Tuesday, June 22, 2010

iOS4 Displays Indic Scripts, More Keyboards

A major surprise after installing iOS4 on my iPod: Devanagari, Gujarati, Gurmukhi, and Tamil display correctly! Not only that, this OS has Indic fonts that OS X is still missing: Bengali, Oriya, Telugu, Sinhala, Kannada, and Malayalam. Plus Lao. There is a bug in Sinhala.

Major scripts still not available are Ethiopic, Khmer and Burmese. There is a Tibetan font, but it does not render correctly.

A test page for some scripts is here.

iOS4 provides for using hardware keyboards. As a result, a lot of keyboard layouts have been added to accommodate that, plus various other changes. Here is a complete list.

The Japanese and Chinese IM's have a Custom Dictionary facility so users can create their own pinyin/yomi to hanzi readings. Chinese IM's have a switch to turn on a "fuzzy pinyin" option (but I'm not sure how that works).

The Emoji keyboard choice only works on devices used in Japan (unless you employ special tricks to activate it). But the Japanese and Chinese keyboards have a key which generates a menu of conventional ascii "facemarks".

Switching among keyboards can now be done via a menu that appears when you hold down the "globe" icon.

Voice Control has 24 languages. VoiceOver has 21 and can be set independently of the OS language.

Also see this earlier article.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Romanian Module for Dictionary.app

Thanks to Sorin Paliga you can download a Romanian Dictionary that functions as a part of the OS X Dictionary.app from this location:


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Word Web App Does Arabic and Hindi

MS Word for Mac currently cannot do complex scripts such as Arabic or Hindi, and it looks like the next edition, to be released with Office Mac 2011, won't have that capability either. But my initial tests of the Word Web App now available as part of Windows Live Office indicate that these scripts are possible when using this "cloud" version.

A reader with a PC has confirmed that they display correctly when the Word Web app .docx is viewed or downloaded with a Windows machine. Whether such a doc created using a Windows machine will display correctly on a Mac remains to be tested.

There seem to some input problems with Safari when the Alt/Option key is required -- characters may not appear in the text. Firefox works OK, however. Opera does not work at all.

Monday, June 7, 2010

iOS 4: New Language Features

Judging from the tech specs for iPhone 4, the new iOS 4 (formerly iPhone OS 4), available for iPhones and iPod Touch starting June 21, has the following added language features compared to the current version:

Localizations: Hungarian, Catalan, and Vietnamese

Keyboards: Cangjie and Wubihua for Chinese, plus Catalan and Vietnamese

Dictionaries: Hungarian, Flemish, Catalan, Vietnamese

Voice Control: Danish

iOS 4 is expected to be available for the iPad in the fall of 2010.