Mobile messaging app Hike will launch in 8 Indic languages, including Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Gujarati, Bengali, Kannada, Malayalam and Telugu tomorrow. Other than the multilingual interface, the app will also come with a multilingual keyboard letting users type in the supported 9 languages.
Hike users will be presented with a dialogue box to select their preferred language on updating the app tomorrow. Post this, users can select their preferred language. The multilingual keyboard needs to be enabled separately from ‘language and input’ in the settings menu. Here users will be able to select the languages they want to enable for the keyboard.
Speaking to MediaNama Hike mentioned that its keyboard would only work with the app. We presume it will be inbuilt into the app and be usable as an alternate to the user’s default keyboard. This should be useful especially when chatting with different users in different languages, without having to change the keyboard app. Primarily, English users of smartphones can, for example, chat with vernacular relatives on Hike without changing their default keyboards.
Hindi news: Interestingly, Hike started aggregating Hindi news stories in September, and had said then that it would roll out this feature for other regional languages as well. The messenger initially launched the News feature in August in English, aggregating stories from various leading dailies.
Increased adoption of Indic languages: This year has been particularly good for Indic language users, especially Hindi users, as companies have increasingly started offering their digital content in Hindi and other Indic languages:
– Last week Quikr launched Indic language support starting with Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada, Marathi and Gujarati languages. The same week, Snapdeal also launched a multilingual interface on its mobile website, starting with Hindi and Telugu.
– Earlier this month Alibaba said it would launch a Hindi version of its website for sellers, while Khan Academy launched a Hindi website with math lessons. Catch also launched a Hindi version with exclusive and translated content.
– The same month Google introduced voice typing and input for Google Docs on Chrome browser in Hindi and 39 other languages.
– In August, Way2News app launched with news snippets in Telugu, Hindi and English.