Ver Se Innovation’s mobile news application News Hunt seems to have forayed into the e-books segment, by introducing a new ‘books’ category on its Android app.
At the time of writing this article, the app offers a mixture of free and paid e-books across various categories like fiction, short stories, religion, children’s books, poetry, biographies, self-help, humor, romance, detective stories and others. Paid e-books currently range between Rs 10 to Rs 300.
What’s particularly interesting though is that the app also offers free and paid regional language e-books across four Indian languages – Hindi, Malayalam, Tamil and Marathi besides English. One can either browse through the top e-books in each of these languages on the app home screen or filter the e-book listings based on any specific regional language to view books from only that language.
Following this, one can tap on any book to browse through additional information like book overview, ratings and reviews before making the purchase. The app has partnered JusPay to offer payment modes like credit & debit cards and carrier billing (Airtel and Idea subscribers only) for Indian customers and Paypal for International customers.
However, we feel that NewsHunt could’ve provided more payment options like Net Banking or rolled out carrier billing across all telcos, since people are typically wary of using credit cards for micro transactions. Alternatively, NewsHunt could also provide some sort of a wallet functionality to its users. That being said, its worth noting that the app does provide an option to save the credit card details, thereby allowing users to only enter their CVV details and OTP for future purchases.
We purchased couple of books (both free and paid) from the Hindi and Tamil category. While we faced rendering issues on Nexus 4 (running on Android 4.4) due to which the books are currently in an unreadable format, the books worked fine on a Xolo Q800 (running on Android 4.1.2).
Other Players: E-commerce major Flipkart offers regional e-books across multiple languages like Hindi, Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, Marathi, Bengali and others while Amazon offers e-book titles across Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and others. Google Play also offers e-books across Hindi, Kannada and select Tamil books.