Indian Operating system Indus OS has partnered with Intex to offer on certain models of Intex smartphones. The companies have not specified which smartphone models, or the price range users can expect it to be in. Indus OS is basically a customized operating system built on top of Android and currently supports 12 regional languages including Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati, Marathi, Tamil, Kannada, Telugu and Assamese. The OS also offers an app store called ‘App Bazaar’ with over 15,000 apps. It features an Indic language keyboard and had also tied up with the Department of Electronics and IT (DeitY) to introduce an integrated text-to-speech feature in 6 regional languages.
Previously, Indus OS has partnered with mobile manufacturers like Karbonn, Micromax, Celkon and Swipe in India and Elite in Bangladesh to run on some of their models. The OS currently claims to have over 4.5 million users and a 6.3% market share in India. The first official Indus OS powered device was launched in May 2015.
Note that the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) said in June that it is mandatory for all mobile handsets being manufactured or sold in the country, to come loaded with multi- Indic language support. We expect Indus OS will gain greater prominence since it comes preloaded with Indic languages, and being compatible with Android, makes it easier for manufacturers to comply with the BIS order. It’s worth mentioning that Android by default also comes with Hindi and other Indic languages as an option, but Indus OS offers additional features like word prediction, auto correct etc.
Indic Languages on phones
The BIS notification mentions that a minimum of 4MB memory on all phones shall be reserved for Indic language support, out of which 2MB should be reserved for official Indian languages support. Devices should also support text readability in 14 scripts and 22 official languages, other than being able to support text input in English, Hindi and at least one other Indian language.
Several Indic Language initiatives have been introduced since 2015 by many local companies like BookMyShow, Snapdeal, Quikr, Hike, Khan Academy, among others, as well as foreign companies like Google, Facebook and Alibaba.