I got the request to review this application some time back and two thoughts immediately crossed my mind. One, why does it sound more like a URL to follow, rather than the name of an app to download. Two, what’s so exciting about a calculator that I should turn my attention to? I equate a calculator to a glass of water, it’s not all that exciting really, but ultimately necessary. No matter how much you add flavor or color to water, it is still water. A calculator is still a calculator. What makes this particular one tick is the question I had in my mind.
Well, let’s just say once I opened the application, it caught my attention in a very specific way. How you ask? According to me, referring to this app as just calculator is a huge understatement. For instance, I can’t even add, multiply or subtract numbers using this app, which of course is the basic feature of any calculator (you have your phone calculator to do that) but instead, there are a number of algorithms and functions built in that give you computational results for various financial questions that you face in your day to day life.
I do not want to go through all the things that this app can calculate but I will mention them and the categories they fall into. However, there are a number of features that I do want to get into because I think they are either more helpful or fun to play around with.
Before I get into that, these are the things you can currently calculate on this app;
- Income Tax
- Import Duty
- Nairobi water
- KPLC Prepaid
- KPLC Postpaid
- EMI Loan
- HELB Loan
- Loan Affordability
- KCB MPESA
- MPESA Cost
- Currency Converter
- Journey Price
- Motor Insurance
Clearly there is a lot that this app can do, most of them pretty obvious and present in other dedicated applications. There are a number however that caught my attention more, because I honestly feel like I would use them frequently or simply provided answers to questions I didn’t know I had.
Without further ado let me get into it
KPLC Prepaid vs KPLC Post-paid Electricity bills
In case you live somewhere where having a prepaid KPLC meter is not widely adapted, this is simply a system where you top up a meter with tokens to get electricity just as you would to top up airtime. When we had this installed in our house, we tried figuring out if it was cheaper or more expensive than the normal post-paid meter.
The other question we had is how many tokens we actually buy with a certain amount of cash and why does the number vary most times. However, these questions would move to the back of my mind as the month went by and only resurface the next month.
That’s where this app comes to play now. Under bills, you can find KPLC prepaid services. You can work backwards. Let’s say you want just a specific number of tokens to last you for a number of days because maybe you are moving out and have no good will to let the next tenant leech on your electricity, you can work out exactly how much money you need to spend. You can also see the deductions or levies that you incur when you buy tokens. I think this is a really cool feature and it makes the otherwise foggy process of figuring out electricity tokens a bit more transparent.
I am an avid traveler. I love being on the road a lot but this can become quite expensive as well. Budgeting for fuel is something I hate doing because sometimes I can’t simply estimate, I might overestimate or underestimate leading to losses or getting stuck in the middle of nowhere (yikes!). To be safe, I simply fill up the tank and go, any leftover fuel is still a good thing. But what if you are completely mean and you have hired a car or borrowed one and you are in no mood of leaving them a couple of extra days worth of fuel. Well, you need to do the math, which can honestly be daunting. This app has the solution.
There is a journey price calculator that tells you the distance of travel, the travel time, estimated fuel in liters and the total cost of fuel. All you need to do is input your start and destination points, the fueling station (town/county), fuel type and vehicle MPG rating. Easy.
Fuel Attendant: Good morning..
You: Hi, could you just put in (Kshs) 285.6. Thanks!
Fuel Attendant: Err…okay?
Pregnancy due date calculator and BMI calculator
Ladies (and concerned gentlemen), you can know all amount of creepy and yet necessary things using this feature of the app. If you want, you can get the baby’s due date, when you will get the positive pregnancy test, the baby’s zodiac sign, baby’s first kick, first heart beat and I kid you not, the conception date. Apparently this is something many would-be mothers calculate anyway which seems odd to me but if you really want to have your baby be born on the same day Jessie Williams shook the world with his BET awards acceptance speech to justify naming your kid (boy or girl, no judgement) after him, then why not plan it!
It’s just fun playing with this thing.
Health freaks, this one is for you! If you want that extra reassurance that you are not overweight for your size group or the nudge to actually do something about your weight, then why not continually use this feature to see where you fall!
Feature-wise, this application is like a hub of many different functions and solutions that can each be found in dedicated apps. There apps that exist for calculating MPESA costs, convert currency and many others, but I feel like the appeal of this app is the fact that you can have all these and more, bundled up in one place and budget a lot of things in your daily lives. I feel like this app is the equivalent to a Swiss Army knife. Almost everything you can think of is available.
Now it’s not all rosy for me, there are a few things I do not like about this app. First of all and to no surprise, I clearly do not like that name. It does nothing for me, in fact it confuses me and this might mean me looking away from it. Maybe it’s just me but structuring an app name with ‘.co.ke’ at the end just feels like not much though was put into it. I don’t know. It’s not like I have any other name suggestions but doesn’t this seem more than just a calculator?
The other thing that I am not a fan of is the design. It is plain and not necessarily fun to look at. Do not get me wrong, it is not ugly but I honestly believe a redesign of how the features are presented, maybe the use of tabs to better organize the features and a few pops of color here and there never hurt anybody.
Have you used this app yet? Tell me what you think about it if you have.