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Google partners with Adobe to release unified Noto Sans CJK font family for Chinese, Japanese and Korean

CJK Typeface Google

Google has joined forces with Adobe to release a unified Noto Sans CJK font family for Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Japanese and Korean, four languages that represent nearly one-quarter of readers worldwide. Noto Sans CJK is a high-quality Pan-CJK font family that aims to provide a richer reading experience to the East Asian community across operating systems and apps.

Google explained the technical details of the font family in a recent blog post:

Noto Sans CJK is a sans serif typeface designed as an intermediate style between the modern and traditional. It is intended to be a multi-purpose digital font for user interface designs, digital content, reading on laptops, mobile devices, and electronic books. Noto Sans CJK is provided in seven weights: Thin, Light, DemiLight, Regular, Medium, Bold, and Black.

Fully supporting CJK requires tens of thousands of characters—these languages share the majority of ideographic characters, but there are also characters that are unique to only one language or to a subset of the languages. One of the primary design goals of Noto Sans CJK is that each script should retain its own distinctive look, which follows regional conventions, while remaining harmonious with the others.

Adobe has released the same font family under the name Source Han Sans.

Google Translate for Android adds offline translations in 50 languages, vertical text translations for Chinese, Japanese & Korean

Google announced an update today to Google Translate for Android that brings an extremely useful feature for those who are traveling or in need of translations when without an Internet connection. Starting today, the updated Android app will now allow users running devices on Android 2.3 and up to access the service using downloadable offline language packages.

Google noted that there are currently around 50 languages available for offline use and detailed how to download the necessary packages through the app:

You can select [Offline Languages] in the app menu to see all the offline language packages available for download. To enable offline translation between any two languages, you just need to select them in the offline languages menu. Once the packages are downloaded, you’re good to go.

While the languages packages provide everything you need to get quick translations when offline, Google warned that the offline modes are “less comprehensive than their online equivalents” without explaining in detail.

Users of the updated app will also now be able to translate vertical text for Japanese, Chinese, and Korean—using their device’s camera.

The updated Google Translate app for Android is available now through Google Play.

Sweet Android High-school: A Japanese comic where Motorola is married to Google

A new Japanese comic called “Sweet Android High-school” chronicles the relationship between major Android vendors and the rest of the smartphone market (Apple) as students each representing a company.

Some of the characters include Laura Moto-chan representing Motorola and Sam-Sung-chan representing Samsung. Other students include HTC, LG, Sony Ericsson, and Apple. As an example of what might take place in the comic’s storyline, Laura Moto-chan apparently married the character representing Google (the school’s teacher) to mirror the Google/Motorola acquisition.

The comic runs in “extra editions of Weekly ASCII, a PC magazine with long history in Japan,” and a breakdown of the characters can be found here.