I got really upset this morning when I saw a Facebook message from an influential Hindi blogger, head of a media company and an Open Source supporter. He wrote in Hindi, "Test message from iPad, wow it supports Hindi." I knew his support for Open Source -- that's his business. So I was shocked to see his endorsement of Apple's iPad. When I asked he sounded extremely angry that it's been three years, still Android doesn't support the world's third most spoken language. Android supports other languages which have far less speakers.
Sanjay Benangi, Chaavi Media and Communication, expressed his anger, "I am from among those people who not only support Open Source but also contribute to the localization of Open Source projects. I have been a big admirer of Google looking at their support for the local Indian languages.
But I felt cheated in the matter of Android, it left a bitter taste in my mouth. I bought the Android phone thinking that since its Open, I will be able to do my work in Hindi and will be able to install any fonts of my choice. It was a shock when I got the phone. Neither is there any support for Hindi fonts nor is there any way install Indian fonts on the devices.
Looking at the boxes instead of text on Hindi site, when I planned to buy a tablet, I chose non-free iPad. I can not only surf Hindi websites but also type and communicate in Hindi."
People like my friend who are quite influential will influence others to buy the iPad instead of the Android tablets. Another Hindi blogger said, "Lesson well learnt, I am not going to repeat the same mistake with the tablet. Apple is the way to go."
I had a long conversation with him and he was even more angry, "Apple doesn't even have any offices in India, other than the stores and Google has a huge R&D center in India. Most Indians are at the helm of Google products such as Google Chrome and Google+ still there is no support for the Indian language," said another popular blogger.
I also run a Hindi site and I can't read or manage my own site using my Galaxy Tab 10.1. I wrote to Google couple of times but they never responded on this matter. The anger within the Hindi bloggers community is growing and despite being critical of Apple, they are buying the iPad. Most Indians don't change their phones or PCs every other year. So, every-time they buy an iPad instead of the Android tablets, one Indian family is lost.
Another Hindi blogger asked me, "Why Android hates Hindi so much?"
I did not have any answer do you? I have my trust in Google, we have seen it in WebM and WebP, we saw it in WebRTC. Google cares about communities, so my request to Google is:
Google, will you please do something for these users. Hindi users may not be very vocal when it comes to asking for support, but they are suffering. Long time advocated of Google and Android are forced to move to the iPad, which I don't like at all. The effort it takes to support Hindi is like a drop of water in a ocean for Google. Please listen to those one billion people and on 15th August, the Independence day of India give these people the best gift of all -- announce support for Hindi : -)