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Apple WWDC 2019: new Indic language and India specific features in iOS 13 and iPadOS

Some key announcements were made at Apple’s WWDC 2019 conference, and for the first time it seemed as if the company had listened to its small but passionate user base in India. After unveiling iOS 13 and a new operating system for iPads called iPadOS, Apple announced a slew of India-specific additions to both the operating systems. While most of the additions have been made keeping in mind India’s diversity when it comes to languages, there are also some changes that address network congestion and ease of downloading videos from apps like Netflix and Hotstar.

All India specific announcements at Apple WWDC 2019

This is perhaps the first time that Apple has introduced changes/additions keeping its Indian users in mind. Following are all the additions to Apple’s new operating systems that are aimed specifically at users in India:

Siri will now talk in Indian male and female voices

Siri may have a lot of problems, but not having an Indian voice is not one of them, anymore. Siri voice assistant will now offer all new and “more natural” Indian English male and female voices on iPhones and iPads. Earlier, Siri had male and female voices and could only speak in American, Australian, British, Irish and South African accents. The new Indian accent will make more people use Siri for productivity purposes.

Support for 22 Indian languages

The new version of iOS will bring support for all 22 official Indian languages. Plus, you can specify during the setup if you speak more than one languages, and the phone will tune keyboard, dictation languages, and preferred languages accordingly. Of these 22 languages, there are 15 new additions that include – Assamese, Bodo, Dogri, Kashmiri, Konkani, Manipuri, Maithili, Nepali, Sanskrit, Sanskrit and Sindhi.

Bilingual Hindi and English keyboard

The iOS 13 update will see a bilingual keyboard, featuring support for Hindi and English languages for Indian users. The keyboard offers typing predictions in Devanagari Hindi that can suggest possible next words to users and also learn from their typing over time.

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Document fonts in Indian languages

There are 30 new document fonts for Indian languages that include – Hindi, Marathi, Nepali, Sanskrit, Bengali, Assamese, Tamil, Telugu, Gujarati, Kannada, Gurmukhi, Malayalam, Odia, and Urdu.

Indian language system fonts

The upcoming version of iOS, which will ship to a range of iPhone handsets later this year, also includes four new system fonts in Indian languages: Gurmukhi, Kannada, Odia, and Gujarati. These will “help deliver greater clarity and ease when reading in apps like Safari, typing in Messages and Mail, or swiping through Contacts,” the company said in a statement.

Enhanced language setup

While setting up a new Apple device which used iOS 13 and iPadOS, users will be presented with enhanced options if the device detects that they use more than one language. The device will automatically prompt users to add relevant languages to their keyboard along with dictation and system language settings. Most Indian users, who are habitual of using both English and Hindi, along with some regional languages will find this feature very helpful.

Video downloads optimised for congestion

iOS 13 and iPadOS will enable improved video downloading option for patchy networks, which is a widespread problem in most Indian cities. Users in India can now set an “optimised” time of the day in video streaming apps such as Hotstar and Netflix  for downloading videos, according to their preference to decrease the number of downloads being made at any given time.

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