Monotype releases font suite for mobile developers

Promising easier font rendering and wider language support, Monotype Imaging launches a mobile suite for Android developers.

Monotype Imaging recently announced its mobile font suite for developers. Monotype Imaging

Monotype Imaging today announced a new mobile font suite designed for Android Ice Cream Sandwich devices. The suite, which offers a slew of tools and services for developers and manufacturers, is called "Type Enhancements for Android."

Though some of the tools in the suite have been previously available to developers, it is the first time they have all been offered in an all-in-one package.

One such module, known as the iType font engine with Edge Tuning, promises OEMs better and cleaner text rendering.

In addition to that, the suite offers a greater breadth of language support than within Android's existing capabilities, and a bigger selection of fonts -- both for developers creating their UIs, and for users who want more customization options.

According to Satoshi Asari, Monotype's director of product marketing, one of the most important aspects of these tools is that they all abide by Google's Compliance Test Suite (CTS) for Android.

Aside from wanting to expand Android's global reach by improving its language supporting capabilities, Asari hopes that Monotype's suite will resolve quality issues for low-end devices. This is especially applicable to handsets with small screens or low resolutions, where text does not render well.

But high-end phones can also benefit from "Type Enhancements for Android" too.

"Flagship devices need to have a high-quality user experience across a high number of use cases," Asari said.

Through Monotype's FlipFont application, developers can differentiate and enhance a user's Web browsing and e-book reading experience with a bigger selection of fonts.

Though this may not seem like much, making a phone's UI stand out in any way possible is important. Especially when it comes to Android handsets, Asari said.

"Android provides a free platform, and it's a great starting point for manufacturers to build devices," he said. Unfortunately, it becomes a challenge for manufacturers to differentiate themselves. "You get this free platform, put some plastic around it, and it turns into an Android device."

By offering OEMs a number of font resources, Asari said Monotype wants to give them the tools to set apart their products or help them carve out a new market entirely.

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About the author

Lynn La is CNET's associate editor for cell phone and smartphone news and reviews. Prior to coming to CNET, she wrote for the Sacramento Bee and was a staff editor at Macworld. In addition to covering technology, she has reported on health, science, and politics.

 

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