Improvements to iPhone font support in iOS4

Update: The latest news on Typekit’s support for iOS devices can be found here.

We’re happy to report that the latest version of iPhone OS, now called iOS, includes a fix for the webfont related crashing of Mobile Safari that we observed in previous versions. As we reported earlier, Mobile Safari on iPhone OS 3.1+ will crash when rendering multiple weights and styles of SVG webfonts. This has been fixed in iOS4 (8A293), making webfonts far more usable. Now, Typekit supports the devices that can run iOS4 — iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, and iPhone 3G.

This more stable performance is a great step forward for webfonts on the iPhone, but some of the other quirks we found in our testing of earlier versions remain: Mobile Safari still does not synthesize undefined weights and styles from the normal weight of an SVG font, and the text selection behavior of SVG-styled text still feels non-native. For these reasons, we’ll continue to offer iPhone support as an experimental, opt-in feature for now. Likewise, since Apple has yet to release iOS4 for the iPad, support for that device will remain an experimental feature in Typekit as well.

If you’d like to enable Typekit’s iPhone support, just sign in to your account and select the kit you’d like to configure. Then launch the Kit Editor, select Kit Settings, and click on Experimental Features.

14 Responses

  1. Ray Brown says:

    Thanks for the update, Gregory! I’ve been really missing Typekit when I test my websites on the iPhone/iPad. The difference is like night and day, and you realize how integral good type in web design really is when it’s no longer there.

  2. Very good news. Would you consider an option to sniff iOS 4 devices and deliver to those only?

    1. Gregory Veen says:

      We’re considering this, yes. Thanks for the feedback!

    2. Stef Pause says:

      Any update on this, Gregory? I’d love a ‘serve to iOS 4+ only’ sub-checkbox for each experimental Apple device option, too, as my sites crash due to the multiple weights bug. I’m guessing that this will continue to be a problem for a while to come; while iOS fragmentation isn’t anywhere near as big a deal as it is with, say, Android, it does still occur, and this for me would be a good workaround – I can’t enable iOS support otherwise. Thanks!

  3. Great! Tested and works! Any news for the iPad?

    1. iPad works for me now… *confused*

    2. Gregory Veen says:

      We added iPad support a couple of months ago, so that’s why it’s working for you. If you’re confused about why it’s not crashing your site when viewed on an iPad: the crashing behavior we observed doesn’t happen in *every* case. It does become more common the more weights and styles you display. Does this clear up the confusion? Let me know if you have any other questions.

  4. Any comment on the incredibly annoying way the “Fonts from Typekit” badge is stuck awkwardly in the mobile Safari viewport with no way to control its positioning? Still a deal-breaker! If there’s a fix I’ve missed, I’d be delighted to hear it.

    1. Gregory Veen says:

      You’re right, Paul — this shouldn’t be happening. We’ll fix it ASAP.

    2. Pleased to hear it! That will remove a barrier for me for sure. I look forward to using TypeKit more.

  5. Christophe says:

    Lovely.

    On a sidenote, any idea why this is happening to me on firefox ? :
    Font renders completely wrong .. example picture : http://img508.imageshack.us/img508/4521/fonthelpseriouslywtf.png

    1. Gregory Veen says:

      Hi Christophe, could you send an email to support@typekit.com about this? That’s probably the easiest way to get to the bottom of the issue. Thanks.

  6. Avi Root says:

    this is great news!

  7. Jamal Qutub says:

    I’m getting some spacing issues with certain links, but other than that, it works like a charm.

Comments are closed.

Gregory Veen

Co-founder of Typekit, where I work on product and business development. Designer and developer of websites since 1994 for companies like Google, Twitter, and others. Wilderness enthusiast. @gregveen on Twitter.

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