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Handwriting for Mobile and Tablet Search by Google

Do you use your mobile touch-controlled device to surf the Web? I, for one, don't and there are several reasons behind it. The main one is the inconvenience of typing: the digital keyboard has buttons that are extremely tiny, being difficult to hit, especially while you're on the move.

The Google team has focused on easing the search bar input: they've integrated handwriting into their mobile browser. This is still an experimental feature and it works differently in different browsers; in addition, there are some restrictions on the device type: the feature works well with iOS5+ devices, Android 2.3+ phones and on Android 4.0+ tablets. It is available for 27 languages.

How do I Enable It?

First of all, handwriting recognition is said to work best in native system browsers (the stock Android browser or Safari for iOS). Just open Google's homepage in one of them, scroll to the bottom of the page, tap on 'Settings' and enable the Handwrite feature. The developers also suggest refreshing the page.

Enabling the FeatureEnabling the Feature

After that you will see the Handwrite icon in the bottom right corner of the screen – tap it to activate the writing surface. Now you can type the search field by writing with your finger on the screen. Keep in mind that it works only for Google search, it is not part of the system, and it will not work in apps. If you do not like the feature or want to type instead, you can still access the keyboard by tapping on the search bar.

Using the FeatureUsing the Feature

Some Tips

If you want to use the feature to the utmost, there are some useful tips to remember. To improve the writing recognition, it is recommended to:

-use print writing, not cursive;

-write the number one with serif and zero with a strikethrough.

You can also write special characters, like {}[]$+@ etc.

It is notable that there is no need to use both hands (hold the device in one hand and write with the other): you can write with the thumb of the hand holding the device. The feature works in both possible screen orientations (portrait or landscape). Search results begin to appear with the first letters entered, so you may choose to use those to continue from them or keep writing.

One-Thumb WritingOne-Thumb Writing

Finally, I'd like to mention that the feature at least sounds interesting and is surely fun to test. Hopefully it will work as intended and will ease the search process on mobile devices, turning it into a pleasant trip through web pages.

Will you agree that the search bar input is now easier?



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