Even when I was using a China mobile handset, I was engrossed with the question of how to read and write in Kannada using my phone just like in computer.
After getting my first android phone, Lg optimus, I searched breathlessly for tweaks to perform to get kannada. One workaround that I found was using opera mini browser. Opera mini browser has this option of rendering complex scripts as bitmaps. Using which you can read Kannada and other indic languages. This method, though a workaround has some pluses.
Opera mini browser is available for all android platforms. You can even install opera mini in phones supporting Java. I was using opera mini on my Lemon handset which runs on generic os used by China mobiles and supported Java.
But this work around was not sufficient for me. With no options for copying and saving text, searching, opera mini didn't quench my thirst.
On laying my hands on android mobile phone, I was determined to get Kannada. Soon I realised that the mobile phone vendors have to provide updates to the ROM with Kannada language support.
A bit of research helped me to learn rooting the android phone. Rooting essentially means getting privilege to access system files. I came across a tool called superoneclick to root my Samsung Galaxy SL (i9003) phone. However this works in windows. I haven't come across tools for linux yet.
In order to display kannada and other Indian languages, it is not enough just to have proper fonts. The OS should support complex script rendering. As the scripts for indic languages are more complex than monosyllabic languages. As for as Android is concerned there is no support for complex script rendering for ROMs lesser than 2.3 (aka Ginger Bread). I had Froyo (2.2) running on my phone. I rooted my phone, downloaded an official GingerBread ROM from samfirmware.com installed it using the flash tool provided in the site. Since the ROMs that are available were not specific to India, I couldn't read kannada properly on installing fonts. However one of my friend is happily reading and writing kannada by following the same procedure. The GingerBread ROM for his LG phone supported kannada on installing fonts.
The problem was solved for me when I recently upgraded the Kies software on my PC and connected my phone. It showed there is a upgrade available for my device. On upgrading my mobile jumped from 2.2.1 to 2.3.6! And kannada was rendered properly out of the box . Below are some of the screenshots from my mobile rendering kannada webpages properly.
For kannada input I did the following:
1. Downloaded Anysoft keyboard from android market
2. After installing Anysoft keyboard, I downloaded kannada plugin for anysoft keyboard develeoped by Shridhar.
3. After (1) and (2) go to settings>Locale and text
Under test settings you will see AnySoft Keyboard. Tick the box. Now press " Select input method" and choose anysoft keyboard as your input method.
Now open your SMS app. Tap on language selector two switch to kannada. Tap again to switch back to english.
The keyboard supports nudi layout. No support for Baraha like input to which I have accustomed to. Other than this the tool has some issues. I couldn't find shift key for kannada keyboard. The keyboard crashes on input of certain combinations of characters.