Google’s newest feature enables users to search on their mobile devices using cursive.
Google has unveiled a new feature that enables mobile users to conduct searches using handwritten requests. The feature works on Android cell phones and tablets, as well as devices running iOS 5 or higher.
When announcing the new feature on their blog, Google explained that the feature isn’t designed to replace touch screen typing, but instead comes to the rescue during those times when its not practical to use an iPhone or Android touch screen keyboard:
Unlike searching on a desktop or laptop computer, when you’re searching on a touch-screen mobile device it’s often inconvenient to type. So we strive to give you a variety of ways to interact with Google, be it by speaking your queries, getting results before you finish typing, or searching by image. Now there’s a new way for you to interact with Google: Handwrite for web search on mobile phones and tablets…Handwrite enables you to search by just writing letters with your finger most anywhere on your device’s screen—there’s no keyboard that covers half of the screen and no need for hunt-and-peck typing.
To activate the feature, open up Google.com in your mobile browser. Tap “Settings” then select “Handwrite” to enable. On some mobile devices, “Settings” might appear as a gear symbol. Once activated, refresh the browser to use the feature. Start by handwriting part or all of the term you want to search, then select from the Google’s autocomplete drop-down options as you usually would.
The company have stated that their new feature is still in the experimental stages and works better with some browsers than others right now. Android users should download the Chrome app for best results. If Google Handwrite isn’t working out for you, simply tap the search box to use your mobile device’s keyboard as usual.
Have you used Google Handwrite? If so, is it a useful companion to your mobile keyboard, or an unnecessary extra feature?