By Idemudia Dima-Okojie
Being the only boy growing up amongst many Nollywood loving siblings and cousins, I was not sure what to expect when I was asked to review Afrinolly, the Nigerian version of the popular IMDB portal, which won the Entertainment/Games/Media category of the 1st Android Developers Challenge for Sub-Saharan Africa held last year. The Afrinolly app was developed by Fans Connect Online, a Nigerian digital marketing agency. The app provides users with access to a range of African movie related content i.e. links to Movie trailers, full-length movies, music, actor bio, entertainment news and community of users via Facebook amongst other features. The app is currently available for free download on only the Android, BlackBerry and Symbian platforms.
Being a little worried about the BlackBerry experience on the app, I reached out to the only Android device that was around me, The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 (GT-P7500). I was however disappointed to find out that the Afrinolly app was not compatible with the Galaxy Tab. So I had to reach out to ‘the rejected stone’ in my BlackBerry and was pleasantly surprised to find that the app was only about 547kb on the App World and all things equal wouldn’t take too long to download; and I was right, within a couple of minutes I had the app running on my BlackBerry Torch 9800.
The app itself is a nicely designed piece of work. It is simple with the different links being easy to find. The high-resolution pictures or images of actors, actresses and film posters available directly on the app also impressed me (I must admit that seeing the high resolution posters of movies like Funmi Akindele’s “Married but Living Single”, “Tobi” and “Destiny’s Child” would attract even hardened Nollywood sceptics). It is also clear that a lot of work went into acquiring relevant bio data on the different actors and actresses. A really cool feature is the integration to social media; users of the app are directly linked to the Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or YouTube pages of their favourite actors via links available on the celebrity meter pages.
Afrinolly like many other entertainment apps out there; it acts as an aggregator for entertainment news by linking the app to different sites or portals where news is hot. For this feature however, users are at the mercy of their Internet Service Providers for speedy access to relevant content. This is a similar scenario for the videos available on the app. Afrinolly relies heavily on YouTube as a repository for its video content. I was again surprisingly impressed by the speed of the stream; apart from the occasional buffering, videos streamed quite well (this is also dependent on users’ service provider). I can’t help but wonder if the Afrinolly team put some data streaming optimization into consideration when developing the app.
In summary, I am quite impressed with the Afrinolly app (even with the BlackBerry experience); this is only the beginning though as I see more room for improvement and growth. From the user’s point of view, It is a great way to while away time waiting for a meeting or sitting in a taxi. The app is simple, functional and lite; the only down side is availability or speed of data to access links on the app. In all thumbs up to the innovative team of Fans Connect Online, I look forward to seeing an iOS version of Afrinolly real soon.
About the Author
Idemudia is Product Manager: Cloud & Communication at Internet Solutions. Contact him at email@example.com or follow him on twitter @idemudia