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Malayalam support on Android. One step at a time.

Malayalam wikipedia displayed with Meera font on Android

Malayalam wikipedia displayed with Meera font on Android

This post by Kaippally inspired me to start working on Malayalam support on Android phones. I was a bit hesitant to jailbreak my T Mobile G1 phone because EFF advised me that this could be used against me in court, if if goes to that (See my petition to Free Your Phone). But after seeing the above post I wanted to have a stab at getting Malayalam support. When Nishan came to my house last Saturday, we sat down and followed instructions to jailbreak G1 and got root access.

Since Android does not have a font picker, we over wrote DroidSans.ttf in /system/fonts with Meera_04.ttf. Though at first it was showing Chinese characters, a reboot displayed Malayalam wikipedia, though without complex rendering support (ie, no conjuncts). Now I can read Malayalam websites, emails and other text in my G1 phone.

Chinese characters showing up in place of Malayalam

I know this is not perfect, but this is most important step in bringing the complete Malayalam support to android. Next steps are

* Get Malayalm keyboard layout working
* Add support for complex rendering
* Translate the user interface

If you are excited to see Malayalam support on Android and want to help out, get in touch with us at smc.org.in

32 Responses to “Malayalam support on Android. One step at a time.”

  1. 1 കൈപ്പള്ളി

    Dear Praveen

    This is possible even with almost all Nokia and Blackberry phones. Complex rendering is where the cake is.

    anyway keep trying. :)

  2. 2 Praveen A

    Yes, that is the major task. Meanwhile I made typing unicode Malayalam working.

  3. 3 കൈപ്പള്ളി

    Congratulations Praveen. That in itself is a major achievement.

  4. 4 Aby Kurian

    Glad to see mallus working in android, Keep it up

  5. 5 Suresh

    Hi Praveen,

    Any improvement in the complex rendering support for malayalam in Android? I could able to render malayalam font in 2.1 , but no conjucts.

    ~ Suresh

  6. 6 Praveen A

    I have not worked on it and as far as I know there was not much effort from Google. Recently Pango and Harfbuzz (Rendering engines with Indian language support ) developer Behdad joined Google and hopefully we may see some improvement.

  7. 7 Paul

    Hi All,

    I just got myself a HTC Droid Incredible running Droid 2.1. Its been a week since i started using it and i have been an iphone user for a while. It seems that atlast they have an iPhone killer and lets hope the marketing and PR will do their job to push the message out.. 😀

    Anyways please let me know if you make this work so i could start reading malayalam newpapers on my phone.


  8. 8 Harimohan

    Can you help me to get Malayalam font in my Samsung android mobile
    Galaxy i899? Is it possible?

  9. 9 Praveen A

    Harimohan, You have to first get root access if you want to add a new font.

  10. 10 anvaroski

    i wish some on try the same and post the feedback of the same for samsung bada os for wave :) really guys sorry i m bit busy :)

  11. 11 Aneesha

    Thanks Praveen, you really did a wonderful job.
    Do you know any good website that describes about rooting of HTC Desire?

  12. 12 rahulv

    hey mallus there is a tool for android typing in malayalam. 4logics team says android malayalam typing tool under process. they create a beta typing tool.

    അവിശ്വസിനീയമാവിധം അത് മലയാളം ഡിസ്‌പ്ലേ ചെയ്യുന്നു. conjuction മീരയില്‍ കൃത്യമായി ലഭിക്കില്ല. കാരണം അത് പഴയ ലിപിയിലാണ് കോഡ് ചെയ്തിരിക്കുന്നത്. ടീം ഫോര്‍ലോജിക്സ് അരുണ എന്ന പുതിയ യൂണിക്കോട് ഫോണ്ട് ഇതിനായി ഉണ്ടാക്കിയിട്ടുണ്ട്. വലിയ തെറ്റുകുറ്റമില്ലാതെ എനിക്ക് മലയാളം എഴുതാന്‍ കഴിയുന്നുണ്ട്. ചില കൂട്ടക്ഷരം എഴുതുമ്പോള്‍ ഠ എന്ന ചിഹ്നം ഇടയ്ക്ക് കയറി വരുന്നുണ്ട് പിന്നെ കീപാഡ് വളരെ ചെറുതാണ്. ബീറ്റവേര്‍ഷനല്ലേ. പരിഷ്ക്കാരമുണ്ടാകുമെന്ന് പ്രതീക്ഷിക്കാം. ഫെബ്രവരിയില്‍ ടൂള്‍ ഔദ്യോഗികമായി ഇറങ്ങുമെന്നാണ് അവര്‍ പറയുന്നത്. കൂടാതെ അരുണ എന്ന പുതിയ യൂണിക്കോഡ് (പുതിയ ലിപി) മലയാളത്തിലേക്ക് കൊണ്ട് വന്നിട്ടുമുണ്ട്. http://www.4logics.info എന്ന സെറ്റില്‍ കൂടുതല്‍ വിവിരം ലഭിക്കും.

