Google today released Handwrite, a new feature for mobile phones and tablets that allows users to hand-write search queries directly on the browser window without opening a keyboard – and it supports Chinese, too!
To enable Handwrite all you need to do is scroll to the bottom of any Google page on your mobile device and click on ‘settings’, then find ‘Handwrite’ and enable it. To gain support for Chinese handwriting recognition you also need to change the ‘Language in Google Products’ setting to ‘Chinese’. Then, on the Google search page, click the ‘g’ in the bottom right-hand corner to start using the feature.
From what I can gather there’s no character selection and you simply get what you’re given, but from my limited testing the character recognition is pretty good. Even so, there are many free full-featured keyboards available that already support handwriting input, like TouchPal for Android, making the usefulness of this feature debatable.
Google Handwrite is available for iOS5+ devices, Android 2.3+ phones and Android 4.0+ tablets.