Monday, October 4, 2010

New version & custom icon set preview

I released a series of updates for KeitaiMail last night and earlier today. I apologize for any inconvenience those many updates might have caused. A few new imperfection-bugs popped up and I thought I'd just fix them while I'm free.

There are two noteworthy changes:

  • KeitaiMail has been translated to Japanese. If you set your locale to Japanese KeitaiMail will show you explanations and menus in Japanese.
  • Gmail settings are entered by default. One big hurdle for using KeitaiMail is certainly the setup part. Most Android users will most likely use at least one Gmail address so Gmail's IMAP and SMTP settings are now present by default. You can of course enter different settings if you like. These settings will only appear for new installations. So if you had trouble setting up KeitaiMail, try to uninstall and install again (or erase the application settings).
The next thing I want to talk about is custom emoji. Custom emoji means that instead of the default emoji bundled with KeitaiMail other, more complete icon sets can be used with the full version of KeitaiMail:

On the left you can see custom emoji, in this case the emoji as they would actually appear on Japanese cell phones by SoftBank (top), DoCoMo (middle) and au by KDDI (bottom). The image on the right shows the default icons, which are shared for emoji display by the three carriers when no custom emoji are in use.

If you want to know more about original emoji and how they appear accross Japanese cell phone carriers  please refer to Emoji Symbols: Background Data. This document includes symbols (the monochrome icons on the left) that already appear in some unicode fonts and some that might do so soon. I compiled them into a custom icon set:

You can download it here. To use it, extract the archive to a directory on your SD card (e.g. F:/keitaimail/unicode) and in the application settings on emoji display enter this path for the carrier it should be used with. The path is to be entered relative to the SD card's root directory (e.g. keitaimail/unicode). Don't forget to check the reload checkbox and save. The application will restart and load the new icons.

The default emoji are used as fallback icons. This means that for every emoji that can not be found in the custom icon set but in the default icon set... the default is used. So unless your emoji set is complete (refer to the emoji table I linked to above) you might see default icons pop up somewhere. Please tell me if you want to be able to disable this fallback feature.

I compiled several other emoji sets I will not release today. First the original DoCoMo emoji:

The original au by KDDI emoji:

The au by KDDI emoji as they appear on Google Labs' Gmail emoji:

The original SoftBank emoji:

The SoftBank emoji as they appear in Apple's iOS:

I'm probably going to offer some of these for download here soon and if enough people are interested I will also write a tutorial on how to create your own icon sets. Feedback is always welcome.