Friday, June 29, 2007

iPhone Language Features Limited in First Version

I don't have an iPhone, but reports from users confirm that the OS in the device released June 29 has language capabilities that fall short of those in OS X Tiger. The user interface and keyboard input are English only. Text display in the browser (presumably the same as in email and other apps) includes W. European, E. European, Greek, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. But no font is provided for Vietnamese, Arabic, Hebrew, Hindi, Thai, or Tamil, all of which are part of the full Tiger OS, or Tibetan, rumored to be added in Leopard. This particular iPhone is, of course, intended only for the US market.

A photo of a language test page can be seen here.


Paul D. said...

Does the iPhone not actually come with Lucida Grande or a full Unicode font installed? I wonder what the issue is.

Tom Gewecke said...

Lucide Grande would cover Vietnamese, Thai, and Hebrew in addition to Latin, Greek, and Russian. So I assume from the reports I have that it is not being used. Presumably necessary fonts and possibly other parts of OS X needed for some scripts have been omitted at this stage.

There aren't any fonts used by Apple that cover all these at once.

Anonymous said...

what about the mail app, could it display japanese text in an email message for example?

Tom Gewecke said...

Mail should be able to display everything that Safari can display. But I have seen reports that only UTF-8 Chinese is being displayed correctly in email. Sorry, I don't have any complete info.

Anonymous said...

maybe the installed font to the system is Lucida, because when a friend of mine is sending me text Sms and mail in Greek characters i can read them normaly

Anonymous said...

All who need national layout!!!!!!
Best regards6
Scorpios33 from Slava Karpenko Russian Team 8-)

Anonymous said...

If you need french or bulgarian keyboard for iPhone try (from iPhone Safari)
Best regards!
Scrpios33 "From Russia with love" 8-)

Anonymous said...

There is a solution now to change the language on the Iphone go to
I purchased it the other day and it works great go check it out. It can change the iphone language to:

Chinese Traditional

Anonymous said...

what about Hebrew? Does anyone knows how to read Hebrew web page ?

Magnus Lewan said...

Are there any updates on this? Does someone know for sure which languages email and the browser display?

The UK iPhone tech spec page says:

"Support for display of multiple languages and characters simultaneously."

That's all well and fine, but which are the multiple languages? UK and US English?

Tom Gewecke said...

As far as I know, display is the same as in the original article -- W. and E. European, Greek, Russian, and CJK. Some improvements have been made in other aspects, see