During the past month there have been a few important developments related to the availability of free Hebrew fonts and localized interface for iPhone and iPod Touch. First, HebDev, a group that developed a popular free open source solution suspended their project, leaving users with only one alternative – pay about $60 to a competitor. Second, Apple released iPhone 3.0 to developers and based on early previews, it looks like Hebrew support will finally be part of it. However, this version will become available to the public only in the summer, so this does not help those who have recently bought an iPhone or iPod Touch or those who have upgraded to firmware 2.2.1.
But today a new solution called OpenHebrew was released to the public. OpenHebrew is a package of basic Hebrew support (fonts and keyboard but not a localized interface) and it supports iPhone and iPod Touch running firmware 2.2 & 2.2.1. The creators used the Hebrew translation made by project iVrit (fully localized interface) and made it possible to install the iVrit package from the same source.
Installing OpenHebrew requires that you have a jailbroken device. If you have not done it, download QuickPwn and use it to jailbreak (5 min task even for non-techies). Then do the following:
Step 1 – Launch Cydia
Step 2 – add this new source: http://tom.zickel.org/openhebrew
Step 3 – Pick one of the two options:
- To install a fully localized Hebrew interface – search for the package iVrit and install it
- To install Hebrew fonts & keyboard only – search for the pacakge OpenHebrew and install it
Personally I prefer the second option which keeps the iPhone interface in English but properly handles right to left display of everything within applications that is written in Hebrew, like email subject lines and content, iPod song titles and artist names, text messages, contacts, etc.
Kudos to the iVrit team and to Tom Zickel at OpenHebrew (and in english) who worked hard on this and made Hebrew free to all iPhone & iPod Touch users once again. You can follow OpenHebrew on twitter as well.
Now, show some digg love.