Have you ever felt the need to navigate maps on your phone in Urdu? Whether you wanted this feature or not, Pakistan’s first Digital Urdu Maps are here.
Urdu Maps is a new feature introduced in TPL Maps, a product of TPL Trakker Ltd. The app was first launched in August 2016 as a Google Maps competitor. However, it received a fair amount of criticism for being very similar to Google Map and not being user-friendly. But TPL Maps did not back down. In the past year, they have introduced quite a lot of updates including Street View Maps, and voice-based navigation in Urdu. Its parent company, TPL Trakker, also expressed the desire to take the product to an international audience. Now in the month of Pakistan’s 70th Independence Day, TPL Maps is giving “a gift to the country” in the form of Pakistan’s First Urdu Digital Maps.
In order to access the Urdu Maps, you’ll need to have TPL Maps downloaded on your phone and the app language needs to be set to Urdu. In order to do this, tap on the side menu, then go to ‘Settings’ → ‘Language’ and select Urdu. On doing this the entire language of the app will be changed to Urdu along with locations on the map. Users will be able to see cities, roads, and other places of interest in Urdu.
Since the feature is relatively new, you will note that most of the places that are labeled in English won’t be labeled in Urdu. This can be pretty annoying considering providing location names in Urdu is the main job of Urdu Maps.
TPL Maps’ aim is to offer Pakistani people a localized mapping service and their latest update is a step towards this goal. However, with more than a billion people using Google Maps and Google rapidly introducing support for Urdu and other languages, the time isn’t far when people will be able to navigate Google Maps in their local languages.
So the question is, how will TPL Maps remain relevant with such a hefty competition?