Last year, I developed a small website for Myanmar iOS users. It contains collection of 3rd party fonts and keyboards which users can use to read and write Burmese or other ethnic languages on iOS devices.
This is how I wrote on that page.
iOS supported Burmese locale since its version 7. But there is no Burmese font yet. (I’m watching you Apple.) If you want to read and write, you need to rely on 3rd party fonts and keyboards. We are here to review them!
A bit history here. Apple included Myanmar fonts called Myanmar Sangam and Myanmar Sangam MN in their OS X Lion in 2011. However, pseudo-Unicode font called Zawgyi is (still) very popular among Myanmar people. They don’t appreciate of built-in fonts, disable those and continued to use pseudo-Unicode font. Besides, the keyboard layout they installed is not what users are familiar. So it’s hard to urge people to migrate to Unicode standard.
Well, our prayers are answers and our voice are heard by Apple. In iOS 10 beta, we found out that there’s Myanmar Sangam font pre-installed, just like OS X. We’re overwhelmed and so excited for such move by Apple since it’s been a long awaited feature for Myanmar people.
How cool would it be since you can read your languages right out of the box!?
As a beta user, I reported font issues which are long overdue to fix to Apple.. They fixed most of the issues in no time and I see them in 5th beta. Awesome work Apple for timely fixes and listening our feedback.
I’m excited to say that as of iOS beta 5 (released on 9th August 2016), most rendering issues are fixed.
However, it’s not the end here. We need support for all ethnic languages, we need built-in keyboard for all Myanmar languages such as Burmese, Kayin, Mon, Shan, Pa Oh and so on. I hope Apple can deliver those in the near future.
I believe inclusion of Myanmar font on iOS will help Unicode migration for certain degree. The future is bright and can’t wait for final release of iOS 10 and more awesome stuff from Apple.
Oh and by the way, I haven’t downloaded beta version of new Mac OS. I hope fixes are applied in there too.