BBC World Service has launched multi-lingual local news apps including apps in Hindi and Urdu among other languages for Nokia’s Series 40 devices, including the Nokia Asha range.
The apps offer content from BBC’s World Service in 11 languages: BBC Arabic, BBC Brasil (in Portuguese), BBC Chinese, BBC Hindi, BBC Indonesia, BBC Mundo (in Spanish), BBC Russian, BBC Turkce, BBC Ukrainian, BBC Urdu and BBC Vietnamese. Apart from that, apps in Chinese, Indonesian and Arabic languages also offer a radio facility where users can listen to radio news bulletins in that language. Nokia will pre-install these apps on upcoming Nokia Asha devices including the recently announced Nokia Asha 308 and Nokia Asha 309. Other Nokia S40 series and Nokia Asha users can download the app in local languages from the Nokia Store, however, the Nokia Store will only display the app of the local language and not other apps. For example, the BBC Hindi will be available only in the Indian region.
Update: We tried to access the app from Nokia’s Ovi web store, however, we couldn’t find the app. It’s not clear whether the apps are live on Nokia Store just yet.
Nokia claims that Nokia’s Series 40 devices have sold more than 675 million units in the market to date. Nokia also uses Nokia Xpress Browser on its Series 40 handsets, which uses proxy servers to reduce the size of webpages and renders the reduced webpage on the device, something what Opera does with its Opera Mini browser.
Last year in November, BBC had announced the launch of an India edition to offer a localized news experience to its readers. The localized version provided more in-depth analysis, breaking news and business bulletins for the region, in addition to specially commissioned features and reports. BBC also offers a BBC Hindi edition, which is completely customized for India, with updated news reports.
In 2010, BBC had announced the launch of its mobile site, featuring audio, text and image content targeting India’s small but apparently growing mobile Internet user base. The site also has a text version at http://m.bbchindi.com and for phones that don’t support Hindi text, there’s an image version at http://m.bbchindi.com/image. Along with news content, the BBC Hindi site also provides access to its Learning English content, though that is primarily text based. Apart from that, Inext the bilingual daily newspaper from Jagran Prakashan had inked a deal for making content from BBC Hindi available in print editions and online.