Monday, October 30, 2017

iOS 11 Changes Localized Date Handling

Jaanus Kase:

If you enable Estonian language/region support as shown on the above image, and developers are formatting dates with the correct/default NSDateFormatter approach that Apple has trained them to do for years, then…

… in iOS 10, you see dates and times in Estonian in many apps, even those that are not explicitly localized.

… in iOS 11, you see dates and times in Estonian only in those apps that are themselves localized into Estonian. Which, let’s be honest, is like 2 apps out of a million. The dates shown in the apps are not what Apple shows as “Region Format Example” in the screenshot. Unless you are on the home screen, which nevertheless chooses to still show the date in Estonian, making affairs just more confusing.


From a purist standpoint, seeing Frankenstein UI where English-language apps have Estonian dates in them may be undesirable. As a user, though, I am not a purist. I am a human. I prefer my own language, even if the support is Frankenstein-like and incomplete.

2 Comments RSS · Twitter

As a user, I hated it when Czech formatting for dates etc. was used even though I use English as the UI language in iOS. This is a welcome and long-overdue fix as far as I’m concerned.

Most localizations in apps are so lame, that it's much preferred to use English. Only when an app is locally done it will present decent native language interface (except maybe 4-5 major languages). I absolutely prefer to have a choice on app by app basis. However date formats, as well as all other formats like temperature, distances etc. should be in fact decided by system-wide formatting preferences, while default settings initially can be drawn from localization.
So the main issue with changes is that data formatting selected by user is not always respected.

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