In 2010, Mudassir Azeemi, a USA based Pakistani software architect and entrepreneur, worked on a pilot project to bring Urdu typing to the iOS platform. Later on, work was started on a phonetic keyboard app named Urdu Writer for iPhone which was launched in October 2010 and is in its third iteration. Initially, there were few expectations from the Urdu Writer app but guess what, in over the last 4.5 years, it has amassed 170,000 downloads with 600 reviews globally on the App store with 500 five-star ratings.
On 5th October 2014, Mudassir penned an open letter to Apple’s CEO Tim Cook and Sir Jonathan Ive, pertaining to the issues that Urdu speakers were having with the Mac OS X, iOS and Urdu default typeface. The letter was sent via postal mail on the 8th October, 2014. Apple had integrated an Urdu keyboard at the launch of iOS 8 which used the Urdu unicode derived from Arabic. The typeface used was Naskh which did not deliver the quality of writing and the basics. The alternative typeface proposed by Mudassir was Nastaleeq as showed in screenshots below:
On account of his letter, Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, called up Mudassir on the 13th of October, 2014 assuring that his request to include Nastaleeq had been taken into consideration. In his phone call, Tim Cook stated that the typeface would be included in the future updates for iOS and the time frame for it wasn’t disclosed.
But much to the surprise of Mudassir, immediately after the announcement of iOS 9, he installed the developer version of it on his iPhone and was shocked to see that the Nastaleeq typeface had been included in it!
Image Credits: Medium