KMG Kantipur mobile iOS & Android App Review – yet another promising Nepali Media App in the market
A new News Media App from Nepal
Kantipur Mobile App – Bringing us even closer. This is how Nepal’s one of the largest media houses’ smart phone app named “Kantipur” begins to ensure that people are on authentic mobile app. The app is likely to be popular as Kantipur Mobile app – this light weight app for iOS and Android platform is a congregation of Kantipur media group’s all available services.
The all new news media app – Kantipur Mobile App – is one single app solution to read news in Nepali from the Kantipur daily, in English from the Kathmandu Post or eKantipur portals, watch TV and listen radio.
The main screen: Kantipur App
As soon as a user opens the Kantipur app after installing it, s/he is shown a loading screen of the Kantipur mobile app featuring 5 different services from the Kantipur media group in a square grid fashion in iOS and a linear grid fashion in Android systems. At present, Kantipur Media Group (KMG) feature 5 main services, namely
- ePaper of the Printed papers
- Radio Kantipur
- Kantipur Television Network
- Nepali eKantipur (ref Kantipur Nepali daily)
- English eKantipur (ref The Kathmandu Post English daily)
The first glance of the app attracts user’s attention simply referring that KMG is not only yet another news app for your smartphone. The KMG app is one-in-all solution to have all Kantipur at your hand, and reach – by this KMG is sure to reach a wider audience range globally.
KMG (Kantipur Media Group) is an integrated media house comprising newspapers, a television network and an FM station. Kantipur Publications was one of the first private newspapers to be established in Nepal in 1993. Kantipur FM was the first private FM radio station, established in 1998; and Kantipur Television Network was the first private satellite TV station of the country, established in 2003. KMG’s main vision, as exemplified by its motto, “Your right to right information,” is to privde unbiased, informative content. ~ KMG
Kantipur publication ePaper feature: Kantipur App
No more waiting for sluggish and buggy flash based ePaper web pages – ePapers are sure to win many user’s rating in the Kantipur mobile app. However, one should not forget that ePapers unlike other web or app pages are resource intensive both in terms of memory usage and data usage.Available in the Kantipur mobile app are the following Kantipur publication’s print news papers and magazines in ePaper format;
- The Kantipur daily
- The Kathmandu Post
- Saptahik weekly
- Nepal weekly
- Sabottam Naari
- Kantipur Qatar
As of this writing, we were not successful in viewing a single ePaper for any of the 6 Kantipur publication’s listed above in iOS but works in Android. Today’s ePaper in Kantipur app doesn’t load until afternoon the day (as they do with their website where ePapers are available only in the noon.) For some, reading ePaper in your screen might not be that fruitful as it lacks proper flipping between pages feature and single touch zoom in feature.
Radio Kantipur in the Kantipur App
Radio Kantipur covers 59 districts in Nepal and globally via Internet (web based), and until now app based streaming. This app features Radio Kantipur’s 24-hour infotainment feature in a simple to use interface. One can listen Radio Kantipur live from this app, and can even record the live Kantipur FM’s programs. However, background playing of the Radio feature is not fully supported in iOS but the Radio runs perfect in background in Android phones.
The recordings of the Kantipur Radio can be listened anytime even without Internet (obviously), however, recording files are out of user’s reach – meaning users can’t share recordings to their friends. However, for Android users there is a little trick that allows users to locate individual FM audio recording files.
Kantipur TV in the Kantipur App
Watching Nepali TV from a dedicated iOS or Android app was never easy before. The Kantipur Mobile app now lets users watch Kantipur TV on-the-go (Internet required) – with their active screen. On devices supporting multi-app (split-screen) functionalities like Samsung Note 2/3, Galaxy S3/4, one can watch Kantipur TV and work simultaneously on the same smartphone screen. KTV streams perfect with both NTC and Ncell 3G, and even buffered from GPRS / EDGE. Really, good!
