From: Ken Krugler (email@example.com)
Date: Fri Jan 14 2005 - 12:52:00 CST
>Mustafa, Thanks for asking this - I've been thinking of similar questions re
>mobile phones & handhelds and was trying to find time to phrase them into an
>I have read that some handhelds run Windows systems, and if I didn't
>up in my quick reading, the noted Treo 600 was rumored to be another candidate
>for same. Are these Unicode aware?
The Treo 600 (and 650) use Palm OS 5. This has some limited support
for conversion between the device character encoding (typically
CP1252) and various flavors of Unicode, but is not Unicode under the
If it receives email or SMS that's been encoded using Unicode
(typically UTF-8 and UCS-2, respectively) then the built-in
applications should attempt conversion to CP1252, with the expected
loss of data for unsupported characters.
>Are other systems so? Handhelds in general
>(like desktops and laptop/notebooks) built around Unicode?
>Crossing the blurring boundary, are simple mobile phones with text display and
>messaging Unicode aware (none, some, all)?
Most are Unicode-aware, in that I believe most support UCS-2 encoded
SMS and UTF-8 encoded email. The level of support for UTF-8 in
vObjects (typically for beaming addresses) varies more, with several
phones ignoring the charset tag for inbound data and/or setting the
charset incorrectly on outbound vObjects.
Note that Unicode-aware and Unicode-under-the-hood are different
questions. You could argue that the Treo 600 is Unicode aware, but
because it doesn't use Unicode for the device character set, support
for displaying additional languages such as Bengali and N'ko is very
limited, and would typically require applications to hack up their
own (limited) solution.
In addition, even though an increasing number of mobile devices use
Unicode as the base encoding, the font/layout/rendering support code
would also need to handle the target languages. And you'd need some
way of installing additional fonts, which is often a problem on
mobile devices, since carriers aren't very excited about allowing
users to easily extend the OS.
-- Ken Krugler TransPac Software, Inc. <http://www.transpac.com> +1 530-470-9200
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