After launching apps for iPhone, iPad, and Android phones, Tamil language daily, Dinamalar has now launched a news app for Android tablets (download). The app has been developed by Softcraft Systems, and allows users to access updated news content from the publication on any Android Tablet. Dinamalar claims that since its launch in January, the tablet app has received 3,500 downloads. We’ve seen that a lot of Android app developers have not released tablet optimised versions of their apps, since Android based Tablets have not been able to garner the same level of popularity that the iPad has. The Dinamalar app also includes ad banners.
Issues: We tried using the app on an Acer Iconia tablet running Android 3.2 – Honeycomb. The app did not crash during our testing, but became unresponsive at times and took a considerably long time to load pages. Also, we do not know if this was due to the 7 inch screen size of our tablet, but text as well as other interface elements appeared rather minuscule. This has hampered usability to a major extent. We don’t know if the problem is related to this particular device or is being experienced by other users as well. Do let us know, if it’s rendering fine on your Android tablet.
Interface & Features: The app supports both portrait and landscape view on the tablet, and the header features tickers for cricket score, stock market updates and weather, which unlike the Dinamalar iPad app do not expand and give a ‘coming soon’ message, at the time of writing this post. There is a dedicated sidebar featuring updated news and pictures on the right, and a footer that features the leading video and photo-stories. Both of these are scroll-able. The middle columns feature news items. Individual news items expand to offer a reading view, however the header and a footer advertisement remains.
Each story includes buttons for sharing on social networks and via email or bluetooth, increasing and decreasing the text size, posting a comment and for bookmarking the story to favorites.
Social Sharing & Bookmarking: The app features social sharing via Twitter, Facebook, Email and other Android apps installed on the user’s tablet. It also features a bookmarking system wherein stories get saved to the ‘favorites’ section, which is available all through out the app, for reading them offline.
Content: The app features content from Dinamalar’s website. It offers news and features across categories such as business, cinema and sports, among others, in addition to videos and photo-galleries.
It also features Dinamalar Specials such as “Tea Kadai Bench”, “Double Danapal” & Weekly features, Astrology & Daily Horoscope. The app also includes three new sections that Dinamalr claims to have created specifically for tablet readers: “Viki vs Vedhalam”, a rhetorical take on political issues, “Tweet, Karam, Coffee”, a twitter based section and “Net Gallatta”, a compilation of interesting images from the Internet.
Like we said, we like the fact that more vernacular publications are developing apps for mobile phones and tablets. Besides bringing Indic content to the Indian diaspora living overseas, it also adds up to the content available on these devices, giving another reason for the growth of these devices in the Indian market.