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Noon: The First Arabic Transliteration Keyboard on Android

Most Android smartphones include traditional Arabic locale support, which provides Arabic fonts and the option to change the entire interface into Arabic. But how, you may be asking, do you write Arabic on your Android phone? Many in the region still resort to typing in Arabazi, which is the use of the Latin script to communicate in Arabic. They resort to using online tools to type without using an Arabic keyboard. For Android users, this can be a daunting task.

The Noon Keyboard provides a simple solution; the app is a free tool that allows Arab Android users to type in their native language without using an Arabic keyboard. By offering Arabazi functionality, the app allows the user to simply spell out each Arabic word the way they would pronounce it. Noon then converts it to the corresponding Arabic word.

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MIT Enterprise Forum Arab Business Plan Competition Announces Final 14 Startups

Fourteen startup teams from the Middle East are heading to Dubai this month for the final judging of the fifth annual Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Enterprise Forum Arab Business Plan Competition.

The 5th edition of the competition has seen more than 4,500 applicants. Hala Fadel, Chair of the MIT Enterprise Forum of the Pan Arab Region, attributed the high application numbers to the growing entrepreneurial spirit throughout the Middle East.

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Number of Mobile Lines Boosts in the Middle East

More than 69,000 mobile lines are being added each day in the Middle East – with operators looking to broadband services for growth as voice revenues are set plummet, according to a survey published by Ericsson.

Ericsson also noted that 4 mobile applications per week are downloaded on individual smartphones, with an average application search of 2 hours per day in application stores, indicating a need for mobile application developers.

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2012 World Summit Youth Award Calling For Nominations

The 2012 World Summit Youth Award (WSYA) is calling for nominations to select and promote the world’s best e-content created by young, social entrepreneurs and developers from all UN member states.

The award calls for "fresh technological ideas of the most creative Young Digital Natives from around the world" and encourages social entrepreneurship by celebrating those who work together to tackle ill-health, gender inequality, lack of education, lack of access to clean water, and environmental degradation.

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Game Cooks' New iOS Game Designed to Promote Peace in the Middle East

Game Cooks, the company established by the makers of Birdy Nam Nam, have announced the completion of their first game “Run For Peace,” which will be released end of June.

Set entirely in the Middle East, the linear run-and-jump game focuses around the character Salim, who spreads peace by running throughout the region, starting in Saudi Arabia and ending in Algeria. The game will be available for the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch at the end of June in English, French and Arabic.

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Cinemoz Breaks 100,000 Video Views Per Month and Launches Innovative Design Layout

Breaking 100,000 video views per month, Cinemoz launched a new layout and look this week that is designed to make navigating their diverse content list even easier than before. From the home page to specific content pages, users will find a more visually appealing and user-friendly display of information and films.

Since the launch of the online Arabic entertainment provider last December, the company has continually strived to improve the usability and appeal of the site. Their latest effort is a site-wide redesign that not only improves the site’s look and feel, but also the ease with which users can navigate their massive content portal.

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Lebtivity: Share and Discover Events in Lebanon

Launched two weeks ago, the idea behind Lebtivity is very simple: provide a new, easy way to share local events with the Lebanese community and allow them to discover events relevant to their interests.

The site is an innovative option for all those who are looking for a tool that will allow them to share their personal events with people around them.

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Online Gaming Market Booming in the Arab World

The online gaming market is booming in the Arab world, according to a statement issued last week by the Arab Advisors Group. According to the report, the number of online Arabic games went from 1 in September 2007 to 135 as documented November 2011.

The report also observed that as of late last month, the total number of users of Arabic games on Facebook averaged at 2.89 million per month.

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Keefak: Teaching Lebanese Arabic on Mobiles

Keefak is a mobile application available on iOS and Android, which offers a fast and convenient solution for the increasing interest in Lebanese-Arabic dialect and its learning needs.

A key aspect to learning a language is quality content, a characteristic that Keefak offers in its user-friendly and sleek design. Each lesson is presented with an appreciation for cultural nuance that integrates components of vocabulary, pronunciation, grammar so users learn actual conversation.

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Industry News: Lack of Arabic Mobile Applications Seen as Business Opportunity

Juniper Research has released its latest report on consumer app downloads to mobile devices and has reported a 16% rise in Arabic mobile applications in the United States alone, despite the slow rise in Arabic mobile application availability.

According to the report, the rise in application downloads responds to the rising interest in Arabic language and society globally.

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