Nepalese living abroad might find streaming Kantipur TV not very much adorable – as the TV is broadcasted in very low resolution. The reasons might be analog transmission of the TV system in Nepal (however, the Ministry of Information & Communication with the help of ITU is preparing for the digital transmission of the TV system in the country) in which resolution of the streamed TV in the app appears not HD (for those accustomed to using HD media.
Yet another limitation of Kantipur TV in the Kantipur Mobile App is that the TV viewing does not automatically orients horizontally, further the full screen view is a pseudo solution. The iOS default player is lacking, hence the default full screen watching.
Nepali eKantipur in the Kantipur App
Even tho’ Kantipur Media Group claims that eKantipur Nepali edition is an standalone version of online Nepali news portal, one can often see the cross publication of almost all news story both in the print and the digital format. Hence, we might want to refer Nepali eKantipur as the Kantipur Daily in Nepali as published in the website http://ekantipur.com/np/.
Okay, back to the app for Nepali eKantipur. One can re-order the news categories by swiping left or the menu bar. However, in the iOS there is a bug with this categories reloading section as shown here – the bug wants to reset all the categories once pulled down for refreshing. Nepali news categories contained in the apps’s Nepali eKantipur section are
- मुख्य समाचार
- अर्थ / वाणिज्य
- विचार / विश्लेषण
- सूचना प्रविधि
- हाम्रो नेपालमा
- साहित्य / विविध
- मोडेल वाच
- फोटो ग्यालरी
English eKantipur in the Kantipur App
English news item section in the KMG app is almost like its Nepali language counterpart. You might want to get web portal version of news items at http://ekantipur.com/en/. Many of the news categories in the app are still null – they do not contain any news items like Asia Pacific. The news items are presented based on the published date – freshly published articles are at the top of the items. Each news items follow a featured image (when assigned). However, articles bookmarking or favorites is lacking meaning you can’t sync this app setting and news items among your other devices (we discuss this later on the design aspect of the app.)
English news categories contained in the apps’s English eKantipur section are
- Top Stories
- National News
- World News
- Editor’s Pick
- Asia Pacific
- Fiction Park
- Health and Style
- Model Watch
Article page: Kantipur App
The KMG Mobile app is most likely to have “individual article page” as the most viewed module. Once user selects individual news items from favorite category, they are taken to article page. Each page can be social shared to Facebook, Twitter and be emailed (however, social sharing feature has serious flaws, as discussed later in the design section) – this is referring to iOS edition of the app as Android allows customization on sharing.
Featured images are linked to the full screen view, however can’t be saved in your mobile phone (unless you screenshot) nor can be shared. Each news or article item can be viewed in the web browser. The URL of the each item is the content of your Tweet and the image of each item is shared on your Facebook album rather than as your Facebook status – this again applies only to iOS edition.
Now introducing the newest member of our family- the Kantipur mobile app, a platform that will allow you to access all our services from a single device. We’ve always striven to bring the latest news, views and entertainment to you. Our new app will only bring us closer. ~ Kantipur Media Group (KMG)
Features / Review of the Kantipur Mobile App
We try to list design aspect factors of the KMG mobile app here with brief discussion on what’s the good and the bad of each feature.
- Design factor of Kantipur Mobile App is based on the Simplicity. The app is native to iOS 7 with perfect blend of the coloration. The design of the app doesn't mimic that the app is simply like yet another news app. The KMG app's home screen is simply grid based - square horizontal in iOS and linear vertical in Android.
- No effects. No transitions. No sensors! Say it a lacking feature or a sense of simplicity. There are no page turn feature when browsing article, no location based content presentation, nor location auto-detection feature in Suggestion grid (this would been a cool feature, KM Corp!)
- Juvenile Push Notifications. Did anybody notice that there is a push notification feature in this app? Yes, it is available for Android edition (however, we did never receive any notification in last 3 day's use of the app having notifications enabled.) But there are no push notification settings available for iOS users. The Corp should consider this feature.
