Handset maker Samsung is rolling out Indic user interface in nine languages including Hindi, Punjabi, Bengali, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi and Gujarati to select Android based smartphones and tablets.
Availability: The company says that these languages will be supported on the Android smartphones Samsung Galaxy S4, Galaxy Grand and Android tablet Galaxy Tab 3 starting today. It plans to expand it to the entry level Android smartphone Galaxy Star later this month and plans to expand the number of languages offered and the number of supported devices from next month onwards.
However, there is currently no information on whether the company plans to roll out this interface through an over the air update or through any other means. We have contacted Samsung and will update once we get a response.
Remember, Google had recently introduced system wide support for Hindi through the Android 4.3 update last month, although Udupi-based Robosoft had beat them to that much earlier, by rolling out Indic enabled Android phone with support for five Indic languages (Hindi, Telugu, Kannada, Tamil and Malayalam) in April 2012. HTC had also rolled out full language support for Hindi, Tamil and Marathi to select phones in its HTC One and Desire smartphones series in June 2012.
What’s also not clear yet is whether this rollout is more of a localization support or it includes writing support for the above mentioned Indic languages as well. That being said, there are several third party keyboard apps like Swiftkey, Swype and Adaptxt among others, which now allows users to write in Indic languages. Google had also launched a Hindi input and transliteration application in March 2013.
Besides Indic user interface, there also seems to be push to offer Indic content and apps through Samsung App store. The company says that users will be able to use its messaging service ChatOn and third party apps like Facebook, Gmail and Ver Se’s NewsHunt in the above mentioned languages. However, note that NewsHunt has supported Indic languages for quite a long time, across all its offerings (iOS, Android, Java, Nokia, BlackBerry and Windows Phone 8)
Reverie Samsung Tie-up: Samsung has also partnered with Bangalore-based Reverie Technologies to offer Reverie Phonebook application for free on the Samsung Appstore until December 31, 2013, however the pricing after this promotional scheme has not been disclosed yet. Reverie Phonebook currently allows users to convert their contacts on their mobile phone from English to any of the supported Indic languages (Hindi, Gujarati, Gurumukhi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada) and prior to this tie-up, the app was not available to customers through any of the app stores.
Besides this, Samsung also claims to offer regional versions of Bharat Matrimony, Ganesha Speaks, IndiaProperty, Times of India*, BSE (Bombay Stock Exchange), and Mydala on its app store shortly.
*Note: Disclosures apply
– Gupshup Adds Support For 9 Indian Languages; Viber Gets Hindi Interface
– Plustxt Now Offers Indic Language Input For Facebook, Twitter & Google+
– Tachyon Technologies Launches Hindi Facebook Chat App