Christina Wolfgram
April 17, 2015 1:08 pm

Hold the phone! Google just released an Android app that translates your handwriting into type. The program is called Google Handwriting Input and it’s as cool as it sounds. Users simply write words with their finger or a stylus and — boom — their message appears as standard text. The app can be used in SMS, searches, emails — pretty much anywhere you usually use an onscreen keyboard.

Google shared on their blog that the company has done years of research so that the app can recognize anything from fancy cursive to 2nd grade level chicken scratch in 82 languages, which is nothing short of incredible. The recognition technology in the app has appeared in multiple programs in the past, but most of them were only available corporately. Plus, those versions required an Internet connection, while Google Handwriting Input works online or off.

Handwriting may be easier to use than a keyboard when writing in ideographic languages like Chinese or languages that often include accents, like French and Spanish. “Some users find that handwriting is more intuitive, faster, and generally more comfortable,” the Google research team wrote in a blog post about the app.

We wonder if text conversations could be even more personal if people are writing and not typing. Maybe it will feel more like writing a letter, like in ye olden days.


Google Handwriting Input recognizes 82 languages, but it also allows users to communicate with the most universal language of them all: emojis. Buzzfeed tried drawing a few emojis, and the app understood all of them — even a quick doodle of a bicycle. The app’s description in the Google Play Store promises that users will have access to hundreds of emojis.

May we just say, from the bottom of our hearts … :)!

Google Handwriting Input is now available for Android users.

(Images via here and here and here.)

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