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Google just announced a new handwriting feature available for smartphones and tablets: hand write your query.

The coolest part? You don’t have to be using a special app … just your browser of choice. Watch:

Above: The Handwrite icon – with a G

Image Credit: John Koetsier

Simply enable the handwriting setting in your Google preferences by scrolling to the bottom of any Google search page on your mobile device and tapping Settings. The next time you do a search in your mobile browser, a small Handwrite icon will appear on  the page.

Tap that icon to start writing … anywhere on the page.

As you do, Google live-updates the search box, showing you what you’re writing, and giving you auto-complete options.

It’s slick, it’s neat, and it’s fun … but it’s really not for you or me. That is, if you’re a native English speaker who uses English full-time, or mostly full-time.

Typing is going to be faster, or, if you have a problem with that, Swype would be faster. Or, if you prefer, SwiftKey. And yet another alternative is voice input. There aren’t too many use cases where writing your query is going to be better, faster, or easier.

This is really for Chinese, Japanese, and others who don’t use the Roman alphabet — languages such as the one that Google showcases in the video here:

 For anyone writing Chinese characters or Japanese Kana, this is super-helpful and super-fast.

And, it’s a very neat technology.

Image credit: Rangizz/ShutterStock

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