Tag Archives: symbol

iOS 10 Locales and Currency Symbols – Sample App

While working on adding localization to my tip calculator, one thing that seems obvious in retrospect is the difference between a device’s language & region. iOS lets you set the language & region separately. For example, you might want to read text in English, but you could be in Asia. This is relevant to tipping since you could travel to a country where tipping is expected, but the country your phone’s language is associated with doesn’t traditionally tip.

While exploring locales and currency symbols, I whipped together a basic demo app that lets you scroll between all the known locales and their currency symbol in iOS 10. This is pretty useful since you can quickly see what the currencySymbol is for each known iOS locale.

Below is the full implementation of very hacked together (quick and dirty) code. All you need to do:

  • Create new Single View Application project in Xcode
  • Replace the ViewController.swift with below (written for Swift 3)
  • Run the app in Xcode
import UIKit

class ViewController: UIViewController, UITableViewDelegate {
    let cellIdentifier = "Cell"
    let currentLocaleHeight = CGFloat(80)
    let locales = Locale.availableIdentifiers.sorted { $0.localizedCaseInsensitiveCompare($1) == ComparisonResult.orderedAscending }
    override func viewDidLoad() {
        let tableView: UITableView = UITableView()
        tableView.frame = CGRect(x: 0, y: currentLocaleHeight, width: view.frame.width, height: view.frame.height)
        tableView.dataSource = self
        tableView.delegate = self
    func addCurrentLocaleLabel() {
        let local = Locale.current.identifier
        let width = view.frame.width
        let label = UILabel(frame: CGRect(x: 0, y: 0, width: width, height: currentLocaleHeight))
        label.text = "Current locale: " + local
        label.textAlignment = .center

extension ViewController: UITableViewDataSource {
    func numberOfSections(in tableView: UITableView) -> Int {
        return 1
    func tableView(_ tableView: UITableView, numberOfRowsInSection section: Int) -> Int {
        return locales.count
    func tableView(_ tableView: UITableView, cellForRowAt indexPath: IndexPath) -> UITableViewCell {
        let cell = UITableViewCell(style: .value1, reuseIdentifier: cellIdentifier)
        let localeString = locales[indexPath.row]
        let numberFormatter = NumberFormatter()
        numberFormatter.locale = Locale(identifier: localeString)
        cell.textLabel?.text = localeString
        cell.detailTextLabel?.text = numberFormatter.currencySymbol
        return cell


Note that the “¤” symbol means the currency is unspecified.

Apple Keyboard Shortcuts

We get it. Apple is the company that pays attention to the details. No detail too small, they create their own reality. With a strong internal design culture, they provide customers what they want before they ask for it. But sometimes they misfire (such as their power cords).

I recently started using OS X Lion. Spotlight (command + space) is amazing. Hot corners are cool. The difference between switching applications (command + tab), switching windows (command + `), and switching tabs (control + tab) sucks.

Looking at OS X’s menu bar, how would you ever figure out that that a sloping line with a horizontal line indicates the option key?

Menu Bar example (top to bottom: command, shift, and option)

The command key is clearly labelled on the keyboard. Not sure how you would easily describe the command key symbol’s shape over the phone.

The shift (the up arrow circled above) and the delete key (not circled) can be deduced by your average power user, so I’ll give Apple a pass.

The option symbol, which I’m still not sure how to easily describe (the bottom circled symbol) is a mystery.

Here is what an Apple keyboard looks like:

Apple Keyboard (from left to right: shift, option, and command)

While Apple is known for their attention to detail, the usage of the option symbol to indicate keyboard shortcuts in the menubar is useless as the option symbol only makes itself evident through 1.) web searching or 2.) consulting an expert Mac user. It doesn’t have to be this way. The easiest solution would be for Apple to print the symbol of the option symbol onto the keyboard.