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Handwriting recognition interface appears in iPhone Software 2.0

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 
The latest private beta of Apple's upcoming iPhone Software v2.0 includes a handwriting recognition interface for the Chinese language, according to a new report.

AppleInsider reader Kenneth notes that build 5A258f of the impending software update adds several new Chinese input methods under the international keyboard settings, including handwriting recognition.

"Unfortunately, handwriting recognition is only avaliable in Chinese (Traditional and Simplified) and doesn't support English," he told AppleInsider.

In his own write up on the subject -- translated -- Kenneth posts several screenshots from the software, which show the handwriting interface functioning in both portrait and landscape modes.

As the user draws symbols on the screen, the iPhone's handwriting recognition interface begins to suggest possible character matches in a column to the right of the input area.

Apple had previously posted a job listing for a handwriting recognition engineer, and AppleInsider reported last year that the company's upcoming Newton/Web tablet would arrive with support for the input technology.



A recent patent filing has also suggested that Apple is working on a next-generation multi-touch 'surface' that would combine typing, pointing, scrolling, and handwriting capabilities into a single ergonomic design aimed at replacing traditional input devices such as the keyboard, mouse, and drawing tablet.
post #2 of 32
Can't wait for Japanese too.
post #3 of 32
I wonder why it doesn't support English. Maybe the controls are considered too difficult without a stylus, and that the virtual keyboard is easier to use. I think it would be a shame not to include the technique.
post #4 of 32
Handwriting recognition is generally a dog, but it make sense for Chinese and Japanese....anywhere the language has far more characters than can fit on a standard keyboard.

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post #5 of 32
....I'll BT my Wacom to it! Wait. Does this mean the iPhone is the long rumored/rumoured tablet?
2011 13" 2.3 MBP, 2006 15" 2.16 MBP, iPhone 4, iPod Shuffle, AEBS, AppleTV2 with XBMC.
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2011 13" 2.3 MBP, 2006 15" 2.16 MBP, iPhone 4, iPod Shuffle, AEBS, AppleTV2 with XBMC.
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post #6 of 32
It certainly makes sense for pictographic or ideographic based languages. But I think the real easter Egg here is that this means the iPhone will officially hit China this year. Which means record sales and a higher stock price.
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post #7 of 32
I noticed AI is adding Web tablet onto that link when linking to that "Newton" thingy. I suppose it's only a matter of time until you drop the word Newton altogether and realise the iPhone fits the roll of the Newton. This new product will have a much larger screen and will be more of a Mac than anything else. Hence my obvious coviction to keep on referring to it as Mac touch. 10" screen please Apple.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #8 of 32
May mean that it 3G phone will be released in China soon, despite what news reports suggest. Might go well with their new store in China...
post #9 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

I noticed AI is adding Web tablet onto that link when linking to that "Newton" thingy. I suppose it's only a matter of time until you drop the word Newton altogether and realise the iPhone fits the roll of the Newton. This new product will have a much larger screen and will be more of a Mac than anything else. Hence my obvious coviction to keep on referring to it as Mac touch. 10" screen please Apple.

Amen.
Add to that a base dock/keyboard that the think can snap onto, and the next generation of computing is on its way.
post #10 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by busnsdesign View Post

May mean that it 3G phone will be released in China soon, despite what news reports suggest. Might go well with their new store in China...

Apple may had held out for a better deal with China if not for the upcoming Olympics. There are so many potential sales during that time and free marketing.


Quote:
Originally Posted by GQB View Post

Amen.
Add to that a base dock/keyboard that the think can snap onto, and the next generation of computing is on its way.

Don't encourage him. We already hear plenty about this elusive 10" iTablet as it is.
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post #11 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Handwriting recognition is generally a dog, but it make sense for Chinese and Japanese....anywhere the language has far more characters than can fit on a standard keyboard.

Huh? How to you think Chinese is normally inputted on PC? Yep, on a standard keyboard. Way easier than writing a character, if you know how the character is pronounced.

This will be a real boon for students of Chinese/Japanese who are learning their hanzi/kanji; you can see a character you don't know (how to pronounce), write it in and quickly identify it like the screenshots show.

