Sunday, July 5, 2015

Installing Fonts on iOS

Norbert Lindenberg:

iOS comes with a selection of fonts that cover the major writing systems of the world. Some apps, however, need to install additional fonts for system-wide use. […] This article describes how such apps can package and install fonts, based on my experience bundling the Ubud font with the Balinese Font and Keyboard app. Note that this is about system-wide use – if you need to bundle a font just for use within your own app, Chris Ching has a tutorial for that.


For some parts of the Unicode character set WebKit now looks for fallback fonts, for other parts it doesn’t (Balinese was one of the lucky scripts). Recent code changes in WebKit indicate that this will finally be completely fixed in iOS 9.


While support for third-party keyboards was highlighted as a new feature in iOS 8, support for third-party fonts received much less attention. This is probably because the support that exists was primarily targeted at enterprise customers: Fonts for use across apps are packaged in configuration profiles, which otherwise serve to configure virtual private networks, disable games and unsafe web sites, locate network printers, and do other things that matter in corporate environments.


[Apple] Configurator creates and uses a self-signed certificate, which iOS doesn’t trust, so you get the same number of warnings, just saying “Not Verified” instead of “Not Signed”. […] I ended up buying a COMODO code signing certificate from KSoftware, which cost US$95 and quite some time because their support for Macs is a bit flaky.


Installed fonts do not get updated automatically. When the user installs a new version of your app that includes a new version of the font, you likely have to remind the user to re-install the font.

So I guess Font/DA Mover is no longer the hard way to install fonts.

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