The Roboto controversy
Android 4.0 “Ice-cream Sandwich” is out, officially launched with a new look and tons of new features. Engadget has a post that let you know more about all these new features. It’s a great day for Google and all Android fanboys, except…
Except the accusations of thievery that have been thrown at Google’s face. First, they have been accused of stealing many functionalities or user interface features from iOS, WebOS or Windows Phone. Second, the point that will interest the typographers more, it seems that their new exclusive font, Roboto, is not that exclusive after all.
Side-by-side comparison of Roboto and Helvetica created by John Gruber of Daring Fireball.
Stephen Coles argues that Roboto is a mashup of four fonts: Helvetica, Myriad, Univers, FF Din and Ronnia. In another article, Michael Degusta of The Understatement tells us that the fonts is only a rip-off of Helvetica. He demonstrates it with an animated gif that overlaps the two fonts, and you have to admit that the result is quite disturbing.
I guess we can safely say that Roboto is Google’s Arial. Too bad, I really like the Android project overall, but this should be fixed. It will be interesting to see what happens if a lawsuit is filed against Google.
If you want to check out Roboto anyway and test it out, you can do it here.