International Centre for Free and Open Source Software (ICFOSS) on Tuesday released its Indic Language Keyboards for Android at the inaugural session of the two-day workshop on Free Mobile Platforms here.
The Indic Language Keyboards were released by B Ramani, executive director, Centre for Development and Advance Computing at Travancore Hall at Technopark.
The keyboard layout for Android, developed jointly by ICFOSS and Jishnu Mohan of Swathanthra Malayalam Computing - a 13-year-old community that is working to produce local language technology for Indic languages - under the R&D programme of Dept of IT, Govt of India.
The keyboard layout, which is freely downloadable from app repositories with the name ‘Indic Keyboard,’ provides support to input text of any Android device in 15 languages and 35 keyboard layouts, consisting of most of the Indian official languages as well as Sinhalese and Nepali.
The two-day workshop brought together about 100 developers, students and professionals in the domains of mobile computing and language localization that highlighted the emerging free technological developments - particularly, Free/Open Mobile Platforms and localization tools - in the domain of mobile and tablet computing.
The first day of the workshop exposed participants to several emerging technologies.
“Today, the number of mobile devices used globally is presently about 6.8 billion, for a population of about 7 billion. In India, about 904 million phones are in use, as against a population of 1220 million. Given the availability of new mobile devices such as tablets, cameras, and wearable devices (such as watches), further growth is expected,’’ said B Ramani
He explained that although Android is currently the most popular mobile platform with about 82 per cent market share, it is not completely free.
“Given the explosive projected growth of mobile phones, tablets and wearable devices in the country, a completely free and open Indian Mobile Platform is urgently required,’’ Ramani said.
‘’ICFOSS considers localization and free mobile platforms as two significant aspects that will facilitate individuals and communities to utilise the opportunities provided by mobile technologies with ease, and at the same time, enable device manufacturers quickly take their offerings to the market without licensing issues.’’ said Satish Babu, Director, ICFOSS. R Srinivas, Manager of the DIT Research Programme on Smart Phone Platforms, said that the most significant difference in the ICFOSS model of R&D, compared to the traditional R&D, - is the presence of the Free Software Community as a key factor. “The DIT Research Programme of ICFOSS has worked together with several communities, particularly the Swathanthra Malayalam Computing Community,’’ he said.