Apple’s iOS is notorious for its lack of flexibility and customisations. Unlike Android, iOS locks down several features to provide a uniform experience to users. While that leads to consistent performance, it leaves little room for personalisation. Now a software developer has come up with an app that lets Apple users change their iOS system font without needing to jailbreak their iPhone. The app works on iOS 16.1.2 and below on unjailbroken devices and includes nine different fonts to experiment with, with more being added over time.
Developer Zhuowei Zhang (@zhuowei) posted the link to his app on Twitter on December 26 and has since added more fonts to it. The proof-of-concept app overwrites the default iOS system font — San Francisco — using the CVE-2022-46689 security exploit. According to Zhang, the font replacement is only temporary and all changes are rolled back after a reboot. However, he advised users to back up their device before using the app.
Additionally, the exploit only affects certain text in iOS and is not systemwide. So far, Zhang has posted screengrabs of the iPhone settings menu, Apple Music app, the App Store, Messages, Contacts, and the Weather app with text featuring new fonts. The fonts in the app include DejaVu Sans Condensed, DejaVu Serif, DejaVu Sans Mono, Go Regular, Go Mono, Fira Sans, Segoe UI, Comic Sans MS, and Choco Cooky.
Zhang has invited other developers to use his code on GitHub and add more fonts to the app if they wish to. He posted the final release of WDBFontOverwrite on Thursday, which also lets users import custom fonts that have been ported to iOS. The app is not available on iOS 16.2 as the latest update fixed the vulnerability that Zhang’s app exploits.
Apple does not let users change fonts or themes by default on its iOS devices. The same, however, can be done officially on Android devices by heading to settings. Apple has added some customisation options in recent years by introducing Widgets on homescreen, but lags far behind Android when it comes to personalisation options available to users.
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