Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Search Google With "Handwrite"

Making input an a small piece of glass as fast as input on a full qwertyui keyboard is an ongoing challenge. Predictive text, some which not only predicts the word you are typing, but also the next word, Swype, and voice-enabled searches provide several solutions. Now, Google is providing one more.

I just enabled "Handwrite" on my Android phone. Handwrite is a brand new feature which provides an additional input option when searching on your mobile device.

I went to Google.com on my phone's browser and tapped the "Settings" option at the bottom of the screen. On the next screen is an option to enable Handwrite. After saving the setting and refreshing the screen, Handwrite was ready.

Now, when I go to Google.com on my phone, in the lower right-hand corner is a a small script "g." Tapping it starts Handwrite. With my finger, I can write my search terms anywhere on the screen. Google changes the handwriting into text in the search window. A space bar appears at the bottom of the screen which can be used to help the search understand where one word leaves off and the next begins. The accuracy of the search is determined by how accurately Google reads the handwritten text, so being half-way legible is important.

 I did not find the Handwrite option on my BlackBerry Playbook. A little research revealed that Handwrite is available on on Android phones from 2.3 up, Android tablets from 4.0 and, and Apple iOS 5. Handwrite is supported in 27 languages.

I still prefer the voice search. However, background noise, or being in an environment where you must be quiet, sometimes prevent it.
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