Does typing on your virtual keyboard makes you hit the roof on a bumpy ride? Do not let this short your fuse as Google can turn your mobile’s touchscreen into your keyboard. Just write the text with your fingers on your smartphones and tablets as you would do with plain old pen and paper and Google search box will be filled with text. This newly introduced smart feature by Google is available on mobiles and tablets running on Android 2.3 and Android 4.0 respectively and iPhones and iPads having iOS5+. Although the native apps don’t offer this functionality at this time.
This feature is disabled by default on Google’s mobile search site. Users can enable this on the “Settings page”. Just go through the simple steps I have detailed below.
1. Go to the “Settings” of Google’s mobile search website like I pointed out on the screenshot and tap on it to guide to the settings page.
2. On the settings page locate the option “Handwrite” and enable it by tapping on the “Enable” button. On the bottom of the page hit the “Save” button to save the changes.
3. Now when you go back on the Google mobile search homepage you will find the hand-write bar on the bottom of the screen. Full bar confirms that you are now on the handwriting mode.
To test the real fun try to draw a letter with your finger on the touchscreen of any of the supported device(you own). As the csreenshot refers I tried to write “a” on my screen.
You must be wondering, where’s the fun in typing every goddamn letter of your search query? Nagged? Thankfully, you don’t have to. Google instant search will take care of that. When Google turns the gesture on the touchscreen to a letter of its nearest shape, a drop-down list of suggestions of your search will appear as it would have normally appeared for a normal search.
Everything has its shortfalls and Google mobile handwritten search is not an exception as it is a bit unresponsive if you are on a slow internet connection. Regarding the accuracy of gesture recognition, judging from my practical experience, it did reasonably well. If you can draw the gestures small enough, the gesture recognition handles three letter combinations quite okay. But if you are a lazy typist, type in one character at a time to complete your search string.
Want to scroll your screen? Hit the circled “?” mark on the left of the handwriting bar and it will roll itself to the “g” button on the bottom right of your screen. You are now on regular search mode. Google voice search indeed had a better chance to ease the search experience, however, if failed due to accent problems due people origins and its influence on speaking English. The gesture recognition although includes more effort won’t have the geographic limitations of voice search.