Installing Custom Fonts on iOS13 Beta

iOS 13 public beta brings something exciting to the table — new font capabilities.

As per the iOS 13 announcement earlier, Apple’s website states:

“Font management. Create beautiful documents that reflect the style and character of your project with custom fonts you can install from the App Store.” https://www.apple.com/ios/ios-13-preview/

Supporting custom fonts in iOS has been an oft-requested feature by some for years, and Apple is finally going to introduce support later this year. Apple says that iOS 13 now supports custom fonts. This means after you install them on your supported iOS device, you can use those custom fonts in your “favorite apps”. That’s as much detail as Apple gives in this regard.

Installing Custom fonts:

  • Download the .ttf font from either 1001fonts or DaFont to your ‘Files’ App over iOS. 
  • If you have google drive installed on your device, you can also copy the font over there & have it access from files app. More Info here..
  • Install ‘Fronteer” app from appstore. 
  • Alternatively from your Safari browser, you can open the ttf font directly in ‘Fronteer’ app using in-built share extension.
Note: Having installed custom fonts will not have ability to change the system font, instead it can only be used on 3rd party apps which have this feature availability. As of this writing, currently Adobe, Office & Notes app have this custom font availability. 
Monotype’s press release mentions them having a dedicated app on the app store, apparently just for Monotype. So that suggests that each partner foundry can potentially have their own app, and presumably have in-app purchasing, and deliver fonts through the app to the OS.

In any case, with fonts coming to the App Store (as well as its Windows counterpart), there is clearly space for a vendor to make this a staple of their business model. The question is whether iOS users are willing to pay for type licenses. I’d assume that most of those who are, are creative professionals who are already doing so, making this only a new way to purchase for people who already are. Still, the iOS user base is a huge market, so if a vendor (or notable foundry) can efficiently offer their catalogue in this way, it’s a great opportunity.

Maybe Fontspring (with their understanding of technology and impressive speed at adopting it, as well as a focus on clear licensing) could jump in quickly (with all foundries they offer, on an opt-out basis) and get a head start on the other players, making most of this opportunity.

Apple announced five partners: Monotype, Morisawa, Adobe, Founder and DynaFont. You can read the Monotype press release here:

It will be interesting to see how this rolls out since it’s only a few months until it’s available. I’m curious if it will perhaps be like a marketplace/reseller of sorts (where a foundry would apply for acceptance and release through the app store) or if Apple is curating by reaching out to designers on an individual basis to license/sub-license select fonts.

I would guess it to be pretty curated, but at the same time, there are apps in abundance.

Read More: A good analysis from Matthew Rechs (former Adobe person).

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