CHENNAI, April 21: On Apple Watch, users can either swipe with their fingers or move the crown to access the content.
Apple Watch, Apple’s most personal device yet, is all set to give the wearer a taste of Tamil, with two language apps developed by film lyricist Madhan Karky likely to be released shortly.
‘Agaraadhi’ is a dictionary, while the other is ‘Kural,’ a Tirukkural version. “I want Tamil and technology to go hand in hand,” said 35-year-old Karky, son of renowned lyricist Vairamuthu.
“I want to come up with more apps in Tamil. The intention is to come out with one app a month,” said Karky, who used to teach computer science at Anna University before taking to writing lyrics full time.
‘Agaraadhi’ has 2.6 lakh root words and 1.1 million definitions. It will have words from the ‘Sangam’ era right up to the modern age. ‘Kural’ is a collection of the 1,330 couplets penned by poet Thiruvalluvar 2,000 years ago. Both of them are both bilingual (Tamil and English).
On the app store, ‘Agaraadhi’ will be free, while ‘Kural’ will cost Rs 60. The apps, developed initially for mobile phones, have been designed by the Karky Research Foundation, a non-profit organisation run by him that works in the area of Tamil computing. Alvin Varghese, a colleague, and Akhilesh Balachandder, a student at SRM University, helped him in the project.
“We got the licence for this from Apple in February. It was challenging to come out with this,” said Mr. Karky. The challenge was in designing the fonts.
“In a watch, the fonts are very tiny in comparison to a phone.” The work was done using a simulator.
Varghese (22), a computer science engineer, said, “It took me 2-3 hours to do the designing part and the coding took some 3-5 hours. The font size on the watch was smaller than on the phone by 50 per cent.”
On Apple Watch, users can either swipe with their fingers or move the crown to access the content. The user will also get to see a ‘Kural’ a day.
Mr. Karky invested Rs 50,000 for each app. He paid Rs 7,500 for the Apple licence.
Apple Watch will be available in nine countries (India isn’t one of them) starting April 24. Apple Inc could not be reached for comments on this story.