Crowdsourcing the Police Work

Posted by Mark

metrash

I shot the video below while waiting at a traffic light a couple of nights ago. I noticed the car on my left was creeping forward and figured they were most likely going to run a red light so I started recording the car. A few seconds later as expected, the car ran a red light for absolutely no logical reason. But running a red light, driving on the emergency lane or parking illegally are just very common occurrences because people rarely get punished for their actions.


[YouTube]

So why don’t we crowdsource the police work? Awhile back when I posted about the Deera App in which you could report garbage around Kuwait, a reader emailed me and told me about how in Qatar you could report traffic violations using their app called Metrash2 (You can watch one of their ads for Metrash2 below). So why don’t we do the same in Kuwait? People are already taking photos of people people illegally parking in handicap spots or people driving on emergency lanes. So why not allow these incidents to be officially reported like the Metrash2 app?


[YouTube]


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Uber Kuwait? Kinda…

Posted by Mark

easytaxi

Over the weekend Uber launched their services in Beirut which means Uber is now available in Lebanon, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Uber is probably going to launch in Kuwait one day but until they do there currently is a service running in Kuwait that is kinda like Uber, it’s called Easy Taxi.

Easy Taxi is an app that’s available on iOS, Android and Windows phones and once you install it and sign up allows you to request a taxi. If you’re not familiar with how Uber or other taxi apps work its pretty simple. Whenever you need a cab you launch the app which will automatically pinpoint your location. Once your location is found a button becomes active allowing you to request a cab. When you click the button it starts scanning the area looking for available taxis. I tried it when I was at Sultan Center in Shaab and found 5 taxis in my vicinity. I confirmed the cab request and it told me the cab was 7 minutes away and that I could chat with the driver or give him a call if I needed to. The app also gave me the cars description and license plate number so I could recognize it once it arrives.

It’s pretty similar to Uber taxi except for the fact you can’t get a fare quote before requesting the cab nor can you pay for your cab using your credit card or PayPal account. But, until Uber comes to Kuwait this is a pretty good alternative. For more information on Easy Taxi just visit their website [Here]

Thanks Roberto


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Adobe Creative Cloud Now Available in Kuwait

Posted by Mark

adobeicons

Last year Adobe stopped selling their software the traditional way and instead moved everything to their Creative Cloud where for a monthly fee you could rent their apps. Some people hated it others like me loved it because it meant instead of paying a large sum up front for their apps you could now pay a much smaller fee every month. So back in February of this year I tried to sign up to the Creative Cloud but because I was based in Kuwait, the only option I had was to go through one of the regional dealers and turns out because I was in Kuwait I couldn’t pay monthly and instead I was quoted KD175 a year. Obviously that pissed me off but there is good news.

adobeprices

Last week Adobe updated their Creative Cloud apps and also started offering the service in more countries including Kuwait. I signed up to their Creative Cloud a couple of days ago where for KD14 a month I have access to all their apps including their desktop and mobile ones. If you’re a student or teacher its just KD5.6 a month.

applanguage

For designers who are interested, ME (Arabic support) versions of the apps are available. Once you install the Adobe Creative Cloud app on your computer go to the preferences and choose English with Arabic support as the app language and then download and install the apps. Check this help page for more info on this [Link]

adobeipad

If you’re into photography, Adobe have a special price on Photoshop and Lightroom, they’re giving both along with the Lightroom mobile app for just KD2.8 a month. So there really is no longer a need to pirate their apps. You’re also allowed to install the apps on two of your computers so I have them installed on my desktop and laptop which is perfect for me.

If you’re interested in signing up to the Creative Cloud follow this [Link]


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Two of my favorite local apps have gone evil

Posted by Mark

20140609-170632-61592180.jpg

There two iPhone apps I’ve recommended on the blog previously that have now become unusable, the E-Gate App and the KAFI airport app. Not sure what got into the developers mind (both apps were produced by the same company) but I can no longer use the apps, not unless I spam a friend that is.

Just out of the blue both apps locked up and now refuse to work unless I tweet, facebook, sms, email or whatsapp a friend with a message telling them to download the app. WTF? Obviously I refused and have since deleted both apps from my phone. I’m not going to be forced by a local company to send adverts to my friends just so I could use their apps especially E-Gate which isn’t a free app.

