On my iPod touch I am able to type basic Hebrew characters by adding a Hebrew international keyboard.
Is there some way for me to type Hebrew vowels (Niqqud) [without using any specialized apps]?
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I think not, only by using a hardware keyboard or via copy/paste from another doc or an app like Unicode Maps. You might be able to make a custom layout as well with Unicode Maps. Also have a look at Keyman.
A 3rd party keyboard is Davka Nikud.
UniK - Unicode & navigation Keyboard extension allows you to do that. Swipe up and press the Aleph base character and if you want niqqud swipe right.
No, you want to use Google Translate for that. For example, the word that they gave me for "USA" is אַרצוֹת הַבְּרִית (ertzot-habreet). Google Translate cannot give you most phrases using niqqud, so I suggest doing the following:
Put them together in a Hebrew sentence like:
. אֲנִי לֹא מִכָּאן (ani lo m'kan) = I'm not from there.
Hope this helps!
Don't know Hebrew, but on iOS 5 there's a load of built in international keyboards, one of them Hebrew.
Go to Settings > General > International (Near the bottom) > Keyboards.
In there you can add a Hebrew keyboard, and any others you need.
When you activate the keyboard anywhere on your iPod touch now, you should a "world" key near the bottom left. Tap that to cycle through the different keyboards you added.
This should be available in earlier iOS versions, but I'm not sure if the settings are in the same location.
Hope that helps.