It's Women's Day and some of the tech world is sitting up and noticing. Siddhartha Banerjee, creator of Meter Down has another app for iOS out from under his belt and into the App Store. He mentioned to us in his chat that his next app will be about women and fashion. He's introduced “Sari”, an application that describes and shows you how to wrap a sari, in the standard 'Nivi' style. The app will for $1.99 (about Rs. 89) in the App Store and is compatible with iPhones and 2nd gen iPod Touches running iOS 3.2 and higher. It is currently scheduled to hit the App Store on the 9th of March (IST). We got an exclusive preview of the application.
Celebrate one of the most elegant ways of dressing this Women's Day
Now, before I get into what makes the app work and what doesn't, what's important to note is that right now, as the app is, it primarily caters to women outside India. For women in India, knowledge and help for draping a sari is widely available, mostly in the people in one's surroundings. Folk abroad are able to look up the information provided on this app on Youtube (for instance), however, this app is in their pocket, accessible at all times and the video is nicely written for and shot.
The app is plain beautiful. It comes from a developer whose philosophy is that if Indian apps want to compete in an international store, they need to be well written and designed. The sari app is beautiful yet efficient in its information sharing in terms of the colours, fonts and illustrations it's using. Even the video explaining how to drape a sari is extremely well shot. It's simple, set against a white backdrop and gets the job done.
Here's where I think the app falls a little short. Right now, it only offers one piece of information which isn't very new for a lot of women. What would have made the application pop is inclusion of various types of sari draping methods as well as buying guides and help on what you would need to have a sari custom made. These might come out in future updates but for now, all the app offers is a video and a written manual (with illustrations) on how to drape a standard sari.
Sari app, on the iPhone and iPod Touch for $1.99
The app opens with a video which is supposed to 'get you in the mood to wear a sari' (somewhat). It is followed up with browsing instructions (a key of symbols the app uses for user navigation). The browsing instruction stops appearing three days after using the app, however, the video will still play every time you launch the app. This is mildly annoying; closing out of the video is as easy as a 'Done' button but it still gets annoying to see the same beginning of the same video every time you launch the application.
In conclusion, as the app is right now, I would not spend $1.99 on it. It's very well designed no doubt, but it does not, right now, offer someone from India enough new information to justify the price. Future updates might bring a change of opinion. I do appreciate that it's an effort from an independent Indian developer and more indigenous, independent developers would definitely get us the apps Indians need, however, this app isn't really catered to Indians in India. It might, however, be an interesting vehicle for Indian culture on foreign shores. Finally, happy Women's Day everyone!
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Oct 28, 2016