App of the Week: Google Handwriting

Google handwriting

Title: Google Handwriting

Cost: Free

Platform: Android (4.0.3 or later)

Google Handwriting is an app that works as an alternate keyboard to give Android users access to data wells through your scribbles.

Apps like Penultimate and Evernote have long enable handwriting input for searching content, but Google is a more “full-featured” handwriting-to-digital-text tool.

The really exceptional thing about Google Handwriting is how exponentially more accurate the writing-to-text translations manage to be, however sketchy the writing, as demonstrated below:

Part of the reason for the prediction quality: Google’s optical text recognition has fine-tuned through Google Book project. Predictably, you can add your feedback on the accuracy of the handwriting translation to their database, but the default leaves this in-app reporting off.

You can double-tap any datawell to activate the handwriting input. As you write, your words are translated dynamically into a field just above, with three predictions to choose between, in a continuous ribbon. A green arrow serves to “enter” your input, or your can touch to toggle between fields. The handwriting input option works especially well when paired with Google Keep, which provides an ample space to jot.

And Google Handwriting perhaps most intriguingly, allows you to draw emojis, predicated on your familiarity with emojis.

I can see Google Handwriting being of real utility for those with Samsung Note phablets as well as for those who never learned their QWERTY keys. But even for touch typists, it’s good to experience the web through another input and, like playing around with voice control, provides a way to experience web searching and navigation from a different perspective.

Check out more great Apps in our App of the Week archive. Have an idea for an App you’d like us to spotlight? Let us know.

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