After many years in the making, Google has finally perfected their new updates exclusively for Android device users that allow individuals a little bit more freedom to choose the way they want to type text on their phone. The name of one of the new updates is called the Google Handwriting Input keyboard, made for those who find pushing tiny buttons or using a touchscreen to select the appropriate letters for typing still more of a hassle than a convenience. The Google Handwriting Input keyboard takes it all the way back to good old-fashioned handwriting, which could very well prove to be more useful than what many might believe at the moment.
The new handwriting keyboard by Google, which was made with lots of room for writing on, is able to translate 82 different languages, 20 diverse scripts and even has the ability to make emojis. For anyone who installs this new keyboard, it can be set as their mobile devices default keyboard or it can be set as just an optional keyboard, allowing the user to switch off between the handwriting and the original texting keyboard with just the simple touch of a button. This new feature, strictly for Android 4.0.3 and up users, is also capable of recognizing both print and cursive input, so there is virtually no writing that the handwriting input keyboard has found to be too messy to translate.
Now, it must be noted that Google has already introduced handwriting recognition to mobile devices by using the translation app along with the use of mobile search and the Input Tool. The difference is, this is the first time that they have introduced and perfected new updates that support their handwriting tools for all Android users. How beneficial this new update will be has yet to be determined, considering the modernized swipe keyboards for inputting text on Android devices has become quite fast and fairly accurate these days, but that is not exactly the case for every Android user.
Google has made a very strong point that there are a number of languages that are challenging to type out using just the standard keyboard. The example the company gave was South Asian languages that involve scripts that happen to be somewhat complex or languages that use graphic symbols to represents concepts or ideas like that of the Chinese language. For those cases and others similar, the handwriting tool can be a great benefit, making typing on mobile devices much easier than it has ever been before. Just like previously noted, there was already an existing handwriting input for many of the languages that would find using the standard keyboard for typing much more challenging, but the research team has made this new additional keyboard available for both cloud-based as well as on-device character identification.
The second update that has been provided for Android users is for in the event that one my lose their mobile device, all they would have to do to figure out its location is to simply Google it. In order to make this feature effective, the user must have a Google account and must be using Chrome to access that account. Whether or not the mobile device is signed in to that Google account is not a factor. If both of those prerequisites are in order, the only thing standing between a lost phone and an owner is a computer. By signing in to the account from a desktop, all one would have to do is ask Google to locate the lost Android device. If chances are that the lost mobile device is somewhere nearby, the user can just ask for the phone to ring, allowing the owner to locate it that way. If the mobile device is most likely nowhere near the owner, like for example, the phone was left at a bar or perhaps a restaurant; a map will be used to identify its exact location.
The way it is done is by signing in to the Google Account using Google Chrome. From there, one would type, “find my phone,” inside the address bar. A map will appear as the first search result, requesting the user to sign in to their Google account for a second time so their identity can be confirmed, just as a precaution. This stops people from having the ability to track a person’s phone if the user happens to have not logged out of their Google account if their Google Chrome browser is being shared. The location of the phone is then pinpointed on the map and the option to ring the phone is shown beneath the map. The ability to secure information on a lost phone by locking it or having the ability to erase any data from a missing phone is not available through the latest Google tools. To enable those features, Android users must install the Android Device Manager app, but when it comes to typing text and finding missing phones, Google has everything covered, perfectly.
By Kameron Hadley
Photo By Robert Scoble-Flickr License