iPhone kanji input tip

Here is a cool tip a lot of my Japanese friends didn't know existed so it might be of help to you as well. Anyway the problem is when you have the default Japanese as an input system on the iPhone you can only input kanji via the keyboard. This can be a problem for some characters you can write but don't know the phonetics for or like me just like drawing kanji. The answer is to add a Chinese handwriting input.
1. open the settings.

2. choose General

3. Choose keyboard

4. choose International Keyboard

5. Scroll down to Chinese

6. I always choose traditional, I am pretty sure simplified should have the same.

7. Turn handwriting on

8. Now open the notepad, here is the English keyboard at the bottom.

9. click the globe on the keyboard for your normal Japanese input.

10. Now click the globe again for handwriting.

11. Draw the kanji you need

12. Select the choice from the right of the screen.

Presto! You have a kanjipad for free!
Why did I figure this out? years building my own kanjipad on Linux


  • August 26, 2009 at 12:02 PM | Permalink

    Cool tip - will be interested to see if this can be used with the new Chinese handwriting support coming in Snow Leopard.

  • August 26, 2009 at 2:12 PM | Permalink

    yes I am sure it will work

  • November 30, 2009 at 10:13 PM | Permalink

    Unfortunately, the solution you suggested only writes Chinese characters, not Japanese kanji. If there happens to be the same character in (trad) Chinese, it works, but there are lots of differences between characters used in Japanese and Chinese. However, thanks for the tip - maybe someday Apple will make this available for Japanese as well!

  • January 3, 2010 at 10:25 PM | Permalink

    Yes you are right Motorrad, there is also a similar problem inherent with UTF8. Notably Kanji does differ in Japan, I doubt the guys in Apple seem worried.