Hazel Media, a technology startup focusing on mobile products has developed an application framework to extend Indic language support on mobile phones and tablets. Since many devices, including Android based ones, lack native support for Indic language fonts, it becomes difficult for developers to deploy them in mobile and tablet apps. According to Manish Malik, Founder and CEO of Hazel Media, their Indic language framework can be deployed by developers on their existing and new apps, and the integration is based on a simple plug and play model, just like an API.
Platform support: The framework will enable developers to offer an Indic language user interface and info graphical components in their apps. It supports Java, BlackBerry, and Android platforms and intends to support MeeGo, Bada and Windows Phone platforms in the near future. However, the company’s focus is on Java since the target audience for Indic language apps predominantly use low cost phones that support Java apps.
Monetization: On monetization, Malik said that the company is open to discussion and at present charges a fee on a per project basis. On being asked if the company is considering advertising as a licensing model to offer the framework free, he responded that the option is open to the company though it is yet to find a way to leverage ads. Nikhil adds: an open, standardized model for integrating the framework might help improve adoption.
Products: mPustak, CricMeter: The company has developed two products to demonstrate the framework. One is a mobile learning app called mPustak, which features Hindi and Marathi language interfaces, while the other is a Cricket score app with a Hindi UI, in pre-release called CricMeter, which has been in closed beta since February with 200 users. Available for Java, BlackBerry and Android devices, the final app will be released in first week of April on major app stores.
App Store plans? Responding to our question on whether the company would go beyond just the framework and open an Indic language app store, Malik said that an app store would end up being isolated, and compete with existing app stores, which at the end of the day, would not benefit end-users.
Previously, we had written about Reverie Systems, which developed its own Indic Language Framework for Internet, Mobile, Set Top Boxes
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