one will be quick to mention that it is an expensive device.

However, the South Korean multinational electronic company has extended it’s wings to everyone and now they manufacture cheap and affordable smartphones; the Samsung galaxy A series being one of them.

The A series comes in different versions comprising of Galaxy A02, Galaxy A02s, Galaxy A12, Galaxy A22, Galaxy A22 5G, Galaxy A32, Galaxy A32 5G, Galaxy A42 5G, Galaxy A52, Galaxy A52 5G, and Galaxy A72.

Notable among these is the Samsung A32 which with a budget of between 20-25k you can comfortably purchase one and get value for you money.

Key features

  • Display: 6.4″ 90Hz Super AMOLED (1080×2400)
  • Memory: 128GB + 6GB RAM
  • Chipset: Mediatek Helio G80 (12 nm)
  • CPU: Octa-Core 
  • OS: Android 11
  • Rear Camera: 64MP + 8MP + 5MP + 5MP
  • Front Camera: 20MP
  • Number of SIM: Dual-SIM
  • Battery: 5,000mAh with 15W od adoptive fast charging

If you are looking to use below 20k, check out the Samsung A12

Infinix Note 10 pro

Photo Courtesy

For the longest time now, Infinix smartphones have been arguably the cheapest and most affordable devices.

Their latest flagship device, the Infinix Note 10 pro is a prove of this. With a budget of 20-24k you get yourself a device possessing the following incredible features:

  • 6.95”FHD+ 90Hz Super Fluid LCD Display (1080 x 2460)
  • Memory: 128GB + 8GB RAM
  • CPU: Octa-core
  • Chipset: MediaTek Helio G95 Excellent Game Processor
  • OS Android 11
  • Front Camera: 16MP
  • Rear Camera: 64MP/AF+8MP+2MP+2MP with Quad-Flash Light
  • 5000mAh Battery with 33W X-Charge

Normally it would cost you an arm and a leg to get a smartphone devices with such features. With the Note 10 pro, Infinix has definitely gone out their way to manufacture affordable smartphones!

Oppo A74

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Oppo is also another smartphone device that hit the Kenyan market with a storm. Kenyans have slowly fallen in love with this gadget since it is affordable and possesses good features.

The Oppo A74 was launched in April this year and it comprises of the following features:

  • 6.43 inches AMOLED Display 1080 x 2400 pixels
  • Chipset: Qualcomm SM6115 Snapdragon 662 (11 nm)
  • Android 11, Oppo ColorOS 11.1
  • Memory 6GB RAM+ 128 ROM
  • Back: Triple 48MP + 2MP + 2MP
  • Front: Single 16MP
  • 5000mAh battery, Fast charging 33W
  • Colors: Prism Black, Midnight Blue

The  price of Oppo A74 in Kenya ranges between Ksh.25,000-Ksh.27,000. If you are looking to use below 25,000 check out the A54 which retails between 20,000-23,000 which equally has some good features

Tecno Camon series

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Tecno is another smartphone company that always comes through when one is looking to buy an affordable phone that has good specifications.

Their latest Camon series flagship device, the Camon 17 pro is one to check out if you are a Tecno lover and it will surely not disappoint.

Key Specifications

  • 6.8″Dot-in, 90Hz FHD+ Display
  • Selfie Camera: 48MP Ultra Clear
  • Rear Camera: 64MP + 8MP + 2MP + 2MP
  • 5000mAh, 25W Flash Charge
  • CPU: Mediatek Helio G95 (12nm)
  • Memory: 256GB + 8GB RAM
  • OS Android 11

With a budget of Ksh. 25,000, you will definitely be a new owner of this phone

Well, there you have it, these are the smartphones devices you should go for if you are looking for quality and affordability. Have fun selecting the best one!

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How to protect yourself against identity theft

Identity theft, it is more common than you realize. If you are using a smart gadget that requires the use of identity cards, you may want to be more careful of scammers.




Freeze your credit

It’s free to freeze your credit and unfreeze when you want to open an account, and it provides the best protection against an identity thief using your data to open a new account.

Safeguard your Social Security number

Your Social Security number is the master key to your personal data. Guard it as best as you can. When you are asked for your number, ask why it is needed and how it will be protected. Don’t carry your card with you.

Use strong passwords and add an authentication step

Use a password manager to create and store complex, unique passwords for your accounts. Don’t reuse passwords. Adding an authentication app can reduce your risk. Think carefully about what you post on social media so you don’t give away key data or clues about how you answer security questions.

23,690 Identity Theft Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free Images - iStock
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Use alerts

Many financial institutions will text or email when transactions are made on your accounts. Sign up so that you know when and where your credit cards are used when there are withdrawals or deposits to your financial accounts and more.

Watch your mailbox

Stolen mail is one of the easiest paths to a stolen identity. Have your mail held if you’re out of town. Consider a U.S. Postal Service-approved lockable mailbox. You can also sign up for Informed Delivery through the USPS, which gives you a preview of your mail so you can tell if anything is missing.

 Shred, shred, shred

Any credit card, bank or investment statements that someone could fish out of your garbage shouldn’t be there in the first place. Shred junk mail too, especially approved offers of credit.

What is Identity Theft? | Identity Theft Definition | Avast
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Use a digital wallet

If you’re paying online or in a store, use a digital wallet, an app containing secure, digital versions of credit and debit cards. You can use it to shop online or at a compatible checkout terminal. Transactions are tokenized and encrypted, which makes them safer. In addition, contact-less transactions have fewer health risks.

 Protect your mobile devices

Mobile devices can be a real risk. Use passwords on your electronic devices. Use a banking app rather than a mobile browser for banking.

Check your credit reports regularly

Check to be sure that any accounts in forbearance or deferment are being reported properly, and watch for signs of fraud.

Monitor financial and medical statements

Read financial statements. Make sure you recognize every transaction. Know due dates and call to investigate if you do not receive an expected bill.

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