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Nov 20, 2011

Nokia N9 to Get Bigger Fonts Soon via Software Update

Finnish mobile phone maker Nokia is gearing up for the release of a new software update for its high-end Nokia N9 smartphone that was launched only recently with the MeeGo OS on board, and plans on making some changes to the fonts on the mobile phone. 

At the moment, Nokia N9 users the default font “Nokia Pure Text,” but that will change in the future, and the move might affect a series of applications user interfaces. 

Basically, the change will affect only the font metrics, but not the typeface of Nokia Pure Text as well. 

“The most significant change is that by default, the text will take approximately 20% more space vertically, i.e. the height of the 'bounding box' of text items will increase,” a recent post on Nokia Developer explains. 

“The current height of the font is actually a bit too small. E.g., some of the diacritic/accent marks or descenders do not fit to the bounding box. Fixing this is important especially for non-european languages using non-latin script.”

You can have a look at the photo attached to the left to learn some more info on how the text in the two different software releases would look like (the current PR1.0/PR1.1 is on the left). 

Depending on the manner in which the application has been built, the new change will impact it or not, Nokia notes. In most cases, applications built for the N9 should not be impacted by the change. Some examples include:

  • Short text labels centered on top of other graphical items (like buttons)
  • Lists and other pannable areas where the size anyway varies.
  • By using margins and other buffer, you have anyway prepared for changes in the size of the text items e.g. for localization purposes.
However, when the layout directly depends on the height of the bounding box of the text items, things might become a bit complicated. 

The company recommends the designing of the application UI so that the size of the text could vary both horizontally and vertically, something that should have been already implemented in the app when offering localizations for different languages.


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