web designer + front-end developer

Google Fonts – alternatives for iPhone/iPad

Posted on by Chip Cullen

The world of web typography got exciting a little while ago when Google unveiled it’s easy-to-use Google Font directory. The idea is a great one – a collection of web fonts that are served on Google’s powerful servers, and all you need is to include a CSS link.

There was one major drawback that kept me from wanting to jump in with both feet, however:

The web fonts in the Google Font directory won’t work on iPhones or iPads.

UPDATE: Google Fonts work perfectly well on iOS devices using iOS 4 and up.

The technical reason for this is because Google Fonts don’t have an SVG version. At this time, iOS devices only support SVG web fonts. I’m still not sure which side will bend first so that some form of support exists.

But, in what was a blindingly obvious revelation, I thought to check Font Squirrel and it’s directory of @font-face kits.

If you want to use Google Fonts, but want to include iOS devices, you just need to link to the Google Font per normal. Then have a locally hosted version of the SVG font, which is available from Font Squirrel and their kits.

I haven’t worked out the CSS code for this yet, but will update when I do.

I did check the Google Font directory agains what is available at Font Squirrel. All of the Google Fonts are there (with SVG versions) EXCEPT for two fonts, and one is a biggie. The two that are missing are IM Fell and Reenie Beanie.

IM Fell’s absence hurts, as it’s a beautiful font, and has a lot of variants. I’m not clear yet on weather or not you couldn’t just generate an SVG version of it from the Font Squirrel.

This entry was posted in Web Craft. Bookmark the permalink.