Android (2.0 and up): Do you desperately miss the handwriting recognition of Palms and Newtons gone by? Google’s created a Gesture Search app that pulls up apps, contacts, bookmarks and other phone data using your finger-point chicken scratch.
Draw in a letter, and Gesture Search instantly narrows down the field of choices, letter by letter. A nice feature, though, is that in the case of letters that are somewhat ambiguous—like my terrible cursive “a” that might be a rounded, trailing “o”—Gesture Search keeps both possibilities in the results, letting you draw in another letter to narrow the options down. There’s a “pad” at the bottom showing your letters, and you swipe it to knock down individual letters (right to left) or restart entirely (left to right). It’s a stand-alone app that begs for integration into contact search or browser bookmarks, but it’s also a “Labs” release that Google wants to test more.
Gesture Search is a free download for Android handsets running 2.0 and later.