Friday, October 28, 2011

OS X 10.7 Lion Can Now Use Windows Indic Fonts

A reader of this blog has pointed out to me that, apparently without any notice, Apple has expanded OS X support for OpenType font features, so that at least some apps can now use Windows fonts as well as the AAT fonts supplied by Apple for complex Indic scripts like Devanagari. A good test is to use the font Sanskrit 2003 in TextEdit.

This is a major improvement, because it opens up a much larger range of fonts than have been possible up to now for scripts used by a major segment of the world population. Unfortunately my tests (so far only with Devanagari) indicate that this capability is not yet available in iWork apps or Openoffice or Mellel. But it does work in Nisus Writer.

I understand that this new feature should be available in any apps that use Core Text.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Full List of iOS5 Keyboard Layouts

Scripts for which iOS5 does have font support (so it can display web pages, email and other text) but still no keyboard for input are Gujarati, Gurmukhi, Tamil, Telugu, Sinhala, Oriya, Malayalam, Kannada, Bengali, Armenian, Georgian, Lao, and Yi

Certain apps can be used to create custom keyboards that may be useful.

Pages for iOS 5 Has Special Formats for Chinese/Japanese/Korean

The latest version of iOS Pages, 1.5, which requires iOS 5, provides some CJK-specific text-formatting features, including emphasis styles, list styles, and phonetic guides. For details see this page:

It appears that vertical text is still not supported.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

New Language Features in iOS 5

New OS Languages: None

New Keyboards: Hindi, Hawaiian

New Dictionaries: Hindi, Hawaiian, Estonian, Latvian, Cherokee

(Keyboards still without dictionaries: Bulgarian, Icelandic, Macedonian, Serbian, Tibetan)

(Fonts still without keyboards: Gujarati, Gurmukhi, Tamil, Telugu, Sinhala, Oriya, Malayalam, Kannada, Bengali, Armenian, Georgian, Lao, and Yi)

Note that SIRI is only available on the iPhone 4S and is not part of iOS 5 for other devices at this point.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

New Language Features in iPhone 4S

At the 10/4 event announcing the iPhone 4S, Apple said the "Siri" personal assistant of this device will include dictation capabilities and its other speech recognition features in English (US, UK, Australia), French, and German. More languages were promised for later (including Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Italian, and Spanish in 2012). I understand that an internet connection is required.

The 4S also for the first time includes a Hindi and Hawaiian keyboard. There are new dictionaries for Hindi, Hawaiian, Estonian, Latvian, and Cherokee.