Tibetan support in Android

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Full Tibetan support in Android 7.1.1

Img. 1 Android 7.1.1 with Tibetan as (additional) language
Img. 1 Android 7.1.1 with Tibetan keyboard by Google

While Android 6 already added Tibetan fonts and Tibetan rendering to the Android OS, with Android 7.1.1 Tibetan support is now complete:

  • Full support of Tibetan script and rendering in all Devices starting with Android 7.1.1. This includes Android Wear 2.0.
  • Android 7.1.1 adds Tibetan as a language of the UI of Android. Go to Settings / Language and input / Languages / Add language and select བོད་སྐད་ and either the Indian or Chinese flavour. This automatically adds an additional GBoard keyboard for Tibetan.

Errata

Android versions 7.x (2016) and 8.0 (2017) are affected by the Harfbuzz bug, which causes incorrect rendering of Tibetan long U as in ཨཱུ་ or ཧཱུཾ. Unfortunately, this most probably can only be fixed in a future version of Android.

Android's Tibetan keyboard

The usage of the keyboard is self-explanatory: Stacking is done via long-press: To type རྒྱུ, one types ར, then long-press-ག long-press-ཡ and- ུ.

Useful applications

How to upgrade older Android devices

In many cases, manufacturers stop updating their devices with newer versions of Android without any technically sound reason.

LineageOS 14.1 update for an older Samsung Tablet, enabling Tibetan

For the technically inclined, there is almost always a way to update the device, using the open source nature of Android. The LineageOS project provides Android updates of a large number of older Android phones and tablets.

However, the process of updating an older Android phone is complex, since vendors secure their devices against 'tampering'. In the worst case, a phone can be rendered useless (bricked) by a failed update attempt.

Updating consists of the following phases:

  1. The phone needs to be rooted, in order to allow installation of custom software. This voids any remaining warranty. XDA Dev Howto
  2. In many cases, a custom recovery needs to be installed, to allow easy ROM upgrades. XDA Dev Howto
  3. Finally, an image of LineageOS v.14.1 or later (which contains Android 7.1.1 with full Tibetan support) needs to be installed. LineageOS

There a various guides and howtos on the web on how to root, install a custom recovery and update LineageOS. The recommended place is:

XDA Developers in many cases also supports LineageOS ROM builds for devices that are not officially supported by the LineageOS project.

WARNING: Installing custom ROMs on Android devices will void your warranty, and in case of error will leave you with an unusable device. So make sure that you understand the full process required to update your device before you start.

Tibetan on older versions of Android

Check out Tibetan support in Android 6 Marshmallow for Tibetan on Android 6 and older.

Errata

There was a bug in the Tibetan rendering library used by Android, Harfbuzz, which affects the rendering of ུཨཱུ་ (Tibetan long-U). See Tibetan Unicode Test Page for details. This also affects a number of other applications and platforms.

Internal links

External links

  • The LineageOS project provides latest Android versions for older devices.
  • Forums of XDA Developers for help on howto update a device