Google Gesture Search Lets Android Users Draw Searches
Google has a new way for Android users (2.0 and up) to search on their mobile devices. The company has introduced a new Google Labs application that lets users search for apps, bookmarks, music tracks, etc. by drawing alphabet gestures on their touch screen.
"Say you want to call your friend Anne," explains Google Research Scientist Yang Li. "Just open Gesture Search and draw letter ‘A’, and Gesture Search returns a list of items that have words starting with ‘A’. If your handwriting isn’t all that neat, that’s okay. If the ‘A’ you draw looks a bit like an ‘H’, as seen in the bottom left corner of the screenshot, ‘H’ results will be brought up as well. If needed, you can also erase a query by crossing it horizontally: left to right erases the entire query, and right to left removes the last letter or space in the query. Now you can either scroll down the list to find Anne or write more letters to refine the search."
The Gesture Search application even goes so far as to "improve search quality" by learning from past searches. So theoretically, searches you do repeatedly with this feature will get easier the more you use it.
The app is available in the Android Market. It’s important to remember it’s a "Labs" launch, because that means it is subject to bugs and imperfections. It also means, however, that Google is open to feedback on the product, and the company is asking for that here.