January 25, 2020 4

How to use custom fonts on iOS 13 and iPad OS

How to use custom fonts on iOS 13 and iPad OS


Apple is known for its closed ecosystem and font use is no exception. Until recently, there was no official way to install fonts
on the mobile operating system of Apple devices. But with iOS 13 and the new iPad OS, font
installation on the system level is now officially supported. But you might have guessed it already: you
won’t be able to just use a mobile browser on your iPhone or iPad and download and install
any font from the internet. Apple only lets apps install fonts on the system level. So
foundries and other font providers need to create a new app or embed this functionality
into an existing one. We can expect implementations from companies like Adobe and Monotype soon,
since Apple already announced a partnership during their keynote in June 2019. One of the first apps to support the new font
installation feature is the Font Diner app. At this time, it only lets you install a bundle
of fonts free for personal use, but it’s a good and easy way to try out font installations. The fonts delivered through this new feature can
be directly included in an app package or downloaded in the background. Apple performs
a validation of the fonts to make sure they are secure and functional. As you can see
here, system-level font installation always requires user consent. Once the fonts are installed by the app, you
can get an overview of all custom fonts under Settings → General → Fonts. You can browse
an alphabetic list of the fonts and see the styles with a preview as well as file size
and copyright information. You can also remove a font directly without having to access the
app which installed it. Uninstalling a font installation app will also remove all fonts
which came with the app. It is also worth mentioning that custom
fonts being installed with this new method will not be available automatically in every
app that uses system fonts. Apps need to opt in to use custom fonts. Going forward, most
apps will likely use this option, but you might need to wait for future updates of your
favorite apps, before your custom fonts will appear as a choice in the font menu. If you
want to try out the feature now, you can check out Pages, which already supports custom fonts. So there you have it. A brief overview of
the new font installation feature in iOS 13 and iPad OS.
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