ArifQuas – iPhone Application For The 2010 Ethiopian Soccer Tournament

Above: MIT graduates Bef Ayenew (left) and Ephraim Tekle,
have launched a new Iphone application for the 2010 Ethio
Soccer Tournament — scheduled from June 27 to July 3rd.

Tadias Magazine
By Liben Eabisa

Published: Monday, June 21, 2010

New York (Tadias) – The 2010 Ethiopian Soccer Tournament is scheduled to be held in San Jose, California later this month, and two young, Silicon Valley entrepreneurs have launched a new I-phone application aptly named ArifQuas to provide soccer enthusiasts with real-time scores and events information. The app includes info such has hotels for stay, parties and other cultural festivals during the tournament. It also features GPS technology, offers listings of most Bay Area Ethiopian restaurants, and is integrated with social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. ArifQuas users can receive real-time info on weather and traffic updates, as well as listings of local attractions including California’s scenic beaches and Napa Valley’s historical wine country.

The following is our recent interview with Bef Ayenew and Ephraim Tekle, developers of the ArifQuas mobile app. Both are graduates of MIT and founders of the company ArifSoft.

Tadias: Could you tell us a bit about your company ArifSoft? What do you guys do?

ArifSoft is a software company that specializes in Ethiopian mobile apps. We’re seeing a clear trend that has more and more desktop apps getting ported to mobile platforms, and ArifSoft is our joint effort to continue that trend within our community. ArifSoft has been around unofficially since last year, but it was formally introduced as the entity behind ArifQuas and ArifZefen only recently.

Tadias: You have a cool name. How do you define “Arif”?

Arif is actually a name that was lifted from our first joint project, ArifZefen. AddisZefen was already taken so we figured we would simply call ours ArifZefen. Since then, we’ve gone into an Arif frenzy and started naming everything after Arif. Our definition of Arif covers anything that can capture your imagination and generate excitement. Arif is Amharic slang for cool and our goal is to build cool apps that will add value while providing people with a superior user experience.

Tadias: Tell us about ArifQuas, your new Iphone application for the 2010 Ethiopian Soccer Tournament in California. How does it work?

ArifQuas is an event app for the upcoming soccer tournament in San Jose. We’ve been at the tournament in the past and we are all too familiar with how chaotic things can be, especially for the out-of-towners. ArifQuas is designed to help people manage the chaos a little better and try to get the most they can out of the tournament. ArifQuas will contain live listings of parties, concerts and any other events happening during the week of the tournament. It will also provide users with listings of all the local Ethiopian restaurants and Shisha lounges in the area so people don’t have to scour the web or other aggregation websites looking for options. For both the events and the restaurants, ArifQuas has GPS support and can tell users how far they are and how to get there on a map. ArifQuas is also going to provide users with updates on the tournament scores, information on the local attractions and the local weather.

Tadias: How are you gathering your information? Are you working with ESFNA or the other event promoters?

ArifQuas is fed the listings from a web service that’s hosted at arifquas.com. A lot of the listings are actually entered by the restaurant owners or the event promoters who want to promote on ArifQuas. There is an approval process before listings go live but aside from that, the entire process is fully automated and requires little involvement from us. We contacted ESFNA well before the app was even approved by Apple so they have been aware of it for some time and the response we have received from them has been very positive. We have asked ESFNA to provide the live score updates for the games and we’re in the process of working out the final details.

Tadias: Do you plan to come out with an Android version or something compatible for other mobile users?

Unfortunately, we’re out of time to do an Android app for this tournament but we do have another project in the pipeline and an Android version of this next app is a definite possibility.

Tadias: Is ArifQuas integrated with social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter?

We do have a facebook presence and in a short two weeks we have reached some 600 people and we can also be found on Twitter.

Interview continues below…

Tadias: The application is free, how are you sustaining your business?

The application is free because we want every Ethiopian with an iphone to get it without any financial considerations. So far we have been trying to cover some of our expenses by charging a fee to the people who are trying to list and advertise their events and restaurants.

