remap iOS Arabic keyboard
March 5, 2011 7:55 AM   Subscribe

Can I remap the existing Arabic keyboard so characters I need are used?

I work in a language which uses an Arabic alphabet, but the existing Arabic keyboard doesn't have at least 5 of the characters I need (the same token it has a whole slew of characters my language doesn't have either).

How can I re-map the Arabic keyboard so that instead of a ة (U+0629)(on the lower right side of the keyboard) I type my correct ە (U+06D5)?

I would need to do the same for the other characters I need for my language. I don't need to make a custom keyboard per se, I just need to re-map so I can type my characters.

I've looked at other custom Arabic keyboards but they don't have the characters I need either.

posted by steppe to Technology (3 answers total)
Best answer: Isn't that character on the upper row, 4th from the right?

I see on the top row:
ض ص ق ف غ ع ه خ ح ج

Although flipped, of course.

The short answer is, you can't. If you jailbreak, you can install more keyboards, but otherwise you are out of luck.

As far as missing characters, have you tried holding down any of the keys? For instance--

ف ڤ
ه هـ
ج چ
ي ى ئ
ب پ
ل لا
ا أ إ آ ء
ك گ
ز ژ
و ؤ

Hope this helps!
posted by gregvr at 10:00 AM on March 5, 2011

The minute I read, "the existing Arabic keyboard doesn't have at least 5 of the characters I need," I thought, hmm, you must be talking about Uyghur. And *then* I saw you were in Ürümqi. :-)

I think Gregvr showed some of the other Farsi (or perhaps Urdu) characters that are accessible in iOS, but ۈ and ۆ do appear to be missing. MacOS supports Uyghur; why doesn't iOS, I wonder? I would think they could just use the standard Arabic alphabet fonts that are in MacOS (such as Geeza Pro). It's interesting that Microsoft took a different approach in Windows Vista and Windows 7 by commissioning a separate font, "Microsoft Uighur," for Uyghur-language support, which has won praise for its beautiful design.
posted by kentk at 10:34 AM on March 5, 2011

Response by poster: Kazak actually. :) Many Uighur fonts also don't have a few Kazak letters.

Thanks to gregvr for pointing out holding down keys. I can type most of the letters I need except for 2 or 3, but in those cases I just use an obvious letter that isn't in Kazak, and then Find and Replace once on my laptop.
posted by steppe at 8:59 AM on June 8, 2011

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