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Some new features in Jelly Bean serve to expand the technological markets for Android devices, like the ability to detect and work with new input devices covered in the previous lesson. Jelly Bean has also expanded their market internationally by providing support for bi-directional and vertical text, as well as other enhancements. Let me show you a quick demo. I've sent myself a little self-congratulatory note where the text in Hebrew says mazel tov. Note that the characters running right to left instead of the Western language left to right.
If you don't speak Hebrew, you've to take my word for it that the characters are running right to left, instead of the Western language-style left right. Bi-directional support is available in either standard displays or in editing mode. In developer jargon that means that bi-directional support is available in both TextView, that's Android's text editor class, and EditText elements, it's subclass that permits the text to be edited. There are other text-related enhancements as well. Vertical text is now supported in a WebView instance, which is Android's class for displaying all or part of a webpage.
Synthetic bold is available when the language doesn't have bold glyphs. Japanese-specific glyphs are rendered when the system language is set to Japanese. Arabic glyphs have now been optimized for both WebView and TextView instances. And there's also updated Unicode 6 support. Finally, it's now not only possible for Jelly Bean users to read an increasing range of language types, it's also possible for them to enter text through any user-installed keyboard.
This feature supplements 27 current international keymaps that are now accessible to users with external keyboards through the Language and Input category of Settings. Users can even set up a shortcut, Ctrl+Space, to switch between keymaps. Apps can publish additional keymaps to the system via the android.hardware.input.action. QUERY_KEYBOARD_LAYOUTS constant. You'll find more info about this in the Android reference on the Hardware Input Manager page.
While these text handling advances are not a set of features that will impact the full spectrum of developers, they will definitely extend the Android devices world.
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