Monday, November 22, 2010

iPad Language Capabilities Expanded

iOS 4.2 for the iPad was released today and as expected it brings the language capabilities of the iPad up to those available for a while now in the iPhone/iPod Touch, including Arabic, Hebrew, Greek, Korean, Traditional Chinese, etc. A full list can be seen in the updated iPad Tech Specs:

No keyboards are yet available for Indic scripts, even though fonts are present for Devanagari, Gujarati, Gurmukhi, Tamil, Bengali, Oriya, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, and Sinhala. (The full OS X still does not have the last 6 of these.)

For a full list of virtual and hardware keyboard layouts, see

I understand that the Keyboard Dock is available in the following layouts: English, German, Dutch, Spanish, Italian, and French.


Joe said...

Rejoice! I'm especially happy for the Korean and the Traditional Chinese input methods.

What I find odd though is that the Korean input method on iOS lacks a key/function to switch between hangeul and hanja, as there is on Mac OS X's Korean input method.

Perhaps for Korean speakers the Traditional Chinese handwriting input will come in handy.

Don said...

Very interesting - thanks for the update. Do iPads support extended Latin characters used in orthographies of many languages (esp. in Africa)? What would be the steps necessary to get support for languages not yet included?

Tom Gewecke said...

Don -- I think all the extended Latin stuff can be displayed OK, but whether an existing keyboard layout includes them is another issue. So far there is no way for users to add custom keyboard layouts to iOS devices.

Nicholas Shanks said...

Since Apple have released the iPhone Simulator with iOS 4.2 support, the iOS Indic fonts can now be installed on Mac OS X by following the instructions on my site:

This also applies for other fonts not present on Mac OS X, like Chalkduster.