Nokia and Microsoft have jointly announced the availability of a variety of new Ramadan apps this season for the Windows Phone 8 platform. The new applications can now be downloaded directly from the Windows Phone Store.
"Developers in the region are very enthusiastic [about] the opportunities Ramadan apps offer on the Nokia Lumia smartphones with Windows Phone 8 as they constitute a unique economy within the Middle East app ecosystem," said Ahmed Arab, app marketing manager, Nokia Middle East and North Africa.
"There has been a significant increase in this category and we are pleased to announce the availability of some of the most innovative applications relevant for this Ramadan season."
"This Ramadan, Nokia Lumia users will now have easy access to many of the cherished experiences that Muslims like to be close to, and keep them connected to Ramadan," said Michael Mansour, developer platform and technology lead at Microsoft Gulf.
"Developers from the region have added various Islamic apps that would let users celebrate this Ramadan with renewed religious fervour and offer Ramadan-specific activities with greater ease and conviction. We are committed to providing Windows phone users with access to innovative applications for seamless experiences on the Windows 8 platform."
This year's top new Nokia Windows Phone 8 Ramadan applications include Ramadan Kareem, Quran Mojawed, Muslim Prayers, Essential Duas, and also Zomato, which features a special Iftar and Suhoor section on its website.
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This app gives the time and countdown for both the next prayer and for Iftar. It also covers the prayer times for the entire day, selecting the location manually or through GPS and using one of multiple calculation methods under settings. It also offers tools such as Mosque locator, a Qibla Finder and a Quran calculator, to determine the number of pages to be read to achieve a reading goal at the end of the Holy month. Also included are free TV and radio streams, a selection of Fatwa and holy readings and Ramadan recipes and a non-Muslim section, explaining the dos and don'ts of Ramadan.
Quran Mojawed offers the complete Quran in Arabic calligraphy with the ability to listen to each surah from a different reciter. In addition, the Quran Mojawed offers complete Tajweed guidelines, as well as bookmarks. Quran Mojawed is developed by veterans ASGATech, who have established themselves as one of the leaders of Islamic apps.
Muslim Prayers is highly customisable. Every feature, such as prayer times, Qibla or Mosque Locator can be pinned to the start screen and accessed from there. Its Mosque Locator is directly integrated with Nokia HERE Drive and allows users to make use of the voice-guided navigation with one click. In addition, the app makes use of live tiles, allowing the user to see the prayer times flickering on the tiles of the home screen.
Essential Duas compiles a collection of Islamic Duas for Muslims in a single interface, allowing the user to recite supplications on the go. Essential Duas also includes transliterations, as well as translations for each supplication, to help users who are not well acquainted with the Arabic language understand and learn the Duas better. Lastly, the app makes it possible to share Duas with friends and family, via SMS, email, and social media.
Zomato is a restaurant finder app from zomato.com. It is said to offer "one of the biggest selections of restaurants across the UAE, Qatar, India and many more". The app lets the user see menus, pictures and maps for over 95,000 restaurants as well as check ratings and reviews. Zomato and Nokia have introduced a special Iftar and Suhoor section allowing users to browse eating options available during the holy season.