Tadias: Please tell us briefly about the two of you? How did you become interested in software development? Where did you guys meet? Where did you grow up , school, work, etc?

Bef Ayenew: Both of us grew up in Addis but we didn’t meet until our sophomore year at MIT. We’ve been very close every since and we’ve worked on a number of software related projects together. I’m a software developer/architect in the valley so you could say working on an iphone app is not really a big departure from what I do during business hours. Ephraim, on the other hand, is a research scientist at a national lab so he has found a convenient outlet for channeling his inner engineer.

Tadias: Tell us about ArifZefen, the other ArifSoft application.

ArifZefen is our first joint project as ArifSoft, and it started out as a website that was supposed to serve as a sharing site for Ethiopian music. Unlike our predecessors, we weren’t interested in being responsible for managing the music content so we built a site where people can upload and manage their songs like they do in youtube. We also wanted people to be able to browse and search the collection and create/manage their own playlists. And of course, we couldn’t let you download the music once it was uploaded because that would amount to piracy so we had to develop a custom segment streaming MP3 player in flash. Later, we skinned the entire website and turned it into something that could be deployed on a new URL within minutes. More recently, we have created an iphone app called ArifZefen that provides access to all these features on the go, and we hope to make that app available to users as soon as we have resolved some of the issues around music copyrights. If you really want to test ride this app, it’s available on a limited basis.

Tadias: Is there anything else you would like to share with our audience?

Working on ArifQuas has been a lot of fun and we are very encouraged by the overwhelmingly positive response we have received from everyone. We’ve had even people not going to the tournament download it and tell us how much they enjoyed it. We are really excited about exploring other opportunities within our community and we are already back working hard on our next project, which we hope will be completed well before the end of the year. If anyone else out there is interested in developing iphone apps, our advice is to grab a mac and start today. There have been many instances of non-developers building iphone apps that went on to become very successful so we want to encourage anyone out there to take a crack at it if they think they have a good idea and the time to work on it.

Tadias: Thank you guys and good luck!

Thank you.

ArifQuas can be downloaded for free at iTunes app store. You can learn more at www.arifquas.com. Also, for more information on the 2010 Ethiopian Soccer Tournament in San Jose, California, please visit ESFNA.net.

About the Author:
Liben Eabisa is Co-Founder & Publisher of Tadias Magazine.

Cover Image: Courtesy of ArifQuas.

Related stories from Tadias Archives:
Photos from Chicago: Ethiopian Soccer Tournament 2009

10 Responses to “ArifQuas – iPhone Application For The 2010 Ethiopian Soccer Tournament”


  1. 1 Theodros Kassa Jun 21st, 2010 at 10:17 pm

    Bef Ayenew and Ephraim Tekle are Arif engineers.

  2. 2 Ye Oak Town Lij Jun 21st, 2010 at 11:46 pm

    Betam Arif App. I like!

  3. 3 EthioD Jun 22nd, 2010 at 1:11 am

    Very useful application. Great Job!

  4. 4 endalc Jun 22nd, 2010 at 9:23 am

    Wonderful! Way to go!

  5. 5 MikeyR Jun 22nd, 2010 at 2:54 pm

    Arif Job!

  6. 6 Kebede Abera Jun 23rd, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    Thanks Tadias magezine for all round your efforts.

    go!

  7. 7 Fiz Tips Jun 27th, 2010 at 9:02 pm

    This is really amazing application. I am sure this is only a start. I hope you guys can also come up with ideas that would also benefit the Abesha community all year round. Educational like search for university or technical school for new graduates, Research ebook oh and also Abesha Singles in the area that can come handy. I wouldn’t mind having that on my phone.

    well its just an idea.

    once again
    Good job guys!!!

  8. 8 Bob Aug 3rd, 2010 at 3:32 pm

    great idea . . checkout the App on iTunes called StatzSoccer, excellent for tracking stats and player records.

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