Google Handwrite is a new search tool for smartphone and tablet users. Instead of using the keyboard, users can now write out their searches on the screen. Handwrite translates your chicken scratch to text and inserts it in the search box. The tool is available to phones with Android 2.3 and up and tablets with 4.0 and up.

Google Handwrite

To use it, go to in the mobile browser, then open the Search Settings. There you can enable Handwrite. Once the page refreshes, a toolbar will appear at the bottom and a message will appear saying you can write anywhere.

What I find most impressive is that the handwriting recognition engine is pretty accurate, even when I’m not being very clear. Writing with the tip of my finger doesn’t bring out my best penmanship.

I also like that you can write anywhere on the screen and if a word is too long to fit on a small display, Google will translate the letters you’ve written and wait for the rest.

Owners of the Galaxy Note will probably get the most out of this particular feature thanks to the included S-Pen. Though, for many, writing out a search may end up being faster than typing it.

To get back to regular keyboard-based typing, just tap the Handwrite icon in the corner to temporarily dismiss the feature. Tap again to bring it back.

What do you think of this new feature? Just a fun toy or useful?

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