Google Play & AdSense April’s Fool

If you ever saw anything related to Google Play Signature Edition or top planets and moons on AdSense you’re just be Pwned by Google!

It’s funny i must admit, but this time they integrated April’s fool into their products rather than having it as a piece of news going around.

It’s not trending yet on Linkedin! So probably i’m the first one you hear it from.

 

Google April's Fool 2014 - Google Play Signature

Google April’s Fool 2014 – Google Play Signature

 

View your AdSense earning from different planets and moons... Earth and Mars in specific!

View your AdSense earning from different planets and moons… Earth and Mars in specific!

 

Egypt Yellow Pages Launches Mobile Apps For iPhone, Android and Windows 8.1

Egypt Yellow Pages Mobile App

Yellow Pages has launched 3 new apps aiming at making its service easier to use and accessible to a wide range of users in Egypt.

First up, there is a new Yellow Pages iPhone app available on App Store. The app is more than just a re-skin that is iOS 7 compatible, the app user experience is designed to help the users find what they are looking for on the go through a smart single search box where you don’t need to type the location and the app is smart enough to detect your location and show the results near you.

The app is practically a directory and a map with over 330,000 business listings and venues in Egypt that users can carry in their pockets. Taping on one of the home category icons will effectively help the users discover and explore local stores and venues near them. This is good news for businesses that want to acquire more customers from their neighbourhood, or passing by customers that happens to be in this location at that specific time and need to buy a product or a quick access to a service.

Yellow Pages New iPhone App

4 new updates have been released to the app in the past 2 months, each single update of them received a stunningly 5 stars rating from the users. The old English and Arabic apps are now merged into a single universal app in which users can switch between the 2 languages; much better for the user experience.

Yellow Pages iPhone App Review

Android users now finally can download the long-awaited Yellow Pages Android app on Google Play store. The app is accessible to over 3,835 Android devices worldwide. The app is optimised for high end Android devices such as Samsung S4 and Samsung Galaxy Note 3 but it also works well with low end Android handsets such as the Galaxy Ace and Duos, also works great with 7 and 10 inch tablets.

Integration is done nicely with Google maps, which makes it very easy for the users to use turn-by-turn voice navigation available in Egypt through Google Maps. The Android app has received very positive feedback from the users, over 680 users rated the app and over 82% of them rated 4 or 5 starts for it. Exceptional for an Android app to satisfy equally for both high and low end device owners.

Yellow Pages Android AppWindows 8 is often criticised for its shallow  apps catalog, Egypt is no exception, but this is changing overtime with more apps being launched and push by Microsoft and its partner Linkdotnet in Egypt. Egypt Yellow Pages Windows 8.1 app is available for download on the Windows Store as one of the leading apps in the the Egyptian market, only a few apps came before like EgyptAir Windows App and Egyptian eGovernment maps app which is also powered by Yellow Pages data.

Yellow Pages Windows 8.1 AppThe new apps have received hundreds of thousands of downloads and continue to grow rapidly. Yellow Media has announced its intent to launch a new context-based relevant in stream mobile ads as an innovative way of mobile advertising that has a positive value on the user experience based on their interests rather than traditional mobile banner advertising.

Things that Starbucks doesn’t want you to know!

starbucks dca

I’ve recently read “The Undercover Economist” by Tim Harford that really blew my mind and changed that way i see things when i go for shopping at a local super market or even get my morning coffee from Starbucks.

Starbucks isn’t merely seeking to offer a verity of alternatives to customers. It’s also trying to give the customer every opportunity to signal that they’ve not been looking at the price. It doesn’t cost much more to make the cup bigger or add some whipped cream. Every single product on the menu costs starbucks almost the same to produce. By charging widely different prices for products that have the same cost starbucks is able to smoke out customers who are less sensetive about the price.

Do you know that apart from the Tall, Grande and Venti cappuccino, Starbucks has an invisible size which is not only cheaper but actually tastes better? Meet the invisible:

The Short Cappuccino

starbucks short cappuccino

That’s the best Cappuccino (or Latte) that Starbucks actually have, its stronger, and has a better foam milk froth which you can’t actually get in larger sizes with more amounts of milk and it is cheaper! You can order your short Cappuccino at ANY Starbucks WORLDWIDE, and without an eye blink, they will get your order! Although it is never published on their menu board or even their website.

I just wanted to make sure how true is this story, i ordered one from Startbucks in kadıköy – Istanbul. The guys and the cashier definitely know what a Short cappuccino is, they got a paper cup which was hidden somehwere such that the customers can’t see, it is a third smaller than the tall but it actually tastes much better.

The Short Cappucino price is 5.50 TL, as the 6.00 TL for Tall, 6.75 TL for Grande and 8.00 TL for Venti which gives you around 200 calories before you add sugar.

The interesting part is the they did not sing my order like the Baristas always do when they take your order, they just don’t want people to hear about it!

Video Marketing for Entrepreneurs in Egypt – Yellow Media’s Initiative

It’s amazing what a video can do for your business. Every business owner in Egypt dreams about having professional TV Commercials but is faced with the fact that TVC in Egypt are very expensive, overrated and above all would only target the mass and not the audience that the business owner wants.

