PhonePe launched its Android-based mobile app marketplace, Indus Appstore, in India on Wednesday, February 21. The app store was launched by Communications, Electronics and Information Technology Minister Ashwini Vaishnau at a hybrid event. The Walmart-owned fintech firm said its new app store aims to address the major pain point of a lack of regional language content in marketplaces. The Indus Appstore will be available in English and 12 Indian regional languages. It also comes with features like video app discovery, mobile-based logins and AI-driven app recommendations.

Indus supports regional languages ​​like Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Punjabi, Tamil etc. It comes with a toggle button at the top through which users can switch between languages. The switcher not only changes the content language in the interface, but also the app names, app trailers and videos, and app descriptions. PhonePe said the transfers were done at the company’s end.

Additionally, the platform allows users to search in any of the 12 regional languages ​​to see search results in those languages. PhonePe founder and CEO Sameer Nigam said even transliterations in regional languages ​​will yield results. Android smartphone users can download and install the app here.

The Indus Appstore had 200,000 apps at launch, the company said. Some of the prominent apps include Flipkart, Disney+ Hotstar, Myntra, Zomato, Swiggy, Snapchat, etc. The number also includes several thousand games where it is highly focused. The platform has three main categories in games which are casual games, hard games and real money games (RMG).

App listings on the developer platform will be free for the first year, but will incur an annual fee thereafter. PhonePe also said the marketplace will not charge developers any platform fees or commissions for in-app payments if separate payment gateways are used. In contrast, Apple and Google charge between 15 percent and 25 percent commission for the same and do not allow integration of other payment services.

Also, the platform allows users to do logins with mobile number and OTP instead of using emails. For app recommendations, the developer platform uses artificial intelligence (AI)-based algorithms and uses location data. There are also several smart features such as smart updates that will allow faster updates to the latest version. The custom storage management feature will recommend to users the rarely used apps that can be put into hibernation (updates will be stopped) and the apps that are never used and can be deleted.

Nigam also said that app developers will have an option to show ads in their apps or not. Those who opt in will be able to earn a commission from the ad revenue generated.

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