Saturday, September 29, 2007

A Hebrew Font Puzzle

Someone in the Apple forums reported that when using Safari to view certain web sites, all accented Latin characters were being replaced by Hebrew. Normally the culprit for such behavior should be a non-Unicode Hebrew font with the same name as that required by the web page code, which was Arial in this case. But it seemed that no such font could be found anywhere on the machine.

It turns out that the old Windows font Web Hebrew AD, with the filename wehad.ttf, is in fact just such an animal, replacing accented Latin by Hebrew according to the Win-1255 encoding. When examined with a font editor, you can see that its internal name is actually Arial, so that Safari can't tell the difference. Mystery solved.

Friday, September 28, 2007

iPhone Input Keyboard Gets Accented Latin

iPhone firmware update 1.1.1 of Sept. 27, 2007 adds the capability to make accented Latin characters to the iPhone keyboard. If you press and hold a letter, a pop-up menu will appear where you can choose an accented or other variation.

Oddly this update fails to duplicate the capabilities provided recently in the iPod Touch for localizing the user interface, predictive typing other than English, and for switching among various layouts or input in Japanese.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

iPod Touch Language Capabilities

While the new iPod Touch strongly resembles the current iPhone (minus the phone), its language capabilities seem considerably greater. The tech specs indicate the user interface is localized in English, French, German, Japanese, Dutch, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish, Korean, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Russian, and Polish. Keyboard input (only English in the iPhone) adds French, German, Japanese, Dutch, Italian, Spanish, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish, Polish, and Portuguese. Dictionaries for predictive typing are available for English, UK English, French, and German.

To get accented characters, you hold down the key of the base letter.

Whether any additional languages are supported for web browsing and song info display is not known yet.

The upgraded standard iPods have no additions to their language support, described here, despite many requests for Hebrew, Arabic, Thai, etc.