Google Can't Read My Handwriting
|Using cursive is an easy mistake to make.|
I think my handwriting is pretty legible, but you be the judge. Google's newly enabled handwriting search had a tough time.
Last week Google added handwriting as a way to search on touchscreen mobile devices, adding to traditional typing a search term and speaking into your phone or tablet to search.
Writing "Olympics" across an iPad resulted in ampico, dumpiest and ohms. The closest result was "Olympus." It seems that Google hasn't learned cursive yet, although the handwriting icon that appears on the screen to show Handwrite is activated, is indeed, a lower case cursive "g."
Despite the misleading prompt, Google's tutorial says to "write a few letters at a time, clearly in print" and that's good advice. When printing "Olympics," Google offered up instant results after just three letters.
Google says that Handwrite is designed to complement, not replace, typing. For instance, if you're on a cab ride across town with a chatty friend — too bumpy to type on a keyboard and you really can't search by voice without interrupting your seatmate — a quick one-fingered scrawl works.
If you'd like to give Handwrite a try, start by opening the mobile browser on your device and go to google.com. Under the gear icon, open Search Settings and find "Handwrite," which is disabled by default. Enable it and go to the bottom of the screen to "Save." You'll be taken back to the search page and see an animated message "Write anywhere on the screen."
Google says that Handwrite is experimental, and works better in some browsers than others. On Android devices, it works best in Chrome, the company said. I found no difference between Safari and Chrome on an iPad. Handwrite is available for iOS5+, Android 2.3+ phones and Android 4.0+ tablets — in 27 languages.