Tamil Font support in Android?

What about the Tamil font support in Android? I just analyzed the stuff behind this.

Tamil like any indic language needs complex script support, which is most important for complex characters in indian languages. This is provided by Pango library in linux systems. Most of the latest Linux desktop/server has Pango library installed by default. Android is NOT.

I just tried installing a tamil font in Android and confirmed this. Though the tamil characters are visibile to some extent, most of the characters are found split into two characters.  It is not readable. This mail thread says Android team is working on it. Even which library to use (pango or other such libraries) is not decided yet. It is not available in feature list 1.5 release also.

If any one has other way of getting it done, please comment it here.

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23 comments

  1. Hi Guys,

    I got the solution to read tamil sites in our Android phones after so many days of search in internet.

    Install Opera mini.
    In the browser address bar, type in “opera:config” (without the quotes) and then go. This will take you to the opera settings page.
    Find the option that says “Use bitmap fonts for complex scripts” . The default is “no” for this option. Change this option to “Yes” and click save.
    Once this is done. u can read the tamil fonts in the browser.

  2. Install Opera mini.
    In the browser address bar, type in “opera:config” (without the quotes) and then go. This will take you to the opera settings page.
    Find the option that says “Use bitmap fonts for complex scripts” . The default is “no” for this option. Change this option to “Yes” and click save.
    Once this is done. u can read the tamil fonts in the browser.

  3. I have a honeycomb tablet and there is still no support for complex font rendering. The only “readable” solution at the moment is to use Opera mini bitmap rendering of complex scripts on server. Rest all (SETT browser, rooting and replacing fonts) is plain b.s. and time wasting masochistic activities

  4. Still no support..Gingerbread and counting.. Please guys tell me, I would like to change my display language in Android to Tamil. Also count me in for any developments.

  5. If all you need is to view tamil websites on Android Device then try the app “Tamil Browser”. This app is in early stages but works.

    They have a facebook page too where the developer welcomes comments on how he can improve it.

    1. I really would prefer Tamil be supported/enabled by the OS itself so that its handled across the board in the Android Phone. I have a Droid X and I Really HATE to say that I am seriously thinking about going back to iPhone. It looks like Google doesn’t really care about provide indic/unicode support and the pain it is to the users because of the non-support.

      For now all I can say is that with respect to Tamil language support itself is concerned, ANDROID SUCKS…

      -SR

  6. Any update that you heard or know of. ..if full Unicode tamil font support is available on android 1.6 or later versions …

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