Google Research has just launched its newest creation: Google Handwriting Input. This newest tool allows users on Android to input text, and even emojis, into any app that runs on the Android mobile operating system.
Specifically, Google Handwriting Input can detect 82 languages and 20 distinct scripts. As for those who worry that their handwriting may be a bit illegible, have a little faith. Early tests show that Google's new tool is fairly adept at recognizing inconsistent, even cursive writing.
What may be more remarkable is that Google Handwriting Input has the ability to also detect emojis that are hand drawn. This could come in handy in situations wherein only and emoji can describe what you are trying to say.
It should be noted that Google Handwriting Input is not the tech giant's first attempt at developing handwriting recognition software. Google had already featured handwriting recognition capabilities in its Google Translate app, plus in its mobile search and via the Google Input Tool.
However, the launch of Google Handwriting Input marks the first time Google has brought support for handwriting recognition tools to all of the Android mobile operating system. Before, Google's handwriting recognition tools were cloud-based, which means users had to have an Internet connection to be able to utilize them. But this time around, the Google Research team has made the tool smaller and faster for use on Android devices that do not need to be connected online.
The next question now is: will users take advantage of this tool? Over the last couple of years, we have seen increasingly fast and accurate swipe keyboards that allow users to input text and emojis at incredible efficiency. For some users, they may prefer using modern keyboards as opposed to handwriting recognition tools.
But it should be pointed out that not all swipe keyboards are good at inputting text for other languages. Languages from South Asian regions typically make use of complicated scripts and even ideograms (symbols that represent words or ideas). Take the Chinese language, for instance, those who speak and write the language are better off with handwriting recognition tools than standard keyboards.
Google has already offered special handwriting input for many of the languages used by South Asian users. However, as noted by the team behind Google Research, the new Google Handwriting Input tool combines these efforts and even allows for both on-device (without Internet connection) and cloud-based character detection (with Internet connection).
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