What’s on My Phone: Tyrus Kamau

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Welcome to What’s On My Phone, a weekly column where we will be snooping in on people’s smartphones and figure out how they use them, what apps they are using, and why plus tips too.

We’ll include new entries with different and notable people about what’s on their smartphones and if they are a reflection of their personalities or not.

This week, we’re featuring Tyrus Kamau.


This Q/A has been edited for length and clarity.

A little intro about yourself

My name is Tyrus Kamau, cybersecurity professional, butchery owner (Zulu Meats), food wine and whisky aficionado.

What smartphone are you using and why?

I’m currently using the iPhone 11 Pro Max. I always consider iPhones to be very functional and have fewer gremlins than other phones.

Security-wise I’d say it has maintained a good reputation.

I also love the camera since I take lots of photos for my business and travels.

Let’s start with your home screen – how and why have you arranged your apps the way they are?

Functionality. That’s it. Whenever I unlock the phone, I want to go straight to the app I need there and then.

So on my home screen, I have the usual email and chat apps; WhatsApp, Signal, Threema etc and utility apps such as banking, Mpesa for Business and ride-hailing apps.

What’s on your lock screen wallpaper/home screen wallpaper?

I’ve never been big on wallpapers or home screens. I have had the same home screen image throughout all my previous phones which is a BMW silhouette.

Yes, I am a bimmer guy and enough with the flatbed jokes.

How do you handle notifications?

I don’t.

I only have notifications on for emails. Everything else can wait. For SMS or iMessages I can hear the notification but my screen is free of the banners.

I find them very disruptive and in the age of constantly being online, I like to be in control of when and if I check out chat messages.

Also, I utilize the Do Not Disturb (DND) feature very religiously. Unless it’s work-related, I won’t take calls between 2200hrs to 0900 hrs. Those who need to get in touch know how to find me.

Are there any platforms or apps you use to help manage your workflow? Do you have any favourite shortcuts or life hacks that make your work/life easier?

Sure, the latest iOS 14 came with widgets and app libraries which makes it easier to cluster commonly used apps.

For instance, I cluster all my banking apps in one widget, email apps in another and quite frankly this saves me a lot of time.

What customisation tweaks have you done on your phone?

The only customization I’ve done is a private VPN set up for my work requirements. So basically, using Apple’s enterprise VPN.

What is the app you use to have fun and unwind? What other apps apart from social media apps do you spend the most time on?

I only have Quizoid on my phone as a game app. Since I love quizzes it helps me keep my knowledge sharp.

I also have paid versions for various news and lifestyle apps such as The New York Times, The Economist, Esquire, IEEE, mostly for current affairs and career progression.

Besides that, I frankly don’t have any other app I spend the most time on. Unless it’s your usual email, iMessage, Chat (both secure and conventional).

Anything else before we wrap up?

I weaned myself off spending my eyes peeled on the phone.

Most times even when I am out either at a pub or restaurant, I don’t touch my phone. Unless I really have to.


I constantly admire older folks who simply hang out and don’t constantly check on their phones unless it rings. I’m trying to be that guy.

Who else would you be curious to see next in this column?

Ken Njoroge, former CEO Cellulant Group.

Tech Habits to Adopt in 2021

More articles in this stream:

What’s on My Phone: George Kamau

What’s on My Phone: Kenn Abuya

What’s On My Phone: Kiruti Itimu

What’s on My Phone: June Okal

What’s on My Phone: Saruni Maina

What’s on My Phone: Dickson Otieno

What’s on My Phone: Waithira Kunene

What’s on My Phone: Mutindi Muema