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This article was published on March 6, 2010

Nokia Ovi Mail 2.0 now supports Arabic

Nokia Ovi Mail 2.0 now supports Arabic
Fawzi Rahal
Story by

Fawzi Rahal

Based in Dubai, Fawzi Rahal is the Editor of The Next Web Middle East and Regional Communications Director at G2. Follow him via Twitter. Yo Based in Dubai, Fawzi Rahal is the Editor of The Next Web Middle East and Regional Communications Director at G2. Follow him via Twitter. You can reach Fawzi at [email protected].

ovi mailOvi Mail – Nokia’s attempt at combatting Blackberry’s built-in email service and it’s one step closer to competing with Google’s Gmail – is now available in Arabic.

With the launch of Ovi Mail 2.0, Nokia is trying to ensure support for the 280 Million plus people who use Arabic as their first language.

Having worked on Nokia digital platforms in the past, I can assure you this was no easy task. With all their core applications built with left-to-right in mind, changing this to Arabic is a huge task. There are various issues that are not considered, including:

  • Days and months can be easily abbreviated in English (Jan, Feb, S,M,T), allowing for a clean UI, Arabic is not very friendly with abbreviations as Arabic readers are not accustomed to it.
  • Gregorian months are simple and logical. Applying the Islamic calendar to it is a nightmare to any developer.
  • Right-to-left rendering of not only the content, but the UI as well is not an easy task, especially when you take into consideration that the developers are up North in Espoo trying to decipher whether this works properly or not.

Kudos to Nokia for the effort. I’m sure millions of Arabs are now emailing away!

via Nokia Beta Labs