The latest Android Ice Cream Sandwich release was keenly awaited by Indic languages as the earlier versions did not provide native support. I upgraded the OS in my Google Nexus S and found that Tamil is supported well in some native apps. Earlier we could only rely on some external android apps or hacks to view Tamil.
You can view the screenshots below with captions to understand the issues.
Here is a summary of the issues I observed:
1. Tamil is shown well in Android’s native browser and Facebook app. However, the letters are seen scrambled in many other apps like Twitter, Music and SMS.
Inference: Android provides native support for Tamil but the apps also have to code well to show it. Is it possible to do a single app that will fix this problem in all other apps present?
2. Tamil, Bengali, Marathi and Hindi are the only Indian languages supported for now. Oh ya, it can also show English well without a problem 😉
But, how did they choose these four languages? Possible guesses:
* Languages by number of speakers (But Telugu has more speakers than Tamil) ?
* Possibility of revenue generation in these languages (Ad revenue in all Indic languages are almost nill or equal) ?
* Based on the activity online? (I would guess that it is based on the volume of content, search queries, people using Google interfaces in their language).
* Developers passionate in their own language? (very much possible)
* National language status? ( Hindi, Tamil, Bengali are national languages in different countries. But choice of Marathi can’t be explained)
Android ICS Pro Tip: You can take screen shots like this by pressing the volume+power button together. The screen shots will be stored in your gallery. Then, you can share them easily across the web.