It is also no secret that entrepreneurs have very limited budgets for marketing if any budget at all which makes the idea of a professional TVC an impossible dream.

Yellow Media announced its new initiative to support startups and entrepreneurship in Egypt to help rebuilding Egypt economy and boost the SMB sector which accounts for over 90% of the economy value in Egypt.

The new initiative offers a video production, Yellow Media’s video team goes to the customer location, shoots the commercial with light weight yet professional equipment and then takes it back to Yellow Media’s studios to do the montage and audio editing.

Once the video is ready, it gets published on tens of web and mobile platforms including:
YouTube, Facebook, Yellow.com.eg, Dalili.com.eg, mobile sites and mobile applications making the video accessible and searchable for over 32 million internet users in Egypt.

Very special video production rates are offered for startups in Egypt. As low as 500 USD for video production and submission.

Yellow Media’s SMART team (Search Marketing & Advertising Research Team) can take it to the next step and create Video and YouTube paid campaigns to help your video get the attention and even go virally over the social media.

The Best Espresso Ground Coffee in Egypt – Top Picks and Reviews

Nothing comes close to enjoying the perfect cup of coffee in the morning, you probably have your own favorite, whether you get a grande skimmed latte from Starbucks or a tall Cuppucino from Greco or perhaps you’re always in a hurry and you get your double espresso from on the run, or even you are the kind of person who orders in Americao from Costa Coffee in the afternoon.

No matter which coffee person you are, it comes with a cost. Your perfect cup of coffee costs on average 20 LE, that’s over 400 LE a month if you order a coffee everyday, and 800 LE if you order two. Is there a way you would still enjoy a coffee with the same or near quality to your favorite cup and pay fractions of what you usually pay? Absolutely, if you have an espresso machine with foam capabilities, with some practice and many trials you can become an ok barista. The first step to become one is choosing the right kind of espresso ground coffee.

Here is the top picks of ground coffee you can find in Egyptian supermarkets / coffee shops:

NUMBER (1): Greco – French Roast – Perfection

Greco imports the best quality coffee beans from all over the world, and he sells the beans as well, if you are a hardcore espresso drinker and love strong coffee then you will definitely like their french roast. Although not the same blend they use to make their own coffee, it is the closest one. 225 gm costs 70 LE and is probably enough to cover your espresso carving for a couple of weeks.

Coffee Greco - French Roast Espresso Ground Cofee

Learn more about Cafe Greco and see the map here

Here is also one of the reviews that you can find on Dalili.com.eg that tells you more about Greco:

I love coffee, really, really good coffee, this is why, while I’m in Cairo, my day starts at Cafe Greco.
The coffee there is so good it will make you forget the lack of parking spaces on 9th Street and the high decibel of the noise once you get inside. The beans they use are brought in from the major coffee-growing countries of the world then roasted to bring out their distinctive flavour; from mellow, to medium, to knock you out of your sandals strong.
Once you have made your choice the friendly and knowledgeable staff will whip up your favourite concoction, whether it is a latte, an espresso, a cappuccino, an Americano or whatever.

NUMBER (2): DAVIDOFF – Espresso 57 – The premium choice

Davidoff are not just well known for their perfumes and cigarettes, they also make amazing coffee. Davioff is definitely the premium ground coffee and one of the best quality coffee you can buy from a local supermarket. Espresso 57 is my favorite, note sure what the number means but it has a smooth flavor and a nice aroma. It is packed under pressure, so when you open it the coffee small spreads all over the place. My wife swears that she smelled the coffee coming up the stairs until she came to my office after i unpacked it. Surprisingly, you can buy Davidoff coffee 250 gm for only 50 LE.

Davidoff - Espresso 57

Davidoff – Espresso 57

NUMBER (3): ILLY Medium Roast – All About Aroma

That is the very standard espresso that you would get in most places like coffee shops or restaurants. With ILLY you can never go wrong, the coffee is always rich, smooth and has a very special delicious aroma. One shot is not enough, you would always carve for double espresso shots. I would actually recommend this coffee to everyone, for me it is the “standard” coffee, how coffee should feel and taste. Ever heard someone saying that On The Run makes better coffee than Costa? don’t be surprise, this is because they use ILLY coffee. 125 gm costs 40 LE, 250 gm costs 80 LE. Pretty expensive but it also have the best packaging.

ILLY Espresso reds - Medium Roast

ILLY Espresso reds – Medium Roast

NUMBER (4): ILLY Dark Roast – Just about the same but stronger

If you like ILLY but you want stronger coffee, just for for ILLY black, not my thing though. I prefer strong coffee but ILLY dark roast does not have the same delicious aroma of ILLY medium roast. Not even close. 125 gm costs 40 LE, 250 gm costs 80 LE.

