This afternoon I decided to wrap the (public-domain) text of a Hindi short story (by) in a little application to run on my iPod Touch, as what you might call a standalone e-book. I hadn’t really done any Hindi browsing on the device so far but when I’d first tried it I had easily managed to rename a well-known Hindi song successfully from ‘Mere Mehboob’ to , and it’d showed as such on the iPod.
So, naturally, I was encouraged and had expected things to go smoothly with the little ebook app.
Fail! The Devanagari script (Hindi as it is written) is badly broken on the iPhone platform. The chhoti-I matra, the short ‘i’ sound as in kick does not render correctly at all.
It should be before the consonant to which it is attached:
It renders instead as follows, after the consonant:
This is not a valid expression in Devanagari. It is lamentable that Apple went far enough to support the script at all and then neglected this little show-stopper at the tail end. Especially because it works well on OS X and you’d think they’d share some tests with the iPhone platform.
iPhone simulator (incorrect):
You could disregard this and get by with a mental re-ordering of the I-matra if you must, but it’s still not what you’d expect in an Apple device.