Google gets back into handwriting -

Google has been wasting its time coming up with a new feature for Gmail and Google Docs that allows users to hand write their emails and documents.

The problem is that it does not do something useful like allowing the use of a radio controlled pen which writes on a notebook and translates the writing into text on a screen.

Instead you have to use a computer mouse or trackpad.

Writing in its blog, Google claims that the chocolate teapot of software will help a student trying to include a foreign phrase in their paper.

Apparently you can use your own handwriting to input words directly into Gmail and Google Docs with your mouse or trackpad, Google said in a blog post.

Clearly this is not for English users who would find it simple just to type the word in. However in some languages writing with a mouse is easier. Chinese, Japanese, Hindi and Russian, Goggle claims.

Google said the feature will be supported for more than 20 languages in Google Docs and more than 50 in Gmail.

"Handwriting input makes the internet easier to use by people worldwide and is also part of a larger effort to break the barrier between languages," Google said.

Google has missed a trick here. Two areas of computing which have been weaker in development than most have been optical character recognition and handwriting analysis.

Since most people find it easier and faster to type, handwriting has gone down the gurgler despite it being the easiest interface possible.