Safaricom Music Streaming App - Songa



Oh. Hehe. A bit carefree i guess. For " sensitive" calls and texts, i have a different app from the main messaging app. Most apps that request call and text data can’t access those sensitive texts and calls. Anyway, i get more relevant ads in exchange for my data.


If you are talking about an app such as Signal that you use to call and text, it might work.

Otherwise, there is no app that can hide texts/call logs from other apps (unless you have a rooted phone).

The phone permission does not grant access to your call logs only, it also allows an app to read your IMEI, phone number, Device ID, make calls etc.

The Device ID is your own unique identifier. It is what companies use to build your online profile for targetted ads.


I thought Safaricom already knows your location just by your simcard being on. What’s the big deal with allowing their app access to your location?


My android phone is rooted. The app i use which requires root access intercepts all my calls and texts. The logs from numbers I’ve listed as sensitive don’t appear on the default apps. If i want to text and call those numbers, i have to initiate it from that app not the default apps

I only try to hide my calls and texts from numbers that i feel are sensitive. I don’t have an issue with apps accessing the rest of the info(location,IMEI, Device ID, non-sensitive calls and texts).


Yes. Since your phone connects to their cell phone towers, it is possible to estimate your location. Your phone’s GPS is much accurate than that though.

Not everyone is using Safaricom. Kenya has 4+ telecom companies believe it or not.


Was the app asking you to enable GPS?


I rarely have my location on but some people usually leave it on for hailing cabs, find my phone, fitness trackers etc.

If it is on, the app can query your location using the GPS.


GPS is the same as location access bana ama mimi ndio sijui


I only use location when in need of cabs or Swarm app stuff


You can use cellular/wifi data(for cellular try accessing the Android secret menu; go to phone information: you can use the info on the cell towers to estimate your location-tends to more accurate where there are more cell towers i.e a dense network) for location services.


I don’t know why they need location access, but for reading texts is because they send an activation code and for contacts, it’s for sharing the music or so they say.

The most controversial one is that Phone permission. Songa allegedly requires this to be able to pick your phone number during registration.


Isn’t this a bit well explained, reading texts, contacts, external storage and phone state?

What the developers need to do is allow the app function with those turned off after the initial set up. At least for location, SMS and Phone state. External storage will still be useful to save downloaded music.

I’d be curious to find out if they do use the external storage to cache music that you have played, but since I noticed that the app won’t buffer a song when playing, I guess that answers that (when you lose connection while streaming the song stops playing immediately).


It is just not necessary. You can type your own phone and the verification code they send you.

See how most popular social media apps do it. You can grant those permissions and everything is done for you or you can opt to do everything manually.

The on-boarding process happens once and automation is not necessary for these few steps.

The storage permission is understandable though.


I agree that choice is good, versus convenience with no opt-out.


Problem is I disabled those permissions and the app would not work, so why do they need all of them enabled if the reason is for initial setup. I’ll stay with Deezer


I have been using spotify & apple music for close to a year now such permission weren’t required during initial set up so wats this thing unique with songa?


This is very important when using limited cellular connections to stream music as it impacts on data charges.

I realised SoundCloud (both Android App & Web App) will temporarily cache music and will allow playback even without a connection,whereas Spotify stops immediately you lose connection and will re-download a song even when you are looping.

Songa might want to consider this in future updates, until then I will stick to other music streaming services.


my spotify does not stop immediately when I lose connection… the windows 10 app. I can restart a wifi router na haitastop.


Spotify, doesn’t allow one to use where its yet to be launched. I get the location requirement part of it


What is up with Safaricom apps wanting your location information.

This does not make sense as Safcon owns the Network and can determine if the IP is from KE or outside. Those who’ve managed an ecommerce system the info available from IP address lookups is Extensive. Geofencing by IPs linked to telcos would be adequate if the aim is to restrict streaming to a specific region due to copyright. GPS location is unnecessary and an Orwellian move by Safcon.

I have revoked permissions will be uninstalling too. Why does a music app want to know my location, make calls, read texts and contacts?

‘2 million’ songs isn’t enough for me to install a dedicated app. Do note that for something to be considered a song/radio ready song, it has to be 3 minutes or more, not have a long intro, and it should get to the main hook within the first 30 seconds. Until someone audits their catalog, I’ll hold off on believing their numbers & claims

Phone & SMS State

An argument can be made that the auto detecting number is to ensure an active safcon phone number is being used and when someone makes a purchase they can auto deduct from airtime (strange they’d use airtime for purchase instead of making this a use case/case study for their own API) Read texts is to prevent incorrect entries from people entering their own codes (if you’ve had to deal with 2-factor authentication via SMS you can attest as to how difficult many users can be when they’re doing this)


They’re probably trying to do what spotify tried to implement and create a message sharing option + notifications. Spotify tried this but in 2016 they suddenly axed it due to what people felt were numerous complaints and poor integration. Once again, Safcon is trying to do so much at once, failing and annoying potential customers instead of focusing on the basics at launch - simple sign up with username, phone number and OTP, ability to search, stream, favourite and sync music for offline use. The rest can come with 2 week updates. Or they could have waited till the UAT group was more satisfied with what’s going on and launch then. Was anyone going to die because safcon didn’t launch a music app? Since it’s cellular network only with no buffering support why would a user give safcon another opportunity to fleece their bundles?

External Storage

So they want users to load their music onto their platform. Let me get this straight: They’re asking users to upload music to an app (that’s buggy and not ready for mainstream) that doesn’t work outside their network, doesn’t have offline sync/storage and is full of intrusive permissions then charge them 500 a month to listen to these songs? ?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

Also, here’s what happens when you (currently) search for the developer behind ‘Songa’ on the playstore

Inaonekana kile wanaweza ni kuchezea watu.

I remember When I started this thread @McBHD saying most of my concerns have been met. What do the rest think?