Weekly Trends

This Week in Tech: The New E-Passport Finally Revealed and More Weekly Tech Trends

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It has been a bitter-sweet week. One that promised better things to come yet spelled doom for some.

Below are the top ten tech trends for this week:

1. Immigration Department Gives us a Glimpse of the New E-Passport

It has been a long wait. One that has been characterized with deferments. But there is hope. Finally!

The new E-Passport was supposed to be rolled out in December 2016 but this was postponed to April 2017, then to September 2017.

The Kenya Immigration Department has finally allowed us to catch a glimpse of the new passport.

The better news is that September is the due date. The agency will be rolling out the E-Passports then.

At least, we know what to expect and when. And at this point, the “when” part matters a lot.

2. Zuku Kenya Employees to Face the Axe

Zuku Kenya is set to lay off some of their employees as part of the restructuring process.

The decision to dismiss some of its staff members was advised by a planned merger of businesses. The company is reported to be planning to merge its satellite TV business with triple-play Zuku services.

3. More 4G coverage for the Telkom Kenya Network

Telkom Kenya has expanded its 4G coverage to 28 towns across the country. This is up from 9 towns.

The company is reported to have invested Ksh. 5 billion in upgrading and diversifying its network. Already, the company has unveiled affordable data plans (ranging from 15MB at Ks. 9 and 100GB at Ksh. 8,999).

The expansion covers fast growing areas such as those that attract tourists or focus on agriculture. They include Thika, Ngong, Naivasha, Kitengela, Nyahururu, Malindi, and Kitale.

4. E3 2017 Happened

The world’s biggest gaming expo took place in Los Angeles between the 13tth and 15th June.

This year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) saw big reveals. Microsoft officially introduced us to its next console, Nintendo’s coming soon, FIFA 18, and other awesome announcements.

5. Microsoft Introduces us to the Next Powerful Console

The Xbox One X has been labeled as the “most powerful console” (by Microsoft of course).

Examples of games that come with these are Crackdown 3, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, and Forza Motorsport 7.

Learn more about Xbox One and its Features.

6. Introducing Android Pay for P2P Transfers

Thanks to WorldRemit, Android Pay users can now send money internationally via mobile accounts.

Customers can now transfer money across five continents without needing credit card details or relying on 3G or Wi-fi.

The money transfer service will require recipients to specify their mobile bank account before collecting funds.

7. Facebook Now Allows you to Add GIFs in Comments

The hustle of having to copy a link from a GIF sharing site has not been pleasant.

We all like to use GIFs in conversations; hence, Facebook has finally given in to our wishes.

The company has been testing a GIF button for some time now and they have made it available to everyone else.

Go thee and express yourself visually for a livelier conversation.

8. Introducing Insurance Policy on Blockchain

AIG, IBM, and Standard Chartered have partnered to introduce us to an insurance policy based on blockchain.

Confused? A blockchain is essentially a distributed database that maintains a continuously growing list of records, known as blocks. The lists are connected in that each block contains a link to a previous block.

This technology will, among other things, increase efficiency, fraud detection, and enhance growth.

9. Google Drive’s Enhanced Backup Functionality

Google Drive has a very important improvement.

You will soon be able to back up your entire computer.

The safe file storage service is currently limited since it gives you 15GB of space and users are forced to buy extra storage once the 15GB is used up.

This functionality will see Google compete with other backup services such as Carbonite and Crashplan.

10. Twitter’s New Look

Twitter has made some design changes to its platforms. The changes have been rolling out in the last couple of days.

The tweaks also affect Twitter’s Android and iOS apps as well as Twitter Lite and TweetDeck.

If you haven’t seen any changes yet, expect great stuff: the new design looks easily navigable and cleaner.

It has been an awesome week. Let’s all have an awesome weekend.

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