A dash of ‘desi' apps!

Mahananda Bohidar Chennai | Updated on November 14, 2017



Screen through the apps downloaded in most smartphones in India and you'll find the usual medley of Angry Birds, Dropbox, Amazon Kindle, Whatsapp and the likes.

Most of these apps would qualify as absolute essentials on a smartphone, to justify the use of one, if not anything else! But for a country which is slated to become one of the five largest smartphone markets over the next four years, app-makers seem to have very few exclusive apps to offer.

Popular services such as Flipkart, BookMyShow, Zomato or the Indian Railways have adapted to the mobile platform via their apps. But, what about local developers coming up with apps with an Indian twist?

One might argue that the Indian developers' community is currently much smaller than the international one. However, home-based companies have managed to create apps such as Magzter and Pulse which have shot up to the top rankings across mobile app markets in no time.

The lack of variety and a predominance of either e-commerce or services apps can't be attributed to discrepancies in the revenue it fetches the developer. Anyone who develops an app has to part with about 20-30 per cent of the revenue depending on which platform accepts it and not depending on the type of app created. So is the indigenous touch missing due to a serious dearth of creativity or initiative?

Take the example of a ‘desi' app, ‘Tuk Tuk 2', which helps users commuters track of the fare, destination and the distance travelled in an autorickshaw. Very Indian, very pertinent. Can't we have more of these?

Consider the hot-spot of a tourist destination that India is. Augmented reality apps that help you scan tourist spots, monuments and ruins for information could substitute a traveller's tour guide. A translation app supporting even half the three score Indian languages could do wonders. One that maps and times local buses or metro rails would see thousands of users logging in every day. These are just three. Imagine how many one could think of for a nation of one billion people.

Published on March 15, 2012

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