Learn Kannada SmartApp has enabled lakhs of people to learn the Kannada language and has been created by Varun A M who is a highly skilled Android developer. His passion for Kannada language and for coding have been the driving force behind this amazing app. He not only built the app twice but also built this website, created social media pages and actively handling accounts on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Clubhouse and helping people learn the language through every possible way.
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Varun has provided the information about the background and history of the app through answering questions.
How did it all start?
On a seemingly ordinary day in 2017, Pooja approached me and Rohith with an idea to create an app to assist people in learning the Kannada language, which sparked excitement in both of us despite our lack of app development experience. We absolutely had no idea that this idea and the app would become the world's no.1 Kannada learning app one day :)
When was it launched?
We dedicated our evenings to building the app, and by November 2017, we had developed the first version of the Learn Kannada SmartApp. We launched it during the Kannada Rajyotsava celebration and received an overwhelming response. Our hard work was greatly appreciated.
Were there not any other apps to learn Kannada?
While there were several apps available to help people learn Kannada, none of them met the desired standards. They all had poor pronunciation guides, user experiences, and outdated user interfaces. Interestingly, when we launched our app and searched for "Learn Kannada" on the app store, it was listed at 22nd place, but now it holds the top spot.
When was the first break?
While many people began learning Kannada through the app, it received its first major boost when platform LBB wrote an article about it. Within one month, the app received over 10,000 downloads without any promotion. From then on, the app was marketed by its users and achieved great success.
Why was the app re-written in 2021?
Although Learn Kannada SmartApp was already the top app on the Android platform, its user interface was not up to par. It did not allow users to maintain a learning profile or mark words as learned. In 2021, Varun had the idea to create a completely new app from scratch using the latest technologies, industry-standard user interface and experience, which he accomplished single-handedly over the course of one year.
When did the app release on iOS platform?
The app received numerous requests to release it for iOS, leading Varun to enlist the help of his friend Vineet Shanbhag to develop the iOS version. Vineet is still working closely with Varun today to ensure that all features available on the Android version are implemented on the iOS version as well.
Is this app free?
Yes, the app was created with the sole purpose of helping people learn Kannada, with no intention of making money. However, as the app gained popularity, the maintenance costs also increased beyond what Varun was able to afford. In order to continue building and maintaining the app without charging users, Varun decided to include limited advertisements. While users have the option to purchase an ad-free version for a one-time fee, the app remains free for all users even today with limited ads.
How are the expenses managed?
This question has been included to assure complete transparency that the app was not created for profit. While app development can be costly, Varun's expertise in this area helped to minimize expenses. However, there are still many ongoing expenses such as hosting charges for Google and Apple, server maintenance fees, website hosting, domain charges, email hosting, and more. Currently, the app generates enough revenue to cover these expenses, allowing users to continue learning Kannada for free through the Learn Kannada SmartApp.
What is the current status of the app?
As you may already be aware, the Learn Kannada SmartApp is the top-ranked Kannada learning app on both Android and iOS platforms, with over 310,000 downloads and a rating of 4.6+ across 99+ countries. It has been used by people of all ages and professions, including senior citizens, kids, doctors, and students preparing for competitive exams in Karnataka. The app was created with the goal of helping people learn the Kannada language for free, and it continues to fulfill that purpose.