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First it was voice activation now Google has gone back to handwriting for web search.

Called Handwrite the new service allows a user to launch a search on a device by writing letters with their finger almost anywhere on the device’s screen. All a user has to do is enable settings.

The feature is available immediately on touchscreen devices by going to Google.com on the device’s mobile browser, tapping on “Settings” at the bottom of the screen and enabling “Handwrite.” It may be necessary to refresh the browser once activated.

On tablets, the Search settings are available as an option behind the gear icon.

Once the feature is enabled, tapping the Handwrite icon on the bottom right corner of the screen activates the writing surface. Once a few letters are “written” auto-complete options appear below the search box. If one of the options is what the user is looking for, a tap begins the search.

Google said it designed Handwrite to complement rather than replace typing: with the feature enabled, a user can still use the keyboard at any time by tapping on the search box.
Handwrite is experimental, and works better in some browsers than others on Android devices, but it works best in Chrome, the company said. For now, Google has enabled Handwrite for iOS5+ devices, Android 2.3+ phones and Android 4.0+ tablets, in 27 languages.

 

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