Yesterday morning Google released a search utility for Android phones called Gesture Search. Basically, you can handwrite a letter with your finger, and Gesture Search matches it to contacts, bookmarks, programs and music on your phone. It’s in the early stages, but I have been playing with it all day on my Droid and there are so many possibilities for this awesome service.
(S when searched through Gesture Search)
First of all, this is purely a local search. It means the results are more accurate than the search widget, which throws in a whole mash of internet results as well as local files. The sensors are surprisingly accurate; even my handwriting gets recognized and I write like I’m holding a pencil with my teeth. Because you have almost the whole screen to work with as a writing area, this is very easy to use one-handed. It’s also faster than trying to locate the correct letter on the soft keyboard while you’re on the go. My favorite part though, hands down, is that it searches your music. The official Android music player is pretty lackluster, and Gesture Search is faster at locating artists, songs, and albums. If it searched playlists too, it would be even better, but as-is it is definitely a plus!
(S when searched through Android Search)
Now, it isn’t perfect…yet. It needs a few things to go from cool toy to killer feature:
1) Google needs to integrate this into Android Search ASAP. It’s so much more accurate on local searches, and much faster to use.
2) It needs to search more than bookmarks, contacts, apps and music. Being able to pull up files, regardless of what file they are in, would be killer.
3) Since integrating it would be a huge OS addition, in the meantime it needs to be a widget. I’d gladly find room for a 2×2 or 2×3 space on my homescreen if it meant being able to gesture search more easily.
Even in its current form, Gesture Search is awesome. It is already replacing a few of the homescreen folders I was using, and I could see this easily being used in place of my “starred contacts” shortcut. It is just that much more flexible, and more important FUN, than most ways to interact with a smartphone!
Want Gesture Search on your phone? Make sure you have Android 2.0 or 2.1 (basically, a Droid or a Nexus One) and scan the QR code below!