Google’s new Handwriting app can read your chicken scratch and turn it into text
If the popularity of styli like Microsoft’s pen accessory for Surface devices is any indication, there’s still a place for handwriting in a touchscreen-keyboard world. Apps that demand any degree of real precision require a stylus, which is probably why Google’s subtly encouraging them with the release of a new app for Android. Aptly titled Google Handwriting Input, it’s a keyboard plugin that lets you ditch the digital QWERTY for fully-featured handwriting.
For Google’s first attempt at a handwriting suite, the app isn’t bad. Compatible with both smartphones and tablets, it’s usable with or without a stylus, recognizes printed and cursive writing, and supports 82 different languages and 20 distinct scripts. Like the handwriting input on Windows 8 and above, it can input text in any app or browser field — if you want to handwrite your tax returns for some godforsaken reason, there’s nothing stopping you.