Khaled rambles technology, tea/coffee, consumer rights and other interest from Saudi Arabia

January 7, 2010

Native Arabic support for Google Android

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , — Khaled A. @ 8:02 pm

STC was the first company to introduce an Android based cellphone in the region. The phone was the HTC Magic however native Arabic support is only available for Android OS 1.5 while the latest OS version for the Magic is 1.6 (HTC are working on 2.1 update to be released this year). Arabic support is not available in 1.6, 2.0 and 2.1.

I should contrast this to the iPhone: iPhone OS 3.0 added support for many languages including Arabic. You do not need to download additional software to add Arabic to the iPhone and you don’t need to change anything if all you needed is to read Arabic. Apple did that in less than 2 years and all of their iPhones support Arabic by now. As for Android you should be able to add Arabic by visiting a site such as XDA Developers.

Which brings us to the ArDroid website that specializes in helping the Arabic speaking community use Google Android phones. They started a feature request to have better Arabic language support:

I bought an Android phone and I said since you already made the locale adding the Arabic language will be easy and fast , but now I have the phone for 5 months and no Arabic support still , we have two available Android phones in my country and two are coming in a few months , I had an iPhone but I sold it to buy an Android phone , so I think I’m wrong in selling the iPhone , anyway please Google add the Arabic support and Prove Me Wrong .

Support this by voting for this issue to be resolved which you can do by simply clicking the star on the left (you might need a Google Account for that).

I should remind Google that Nokia is a major market-share holder in Saudi Arabia, BlackBerry comes in second place. So they are the major competition for Android phones here, not the iPhone.

Image from here.