If you want to check your traffic violations do it for free [Here]
If you want to check flight arrivals and departures download the Q8 Airport app [Here]


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Kuwait Signs iPhone App

Posted by Mark

kuwaitsigns

Kuwait Signs is an iPhone app targeted towards local residents who are planning to take the driving license test. The app has information on street signs, highway speeds, local driving laws as well as other helpful information like how to apply for the driving license. The design of the app is pretty clean and simple, there is a quiz mode which I didn’t so well in and finally, the app is in Arabic and English. If you’re interested the app costs $1.99 and can be found in the app store by searching for “Kuwait Signs”.


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E-Gate App

Posted by Mark

e-gatekuwait

E-Gate is a practical new app which allows you to check on your Civil ID status, your traffic violations, if you have a travel ban or not and other things like passport and residency validity.

There are three features I liked about the app, the first being that it will remember your Civil ID so you don’t have to keep entering it every time. The other thing I liked is the ability to add more than one Civil ID to the app and finally I liked that the app does push notifications. In the short time I used the app I didn’t get any notifications but in theory you should get notified anytime there is any new status update for example you get a travel ban or a traffic violation.

The only negative aspect is the fact the app costs $1.99 and isn’t free. But that’s a small price to pay for the convenience this app provides. It’s available for both iOS and Android. Search for E-Gate Kuwait to find it or if you’re an iOS user here is the direct [Link]

Update: Do not download this app. The app no longer works unless you agree to send adverts to your friends.


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KAFI, a Kuwait Airport tracking app

Posted by Mark

kafi

If you’re looking for an advertisement free Kuwait Airport arrivals and departures tracking app then KAFI is the one to get. The app is very simple in case a flight you’re tracking hasn’t arrived yet you can turn on notification for that flight so that once it lands the app will let you know. The app is available for both iOS and Android and can be found by searching for KAFI or by using one of the links below:

iOS Version
Android Version

Update: Do not download this app. The app no longer works unless you agree to send adverts to your friends.


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Kuwait Labor Law App

Posted by Mark

Kuwait Labor Law is a new app available on Android and iOS devices. The app provides you with a quick reference to the Kuwait labor law, Kuwait traffic violations with all the penalties listed as well as all the requirements and the latest changes to the driving license requirements.

Although the information is readily available for free online the app creators believe that their $3.99 asking price is still worth it. I had a conversation with the creators by email and they managed to convince me that ponying up around KD1 for the app could be worth it. Their app allows you to add certain articles to your favorites tab, the ability to type in a word or phrase and search the entire listing and most importantly, if there is a change in any of the laws you will be notified by the app immediately.

If you’re interested in purchasing the app here are the links:
Android Version
iOS Version


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Urban Moon gets a major update

Posted by Mark

The popular Kuwait guide iPhone app Urban Moon just got a major update yesterday. The biggest difference I’ve noticed is the speed of the app. My biggest complaint with their previous version is that once you launched the app you had to wait a few seconds for it to download the latest phone numbers. Now the downloads take place in the background so you can start using the app as soon as you launch it.

Another new feature is that the app will now contain reviews. Currently restaurants in the app have a generic description but they’ve already started writing reviews and soon they’ll be swapping out the generic descriptions with honest reviews of the restaurants. That I think could be interesting and maybe even more so if they allow people to submit their own reviews similar to the Yelp app.

You can check out the full list of improvements and features in the Apple Store [Here]


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iBadala 2.0

Posted by Mark

iBadala is a local phone directory app on the iPhone and one that I use frequently. I’ve posted about them before [Here] and my biggest complaint back then was regarding the app’s design which looked prehistoric.

Turns out they read my post since I got an email from iBadala yesterday telling me that based on my feedback they’ve released a new revamped app with a completely new look. I downloaded the app awhile ago and the app does look better but more importantly the ease of use and speed is still there so they haven’t broken anything. In fact, they’ve made two minor changes to speed things up even more:

Search as you type
According to iBadala this feature was supposed to be in the original release but it never worked properly. What this feature does is it starts searching for results as you type so if you’re searching for “Open Flame Kitchen” by the time you’ve typed “Open” you already have two results displayed with the second one being Open Flame Kitchen.

Search results ranking
Another new feature to speed things up is how the results order changes the more people use the app. For example as I mentioned above a search for “open” will result in two results with Open Flame Kitchen being the second. If a lot of people are searching for open and then clicking on Open Flame Kitchen more than the first result which is Arab Open University, then the app will start displaying Open Flame Kitchen as the first result instead.

I was also told they’re releasing an Android version of the app in the next few days so that should please some people as well. If you want to download the iPhone version it’s available right now in the [App Store]


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