Adaptxt – the Indic Text Input Tool for Handhelds and Tablets

In this tech-talk session, I want to talk about an application that has been a great help bridging the language gap and digital divide across the globe.

Chances are that you have already heard of Adaptxt. Adaptxt is an acronym formed out of two words of “Adapt” and “Text”. The idea is that the tool offered under the aegis of Adaptxt is adaptable to the text. And it comes really true to its name.

Adaptxt is a keyboard cum dictionary application made particularly for mobile devices and tablet computers. As you are already aware, almost all of these devices come with only one language input tool i.e. English. That is, if you want to write something on these devices in a language other than English, chances are that you will not find any way to type type because your language is not supported by the device manufacturer. Device manufacturers like Nokia, Samsung, Micromax or several other companies that come with different software platforms, take it granted that the people’s basic need is to be able to type in English and therefore they provide support just for that language. Developing support for other languages requires much more than just localization of the software platform. It requires a lot of feedback from native language experts (linguists) as well as other resources. Therefore features like being able to type in Hindi or Bengali or Tamil is not available by default on mobiles or tablets that come with Android, Symbian or Windows Mobile platforms. If you want to be able to type in Hindi or other numerous languages, you will have to resort to external softwares and install them separately on your own.