Apple is working with a Native American tribe to not only help preserve the Cherokee language, but also to advance the language across the iDevice line-up. According to the Associated Press, Apple is both receptive to and supportive of the Cherokee people who want the iPhone, iPod, and iPad to be used as platforms for preserving and perpetuating their language, particularly among younger users of iDevices.
Cherokee Chief Chad Smith says the goal is to "spread the use of the language among tech-savvy children in the digital age." Smith, who is no stranger to texting students at one school using Cherokee, says the practice is also shared by many teachers. With Apple's help, students could "continue using the language after school hours."
Tribal officials first contacted Apple about getting Cherokee on the iPhone three years ago. It seemed like a long shot, as the devices support only 50 of the thousands of languages worldwide, and none were American Indian tongues. But Apple's reputation for innovation gave the tribe hope. After many discussions and a visit from Smith, the Cupertino, Calif.-based company surprised the tribe by coming through this fall.