Shaadi.com has introduced an application for BlackBerry that lets users access the matrimony service through their phones. What’s interesting about this app is that even though it allows users to browse and search profiles, express interest, view accepted members, as well as keep a tab on interests received and latest matches, it has been integrated with the Blackberry platform that uses the device’s push and messaging capabilities.
This means that, similar to push email, users can receive real time push notifications on receiving interests or ‘accepts’, and the BlackBerry messenger integration allows users to add accepted profiles with a BlackBerry PIN to their messenger list and chat in real time. Services on platforms operate on a pull mechanism – the application needs to be loaded, and it keeps pinging the servers on a regular basis for updates and this results in low battery life, and unnecessary GPRS usage.
It also supports GPS based location search on phones running Blackberry OS 5.0 and above to find suitable matches in the user’s vicinity through the ‘members near me’ feature. Users can also upload profile pictures to their profile through the app. However, it has its limitations: Shaadi.com’s Blackberry app strangely does not support member registration, payments and account upgrades. Also, a user had commented that Shaadi.com only runs on Blackberry Internet Service enabled devices which means that the user needs to be on a full fledged BlackBerry data plan to use the app.
Gaurav Rakshit, Business Head of Shaadi.com told MediaNama that this is just a soft launch and a full fledged unveiling of the app will take place later. It would remain a free app, and the company plans to add more capabilities like automatic addition of ‘accepted’ members on the BlackBerry messenger once the BlackBerry messenger API is opened up to developers. On being quizzed about Shaadi.com apps for other platforms, Rakshit answered that they are in the pipeline but refused to comment on the exact timing of the launch. The app development had been outsourced to EarlySail.
Note that Blackberry doesn’t have carrier payment integration in India yet – users need to buy using Paypal, or a credit card. Other Indian ventures that offer their own BlackBerry apps are Cleartrip, ngpay, Network18 ( M3, IBN-Live), NDTV, GQ India, Webduniya.com(Office Yoga, Crackling Jokes), Wall Street Journal India and Ibibo ( Free SMS, Call for Free, Ibibo Games, E-mail, Parking Wars). Indian app developer Hungama Digital Media Entertainment has 5 apps while Spice Labs has 17.