Perhaps Apple sees the iPhone has a beginning to start taking the Chinese/East Asian market seriously.
post #12 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Handwriting recognition is generally a dog, but it make sense for Chinese and Japanese....anywhere the language has far more characters than can fit on a standard keyboard.

It's always worked well on My Palm devices going all the way back to my original Color model. It works well with my Treo 700p, with Mobile Write.

I see no reason why, with a much more powerful processor, like the iPhone has even now, it couldn't work even better.
post #13 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

It certainly makes sense for pictographic or ideographic based languages. But I think the real easter Egg here is that this means the iPhone will officially hit China this year. Which means record sales and a higher stock price.

Not necessarily. Apple may be fine tuning their iPhone for Chinese language character recognition with the realization that so much iPhone product is going to China unlocked, they may as well work with the reality of the current customer base.

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GOA

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post #14 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

It certainly makes sense for pictographic or ideographic based languages. But I think the real easter Egg here is that this means the iPhone will officially hit China this year. Which means record sales and a higher stock price.

The one thing I find interesting it that it also works horizontally.

I hope that give us some hope for a horizontal keyboard in programs other than Safari.
post #15 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Handwriting recognition is generally a dog, but it make sense for Chinese and Japanese....anywhere the language has far more characters than can fit on a standard keyboard.

Huh? How to you think Chinese is normally inputted on PC? Yep, on a standard keyboard. Way easier than writing a character, if you know how the character is pronounced.

This will be a real boon for students of Chinese/Japanese who are learning their hanzi/kanji; you can see a character you don't know (how to pronounce), write it in and quickly identify it like the screenshots show.

Perhaps Apple sees the iPhone has a beginning to start taking the Chinese/East Asian market seriously.
post #16 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Not necessarily. Apple may be fine tuning their iPhone for Chinese language character recognition with the realization that so much iPhone product is going to China unlocked, they may as well work with the reality of the current customer base.

Perhaps, but I think it's important to get the iPhone to the Summer Olympics.


PS: Why is there no Spanish on the iPhone?
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post #17 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by panamajack View Post

This will be a real boon for students of Chinese/Japanese who are learning their hanzi/kanji; you can see a character you don't know (how to pronounce), write it in and quickly identify it like the screenshots show.
.

Depends if it requires correct stroke order. Some Casio e-dicts don't require correct stroke order. While this is very convenient it doesn't help promote good stroke order habits. Always a debate on this.
post #18 of 32
If you have a jailbroken iphone you can have English now with HWPen , in installer under iphonecake . just add iphonecake.com/r.xml to sources.
post #19 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by panamajack View Post

Huh? How to you think Chinese is normally inputted on PC? Yep, on a standard keyboard. Way easier than writing a character, if you know how the character is pronounced.

This will be a real boon for students of Chinese/Japanese who are learning their hanzi/kanji; you can see a character you don't know (how to pronounce), write it in and quickly identify it like the screenshots show.

Perhaps Apple sees the iPhone has a beginning to start taking the Chinese/East Asian market seriously.

I was calling handwriting recognition for English a dog, but it makes sense for character-based languages.

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post #20 of 32
Is this genuine? I mean just look at the name of the network in the photos.
post #21 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by hdasmith View Post

I wonder why it doesn't support English. Maybe the controls are considered too difficult without a stylus, and that the virtual keyboard is easier to use. I think it would be a shame not to include the technique.

I worked on character recognition in the mid late 1960's. The big breakthrough came while solving the Kanji character set. Prior to that character recognition needed special characters and super computers.

We could be looking at the same growth path again.

Jim
post #22 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohcomeon View Post

Is this genuine? I mean just look at the name of the network in the photos.

Erica Sudan of TUAW wrote an app called Make It Mine that makes it simple to change the carrier name of jailbroken iPhones.
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post #23 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by busnsdesign View Post

May mean that it 3G phone will be released in China soon, despite what news reports suggest. Might go well with their new store in China...

Perhaps but not without problems.

iPhoneAsia: http://idannyb.wordpress.com/2008/02...or-this-world/
post #24 of 32
I would like to be able to draw freehand notes on the iPhone, and maybe sync them to the Mac as image files.
post #25 of 32
Looks good. I hope something similar will be developed for the Japanese input mode. Typing in Japanese is already pretty good, but occasionally it can be difficult to get the correct character -- particularly when typing in names of people and places that use uncommon characters. It would be great to be able to just draw the character instead of having to jump through hoops trying to find it under a different reading.

