Google Handwrite lets you scribble search terms

Google now lets you search from a mobile device using your handwriting, rather than typing on the keyboard.

Think that the pen is mightier than the keyboard? Google does too, with its new Handwrite system that lets you search using your own writing.

(Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET)

Google Handwrite translates your written words on a touchscreen into searchable terms. Activate the feature by going to on your phone or tablet's browser and click on the Settings link. Then, scroll down to enable the Handwrite feature and save the settings. Navigate back to the Google home page, and you should see a small "g" icon in cursive-style script, which you need to press to activate Handwrite.

As you scribble anywhere on the screen, Google should automatically convert it into text in the search box. Use the backspace icon to delete letters.

Keyboard warriors won't need to worry too much about the stylus usurping their throne. While fun to use, owners of devices with smaller screens will find it tricky to fit longer words, and you'll need to have fairly neat scrawls for Google to understand. However, users with accessibility issues may find it a great way to search, as it bypasses the traditional keyboard.

According to Google, it works best when used in the native Android browser on Android 2.3+ phones, Android 4.0+ tablets and iOS 5+ phones and tablets. Handwrite is not available within other apps with a search bar on your device.

About the author

Lexy got her first taste of all things tech at an early age, playing long spells of Ski Free during the glory days of Windows 3.1. Originally from CNET's Sydney office, she now calls San Francisco home.


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