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Type in any language via Google Handwriting Input (Android)

Hi Guys,

Today we found this great app known as Google Handwriting Input, which lets you type (or write) in any language, however regional or international.

What is Google Handwriting Input?

A couple of months ago, Google launched a new App, Google Handwriting Input.

‘Google Handwriting Input’ let users to write or scribble texts on the screen and converts it to text. Basically you can write instead of typing in your favourite language however regional or international it may be. It supports both printed and cursive writing input with or without any stylus. The best part it works offline too.

Why should one use this?

There are a lot of reasons, you may like this app, some of which are listed below –

  • It supports over 80 different languages in about 20 different scripts.
  • Emoji Support. It lets you draw any emoji, now no more searching for the perfect emoji.
  • Supports cursive writing too.
  • Works with or without stylus.
  • Works online as well as offline.
  • Typing text on a touchscreen is considered inconvenient by many.
  • If you just want to experience a new way to type on your phone.
  • Voice input is, not always available; neither it is available for regional dialects & languages.
  • It can help you improve your handwriting. 😉 I’m serious.
  • No more Auto-correct fails.

App Requirements

This app requires around 12MB of downloading for itself and additional download for the language you want to install. For e.g. downloading Hindi language required about 7.5MB. Other languages may require lower or higher data.

It is currently available for Android users only. It will work with Android 4.0.3 (Ice Cream Sandwich) and above.

How to get and use this app?

Initial Setup –

  • You can download this app from the following link of Google Play Store.
  • Install the app. After installation launch the app.
  • You will see a pop-up of Google Privacy Policy. Tap OK to dismiss it.
  • Select ‘1 Enable Google Handwriting Input‘, it will redirect you to Language & input Settings. Enable Google Handwriting Input. A pop-up will appear to confirm enabling. Tap OK.
  • Select ‘3 Select Google Handwriting Input‘, a list of installed keyboards will appear. Select Google Handwriting Input.
  • Select ‘Configure languages‘, disable ‘Use system language‘, and select the languages you want to use among 82 different languages. I selected ‘Hindi‘. Go back.
  • Select ‘2 Download languages: xy.z MB‘, it will download your selected languages.

Optional steps –

  • You may enable ‘Help improve Google Handwriting Input‘ if you want to help Google by regularly uploading your usage statistics. I have disabled it to save my internet pack.
  • You can choose between 2 themes available for the keyboard, by tapping the ‘Dots on top right corner’ > Settings> Theme.
  • Adjust the recognition speed to match your writing speed in Settings > Auto Selection.
  • You can disable the Cloud button completely in Settings.

Using the App –

  • Globe button on the left of Space bar is used to toggle between Google Handwriting Input and any other installed Keyboard.
  • Cloud button is used to toggle between Online & Offline mode. Online mode is more accurate in handwriting recognition but requires internet.
  • Space bar. Holding the space bar toggles between different languages installed on device.
  • Backspace is used to delete the latest typed word.
  • Enter key is used to enter. It changes according to Go sometimes, like while in Google Search.

How does it work?

Let me be straight, I don’t know what those technologies mentioned in the next paragraph mean. But they surely make the app extra ordinarily accurate in identifying your handwriting and converting it to typed text.

By using techniques based on large-scale language modeling, robust multi-language OCR, and incorporating large-scale neural-networks and approximate nearest neighbor search for character classification, Google Handwriting Input supports languages that can be challenging to type on a virtual keyboard. For e.g. keyboards for ideographic languages (such as Chinese) are often based on a popular dialect of the language, but if a user isn’t familiar with that particular dialect, they may be hard to use.

Additionally, keyboards for complex vibrant scripts (of many South Asian languages) are less standardized and may be unfamiliar. Even for languages where virtual keyboards are more widely used (like English or Spanish), some users find handwriting to be more intuitive, faster, and generally more comfortable.

List of Supported Languages

English, Afrikaans, Albanian, Azerbaijani, Basque, Belarusian, Bengali, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Cantonese, Catalan, Cebuano, Chinese, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Esperanto, Estonian, Filipino, Finnish, French, Galician, German, Greek, Gujarati, Haitian, Hindi, Hmong, Hungarian, Icelandic, Indonesian, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Javanese, Kannada, Khmer, Korean, Kurdish, Kyrgyz, Lao, Latin, Latvian, Lithuanian, Macedonian, Malagasy, Malay, Malayalam, Maltese, Māori, Marathi, Mongolian, Nepali, Norwegian, Nyanja, Odia, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Sinhala, Slovak, Slovenian, Somalian, Spanish, Sudanese, Swahili, Swedish, Tamil, Telugu, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Vietnamese, Welsh, Xhosa, Zulu are the languages supported by Google Handwriting Input v1.1.

Screenshots Gallery

That’s all folks.

Source of knowledge – googleresearch.blogspot.in
Image source – mixranks.com (featured image) and Swapnil’s Yuphoria (screenshots).
Author – Swapnil Jha
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2 Comments

  1. I am using Android phone Lava with Android 4.4.2 version. Last year I have installed Google Handwriting Input very 1.6.1 and was using Malayalam handwriting without any problems. Last week I have upgraded the software to very 1.7.1. Now the Malayalam handwriting language is not getting downloaded. It says”error in downloading language”.
    I have done troubleshooting as per Google support page.
    My question how I can get the Malayalam handwriting APK file direct download?

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