Combine it with a dictionary FTW.

There's already an iPhone/iPT app called iChinese that lets you draw characters on the touch screen. It's not a general input method, mind you; it's specifically for learning and practising Chinese. But it's a good technology demo.
post #26 of 32
Will this mean that in the US, a 16G iPhone will really be a 13G one due to what has to be huge handwriting recognition system files?

What if I'm not Chinese nor need the functionality? Can I disable, and thus delete, the files?

The .lproj folders the first ones I nuke on my Mac, which saves me about 1GB.
post #27 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by macinthe408 View Post

Will this mean that in the US, a 16G iPhone will really be a 13G one due to what has to be huge handwriting recognition system files?

What if I'm not Chinese nor need the functionality? Can I disable, and thus delete, the files?

The .lproj folders the first ones I nuke on my Mac, which saves me about 1GB.

I would assume that this would only apply to the Chinese market.
post #28 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by success View Post

Depends if it requires correct stroke order. Some Casio e-dicts don't require correct stroke order. While this is very convenient it doesn't help promote good stroke order habits. Always a debate on this.

Correct stroke order is for actual language apps like Pleco to cover, not for HWR IMO.

For what it's worth, I think focusing more than a token amount on learning how to write Chinese is a waste of time. [I'm biased as my handwriting is equally horrible in Chinese or English, and that's only getting worse]. That said, being able to scribble in a character you don't know and get a definition is golden.
post #29 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Handwriting recognition is generally a dog, but it make sense for Chinese and Japanese....anywhere the language has far more characters than can fit on a standard keyboard.

i found the newton handwriting recognition quite usable (at least on the MP2000), if you take the time to train it for a week or so. the hard part was to actually write by hand again. then again... it did have a sweet optional keyboard, that also worked on macs. not that i miss adb much...

when i got my ipod touch, i had flashbacks. i'm looking forward to whatever comes next...
post #30 of 32
Guys,

I am Chinese and I tell you why.

Handwriting is the easiest method to input chinese into ANY electronically (phone, pda, pc etc.), there are no easy way to type chinese, and lots of chinese do not know how to input chinese. There are more then 30 ways or method to input Chinese character, whatever way you use you need a certain level of understanding chinese, I don't see any chinese input method that need not to learn in a proper way, and need months and even years of practice to type it fast.

You may think speech recognition is a good way to input chinese character. Years of developing chinese speech recognition is as long as english but you can see even by now the accuracy is still very low. And believe me, it is much much harder then any other languages to be recognised but computer (I'm not going into details and this will take me a thousands word to explain). Briefly speaking, pronunciation is a nightmare even to Chinese people themselves (there are 200+ dialects in Chinese languages).
Here's a link for some very interesting facts of Mandarin (The official and the simplest, easiest dialect out of the 200+) pronunciation.
http://www.pinyin.info/chinese_characters/

Someone may ask Japanese and Korean character input. Japanese has only 50 basic characters and all the characters can be pronounced in English way within 3 English alphabets. All Japanese words or borrowed-from chinese characters (which pronounce differently to chinese) can be formed by the 50 basic characters. Therefore all japanese are able to input japanese characters with a standard english keyboard withount any learning curve. I'm not as familar to Korean as Japanese, to my knowledge it is similar to Japanese, it has very limit amount (less then 50) of basic characters, the way it form characters is more complicate then Japanese, and its a simplier version of Chinese character formation. So it shouldn't be a problem to input Korean character with English keyboards.

Unlike english, all the alphabetes are list on the keyboard or the keypad in mobile phones. Chinese character is being formed in a rather complex structure, there are alphabets -like concept to form Chinese characters but you may need a keyboard with around 700 keys and it will only able to allow you to input not more then 80% of every single chinese characters.

There are straight rules to the order of writing chinese characters, early chinese handwriting recognition softwares still require you to write the character in exact writing orders to recognise properly. As processing power is much fast nowadays and with more sophisticated technologies it is now not a big problem (many Chinese do not know how to write properly).

