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Tablet and foldable phone users can now use Gboard’s handwriting recognition feature

Gboard gains handwriting recognition for tablets and foldable phones
Posted by Phones Canada Team | Nov 15, 2023

Remember the time we used to write by hand? Well, I barely do, too. While keyboards on tablets and foldable smartphones offer plenty of features, one common missing element is handwriting recognition. Thankfully, Gboard is now addressing this gap with native handwriting support.

Android expert Mishaal Rahman (via Android Headlines) received a tip about the feature going live on Gboard and shared a video demonstrating how it works. The video shows how users can easily write in text fields, delete or insert text, and even join words using different gestures.

Gboard’s handwriting recognition automatically converts written text into typed text as you move to the next word. While handwriting recognition has been a staple of Apple’s iPad experience with its Scribble functionality, Gboard’s implementation aims to set a new standard for Android devices. The feature seamlessly integrates with Gboard’s existing interface, allowing users to switch between typing and handwriting with ease.

For improved experience, a floating toolbar appears when using handwriting recognition. It provides quick access to emojis, language pickers, clipboards, and other handy tools. Users can also customize handwriting speed and stroke width in Gboard’s settings. And the good news doesn’t stop there. Gboard’s handwriting recognition isn’t limited to tablets. It’s also available, for example, on the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5, allowing S Pen users to enjoy the benefits of handwriting input on their foldable devices.

This addition arrives as Android 14 introduces native stylus support to the OS. So, if your tablet isn’t running the latest version, you won’t be able to experience handwriting recognition. Google is still rolling out handwriting support in Gboard, so it may not immediately appear on all devices. However, it’s a welcome addition that makes text entry on tablets and foldable smartphones even more versatile.

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