An open letter to Sundar Pichai, and Larry Page

Android, Urdu Lovers, and Nastaleeq Typeface

Dear Sundar

Hope this letter finds you in good health, and congratulation. My purpose of writing to you is to bring your attention toward the state of Urdu language and its adoption in the modern devices.

Here is the problem:

Whenever someone read/write Urdu language on Android phone they are getting the Naskh font. This font does not represent the true spirit of Urdu language, if you google up right now any Urdu book on Amazon or on Kitaban (for instance http://www.kitabain.com/booksdetail/collectors-items/Zavia-136862) they are all written in Nastaleeq typeface. The best way to solve it, to map the Urdu unicode to Nastaleeq Font, instead of Naskh font on a system level, so when rendering happened for Urdu unicode even from browser-based app or native app, it will be completely in Nastaleeq. Apple already doing it, I wrote the similar letter to Tim Cook, CEO of Apple Inc (https://medium.com/@mmudassir/an-open-letter-to-tim-cook-and-jonathan-ive-be38cf88d8ee).

My reason is simple; Urdu should be treated without the influence of Arabic language. Its beauty is unique. Urdu was born in the courtyard of Sufi Nizamuddin Auliya in Delhi, in its infancy it was known as Hindavi, and then it playfully adopted by Galib. For the sake of those who are the biggest user of your product in India and Pakistan, and around the world, please take a look at this problem. Although Google has Noto Nastaleeq but it is not system-wide adoption, it is only web-based solution.

Google is accessible, even in the remotest area of India and Pakistan, people in the village cannot afford high-end devices, they prefer Google which is widely available and a quality stuff on affordable scale of those people’s standard. Imagine people in the remote areas where only Google has courage to go can read books in Urdu without sacrificing the readability and usability on Android Devices in their schools and at the their home. See the influence of Google:

It will be highly appreciated if you could please help preserve Urdu in 21st century in its true form

Sincerely yours,

Mudassir Azeemi

Finding patterns in chaos. Pioneer of Urdu language on Apple devices! UX/UI Instructor | Speaker | Design Governance Head at Ring Central | Curious

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store