ILLY Black - Dark Roast

ILLY Black – Dark Roast

NUMBER (5): Segafredo – OK Coffee

You probably noticed that there are no more Segafredo branches in Egypt. They have out of business in the local market. One of the reasons is that they don’t make good coffee. If they can’t get it right in their cafes you can never get it right with your espresso machine at home. Generally, the coffee is OK, not bad. However, it is not available in the market anymore, just like the coffee shop itself.

Segafredo Espresso

Segafredo Espresso

NUMBER (6): Lavazza – Bad Coffee

Ever went to a nice looking coffee shop and order a late or an espresso and the coffee looked good but tasted like shit? This is probably due to the fact that they used Lavazza coffee. If you see their logo in a cafe, they i would definitely recommend that you order tea, forget about coffee. The name sounds good, and the brand looks OK but the coffee is really bad, no taste, no aroma, weak smell. I do not recommend this coffee to anyone. Price is the cheapest as well, around 40 LE for 250 gm. They say it is suitable for all coffee makers, so you can used it as Espresso, or as filtered coffee, all in one! This doesn’t sound right. Does it?

Lavazza Espresso

Lavazza Espresso

Why i will never buy from Souq or Jumia again

I’m sure that you’ve seen Souq and Jumia ads everywhere, whether you are on Facebook or on any website i’m sure you came across their ads which contains some amazing offers with HUGE discounts. There is also a big probability that you already receive their daily newsletters with their special offers and deals.

I have to say that these guys are doing very well in terms of online marketing, their customer service is also good not great. However, they are a disaster when it comes to their core business, the products they are offering in terms of quality and pricing.

I’ve been strongly hit by Jumia in terms of pricing, yes, they are very expensive, much more expensive than average market price, on the other hand souq have pretty good prices but many of the products are not authentic, they are just cheap or moderate copies of the original products.

Here is my experience with Jumia, i bought a Roller travel laptop case, a huge one that fits in lots of stuff plus a 17″ notebook for 750 LE. When i opened it i found the REAL price tag, 660 LE… This this is probably the real market prices as everybody know that jumia is already over priced.

Jumia - Rolling travel laptop case real market price

Jumia – Rolling travel laptop case real market price

I complained to their customer service, and just got back a reply offering me a 100 LE voucher when  i spend 300 LE on Jumia, they didn’t even bother themselves explaining the reason of what happened to me. Having escalated that issue to the management, they were very professional, they investigated that issues and got back to me saying:

Dear customer,

I want to personally apologize on the behalf of the whole Jumia team.

This gives you a very poor experience and I completely take the responsibility for it.

The price tag that you saw is different the the purchase price because it is the price for which we got the item from our supplier. This is not the retail price but a price negotiated with our supplier that is lower than the retail price. This is a special price from a supplier to a retailer (Jumia). On this price we have a margin which accounts for the difference of price.

However, I totally accept the responsibility for your bad customer experience. At Jumia we are working everyday to provide our customers with the best experience possible and in your case we obviously failed. I am deeply sorry for this.

As a compensation, please accept a 100EGP voucher with no minimum purchase: XXXXX

I hope you will give us another opportunity to serve you better.

Regards,

Head of Operations

I find their response very professional. In the second time not the first.

On the other hand my issue with Souq was not the price but rather the quality, Got a newsletter promoting Armani’s classic Acqua di Gio with a 25% discount so i decided to buy it choosing COD payment method, next day i got it, i was amazed about the fast service, i got my package with Aramex paid the amount in cash and this is what i found when i opened it

This is how the perfume i got from Souq looked like!! Terrible!

This is how the perfume i got from Souq looked like!! Terrible!

To begin with, this was the WRONG perfume, it was Aramni code 75 ML not Armani Acqua di Gio 100 ML. The package looked aweful, it looked old and had some wrinkles, and the plastic wrap was torn from the top, it seems somebody used it before. Actually when i saw this i understood this can’t be an original perfume so i wanted to make sure so i opened the box from the top and tried the perfume which was just like water and alcohol, a very cheap replica that you can buy for 20 LE not 500 LE.

So i made a complain, Souq sent somebody a few days later to pick it up, they will inspect the item and the return my money back in about 5 business days. The money should be available in my Souq account and then i can withdraw it or do a bank transfer to my bank account. They also said that the additional 15 LE for shipping and COD fees will be returned to me as well.

Long story short, the customer service of both Jumia and Souq were actually good. They responded to my queries within reasonable time and with reasonable answer.

The bottom line here, i’m never buying form Souq or Jumia again, i expect the problem to be repeated again, they have done nothing to prevent these kinds of issues from recurring, they only provided a remedy for me.

Egypt: National ICT Strategy that aims to boost investment in the ICT sector to 55 billion EGP

Egypt: National ICT Strategy that aims to boost investment in the ICT sector to 55 billion EGP

Check out my latest article at Wamda: Egypt aims to boost investment in the ICT sector to 55 billion EGP.

To do so, the Ministry of ICT mostly plans to invest in infrastructure, granting 75% of Egyptian households access to internet at a speed of 2Mbps by 2015, and, by 2021, increasing access to 90% of households at 25 Mbps. It also hopes to offer 3G service to 98% of users by 2015, and 4G service for 90% of the population by 2021.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: