Reliance Jio, which is expected to launch its 4G services in a month, has released version 2 of its App suite called Jio Apps.
The program is in beta testing on Play store and not visible to general public.
However, those with RJio SIMs get a message with a link to enable them to be part of the beta testing.
Once they clicks on the ‘accept’ button in the link, they can see all the Jio apps when searching on Play Store using that Google account.
At present, the suite consists of 12 apps, besides the app-store itself. The company has tried to ensure that subscribers get most of the important services from its apps without going to the Internet.
Reliance Retail has today released three new LYF smartphones starting at Rs 4,999.
We give small explanation and description of these Reliance Jio apps one by one.
The first app is My Jio, which is primarily an account management facility like My Airtel and My Vodafone. You can use the application to recharge your own, and also transfer balance to others accounts.
The second application is Jio Chat, which is already available to the public via the Play store.
The third one is Jio Join — a VoIP client that allows you to make calls and send SMS, as well as receive them, directly to and from any phone number anywhere in the world. This is the first VoIP app in India to have the facility to make outgoing calls to any phone number directly, including to those who have no smartphones, but only a regular phone.
The fourth one is Beats. This is like Airtel’s WYNK and a host of other music and video apps out there. It has audio and video in over 20 languages.
The fifth one is Mags, which is what you’d expect from the name — a collection of popular magazines including those covering sports, fitness and so on. “Create your personal virtual library on your device, with a wide collection of magazines in your preferred language,” says the introduction.
The app also has a convenient text-to-speech function that helps you listen to the magazine instead of read them, which would be appreciated by those who cannot read or have poor eyesight.
The sixth app is Drive, which works like Google Drive and backs up your photos, videos, contacts etc..
The seventh one is Play. This is a particularly interesting product, and perhaps the first of its kind in India. It’s a bit like Yupp TV, which helps you watch TV channels through the Internet.
However, the difference here is that on certain channels on Play, you can rewind all the way back to 7 days ago. At present only around three dozen channels support the rewind function, but the number is likely to increase.
Number 8 is Jio On-Demand. This is a bit like Beats, but with lots of HD movies, TV shows and so on. The emphasis here on videos.
On-Demand will be a big competitor to Youtube. If Reliance ‘zero rates’ this application, we might again seen the restarting of Net Neutrality and differential pricing agitations.
However, given that the TRAI has allowed any non-Internet application to be given free, it’s almost certain that Jio On-Demand will be available free of charge as far as access fee is concerned. However, you will have to pay on a per video basis or subscribe to a monthly pack like you do on DTH for access to certain videos.
This offering could affect players like Star India, which has invested in an application called Hotstar which contains movies, TV shows and so on. However, if you watch Hotstar, you will have to pay data charges, while Jio On-Demand will have one payment, which includes data charges. Needless to say, it will be much cheaper to view videos on On-Demand application compared to Youtube or Hotstar since data prices are very high.
The ninth application in the suite is XpressNews, which is basically a news application like Daily Hunt. Again, this too will be offered on a per-month payment basis, and data charges will not be separately billed, according to our sources. It will compete with Daily Hunt, Flipboard and news apps of Times of India and so on. The only difference will be that XpressNews will not reduce your data balance like the other apps. Only one monthly charge is likely to be there and the user can view as many items as he wants after that.
Next is Jionet. This helps you locate Jio’s WiFi hotspots. Whenever you recharge for mobile data, you also get free WiFi data allowance. You can use this at the hotspots operated by the company. Your credentials are automatically verified if you have this application on your device.
The second-ast app is something that will be popular with college kids — switch N walk. It’s a file transfer utility, and works over Bluetooth, NFC, WiFi etc, which means that your data allowance is not reduced by the transfer of files.
The final application is Mobile security, which is basically an anti-virus and battery management tool.
All these apps are already available on Google Play. Though it may be possible to install them after getting a link to be part of the testing program, you still won’t be able to access them without a Jio ID, which requires a working Jio phone number.