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How about that? Apparently our little iPod touch is already capable of Chinese text input. Some argue that because the iPhone is not yet sold in Chinese market, there’s no urgent need to enable this function. Fine. What about the iPod touch?! It’s sold across the globe!

Anyhoo, thanks to the good folks over at, we can “jailbreak” this function as well. Here’s how:

  1. Add this url as a new source to your Installer:
  2. Look for “NativeCN” Under the Localization (1.1.1) category and install it.


Now go to Settings -> General -> Keyboard -> International Keyboards. In addition to the default English keyboard, turn on the Japanese keyboard. Yes, Japanese!

Next, tap on NativeCN’s icon to launch it. You will see 7 types of chinese text input methods, plus the original Japanese input. I only know how to use 简体拼音 and so that’s my selection.

Ok, let’s use Safari to search for some Chinese thingy in Tap on the search input field and the familiar virtual keyboard will show up. Did you notice the Globe key? That’s to toggle between English and Japanese keyboard. You will type Chinese text using the Japanese keyboard (don’t ask me why.) The way to input is pretty much the same as it does in OS X so I shall not elaborate.

Beside searching for chinese sites, you can of course make address book entries, calendar events, notes, etc.


发发发, 发啊!


Your iPhone must be true 1.1.3 firmware, otherwise, NativeCn may not work properly. True 1.1.3 firmware jailbreak are: ZiPhone and Official Dev Theme GUI.

  1. Download this zip.
  2. Unzip the downloaded .zip file. You’ll find a program and a folder named “NativeCn”.
  3. Connect your iPod touch using SSH/sFTP.
  4. Upload “” to the “/Applications/” folder.
  5. Upload “NativeCn folder” to the “/var/mobile/Library/” folder.
  6. Launch your Mac’s Terminal (or install Mobile Terminal version 2.07 by downloadiing it from here – Term-vt100 version svn198 doesn’t work in 1.1.3)
  7. Copy the following commands, one full line at a time, paste it into Terminal, and hit ENTER:
    • mkdir -p /usr/local/arm-apple-darwin/arm-apple-darwin/lib
    • ln -s /usr/lib/libgcc_s.1.dylib /usr/local/arm-apple-darwin/arm-apple-darwin/lib/
    • cd /Applications/
    • chmod 4755 ncn
    • chmod 4755 ncn_sub
    • chmod 4755 reboot
    • chmod 4755 plutil
    • reboot

  8. After rebooting your iPod touch, proceed to setup NativeCn as per this instructions.


  1. This is nice, although I’d love to have pinyin input for 繁體字。 Just upgraded to a jailbroken 1.1.3, here’s hoping it still works!

  2. But it is kind of hard inputting Chinese characters with Japanese keyboard. It is like pinyin, but a little different. I am from the Republic of China, Is there any way that I can type Chinese characters with zhuin without jailbreaking my iPod touch 16G? Thanks!

  3. @josé

    五笔画 is the alternative simplified Chinese input method for the iPod touch. Unfortunately to install the input system you’ll need the Installer and it’s only available after you jailbreak it.

  4. hi

    The current NativeCN ver 3.01 in the repository does support iPod touch firmware 1.1.3.


  5. @Eroy

    You’re right, but we can install it manually to run in 1.1.3, and I’ve updated the post for the instructions. Scroll back up to read.

  6. I want to add this to my iphone. Do I need to have my phone unlocked to install the chinese text iput?

  7. Hey does this also work on iPhone firmware 1.1.4?

  8. I get “unable to conect to internet” error when i try to run this app

  9. @marco

    yes it works for 1.1.4

  10. is there any way that i can use chinese input on my i phone and at the same time,im not changing the phone language itself,i mean i only need the chinese input on my keyboard…my i phone was 1.1.4

  11. by the way i need zhuyin not pinyin…

  12. how can i change the default internet browser of my i phone??it always comes out with and chinese)
    can i reset this to so it will be in english,same thing on google…

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