Google Now Lets You Handwrite Your Search Queries

Google has just announced the release of Handwrite, a feature that allows smartphone and tablet users handwrite their search query (using their finger) instead of typing it.

Handwrite enables you to search by just writing letters with your finger most anywhere on your device’s screen – there’s no keyboard that covers half of the screen and no need for hunt-and-peck typing.

Here’s a video that shows how the feature works:

Useful, or cool-but-useless?

I did try out handwrite on my Android smart phone. It’s pretty cool (it even works with autosuggest), but I question how useful it will be. I find Google’s search by voice feature useful, especially when I need driving directions on my Android. But I’m a bit skeptical about searching via handwriting. I find that typing is faster, easier, and more precise than writing letters with my finger.

What do you think? Will you use Google’s handwrite feature?

7 Easy Google Search Tricks

Not finding what you want by just typing a keyword into Google? Try one of these search tips to help you find exactly what you’re looking for.

1) Find out about a photo with reverse image search

Get an image via email or Facebook and want to know where it came from or what it is? Try Google’s Reverse Image Search – just upload an image and Google will return information and webpages about that image. Here’s how to do it:

Go to Google Image Search and click on the camera icon in the search bar:

You can then search by pasting an image URL or uploading an image, after which you’ll see results like this:

2) Filter results by date

Looking for recent, up-to-date information on a certain topic? Filter search results by date so Google only returns webpages that have been updated recently. Here’s how to do it:

After you do a Google search, click “Show search tools” in the left sidebar, then click on one of these links:

3) Find businesses near you with map search

Not only will Google maps let you find businesses in the city you’re in, you can search for businesses near the specific building or address you are at. Here’s how to do it:

Go to Google Maps and search for “keyword near location” like this:

4) Get a definition

Need a definition for a word? Instead of going to a dictionary, just type define:word into Google, like this:

5) Use Google Shopping to find products for sale at local stores

Not only can Google help you find local businesses, Google can help you find specific products (including pricing and user reviews) at local stores. Here’s how to do it:

Go to Google Shopping and do a search for the product you want. Once the results are displayed, click to enter your zip code:

Once you enter your location, you can click on any product to view nearby stores that sell it:

6) Get info from other people in real time

This isn’t even a Google search tip, but I couldn’t resist including it in this article. If you want to know what’s going on just minutes or seconds ago, use Twitter search.

Just to give an example…a couple weeks ago I couldn’t get Gmail to load, and I wanted to know whether it was a problem with my PC or ISP, or if others were experiencing the same problem. I did a quick search on Twitter and found out that a lot of other people were tweeting about Google being down.

7) Use advanced search for more options

Need more options? Try Google’s advanced search options by clicking on the gear icon in search results:

Then you’ll get an advanced search page with tons of options like this:

Google offers a ton of features and advanced options. I just included a few of the tricks that I think are the easiest, most useful ones. What are your favorite Google search tips and tricks?

How Search Changed Everything

Post by David Pierce. Find me on Twitter.

Everywhere you look the last week or so, there have been blog posts, newspaper articles, and anything else you can imagine, all devoted to the biggest things of the 00’s, the naughts, the 2000s, or whatever else you want to call them. And there are a lot of good candidates, from the iPod to the Blackberry and much more.

But I’d argue that the biggest thing to happen in the decade from 2000-2009 was search. Search existed before 2000, but became the integral part of the infrastructure of the Internet in the decade that’s just ended, and isn’t showing any signs of reversing that trend in the decade to come. I’d argue the Internet’s success is totally dependent on the maturation of search, and its effects are felt by nearly everyone.

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The Popular Web at a Glance

Post by David Pierce. Find me on Twitter.

1910384749_5c99332ca4On a regular basis (read: altogether too often), I check a bunch of different sites to find out what’s popular on the Web– Delicious, Digg, Reddit, PopURLs, and a few more. It’s fun, it’s usually mindless, and it’s a great way to be at the forefront of the burgeoning memes and whatnot on the Web. But it’s not always interesting, and it’s a lot to keep up with.

There are already a bunch of applications that aggregate popular stuff from a variety of sources to make surfing the popular Web a bit easier, but a new one has come out that does it in a new way – OurSignal.

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3 Ways to Stay on Top of Twitter (That Aren't Twitter.com)

Post by David Pierce. Find me on Twitter.

befceba17aec2b1b68f9395175420a9dThere’s a project I’m working on for my day job that involves Twitter. Heavily. It’s led to my spending a lot of time within Twitter archives, and particularly within Twitter’s search engine.

Twitter’s search is awful. That is, it’s awful when it even works properly. Which isn’t always. Results are frequently not all shown, the search is slow, and the process is just generally unreliable.

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Find Friends, Colleagues, Lovers and Anyone Else on Twitter with Tweepz

Post by David Pierce. Find me on Twitter.

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Finding people on Twitter can be tough – many people’s usernames (myself included) are different from their real names, and Twitter’s search isn’t the most helpful if you’re trying to figure out which David Pierce you’re trying to find on Twitter.

For that purpose, I use Tweepz, a great Twitter-extending people search engine. Tweepz searches through biographies, names, and usernames to figure out who it is that you’re really looking for.

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Sad Steve Supports Super Simple Song Search

Post by David Pierce. Find me on Twitter.

3353936487_2599d7b8dc That’s called alliteration, people. Be impressed.

I’m a big fan of any site that makes it easier to find and listen to music on the Internet. A few of my favorites are We Are Hunted, thesixtyone, and Grooveshark, but there’s a new face on the scene of great music sites.

It’s called Sad Steve, and is a perfect addition to the list of websites with names that make no sense, but do a great job with music search.

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Why You Should Make Yourself A Google Profile

Post by Jeff Brunelle. Find him on Twitter.

2226178289_3f9556c08fGoogle my name and you’ll instantly find a lot of information about me. My Facebook profile is private, but you’ll have quick access to Twitter, LinkedIn and my tumblelog. That’s okay with me – I don’t have much to hide. In fact, when you search my name, I’d much rather have my personal information come up than lack an established web presence, or risk being confused with someone who has a similar name. By being available on many networks, I allow for more opportunities for my name to be connected to true information about me and what I’m involved in.

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5 Ways to Find Just About Anyone

Post by Squealer from Squealing Rat. Find Squealer on Twitter.

2589377492_4d5a732f29 In the old days (you know, like the 1990s?), people used to connect in ways that the new generation knows nothing about. In fact, if I told a 10 year old with a laptop that his grandparents lived without the Internet and only a simple phone that could only call people, his jaw would probably drop.

Now, despite all the many technological innovations of the last several decades, many members of older generations are still living by these, shall we say, ancient habits.

Here are some new, tech-involved ways to do the tasks that the oldies used to do with rotary phones:

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Find The Answers to All Life's Questions

This is a guest post by Squealer from Squealing Rat.

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Getting answers to your questions is becoming an increasingly popular service to offer on the internet. Now there are several services that are different takes on this concept.

(David’s note: there are a couple of services here that are currently in an invite-only beta. We’ve gotten a few invites for each one to give to you, our wonderful readers. See the end of this post for how to score an invite – make sure to stay tuned, we’ll let you know when they go public!)

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