updated 04:11 pm EST, Fri January 18, 2013
Allows overlapping and sorting out ambiguous characters
Google has updated its Handwrite input technology to v1.0, officially bringing it out of beta. The option lets users draw characters at the mobile version of google.com to perform searches; while mostly just a perk in countries with Western alphabets, it can simplify searches in languages like Chinese or Japanese. The v1.0 update is said to improve recognition quality, in part through new interpretation features.
If a person writes potentially ambiguous character, the website will now bring up a list of alternatives to tap, such as "l" or "1" in place of "L." The site has also been made more tolerant of overlapping, which can solve issues with screen space that in some cases forces people to write a letter at a time. Along similar lines, Chinese support has finally been updated to support multiple onscreen characters.
Handwrite has been in place since July 2012. The technology is off by default, however. To enable it, a person has to flip the option on under mobile search settings.