Farsi, also known as Persian and Dari, has been included as a language on the keyboard in iOS for the first time with the introduction of iOS 11. The inclusion means Farsi speakers no longer need to use the Arabic keyboard on their iPhones, which was slow and cumbersome to use. The inclusion came following a lot of petitioning towards Apple, including direct letters to Steve Jobs when he was alive, which went unanswered.
According to Sam Farzaneh, writing for the BBC, demand for Farsi support has been high:
“For several years, many Iranians and Afghans signed petitions, hoping to add the keyboard. One of my friends personally wrote to Steve Jobs twice, but never heard back.”
It’s unclear why Apple has taken so long to implement the keyboard into its mobile operating system when Android has had support for the language for several years already; nevertheless, it’s a positive move for Apple to make.
Under the old routine, Farsi speakers had to use the Arabic keyboard;in order to access four Persian letters, the user had to long press other letters which drastically slowed down typing speed. The other issue was the lack of the so-called half-space. In Farsi, letters in a single word are joined up, however some words are made by combining two words together. When this is done, there is a half space between the two words, with Apple’s omission of half-spaces, users had to insert a full space instead which, not surprisingly, made things look pretty weird.
This latest bit of news draws attention to the lack of language support in certain operating systems. While a variety of languages and their locales are fairly well supported on most popular desktop operating systems, it’s fair to say that both Android and iOS have got some catching up to do. Google has made decent strides with its Gboard keyboard when it comes to the amount of supported languages, but for users still running AOSP keyboard, the language support, and especially available dictionaries, is pretty shoddy and the situation only gets worse when you want to choose a system language for the entire device.
Source: BBC News