Google has announced that their signature font “Roboto” is now officially free to use by any e-reader company. This font is the default one that is currently being used in Android and Chrome OS.
The font files for the Roboto family of fonts were first released under the Apache license as part of Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) in 2011. With this launch, Roboto is now a true open source project, with a revamped font production toolchain that is completely based on open source software.
Another key improvement in the Roboto font family has been the vast expansion of its character coverage to include all Latin, Cyrillic and Greek characters in Unicode 7.0, as well as the currency symbol for the Georgian lari, to be published in Unicode 8.0. For the expansion, the number of glyphs provided in the fonts more than tripled in number, going from around 13,000 (1071 per font) to more than 40,000 (3350 per font). An earlier version of the expanded font family is included in Android 5.0 (Lollipop) and later.
The open source nature of this font is going to appeal to e-book reading apps and e-reader companies looking to expand on their product offerings.
Michael Kozlowski has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past twelve years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times. He Lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.