The page http://de.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hammurapi contains several occurrences of the character Ḫ (1E2A;LATIN CAPITAL LETTER H WITH BREVE BELOW), http://codepoints.net/U+1E2A which does not display on Galaxy S3. Neither with the built-in browser, nor Chrome, nor Miniopera.

Similarly, ẞ, Capital Sharp S, http://codepoints.net/U+1E9E cannot be displayed.

Does Android support full Unicode? How can I install full Unicode support?

Edit: I have (so far) not modified anything at all.

  • 2
    Android does support Unicode, but having said that - its rather down to the font rendering library that is unable to render Arabic specific letters. And that since you did not mention if using Stock or Custom ROM used, that may be lacking support for that specific character which may be absent from the ROM... There has been few posts about this if you searched here... :)
    – t0mm13b
    Mar 11, 2013 at 1:44

3 Answers 3


As t0mm13b had said, Android as a framework does support Unicode. As you are probably aware the vanilla Android is as such available as a stock option only to Google's own devices (The Nexus series). Other Android devices will have some sort of topping layer over this vanilla layers. This topping layer will usually be cosmetic changes by the manufacturer like HTC Sense UI etc.

Even if there are no such topping layer, the manufacturers compile the source of vanilla ROM with suitable drivers of their devices and add slight country specific enhancements.

Take a look at a similar question that I had asked which is not very different from what you had asked, if the language specific features and names are not accounted. That question explains how an Android device displays a glyph (not characters) on screen and the software components that are involved in that process.

To put it in a nut shell, to display a character Android requires a suitable font file and a rendering engine. Absence of former could result in a rectangular box and later will result in improper display of glyph.

In your case the ROM that your S3 has might not have the above said. Try to test with the devices that does display it (probably in some other region, the S3 might display it properly) and find what font files differs between yours and theirs.

  • Unknown characters are displayed as space in the browsers I tried. Only bold leave a trace...
    – false
    Mar 18, 2013 at 20:40
  • 1
    If you know a font file (a .ttf) file that has the set of characters that you want your phone to display, try copying it as /system/fonts/DroidSansFallback.ttf. You have to root and mount `/system/ in write mode. Please backup any files that you are overwriting.
    – Narayanan
    Mar 19, 2013 at 4:59
  • I still hoped for a simpler solution, but unfortunately, there does not seem to be one.
    – false
    Mar 21, 2013 at 22:55

If you've rooted your device, the quick and easy way I found was to get Font Installer and search the internet for Arial Unicode MS.ttf -Make sure to do a Nandroid backup before screwing with the system fonts. Bad things can happen.

Here's a test page that contains Unicode characters not supported by Android's default font set: http://users.otenet.gr/~gmcr/bible/LK.htm The first verse should show: Επειδήπερ πολλοί επεχείρησαν αναταξασθαι διήγηση περί των πεπληροφορημενων εν ημιν πραγμάτων, (edited to be visible on stock Android).

Update: I think Microsoft's Arial font is copyrighted, so consider getting a font from http://unifoundry.com/unifont.html Their font is more complete and it's free.


Based on the likelihood that you're using the default browser? I know that Firefox supports "ẞ", and does show the "H" without a circumflex. Maybe try it out? I'm on HTC One with Ice Cream Sandwich, the default browser seems to support these but Opera doesn't -so yes Unicode is supported, but not necessarily by all browser implementations, rooting your phone is not the answer I suspect.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .