Install fonts from App Store with iOS 13

Adam LaddAdam Ladd Posts: 119
edited June 3 in Font Technology
Per the iOS 13 announcement today, 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."

I know this was discussed a few months ago while in dev phase, but curious if any new insights into how this will roll out and guesses at what it may mean for the market (perhaps hard to tell at this point).


  • Mark SimonsonMark Simonson Posts: 1,135
    edited June 3
    I'm very curious about that, too. Didn't see it coming. It'd be pretty cool if font suppliers get the same deal as app developers (70%). On the other hand, it seems likely that some sort of blanket license would apply (rather than a different one from each supplier).
  • Adam LaddAdam Ladd Posts: 119
    Yes, 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.
  • Thomas PhinneyThomas Phinney Posts: 1,579
    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.

    I imagine that it is then up to the foundry whether they do a per-font charge, or a subscription to the library, or what—but I do not know for certain that this is as flexible as I am thinking.
  • Mark SimonsonMark Simonson Posts: 1,135
    What Monotype press release?
  • Marc OxborrowMarc Oxborrow Posts: 129
    edited June 4
    If Apple uses the model that Thomas describes, I wonder if Adobe will add Adobe Fonts (née TypeKit) to their iOS Creative Cloud app.
  • Hrant H. PapazianHrant H. Papazian Posts: 1,523
    I just saw an announcement that Morisawa will be on iOS too.
  • Thomas PhinneyThomas Phinney Posts: 1,579
    Apple announced five partners: Monotype, Morisawa, Adobe, Founder and DynaFont.

    Monotype press release:
  • Thomas PhinneyThomas Phinney Posts: 1,579
    And a good analysis from Matthew Rechs (former Adobe person):
  • ValKalinicValKalinic Posts: 31
    edited June 6
    We'll have to wait and see if MyFonts will make their library available, and if that library will consist of fonts from all foundries they offer, or be severely limited to their own (as "Monotype library subscription", "Mosaic", etc.).

    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.
    cc: @Joe Manbeck   @Ethan Dunham
  • ValKalinicValKalinic Posts: 31
    edited June 6
    Also, all the news from Apple deals with buying fonts rather than installing them, as is being reported. It seems a user simply installing fonts they already have a license for is an undefined scenario as of yet.
  • Ray LarabieRay Larabie Posts: 894
    I'm concerned about whether or not users will be able to install their own fonts. On mobile devices, sideloading is the exception, not the rule.
  • Thomas PhinneyThomas Phinney Posts: 1,579
    Apple has created the hooks. So even if they do not allow users to do it directly, an app could enable it without hackery. (Unlike today.) This leads me to assume that Apple itself would enable this, but it remains to be seen.
  • Ray LarabieRay Larabie Posts: 894
    Bump in the road: delivering custom fonts to clients. Maybe it could be done as a service: someone makes an app that allows designers to submit password locked fonts for a fee. When new fonts are added, the app gets updated with everyone's password locked fonts. Client unlocks the font in the app with a password. That will present a delay in custom fonts reaching clients but from what I understood from the WWDC video, it's possible.
  • Stephen ColesStephen Coles Posts: 757
    edited August 31
    Adobe demoed their implementation at TypeCon yesterday:

    I am really concerned about Apple’s implementation and hope it is merely a first crack. Requiring an app to install fonts is not good for anyone except subscription services, and even then it will require resubmission to the App Store every time a font is changed or released. Most of the replies to my Twitter thread say this is a security issue for Apple, but I think that’s a cop out. Sure, fonts are code, but they’ve always been code, and (with rare exceptions) macOS has always been able to verify them at the system level. I can’t believe iOS isn’t sophisticated enough to do this too. Perhaps someone with deeper understanding of iOS can explain.

    Either Apple has a grander strategy that is unclear at this point or they didn’t think it through.
  • ValKalinicValKalinic Posts: 31
    edited September 1
    Either Apple has a grander strategy that is unclear at this point 
    It certainly is unclear, and iOS 13 is coming in a few days.
    or they didn’t think it through.
    They did think it through, it just doesn't really include us. Had they wanted the presence of smaller players, they would have made it possible for us to prepare for it. Instead they just said "the only way for fonts to iOS is the App Store, and the big subscription services we want in have had months to prepare, while the rest don't really need to know details".
  • ValKalinicValKalinic Posts: 31
    edited September 1
    Also, it seems pretty clear to me the simplest and most intuitive way to do this would be: in Safari, a customer opens any site they've bought a font from, or get a free one, download its OTF to iOS which verifies and installs it. 

    But of course, there's no sweet profit cut for Apple then, from any and every font bought or used on iOS devices. Basically, they've come up with a grand convoluted scheme to wedge themselves between buyers and sellers of fonts, something no other platform has managed to before. (Should Dell Inc. get 30% if I buy a font online and install it on a Dell laptop?)
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