Why build another web browser? Don’t we have a browser war going around? Firefox/Chrome/IE and ofcourse, Opera?
Why build a web browser for Indian market? What are the use cases for the same?
Well, a bunch of geeks still believe that none of the standard browsers cater to India needs and this is what they have done – launched a browser for the Indian market.
Qn: What’s so unique about the Indian Market?
Well, if you look at the standard browsers, they aren’t meant for a *normal* user. For instance, you need to be a real geek to install a plugin.
Epic Browser, a derivative of Firefox offers a few great localized features that makes it an interesting product.
Here is a quick rundown of the feature set
- Built-in Antivirus: The browser scans downloads automatically and one can scan the system manually. Boasts of world’s first antivirus browser. A perfect fit for Indian cybercafes.
- Theme Selection – Geeks probably stick to the default theme, but a whole lot of people want to try out new background images. The team has collected images, categorized them (across people/culture/sports etc) from public repositories and have made it easy to install.
- ToDo – you can always install a plugin in FF or Chrome, but an easy to use in-built plugin in the sidebar does the trick of improving productivity.
- Simple features like Alert Messages (you can set alert for a specific subject/time)
- Inbuilt support for social networks (FB/Orkut/Twitter) – browser shows the mobile app for these networks.
- Snippets – I use snippets plugins in Firefox and if something comes so handy, expect people to start using more of such browsers.
- Job search – select your country/city and using Indeed’s API, the browser shows latest results.
- Travel – Using APIs from Yatra and Cleartrip (including Trains API), you get results directly on your browser
- Support for Indian Languages (Indic Translation) : Most important feature, this enables you to type in language of your choice – be it including Hindi, Gujarati, Marathi, Punjabi etc. The full fledged EPIC writer adds to this and makes this browser a good tool.
What’s important about this browser is the concept of sidebar widget – The sidebar widgets are utilities that range from travel to ToDOs to pretty much what you’d normally need during your browsing session.
From the first impressions, the experience is much better than Opera, and is equally *bad* (in performance) as Firefox.
Like I said earlier, these are handy utilities carefully thought of (and cater to typical Indian’s usage of Internet). I had a quick chat with Alok Bharadwaj, founder of the startup and he clearly states that this browser is not for geeks. The browser is meant for a typical Indian who wants to get things done and most importantly, in their local language.
Epic Browser is one of those tools where sum is greater than the parts and well crafted features/utilities just adds to the experience. The challenge for the team is obviously in cracking the deals with cybercafes or finding takers for this product.
Download the browser from here (exe).
What’s your opinion? Do you need an Indian browser?