BBC World Service has launched a BBC Hindi app for android phone, reports Exchange4Media.

Speaking to the publication, BBC Hindi Editor, Nidheesh Tyagi claimed that mobile has been contributing to one-third of the total direct traffic to the bbchindi.com.

Design:

The homescreen of the app displays the headlines for the day and photo news. To access more categories of news, readers can press the more icon on top-right hand side corner of the app which may go unnoticed on first look. This opens up four more icons for news, most popular, other categories and settings. The most popular category displays the most read news and most viewed videos. Users can choose to display the menu bar by default from the settings.

BBC Hindi - Android Apps on Google Play  BBC Hindi - Android Apps on Google Play (2)

The app displays news in categories such as India news, international news, entertainment, sports, science, videos, audios and photo news. The category name on top of any news story takes the reader back to the category. The same button can be used to navigate back to the home page. On the single page, users can also increase and decrease the font size. The app also allows users to share the news to other apps installed on their Android handsets.

Multimedia: For photo stories, users can scroll through the photos and the app displays caption describing the photo. Surprisingly, there’s no way to share the photo once you open the gallery. Apart from that, there’s audio and video section populated with audio and video content from BBC, however, there’s no way to filter it by genre of news. The app uses media player on the reader’s smartphone to access the video. We watched a 2 minute video on Facebook and the app streamed the video on 3G without any need to buffer.

Our take:

The quality of images, videos and news seems good. When we checked on our Micromax A54 ninja 3.5 some of the categories appeared to be buggy and and we couldn’t navigate back to the home page. However, the app worked fine on our Micromax A90S.  We believe this app will be among one of the major moves made by BBC Hindi in the mobile space for its readers in a long time. The last move towards Hindi content on mobile was made in 2010. It appears that BBC has taken its time to gauge the Indian audience for its Hindi content before launching an app for them.

BBC’s other India focused content services

In November 2011, BBC had announced the launch of an India edition to offer a localized news experience to its readers. The localized version provided more in-depth analysis, breaking news and business bulletins for the region, in addition to specially commissioned features and reports. BBC also offers a BBC Hindi edition, which is completely customized for India, with updated news reports. In 2010, BBC had announced the launch of its mobile site, featuring audio, text and image content targeting India’s small but apparently growing mobile Internet user base. The site also has a text version at http://m.bbchindi.com and for phones that don’t support Hindi text, there’s an image version at http://m.bbchindi.com/image.

BBC Hindi had also inked a deal with Jagran Prakashan for making its Hindi content available in print and online through Inext, its bilingual newspaper. Prior to that, in March 2010, BBC Hindi had entered into a partnership with Airtel to launch a premium voice blog service.