Back to the main topic, I'm so excited that apple is putting chinese input into iphone and itouch, i have been waiting for this since the first day it announced iphone, and i am always worrying that apple is not paying much attention to the chinese market and therefore not caring to include chinese input. For everyone who are not Chinese and upset about it not supporting handwriting recognition in your language. Believe me, you will never want to use it even it recognise it. The software keyboard is much better. And the handwritting recognition is the only way to ensure all Chinese people who can write chinese (let me repeat...many chinese people don't know how to write chinese) to input chinese character. Foreign people can also have a chance to study and draw the chinese characters to see how much they can do. LOL.

Final words. Depends on the character database built-in, I'm expecting iPhone software 2.0 is not going to able to recognise not more than 3000 chinese characters (out of around 100,000 total characters), but it should account more than 99% of the character in most texts.

Few more links for interesting facts about Chinese characters:
http://www.clavisinica.com/character-test.html
http://chineseculture.about.com/libr...blccbasics.htm
post #31 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by tommychan View Post

Guys,

I am Chinese and I tell you why.

Handwriting is the easiest method to input chinese into ANY electronically (phone, pda, pc etc.), there are no easy way to type chinese, and lots of chinese do not know how to input chinese. There are more then 30 ways or method to input Chinese character, whatever way you use you need a certain level of understanding chinese, I don't see any chinese input method that need not to learn in a proper way, and need months and even years of practice to type it fast.

You may think speech recognition is a good way to input chinese character. Years of developing chinese speech recognition is as long as english but you can see even by now the accuracy is still very low. And believe me, it is much much harder then any other languages to be recognised but computer (I'm not going into details and this will take me a thousands word to explain). Briefly speaking, pronunciation is a nightmare even to Chinese people themselves (there are 200+ dialects in Chinese languages).
Here's a link for some very interesting facts of Mandarin (The official and the simplest, easiest dialect out of the 200+) pronunciation.
http://www.pinyin.info/chinese_characters/

Someone may ask Japanese and Korean character input. Japanese has only 50 basic characters and all the characters can be pronounced in English way within 3 English alphabets. All Japanese words or borrowed-from chinese characters (which pronounce differently to chinese) can be formed by the 50 basic characters. Therefore all japanese are able to input japanese characters with a standard english keyboard withount any learning curve. I'm not as familar to Korean as Japanese, to my knowledge it is similar to Japanese, it has very limit amount (less then 50) of basic characters, the way it form characters is more complicate then Japanese, and its a simplier version of Chinese character formation. So it shouldn't be a problem to input Korean character with English keyboards.

Unlike english, all the alphabetes are list on the keyboard or the keypad in mobile phones. Chinese character is being formed in a rather complex structure, there are alphabets -like concept to form Chinese characters but you may need a keyboard with around 700 keys and it will only able to allow you to input not more then 80% of every single chinese characters.

There are straight rules to the order of writing chinese characters, early chinese handwriting recognition softwares still require you to write the character in exact writing orders to recognise properly. As processing power is much fast nowadays and with more sophisticated technologies it is now not a big problem (many Chinese do not know how to write properly).

Back to the main topic, I'm so excited that apple is putting chinese input into iphone and itouch, i have been waiting for this since the first day it announced iphone, and i am always worrying that apple is not paying much attention to the chinese market and therefore not caring to include chinese input. For everyone who are not Chinese and upset about it not supporting handwriting recognition in your language. Believe me, you will never want to use it even it recognise it. The software keyboard is much better. And the handwritting recognition is the only way to ensure all Chinese people who can write chinese (let me repeat...many chinese people don't know how to write chinese) to input chinese character. Foreign people can also have a chance to study and draw the chinese characters to see how much they can do. LOL.

Final words. Depends on the character database built-in, I'm expecting iPhone software 2.0 is not going to able to recognise not more than 3000 chinese characters (out of around 100,000 total characters), but it should account more than 99% of the character in most texts.

Few more links for interesting facts about Chinese characters:
http://www.clavisinica.com/character-test.html
http://chineseculture.about.com/libr...blccbasics.htm

Thank you for a very interesting, and informative, post.

Come back again.
post #32 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by tommychan View Post

Guys,

I am Chinese and I tell you why.

You're parents are Chinese.

Seriously, great first post. Welcome to AI.
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