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March 4, 2010

Google introduces gesture search

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by Darren Allan

A gesture search sounds a bit like something horrible that might happen to you at an airport if you’re foolish enough to try and crack a joke about drug mules with the security guys.

But it’s actually a new feature for Google’s Android OS which allows mobile users to let their fingers do the searching.

It works simply by letting the user trace letters on the touchscreen.

So if you want to call Bill, you draw a B on the screen. The phone will then display search results beginning with the letter B, which you can scroll through, or refine the search further by drawing the next letter in.

Gesture search also includes intelligent usage algorithms, so if you call Bill a lot, whenever you trace a B his name will be up there at the top of the search results list.

It’s a neat little idea, certainly, but with a couple of slight downsides. Firstly, gesture search requires at least Android 2.0.

And secondly, it’s only officially available in the US, with the worldwide release status not being commented on by Google.

However, we’ve read posts online from a number of sources who say that gesture search is actually available on Android Market in the UK right now.

So if you’re interested, go grab it, and start making those one-fingered gestures without delay.

Story link: Google introduces gesture search

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