With the holy month of Ramadan now three weeks away, one technology expert in the Gulf believes it will be the most ‘mobile-enabled’ Ramadan ever.
David Gorodyansky, CEO and founder of internet security firm AnchorFree, has said the increasing use and influence of smartphones and tablet computers are likely to be felt throughout the holy month.
“Ramadan requires a huge amount of coordination, which can be now be supported by an unprecedented galaxy of apps… Smartphones and tablets can add a powerful new dimension to the ability to share experiences with friends and family both near and far throughout the holy month,” said Gorodyansky.
“Mobile technology is clearly more widely available and important in the region this year, and it will undoubtedly make its influence felt throughout Ramadan.”
A recent report by Ericsson showed Middle East telecom operators witnessed eight million new subscribers during Q1 of this year, while mobile phone penetration rate across the region now stands at 109 per cent.
Gorodyansky believes these statistics and the rapidly growing scenario of more than one device per person will drive considerable traffic to Islam and Ramadan specific apps.
On Google Play – what used to be known as the Android market – top Islamic apps such as Muslim Pro and Salatuk (Prayer Time) have already racked up millions of installs, with figures expected to soar next month.
Applications focusing on Qibla direction, calendars, 3D virtual tours of Mecca, informative broadcasts and the Qu’ran are all expected to soar in popularity.
“Interestingly, the proliferation of visually-appealing, user-friendly apps is also proving a compelling way for non-Muslims to learn about the significance of the occasion,” said Gorodyansky.