Thursday , June 7 2018

Google Handwriting Input app adds new languages, and works really well

google-handwriting-keyboard

You may not have heard of Google’s Handwriting Input app before, but if you’ve used a phone with a stylus, or a Palm device back in the day, you might be a bit more familiar with the concept of handwriting on your device. Google’s Handwriting Input provides a keyboard replacement that allows you to handwrite, and having played with it this morning on Samsung’s Galaxy Note 5, I can confirm its awesome.

It’s in the news at the moment because it has seen an update to include five new languages — Arabic, Persian, Urdu, Hebrew and Burmese, on top of the 82 languages already supported.

This software is something akin to witchcraft; it can decipher the most appalling of handwriting and turn it into functioning English (or other language), and it does so with a fair amount of speed, too. While it works really well with a stylus, it works quite well without one as well, allowing users to write with a stylus or finger, and to draw emojis as well. Google’s own description of the product reads:

Google Handwriting Input allows you to handwrite text on your phone or tablet in 87 languages. It supports printed and cursive writing, with or without a stylus. Google Handwriting Input also supports hundreds of emojis, so you can express yourself in any Android app.

Key features:

  • A useful complement to touchscreen typing or voice input
  • A fun way to enter emojis by drawing
  • Useful for languages that can be challenging to type on a standard keyboard
  • Works across your Android phones and tablets running Android 4.0.3 and up
  • If you claim your handwriting is terrible, try it out and see if it can convince you otherwise

The latest version 1.5.1 is available today on the Play Store. Give it a try, it’s really quite something.

Google Handwriting Input
Google Handwriting Input
Developer: Google LLC
Price: Free

Chris Rowland   Editor and Publisher

Chris has been at the forefront of smartphone reporting in Australia since smartphones were a thing, and has used mobile phones since they came with giant lead-acid batteries that were "transportable" and were carried in a shoulder bag. He saw the transition from AMPS to GSM, loved the Motorola StarTac, and got into Palm technologies in a big way. The arrival some years later of the original iPhone, and then the early Androids, awoke a new interest in mobile technology, and Chris has been writing about it since.

Today, Chris publishes one of Australia's most popular technology websites, Ausdroid. His interests include mobile (of course), as well as connected technology and how it can make all our lives easier.

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Been using this with my Note 8 for the past year now. I much prefer it to the Samsung offering. Just a shame you’ve got to use a 3rd party app to switch between it and a standard keyboard

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