I purchased a Droid X phone in July 2010 with the specific desire to see the Android operating system support Hawaiian and other Polynesian languages as iOS (iPhone/iPod/iPad) does. While Android may someday have native support for ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i like iOS, there is an interim solution to typing the ‘okina and kahakō on Android.
Last year we launched a mobile interface for the Hawaiian dictionaries on Ulukau. The system should detect all mobile devices automatically, and for those that it doesn’t, you can simply go to m.wehewehe.org to see the mobile interface.
The one limitation of this system is for Android users: Android’s default font does not have a glyph in the correct location, so Android users see a box instead of the ‘okina. We’ve looked into fixing this, but found that it would be costly to do the recoding necessary to make this work under Ulukau as it currently stands. I have been in contact with people who are trying to address the lack of the ‘okina in Android’s font. For the time being, Android users can use this page to search the dictionaries. The PHP script that drives it parses the returned text and replaces the ‘okina with a single open quote. Visually they are exactly the same, but reside in different locations in the Unicode font specification. iPhone users can use either this new page or the stock mobile interface at m.wehewehe.org.
A big mahalo to UHH webmaster Sunny Walker for putting together this script!