Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Chinese OCR in iOS Devices

One of the coolest features of the iPhone/iPod/iPad for Chinese users is the ability to simply photograph signs and texts and use the device to translate them.   I recently found the excellent Zhongweb Chinese blog which has an article comparing several apps available which can do the OCR function:

iOS Apps For Chinese OCR Showdown.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

New Chinese Fonts in OS X 10.8

One of the added features in Mountain Lion promoted by Apple is "eight new fonts, from modern to classical, for Chinese users".  I actually count 10:  Baoli, Kaiti, Lantinghei, Libian, Songti, Wawati (SC & TC), Weibei (SC & TC), Xingkai, Yuanti, and Yuppi (SC & TC).

For some info on most of these, see this page.

I have seen a report that at least one of these fonts, Kaiti SC, has a meta-data setting which makes it non-embeddable in Adobe apps.  As far as I know, all the new fonts are embeddable when used in Apple apps.

(My research indicates the same problem may exist for the "old" Chinese fonts STFangsong, STKaiti, and STSong.)

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Japanese-English Dictionary Missing in iOS 6

For some reason the Japanese-English dictionary that is available in OS X and was present in iOS 5 got lost in iOS 6.0 and is still missing in 6.1.   Among the complaints about this posted in the Apple Support Community are some ideas for apps that might be useful while waiting for Apple to fix the problem.  I mention 2 here -- other suggestions from readers are welcome.

PS I understand that there is a fix for this problem for jailbroken devices, but as a matter of policy I don't included that kind of thing in this blog.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Font Variation for Japanese Hiragana "ri"

Mac  OS X users who input Japanese may notice that the Hiragana character for "ri", U+308A, can appear in two different forms, shown below :

Which one is displayed depends on what font is used by the app or system.  The main Japanese font, Hiragino, uses the first (connected) version, while the Osaka Japanese font and some fonts for Chinese and Korean, plus Arial Unicode, use the second (two strokes).

The default font for Chinese/Japanese is often determined by the order of the languages in System Preferences > Language & Text > Language, so to guarantee you get a Japanese one you should make sure that language is higher on the list than Chinese or Korean.  If you want to have the two-stroke "ri", you will have to also switch Hiragino to Osaka.

Friday, February 1, 2013

iPad Turkish Keyboard Bug

Since iOS 6, there is a Turkish F screen keyboard layout available on the iPad.  Unfortunately it is not really usable, because the key for the Turkish dotless i (ı) is in the wrong place and also does not produce a dotless i unless you wait for the popup menu to appear and then select that character.

The recent iOS 6.1 update does not fix this.  Users can select the Turkish Q layout instead.