IOS 4.1, the latest software release for the iPhone and the iPod Touch, adds support for a new language: Cherokee. Now, all but the oldest iPhones are capable of using the Cherokee syllabary to send and receive text messages. In addition, now that Cherokee is supported, it will be easier for the Cherokee Nation to develop and release Cherokee-language apps.
iPhone users can access the Cherokee keyboard via the “international keyboard” option in the keyboard settings. Once the keyboard has been added to the device, it’s easy to toggle between Cherokee and English when using the phone.
Apple’s decision to include Cherokee is important because it makes it easier for the tribe to teach their children to use the language. As Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chad Smith explained to the Native American Times:
“People communicate differently today. Including our language on the iPhone and iPod makes it accessible to more people, especially our youth. This is critical to the survival and growth of our language.” Read more