Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Unicode 6.0 Beta, including new support for mobile phones

Mountain View, CA, USA – June 2, 2010 – The Unicode® Consortium today announced the availability of the Unicode 6.0 beta. A smooth transition to each new version of the Unicode Standard is vital, because it is the foundation for all modern software and communications around the world, including all modern operating systems, browsers, and smartphones; modern web protocols (HTML, XML,...); and internationalized domain names.

Software developers and other experts are strongly encouraged to review the beta data files and documentation for Unicode 6.0 carefully, and to provide any feedback regarding errors or other issues to the Unicode Consortium. Software developers can also get an early start in testing their programs with the beta data files so they they will be ready for the release of Unicode 6.0 at the end of September.

A long-awaited new feature of Unicode 6.0 is the support of new characters for mobile phones. The emoji (pictographic) characters are in very widespread use, especially in Japan. They have distinct semantics, and are often substituted for related words. For the first time, there is a standard encoding for these characters that allows lossless interchange between different vendors. Unicode 6.0 also adds 222 new CJK unified ideographs in common use in China and Japan, and a number of other symbols and letters used by other languages.

About the Unicode Consortium

The Unicode Consortium is a non-profit organization founded to develop, extend and promote use of the Unicode Standard and related globalization standards. The membership of the consortium represents a broad spectrum of corporations and organizations in the computer and information processing industry. Members are: Adobe Systems, Apple, DENIC eG, Google, Government of India, Government of West Bengal, IBM, Microsoft, Monotype Imaging, Oracle, SAP, Sybase, The University of California (Berkeley), The University of California (Santa Cruz), Yahoo!, plus well over a hundred Associate, Liaison, and Individual members.

For more information, please contact the Unicode Consortium.