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Google Improves Handwriting Recognition on Tablets

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Google has announced some improvements to the Handwrite facility for smartphones and tablets that uses handwriting instead of typing to carry out web searches.

The company said that they have been working to improve recognition quality and also working on a number of features to make it easier and faster to handwrite searches on Google.

Users can now distinguish between ambiguous characters, overlapping characters, and write multiple characters at a time in Chinese.

Is it an L, a 1 or an I?

If you've tried Handwrite before, you may have had some trouble entering a lowercase "L", the number "1", or a capital "I". Now, we provide alternate interpretations of your characters that users can select above the space bar. Similarly, in Japanese the characters "?" and "?" look nearly identical but are different characters and produce different search results. If Google interpreted the handwriting one way and the user meant the other, they can now more easily make a correction.

Some overlapping is OK

Compared with tablets, mobile phone screens are smaller and are a little more difficult to write on. Now, instead of squeezing in letters across the width of the small screen or writing one letter at a time, users can write letters on top of one another.

To enable Google Handwrite, go to Google.com on your smartphone or tablet, go to settings, select "Enable" Handwrite, and save the settings.

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Tags: google