A new iPhone was announced today, the iPhone 4S, and the response to Apple’s press conference was a bit lukewarm. Many were expecting the iPhone 5 and/or iOS5 today. But one of the more exiting developments for us was found on the specification sheet for the phones (tip o’ the cap to Joseph Erb for the heads up): there will be a Hawaiian keyboard and spell-check document included. Yes, we’ve had support for the ‘okina and kahakō in the iPhone and iPad for a while; however, while you can generate them from the soft keyboard by long-holding your finger on a vowel, you could not type it when your device (iPads, mostly) was attached to an external keyboard. With this new development you will be able to do so. As soon as these features show up I’ll discuss them further. I believe all you will need to do to activate the Hawaiian spell-checker is select the Hawaiian keyboard.
Mahalo e ko Apple i ke kāko‘o mau ‘ana i ka ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i!
I laid out $9.95 for the iPhone 3.0 update for my iPod Touch last night, and just discovered why it was worth it – the standard US Keyboard now allows you to insert the vowel-kahak? characters and ‘okina. Here’s how you do it:
When you want to type an ‘okina-vowel, touch and hold down your finger over the vowel for a second or two, and it will pop-up a list of available diacritic characters (see the graphic at right to see how this list looks when I held down over the letter “a” on the keyboard). Whether the vowel-macron is to the right or the left depends on which vowel you are trying to type.
For the ‘okina, press the “123” button to get to the keyboard with numbers and other characters. Hold down your finger on the apostrophe, and it will pop-up a list of curly quotes. Select the one that looks like a small number “6”.
That’s it! Another small step forward for Polynesian languages.
I posted a few days ago about finding the Hawai‘i region in the iPod Touch, and apparently the system-level support is even better than I thought. I set up a few locations using the Weather application, and found that it displayed the days of the week in Hawaiian as well. Too cool.
What would be cooler would be to have the Hawaiian keyboard, too.
I did find that I could not post this screenshot to this blog using WordPress for iPhone application – I kept getting: “Communication Error. Operation could not be completed (NSXMLParserErrorDomain error 5.” Hmmm.
While it seemed half of the civilized words was standing in line in order to purchase a new iPhone yesterday, we opted for a much less expensive albeit less technologically advanced option. Kenneth uses and highly recommended MobiPCS. I investigated their plans and for less money than one iPhone all-you-can-eat voice and text plan, we now have three lines – one for my wife, my daughter and myself. We have unlimited local and national calls and unlimited texts within the US. We got the Motorola E815’s for myself and my wife (at left), and a Motorola Razr for M?lia. The one limitation that I’ve encountered with Mobi’s service is that it cannot use short codes, so I’ve had problems setting up the phone to send SMS to Twitter, and Jaiku’s activation code has not arrived after several hour of waiting. I’m hoping this is something that Mobi can fix but am not getting my hopes up.
We did not get web access for the phones as they are not 3G capable. As I spend most of my days and nights in front of a computer anyway, I really don’t feel the overwhelming need to interrupt my travel time with email and other distractions. Maybe someday, but with Ph.d. research and writing coming up, it’s probably just one more distraction that I don’t need at this point. I did get to fondle a new iPhone that a colleague had bought for his girlfriend and it is a sexy machine.