Apple’s localization problem

Andrew Marinov:

7 years ago.

That’s the last time that Apple added support for a new language in iOS.

It’s been years since I’ve started filing radars and hoping that Apple would add my native Bulgarian language to iOS and with each new release, the release notes are the first thing I pour through, looking for any new language editions.

Unfortunately, though, not only is Apple seriously behind on language support, with each year new features come that are geolocked and exclusive.


So how many languages does Android support, compared to Apple’s 32?

A quick research comes up with 188 as of Android 7.0 Nougat and that’s not even counting the dozens of different variations that most languages have.

With six times more languages supported, no wonder Android is so prevalent, especially in poorer countries, where people might not speak one of the languages that iOS supports.

There’s a lot more detail in the post, including similar localization takes on Apple Maps and Siri support.

I’d love for this to be wrong, but Andrew backs up his take with a lot of detail. Has it really been 7 years since Apple added a new language? That just seems hard to believe.

UPDATE: Thought so. From this GadgetsNow post [H/T @spacefork_] on a bit of new iOS 9 language support:

The new software version also introduces new keyboards for Hinglish, Punjabi, Telugu, and Gujarati in addition to a new Hindi transliteration keyboard. It already supports Tamil, Begali, Marathi and Urdu.


iOS 9 also brings support for a number of other Indian languages in apps and websites including a number of Hindi dialects such as Angika, Awadhi, Kurukh, Magahi, Maithili, Newari, and Santali.

To be fair, the article does make some salient points. But this does seem to discredit the lede.