Smartphone in Maori language
2 Degrees yesterday announced the release of an Android phone with Māori menus. They did not mention that they have in fact blocked the development of Māori language development with smart phones for those who do not use 2Degrees and their “one” mobile phone.
Android phones use an open source system to operate. Open Source means that the software is freely used and anyone can customise it for free. It is a small and relatively simple task to create new language files for the whole Android system so anyone who uses an Android phone can use the new language on their phone or computer. This file can then be offered freely to any Android user. Most Android users are able to change their language on their phone, and in fact most languages are already supported in Android.
There are many communities of developers in the world who are willing to assist in such language projects at no charge as they are passionate about developing technologies and under represented languages. The hard part is translating words that may not exist.
Aside from the menus being in Māori language, there appears to be no effort to include Māori language predictive txt’n and Māori language spell checking, the minimum one would expect for a smart phone in their language.