  13. 13 rahul

    Hey there is Malayalam android keyboard layout for android phone. ML-Droid. A team 4logics product. the application still under development. but you can use Beta version

  14. 14 Anish

    There is a preinstalled software “AG Indian” in LG Optimus one, which displays malayalam news papers, in malayalam itself. It displays mathrubhumi (unicode) and Malayala manorama also..I dont know what technology they use.

  15. 15 nidhin

    Am using samsung galaxy 3 i5801.pls help me to acess malayalam fonts

  16. 16 Shuaib Kandoth

    Dear ,
    Please give Some Malayalam Fonts and the way to install malayalam fonts in My Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 (Android 2.1) Mobile. I really appreciate your efforts .

  17. 17 sajesh

    can you help me to get malayalam font in my andrioid 2.2 samsung galaxy15510….is it possible?

  18. 18 Brailey Chandra Balan

    Hey guys, I wud like to knw how to install malayalam font for reading and writing on my
    HTC DESIRE HD ANDROID 2.2. Please help.

  19. 19 Dr.Anees

    Hi friends,
    Reading news paper is not at all a problem.You can use ‘newshunt’ software in almost all the android phones.Available in a ndroid market for free. What we expect is a unicode typing and read ing tool…

  20. 20 sujith p v

    hello am an android phone user..am using samsung galaxy GT15801 with android2.2 froyo vertion…one of the main drawback s this is not supporting…malayalam fonts can you help me….pls….

  21. 21 manzoor

    Wow. Your answers seems help many fillowers. How to read malayalam web pages in galaxyS i9000 android fone? Hope you can advise.

  22. 22 Askar


    i am using a samsung galaxy GT-i9000, what if i root may phone.. will it be possible to read malayalam fonts,, if so how to root samsung galaxy GT-i9000.

    Please Advise.


  23. 23 jenson

    Iam using samsung galaxy s2.how to install malayalam font in my phone

  24. 24 Iris

    i have successfully replaced the droidsans font with anjaly and. .i can read malayalam in my android 2.1. Is there any update in complex rendering..?where can I download the ML Droid?

  25. 25 Raigon

    I used an application called fontomizer which installed karthika font. So I can see malayalm font on most sites. Another way is to use the opera mobile version.
    I am using Galaxy S2 (OS 2.3.3)

  26. 26 kishor

    try this

    Download opera mini browser

    type this in the address bar after removing www.

    go to last and select ‘use bitmap fonts for complex scripts’ to ‘yes’ and save it.

  27. 27 Jemshid

    is it possible in XPERIA RAY .. ? else pls advice any solution plsss…

  28. 28 areesh

    Hi all I’m using both HTC Desire s and galaxy s 2 …..galaxy I can read malayalam bt the symbols coming after each word .how can this be solve?…..pls tell me….meanwhile I read PDF newspapers now…..cheers to all working on Malayalam Android……..

  29. 29 jejo


  30. 30 Vivek J

    I have downloaded more locale 2 from Market and changed my language to Malayalam ( in custom locale type code ml and country IN)
    but still Malayalam fonts are not coming properly on my galaxy s2, i also downloaded fontomizer SP from market and installed Malayalam additional fonts too, why Google translation, YouTube, gtalk still not supporting Malayalam locale on android phones? Facebook already Malayalam ready for android. but Google still not yet??
    what we have to do on phone to support Malayalam unicode please? any Malayalam unicode support Android font/script from Google pelase???

  31. 31 shihab

    hi friends
    I would like to know how to read malayalam in my mobile sony ericsson xperia neo..
    kindly advise.

    pls revert to me at shihabkonline@gmail.com

  32. 32 yaseen

    hi frnds
    i woul like to know hw to read malayal in my htc sensation

  1. 1 Praveen Arimbrathodiyil (j4v4m4n) 's status on Saturday, 15-Aug-09 06:17:11 UTC - Identi.ca
  2. 2 Santhosh Thottingal (santhoshtr) 's status on Saturday, 15-Aug-09 06:20:12 UTC - Identi.ca
  3. 3 Now Malayalam keyboard in Android at Praveen Arimbrathodiyil blogs here

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