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SwiftKey to appoint country manager for India; plans OEM partnerships


Popular keyboard app SwiftKey is planning to hire a country manager in India, reports ETtech. According to the company, having a country manager will make a significant difference as a local communication point for its partners and customers.

Additionally, SwiftKey mentioned that the company is planning a large update by the end of March, which will include 22 constitutional languages of India. The company said it partnered with linguists from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) Delhi, to create the new update pack.

Note that SwiftKey had previously released an updated version of its Android app to add support for 12 new Indic languages in November last year, which brought the total number of Indic languages supported on the platform to 15. The app had initially added support for Hindi and Hinglish back in 2012.

SwiftKey also mentions that it currently has seven Indian OEMs, including Micromax and Spice, that it partners with to ship its keyboard pre-installed. The app maker said its currently in talks with several more smartphone vendors for OEM adoption of its keyboard.

As for monetization, the company said its currently focusing on consumer acquisition and engagement and not yet thinking of monetization. However, SwiftKey does offer paid themes for its keyboard in India.

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SwiftKey, which was until last year a paid app, opted for a freemium approach in June this year. The company claims to have seen over 3 million downloads on Android in India since then. As of now, the platform overall claims to have developed over 90 languages and to have partnerships with over 60 smartphone vendors globally.

Other Indic language keyboards:

– In January, Asus released a new version of its Android keyboard app, adding support for two Indian languages – Hindi and Tamil. The app supports both Android phones and tablets, although its only compatible with Asus devices.

– The same month, Reverie Language Technologies launched a multilingual keyboard for Android smartphones and tablets called ‘Swalekh’. The app supports typing in 11 Indian languages including Hindi, Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil, Gujarati, Kannada, Malayalam, Odia, Punjabi and Assamese, other than English and allows users to type phonetically.

– In April last year, a new Indic Keyboard was released by the software collective Swathanthra Malayalam Computing allowing users to type in 15 Indian languages on Android. This app was developed as part of the ongoing Government of India-supported Android R&D project of ICFOSS (International Centre For Free and Open Source Software), an independent organisation set up by the Kerala government to popularize open source software.

– KeyPoint Technologies also offers an alternative text input application called ‘Adaptxt‘ which was released back in November 2012 and supports 13 Indian languages. The company had later inked a tie-up to provide end-to-end Indic localization services for Lava Mobiles’ budget Android smartphone Iris 402e that was launched in July this year.

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– Nuance Communications’s text input app Swype had also updated its Android app to add support for four Indian languages – Gujarati, Malayalam, Marathi, and Telugu, in November 2013. It now supports eight Indian languages including Hindi, Hinglish, Tamil & Urdu.

Image source: SwiftKey

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