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Should the Indian government mandate Indic languages for mobile handsets? #NAMAindic

While mobile is driving growth for most Indic language publishers, challenges related to rendering of fonts across multiple devices and screen sizes remains a key issue. "The technology has improved, and this makes a difference in case of unicode fonts. It's still not perfect: it doesn't go back to legacy devices," Mariam Mathew, COO, Manorama Online said at the #NAMA event “The Digital Future of Indic Languages” event last week. "Who are the people who access Indic languages? It's the people who are not the creme de la creme. The kind of devices are so many, that a lot of the rendering is not standard across devices," she added. Ravi Hegde, Group Editor of Udayavani pointed out that the issues with Android in particular, is that screen sizes are different and fonts do not render well. "What we develop for a bigger size device, is not suitable for lower size device. Sizes change from one tablet to another. They're not fitting well with designs and interfaces. If we can standardize on screen sizes and font rendering...it is more severe in Indian languages than in English." Anand Virani of Qualcomm responded, saying that some kind of standardisation is coming into place, with the market gravitating towards 4", 4.5" and 5" for phones, and 8" and 10" for tablets. However, "The availability of menu and the lack of certain technology - for converting English to local languages on the fly and transliterating is still missing." Arvind Pani of Reverie Technologies said that…

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Founder @ MediaNama. TED Fellow. Asia21 Fellow @ Asia Society. Co-founder SaveTheInternet.in and Internet Freedom Foundation. Advisory board @ CyberBRICS

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