Google Handwrite: A new way to Google on your mobile device

July 27, 2012
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Google Handwrite is one feature that Galaxy Note owners will be happy to get. The newly unveiled function will make the Note’s stylus even more useful – users can now search on Google by handwriting the words. And, while this sounds like the perfect application for the stylus of the Galaxy Note, Handwrite seems to work just as well with fingers.

To use the new Handwrite feature, go to your Search Settings at the bottom of the Google.com page and enable it.  A small toolbar will then pop up at the bottom of the page on smartphones running Android 2.3+, tablets running Android 4.0+, and on all iOS 5+ devices.

The Handwrite input method will work best in Chrome and on the stock Android browser, but Google warns it’s still “experimental”. In addition to these limitations, the feature seems to require a moderately fast device. If you have a low-end phone, it might prove too slow to use.

Google Handwrite is not Google’s first dabble in handwriting recognition. They used to have a scribbling app for Android, that you could use to write the first letter of what you were looking for in your phone, but they terminated that in one of their recent product clean-ups. Google also recently added handwriting in the Google Translate app, which can be especially useful for people who use non-latin scripts, like Chinese of Japanese.

If Google is working on these sort of apps for handwriting, I wonder if they will also drastically improve handwriting recognition and stylus support in future versions of Android, which should make styluses even easier to use with Android.

Comments

  • yarrellray

    You can get some great use out of this feature…

    • squiddy20

      No you can’t. The average person types faster than they handwrite. Throw in the fact that you’re handwriting on a < 5 inch screen, and that's not a whole lot of writing space. In the time it'd take you to write out any query, I'd have typed it and at least brought up the first page of results.

  • Jon Humphries

    I love this. Having been a fan of Microsoft Transcriber on my pda, i really miss the handwriting facility now i have an Android device.