- No Synchronization. No user account. Desperately many of us would miss this feature. Got multiple devices and use the Kantipur Mobile App? Sorry dude, there is no way to track which news you already read and which not. You cannot track your last read ePaper page. It would been awesome if Kantipur Media Corp would let users use the account that's used for logging into the web based ePaper feature in the Kantipur portal.
- Cache and Offline Experience. The Kantipur Mobile App have options for setting cache size in Android while iOS users have option only to clear cache not to allow storage memory amount. The app works perfect in offline or aeroplane mode, just ensure you had opened your favorite news category while connected and voila, there are you good to read whenever you want. Featured images in some articles might not load.
- Connectivity Options. Once again Android users can set options to allow the app to use either Wi-Fi only or cellular data or both. However, this option should be achieved manually in iOS settings (from Cellular data use options, just disable the Kantipur app NOT to use cellular data should you require to use only in Wireless mode.)
- Navigation. Well, it's mediocre. While the home screen is simply the best, once you browse individual articles you are not shown to which category it belongs to. Moving to the next article and previous one is quite cumbersome, you just need to go thru that one sided arrow back to left panel. The designers should have approached least tap method to make the app experience seamless.
- No Adverts. Good or bad. BBC and CNN app - one have apps the other doesn't (that too periodic.) At least for now the Kantipur Mobile App does have any in-app ads both in iOS and Android.
- Perfect blend of Nepali font. Font size is adaptive to screen size both in iOS and Android, even in phablets. The Nepali font size fits as if native support of the script in the devices.
- Text to Speak feature. Text feature. Well, the developers might know what target level of accessibility they were to meet. Users can select text in individual articles and let the device speak out text to you, yes this supports articles in Nepali as well (just appreciate the feature, we might want to video review this soon!) Selecting feature is also feature not omitted.
- No orientation. No true touch. No zoom-in. No orientation. No true touch. No Zoom in. Well, many things look beautiful with horizontal orientation - say it, watching KTV (available with some manual way as described above), reading news articles and ePaper. This orientation disobeying is a feature missed in this Kantipur Mobile App for many of us using iPad, tablets and phablets. Zoom-in in individual articles would have been an added advantages.
- No app support, documentation. Did we miss any? How about a guided tour of the app for new users and for refreshment to those using. It should been a blunder from such a giant publication house and the developer team not to document the support and getting started. Further no privacy statements, no terms of references and disclaimers. Well, they are require for users in country other than Nepal, at least, so why negligence?
- Out of Box feature: Google Chromecast. Just a dream here. If KMG app would support Google Chromecast by default, it would be one of the awesomest features Kantipur ever gave to its users. (Just a dream, at least my wishlist.)
The Final Verdict: (KMG) Kantipur Mobile App
Provided the simplicity of the design and services delivered, the Kantipur Mobile App is likely to hit the top of the chart on its type – News / Magazine. However, improvements on part of synchronization and simultaneous features on iOS vs Android need priority in updates. Like Nagarik News App which was able to set benchmark for the smartphone app list of Nepali newspapers, the Kantipur mobile app will benchmark the list for the complete media house delivery.
For this smart to have on your pocket – all-in-one app, we rate 4.5 of 5 in total. Love news & magazines. Love KTV & KFM from Kantipur? Then this app is definitely a must have for your smart gadget.
Download the official the Kantipur News app for Nepali & English news on your smart phone and tablet. Share your experiences about this app.
[schema type=”review” url=”http://techsansar.com/?p=8841″ name=”Kantipur Mobile App” description=”Review of mobile app from Kantipur Media Group covering eKantipur, Radio Kantipur, Kantipur TV and ePapers” rev_name=”App” rev_body=”Kantipur Mobile App, all-in-one official media app solution from Kantipur Media Group” author=”Ekendra Lamsal” pubdate=”2014-02-23″ user_review=”4.5″ min_review=”1″ max_review=”5″]
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