Google introduces Handwrite as mobile search tool
Not content with voice, image or text searching, Google has now introduced Handwrite, a new tool that lets you search on your phone by handwriting out your query.
“Say you’re standing on a busy street corner, in a bumpy taxi ride, talking with a friend, or sitting on the couch with your tablet,” the company said in a blog post Thursday. “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 use the feature, you first have to enable it in your settings. Open up a browser, go to Google.com and click “Settings” at the bottom of the page. Scroll down and select to enable the feature before saving your settings. On tablets, you can turn Handwrite on by going to the top right corner of Google.com and clicking the gear icon and then “Settings.”
Handwrite tries to register your writing between every pause in order to remove your previous writing from the screen and give you more real estate to keep writing. And just as with other types of search, Google will give you search suggestions as it registers each of your handwritten characters.
The new feature is supposed to work on both Android and iOS as well as in many different mobile browsers. I, however, was only able to get it to work on Chrome on my iPhone.
Also, the bigger the screen the better the experience, so this feature was clearly designed with the 4-inch-plus screens most Androids have nowadays.
The feature, of course, works in both landscape and portrait mode, but I think it works much better in landscape as you’ll have more horizontal space to write.
Handwrite is still in an experimental phase, and it won’t be replacing your other types of search anytime soon -- but it sure is welcomed.
Check out the video Google put together below.
Your guide to our new economic reality.
Get our free business newsletter for insights and tips for getting by.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.