Want to hear something silly? Today Google introduced this odd beta feature called Handwrite that’s supposed to change the way you interact with search on your iPad, iPhone or other mobile devices.
The way it works is that instead of pulling up the Google homepage on your iPhone and typing in your search query, you just draw the words instead. It’s suppose to be a “fun and easy new way to search,” but it’s probably one of Google’s worst concepts and here’s why.
The biggest problem with Handwrite is that if you’re using an iPhone the screen is so tiny you don’t have enough room to draw a big word. Sure, if your search word is just “dog”, “cat”, or “pizza” then it works well. But how often do you make short search queries like that? And what if you need to google “Kristen Stewart” and find out if she really is truly sorry that she ripped out Robert Pattison’s heart and ran it over with a steamroller? No dice.
The other problem with Handwrite is that you have to write clearly, and I have the penmanship of a 3rd grader. Plus, all your accidental touches and stray ticks are counted as characters which lead to a big messy search word that doesn’t make any sense.
I haven’t had a desire to draw characters on a screen since I threw my Palm m505 away back in 2002, but hey, Google’s trying and that should count for something I guess. What they really need to do is change Handwrite into Pictionary type engine where you can draw a picture of anything and Google recognizes it and brings up. Think about the possibilities there. No, seriously.
What do you think? Do you see yourself using Handwrite? Or is it mostly just a gimmick?