Android 5.1 ships with support for several minority scripts

Roozbeh Pournader roozbeh at
Fri Mar 13 21:00:52 CDT 2015

Android 5.1
released earlier this week, has added support for 25 minority scripts. The
wide coverage can be reproduced by almost everybody for free, thanks to the
Noto <> and HarfBuzz
<> projects, both of
which are open source. (Android itself is open source too.)

By my count, these are the new scripts added in Android 5.1: Balinese,
Batak, Buginese, Buhid, Cham, Coptic, Glagolitic, Hanunnoo, Javanese, Kayah
Li, Lepcha, Limbu, Meetei Mayek, Ol Chiki, Oriya, Rejang, Saurashtra,
Sundanese, Syloti Nagri, Tagbanwa, Tai Le, Tai Tham, Tai Viet, Thaana, and

(Android 5.0, released last year, had already added the Georgian lari,
complete Unicode 7.0 coverage for Latin, Greek, and Cyrillic, and seven new
scripts: Braille, Canadian Aboriginal Syllabics, Cherokee, Gujarati,
Gurmukhi, Sinhala, and Yi.)

Note that different Android vendors and carriers may choose to ship more
fonts or less, but Android One <> phones and
most Nexus <> devices will support all the
above scripts out of the box.

None of this would have been possible without the efforts of Unicode
volunteers who worked hard to encode the scripts in Unicode. Thanks to the
efforts of Unicode, Noto, and HarfBuzz, thousands of communities around the
world would can now read and write their language on smartphones and
tablets for the first time.
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