Installing fonts on the iPhone has long been something owners could do but iOS 13 took that functionality to the next level. During Apple’s introduction of iOS 13 and iPadOS, the company introduced custom fonts for your devices. It remains a rather limited feature in that it isn’t system-wide, but it’s definitely a step in the right direction. Apple, long known for its walled garden, has been hesitant to provide its customers with deep internal access to its software. Previously, apps available in the App Store were able to work some magic and install fonts, but iOS 13/iPadOS mark the first time Apple is officially supporting installation. Here’s how to get your own fonts on Apple’s latest software.
Find the Font Manager
Before you get into installing custom fonts, you need to know where to find them. Let’s start with the most important thing to know. Custom fonts can only be installed in a small group of apps. When we say small, we mean small. As of right now, custom fonts are really only going to be good for Apple’s own apps like Mail, Keynote, Numbers and Pages. Adobe has promised support for custom fonts in their Photoshop and Illustrator apps in the future. Now, that’s not to say that custom fonts cannot be used in third-party apps. They can but not as part of the default interface.
Now that we have that covered, how do you find the font manager? Let’s start with Mail.app as it’s a good starting point.
1. To access the font menu, begin drafting an email and tap anywhere in the body of the message. When you do that, the keyboard pops up.
2. In the very top row at the far right is a “<” symbol. Tap on it. Now you’ll see a bunch of options. Find the one on the left which is “Aa”. Tap on that.
3. A menu will appear that replaces the keyboard with another bunch of options. Find “Default Font” in the left column and click on it. Once you do that, you’ll see all of the available font options you can choose from that can appear in the Mail app.
After you install new custom fonts, they will appear automatically in this list.
Download Custom Fonts from App Store
Once we know how to install custom fonts, we then need to find them. Fortunately, this is as easy as going to the App Store. There is a number of popular app options to install custom fonts including Adobe’s Creative Cloud, which can add 1,300 additional fonts for free. Apps like Font Diner and Fonteer also provide custom font selections.
Installing Custom Fonts
To make things easy, start with the Adobe Creative Cloud app to begin installing custom fonts. To get going, just follow the below steps.
1. Open Adobe’s app on your iPhone or iPad as long as you have iOS 13.1 or later installed on your device.
2. Go to the “Fonts” tab in the app.
3. Tap “Install Fonts”.
4. An iOS system menu will appear. Tap on “Install” to begin the installation process.
5. You can now look at the entire list of font options. When you find a font you would like to add, click “Install Fonts” and add each font individually. With 1,300 fonts available, there are plenty of unique options so feel free to peruse the whole list.
Once the fonts are downloaded, they are automatically installed on the device. There is really nothing else you need to do at this point.
Managing Custom Fonts
No matter which app you use, all of your custom fonts are managed in the same place. This goes for both iPhone and iPad. To find the fonts, head over to “Settings -> General -> Fonts”. From here you can see all of your existing custom fonts. What happens if you want to delete a font? That is easy. From the Font menu under settings, simply swipe left on any font in the list and then tap “Delete”. Once you hit delete, it will immediately be removed from the device. If you would prefer to delete multiple fonts at once, tap “Edit” in the top right corner and select which fonts you want to remove. When you make your selection, tap “Remove” at the bottom of the screen.
Unfortunately, Apple’s font installation process shows just how much more progress we need to make in breaking down its walled garden. It would be excellent if fonts could be installed and used in every app and menu throughout your device. That might happen at some point too. For now, Apple continues to take baby steps in the right direction with device personalization. Hopefully, this is just a glimpse of the type of freedom that will come in future iOS software releases.