By March 9, 2010

Android review: Gesture Search


One of the new features to be unveiled by Google Labs is their Gesture Search application. Using Voice Search might not be ideal on a bus for fear of looking like a loony. Gesture is a quick and handy tool to achieves the same results.


The interface is minimal. A large area to display the results and for you to squiggle in and a smaller area below to display letters you have already input.


Write a capital ‘B’ on the screen and it filters media, contacts, apps and internet shortcuts to those that start with a ‘B’. Add a lower case ‘a’ and it seems to mix up the results a little. Gem Miner and contacts starting with BE have crept in somehow. Perhaps it is something to do with my crudely fashioned symbols for which a 3 year old could do better.


Adding a lower case ‘t’ makes all the difference and I have found what I was looking for.


To redo a letter in the search you can simply draw a line from right to left to delete a single character and left to right to kill them all, dead.


As this is the first release I didn’t expect there to be anything in the way of options, however there are enough to make for a smoother experience. Adjusting the writing speed allows you to stroke your t’s more easily. It’s nice that you can filter out certain types of result. I would say this would be most useful for large collections of contacts and music whereas Apps are pretty easy to access and you’ll probably be able to load them easier through conventional methods. Sending Gestures sounded intriguing, however it is merely for reporting back to Google to “improve” the service.

It’s nice to see gesture support on Android, albeit this will only work on 2.0 and up so if you have anything less you’ll have to wait for your update to arrive, if the reports are true. Handwriting input has really improved since the days of what now seems uber-complicated input on a Palm. For the power user, you’ll like this. There is great potential for expansion but with it will probably bring complex swipery and strange characters like Palm had all those years ago.

However, for today, just enjoy a pain free search experience. I would hope to see this integrated into the OS instead of being a stand alone application in the future.

You can get Gesture Search free from the Marketplace if you have a 2.0 device or above.


Posted in: Phones

About the Author:

Seasoned tech blogger. Host of the Tech Addicts podcast.
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