September 9, 2011

Type and Read Malayalam on Android (Samsung Galaxy Phones)

Are you looking for a way to read and type Malayalam on your Android Phone? Here is a solution!

Opera Mini is a great source of comfort for people who want to read Malayalam on their Android Phone. Type "opera:config" in the address bar and change "Use bitmap for complex scripts" into "Yes" and you are ready to go. Now, that is good enough to read Malayalam on Opera Mini Web Browser. But what about those people who want to read and type in Malayalam, no matter what Application they are using?

Android does not provide any support for Malayalam. However, there is a workaround if you want to read Malayalam and type in Malayalam using your Android Phone, if you are using a Samsung Galaxy Phone. Following are the steps you need to follow, if you would like to do that, if you are using a Samsung Galaxy device:

  1. Download "Font for Galaxy SP" (Fontomizer) from the Android Market
  2. Go to your Settings > Applications > and make sure that Unknown Sources is checked. Checking Unknown Sources allows you to install Android Applications from sources other than market.
  3. Download "Akshar Unicode" from "Font for Galaxy SP" and install on your phone. "Font for Galaxy SP"  lists fonts in alphabetical order. Click on alphabet "A" to download Akshar Unicode font
  4.  After installing Akshar Unicode, go to Settings > Display > Font Style and select Akshar as your display font.
  5. Download PaniniKeypadMalayalam IME from the Android Market
  6. After installing PaniniKeypad Malayalam IME, go to Settings > Locale and text and check PaniniKeypad Malayalam so that the key board is enabled on your phone
  7. Now, when ever you want to type in Malayalam, long-press on your text box and choose PaniniKeypad Malayalam as your input
Remember: Akshar Unicode is not that evolved a font. Malayalam may not render as good as it does on your computer. However, something is better than nothing.

Remember: Fontomizer works only on Samsung Galaxy devices. I have not tested this workaround on any other device than Galaxy. If it does not work on your Galaxy Phone, it is probably because of the Android fragmentation issue. The fonts from Fontomizer are based on Flipfont library. Now if your phone has Flipfont function, it may work on your phone even if it is not a Galaxy device. [Try and let me know, please!]

I hope Android will soon start supporting Malayalam Font in its full glory and we will be able to seamlessly type in Malayalam and read Malayalam without much stress.

Note: This workaround will not void your warranty as you are not rooting the phone or unlocking the boot loaders when you install a font from Fontomizer. If you have a rooted phone and do not care about warranty , I suggest you to download a Malayalam .ttf font like Karthika or Meera and replace your Droidsansfallback.ttf with it.

Update Again:  looks like Fontomizer has more Malayalam  fonts than Akshar. Check out!


  1. Is it will void the Warranty or not..?

    I am waiting for your reply...

  2. This will not void your warranty as you do not have to root your phone to use this work around.

  3. Really worked.. Thanks buddy

  4. I can read Malayalam properly with Opera Mini.The only problem is with Chillu characters.
    This work around helped me to get Malayalam displayed in GMail. But the conjuncts are split and the rendering also is incorrect.
    Is there any way out?

  5. Sorry Dr. Mahesh. As far as I know, Malayalam Fonts for Android are still under developed. So, till I can find a font that will display right on Android, this is what we practically have in our hands :)

  6. Yes same problem with me..on my galaxy S2/ chillu character not showing properly..The only problem is with Chillu characters.
    This work around helped me to get Malayalam displayed in GMail. But the conjuncts are split and the rendering also is incorrect.
    Is there any way to fix it

  7. Hi as far as I know, we are where what Android can do about Malayalam. I have not heard of any other development. Tamil is moving forward though :)

  8. There are ways to root the phone without voiding warranty by creating backups...refer xda-developers forum ....rooting is pretty easy now and there are many one click rooting solutions go ahead root the phone and install malayalam font....

  9. thanx frnd atleast it works for me opera....

  10. why we hav to depend opera to read Malayalam, We need Malayalam Locale, should be able to read All malayalam supports Applications too.
    2.3.6 Android version and ICS supporting Malayalam Unicode Languages.
    Download MoreLocale2 Application from Android market,.. Go Custom Locale. Change Language code ML, Country Code IN
    Your phone has been changed to Malayalam Locale (Galaxy users can install fontomizer also to download malayalam fonts)
    Paltalk is the one and only Audio Video Messenger which support Malayalam Locale
    Download Paltalk Mobile via android browser visit from your phone or download it from Market
    see how nice Malayalam on phone

    1. Galaxy S2 users can download ICS version from firmware section. follow the instruction how to upgrade ur android version..
      there are firmware for India..
      Srilanka ICS firmware also supports Malayalam

  11. Hai..just download 'varamozhi transliteration' from ur android market,and type malayalam easly..

  12. its working fine on sony Ericsson live (xperia) mobiles... thank u.........

  13. The installallation of fonts was skipped and so is the security settings change that is required.

  14. I can read malayalam only in opera....

  15. opera mini have a lot of configs to work with it's my best browser on mobile phones

  16. thank you bro..
    something is better than nothing....!

  17. It is not working with my phone... its Android 2.3.6 (Samsung Galaxy wonder)

  18. Love this article about mini android phone. Its great because of all the details you share, thanks! I suggest this website for cheap mini android phone.


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