Ramadan themes at your fingertips

Electronic gadgets such as tablets and smartphones are increasingly becoming digital gateways for apps pegged to Ramadan. The Life looks at some of the latest offerings.
A Ramadan app by Finance House.
A Ramadan app by Finance House.

Computer applications pegged specifically to Ramadan are increasingly popping up on portable devices such as smartphones and tablets.

Some apps pull up the times to break the fast this month, while others link to tracks that play verses of the Quran.

Gadget owners that can link to Apple's iTunes store can now access more than 135 Ramadan-themed apps on the iPad alone. More than 180 are available for the iPhone.

The Yahoo! Ramadan app, which was designed specifically with the Middle East in mind and released just a couple of weeks ago for iTunes, offers recipes for creative dishes to break the fast. It also features religious, health and lifestyle news tied to the holy month, all selected by Yahoo's editorial team from the Middle East.

BlackBerry's App World has a paltry selection of apps by comparison, although a couple of US$2.99 (Dh10.98) apps let smartphone owners personalise their device with unique Ramadan themes.

Nokia's Ovi Store may be a better choice for fans of apps. In the UAE, the digital shop highlights six applications for Ramadan, including the uQuran.

This free programme provides the complete verses although it may require the purchase of an external memory card to store all 782 kilobytes of the file. Another free app, the QuickQibla, is helpful for Muslim globetrotters who want to keep track of the right prayer schedule regardless of which time zone they are in.

The UAE's large population of expatriates from Pakistan, in particular, may find Nokia's offering of apps the best of the bunch if they return home during August. Devices such as the N8, E7, C7, C3 and X2-01 can access the Zauq mobile app, which downloads recipes for Ramadan delicacies. A QTV app can access audio files of the Quran read by famous reciters.

Haseeb Ihtisham, the head of marketing for Nokia in Pakistan and Afghanistan, has said the company is aiming to make its Ovi Store "more valuable and locally relevant" with its Islamic apps.

nparmar@thenational.ae

Published: August 2, 2011 04:00 AM

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