Safaricom went public with their music streaming app dubbed Songa back in February this year. At that time, the app was only made available to Android users, which makes sense for anyone, knowing how many Android devices are in Kenya. The iOS app was meant to come later but three months on and there’s still no signal from mama as to when we’ll be seeing the iOS version of Songa.
It seems like someone got tired of waiting and decided to make their own version of Songa for iOS, complete with identical name, logo and even appearance. It has come to our attention that since March 16, 2018, a knock-off version of Songa was uploaded on Apple’s App Store by one developer, Music FM ミュージック 音楽 or simply Cave Music Group as the app details read.
The app, which seems to have fooled quite a good number of people, is an almost identical twin of Safaricom’s Songa app on Android. From our research, we have learnt that the app is streaming content from SoundCloud through an API. Admittedly, the app design and functionality is quite straightforward with the ability to create playlists and even download songs when one pays for the premium version ($4.99), which subsequently gets rid of the ads being served on the free version. That said, the developer is quite dedicated to his work, seeing that he even pushed a bug-fix update to the app at the beginning of the month.
Interestingly, the app ranks fifth in trending music apps locally.
We totally understand why anyone would actually think that this is the official Songa app from Safaricom, the developer paid attention to every detail:
We have also noted that the developer did a lot of copy-paste work, especially along the lines of the description of the app, which is identical to what Safaricom has on their Song Android app but this was probably not out of laziness, but intentional, seeing that they needed people to believe that this is the real deal.
At the time of publishing, we had not established whether the app is collecting any user information, but we are not too worried as Apple’s ecosystem doesn’t come attached with the data privacy issues we have experience on Android in the past. A reliable source has informed Techweez that Safaricom is aware of the counterfeit app and have reported the matter to Apple. It is however not clear as to why the app still exists, two months after it was published.