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Google Handwriting On Mobile Devices

Write Your Searches With Your Finger!

This week, Google has introduced a new, innovated means to search on your mobile device: Handwrite. Handwrite allows users to simply write their query on their mobile device (touch screens) in order to begin a search. The Handwrite feature opens a world of possibly for searching on the go, whether it’s while you’re on the train, the treadmill or the couch.

As user’s competence and ability on touch screen devices continues to grow, innovations like these are completely changing the way we search for, select and consume information. Handwrite offers a unique, personal approach to your searching behaviour.

Setup

So how can you set this neat little feature up? It’s a fairly simple process, and will have you finger-writing over your mobile device in no time:

  • Head to Google.com on your mobile browser
  • Tap on the “Settings” link at the bottom of the page (http://www.google.com/preferences)
  • Browse down to the section for Handwrite
  • Select the “enabled” option

If you’re planning on setting this feature up on your tablet device, the procedure is almost identical, however “Settings” should be accessed by the gear icon in the top-right corner of the screen.

Using Handwrite

So once you have the feature enabled, visit Google.com and tap on the Handwrite icon (bottom right corner of your screen). Tapping on the icon will activate the writing surface, and you can begin handwriting your searches across your screen. After writing a few letters, you will notice a number of auto-complete options become available – essentially making your search even easier.

Obviously, the Handwrite feature was developed to compliment traditional search input rather than replace it – offering an alternative solution for those times where key-button precision is just too much to handle. It seems the new feature is still fairly experimental, and definitely works better in some browsers than others. Available in twenty seven languages, the Handwrite feature is currently available for users with the following devices:

  • iOS5+ Devices
  • Android 2.3+ Phones
  • Android 4.0+ Tablets

Summary

The new Handwrite feature joins an arsenal of other user-friendly input methods (i.e. Google Instant, Image Search & Voice Search) for mobile devices. It is clear that Google’s goals for search are aimed towards convenience, ease and value for the user – and they’re succeeding. The feature is really only optimal for short searches, or searches that you know are common and an auto-complete is a sure thing.

 
Whether or not this feature is an advancement in the way we search, a complete waste of time is still debatable, and will most likely change as it moves from beta. For now, this feature offers an valuable alternative to typing in difficult situations and a few minutes of amusement.

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