Apple will roll out a range of new features and improvements that are aimed at users in India, China and other international markets with its yearly updates to the iOS, iPadOS and macOS operating systems, it unveiled today.
iOS 14, which is rolling out to developers today and will reach general users later this year, introduces new bilingual dictionaries to support French and German; Indonesia and English; Japanese and Simplified Chinese; and Polish and English. For its users in China, one of Apple’s biggest overseas markets, the iPhone-maker said the new operating system will introduce support for a Wubi keyboard.
For users in India, Apple is adding 20 new document fonts and upgrading 18 existing fonts with “more weights and italics" to give people greater choices. For those living in the world’s second largest internet market, the Mail app now supports email addresses in Indian script.
Apple said it will also deliver a range of additional features for India, building on the big momentum it kickstarted last year.
Messages now features corresponding full-screen effects when users send greetings such as “Happy Holi” in one of the 23 Indian local languages. Messages now also has "filters" to separate spam / promotional messages and bank transaction alerts from texts sent by people you know. The feature, available globally, could especially come in handy to users in places like India, where an endless stream of incoming spam messages has made the Messages app unbearable for many.
More interestingly, iOS 14 will include smart downloads, which will allow users in India to download Indian Siri voices and software updates as well as download and stream Apple TV+ shows over cellular networks -- a feature that is not available elsewhere in the world.
The feature further addresses the patchy networks that are prevalent in India -- despite major improvements in recent years. Last year, Apple beamed a feature for users in India that enabled users in the nation to set an optimized time of the day in on-demand streaming apps such as Hotstar and Netflix for downloading videos.
New improvements further shows Apple's growing focus on India, the world's second largest smartphone market. Apple chief executive Tim Cook said earlier this year that the company will launch its online store in the country later this year, and open its first physical store next year. A source familiar with the matter told TechCrunch last month that the global pandemic had not affected the plan.
iOS 14 will also allow users in Ireland and Norway to utilize the autocorrection feature as the new update adds support for Irish Gaelic and Norwegian Nynorsk. And there’s also a redesigned Kana keyboard for Japan, which will enable users there to type numbers with repeated digits more easily on the redesigned Numbers and Symbols plane.
All the aforementioned features -- except email addresses in Indian script in Mail and smart downloads for users in India -- will also ship with iPadOS 14. And the aforementioned new bilingual dictionaries, new fonts for India and localized messages are coming to macOS Big Sur.
Additionally, Apple says on the desktop operating system it has enhanced predictive input for Chinese and Japanese results in more accurate and contextual predictions.