India’s Alternative to Google, Apple App Stores Launches mSeva Contest for Android Developers
Experts said mSeva offered a great app store option for Indians to discover and download good quality apps built by Indians for Indians. (Image: Mobile Seva website)
App developers will have to submit products for the contest of “innovative app” by Mobile Seva by May 31. The winners will be featured in the mSeva AppStore, which is a fully government-owned mobile app hosting platform
India’s indigenously developed application store, Mobile Seva or mSeva AppStore – which came into existence in 2013 as an alternative to Google’s Play Store and Apple’s App Store – is now offering an opportunity for Indian developers to create innovative mobile apps.
The Indian version of the app store, which was launched to achieve objectives of the central government’s Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative, has 1,197 live apps and, as of now, has over 9 crore downloads registered.
App developers will have to submit their products for the newly launched mSeva contest of “innovative app” by May 31. According to the website, it is a contest for Android apps and winners will be featured in the mSeva AppStore, which is a fully government-owned mobile app hosting platform.
Those interested can create mobile apps under the following categories: government services, education/reference/mobile learning, lifestyle/travel/entertainment/news, productivity/tools/finance and agriculture/food/health.
While winning apps will be selected based on their innovative ideas and implementation, winners in each category will receive ‘Make-in-India’ products worth Rs 1 lakh. The prerequisites for the contest include an APK file of a maximum of 90MB, an icon of 512×512 pixels and less than 200KB, as well as a minimum of three screenshots with 155×290 pixels and less than 1MB.
There are some guidelines registered contestants have to keep in mind:
- App entry should not infringe any intellectual property rights of any third party
- Developers need to ensure that in any case, viruses or other malicious code should not be uploaded
- Contest should not be used to do anything unlawful, misleading, malicious, or discriminatory
- Contestant has to sign a declaration form about originality and ownership of the uploaded app
- The app should not be submitted to any other contest or usage or any other app store.
“The contest will encourage more Indian app developers who have potential but couldn’t find more opportunities to showcase their products via Play Store or App Store,” said Rohan Verma, CEO of MapmyIndia, a company that developed the Mappls App, which is the Indian alternative to Google Maps and is available on the mSeva AppStore.
Verma told News18 that mSeva offered a great app store option to Indians to discover and download good quality apps built by Indians for Indians. “Built by MeiTY (ministry of electronics and information technology) and C-DAC (Centre for Development of Advanced Computing), technological powerhouses in their own right that have built some of the largest and most mission-critical digital population-scale platforms, mSeva has the capacity if given the chance to be a great digital public app store good,” he said.
He added: “We are excited about the prospects of mSeva getting prominence and popularity among Indian users and OEMs (original equipment manufacturer), as more the choice, more the innovation and more the benefits.”
Rajneesh Jaswal, head of legal and policy at Koo – one of the first microblogging apps to be onboarded – said uploading and downloading was free of cost in the mSeva AppStore, and only verified as well as signed APK files could be uploaded while testing before publishing was mandatory.
“The main motive of mSeva is inclusive public service as the platform does not charge any fee or take a cut from earnings. This is a distinct approach from large platforms, where profit motive and platform policies take precedence. Such an inclusive approach removes barriers and encourages all developers and users to engage in an efficient manner,” he said.
He added: “Developers with fewer resources now have an even playing field without being burdened with costs and paywalls.”
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