Apple Includes Chinese Handwriting Recognition in iPhone 2.0 Beta

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, May 5, 2008.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Apple has quietly included handwriting recognition for Chinese (Traditional and Simplified) into the latest iPhone Firmware 2.0 beta. When you select Chinese input, you are given the option to use handwriting recognition allowing you to draw characters on the screen. As you write the character, four possibilities appear on the right side of the screen. (Chinese) details many screenshots of the new feature, and MacRumors has been able to independently verify that this does exist in the latest iPhone firmware beta available to registered iPhone developers.


    Apple was one of the pioneers in handwriting recognition technology with their Newton Personal Digital Assistant. While the original Newton contained a 3rd party handwriting engine that generated some early bad press, Apple later deployed their own much improved handwriting technology known as "Rosetta". Rosetta technology later found its way into Mac OS X under the name "Inkwell".

    Apple recently started hiring for a new Handwriting Recognition Engineer, so it appears Apple is reinvesting in this technology.

    Article Link
  2. TheSpecialist macrumors 6502

    Jun 11, 2007
    The Netherlands, Europe
  3. msharp macrumors regular


    Jul 10, 2004
    This is simply AWESOME. Can't wait to try the 2.0 out!!

    But how are we suppose to write the character? Use my big fingers to write complex characters?? Umm...
  4. Romanesq macrumors 6502a


    Jun 16, 2003
    Can't ignore China...

    Apple can't ignore China and its growing market. Of course Steve wouldn't do so as he was told by Hillary and Bill Clinton to support their biggest cash cow.

    How do you say how many Loral missile systems do you need in Chinese? :p
  5. mzlin macrumors member

    Jul 22, 2002

    Awesome. This always seemed to me to be the killer app among touchscreen devices. Chinese lends itself to computer handwriting recognition in a way alphabetical languages never did. iPhone lust just went up among 1 billion Chinese.
  6. CalfCanuck macrumors 6502a

    Nov 17, 2003
  7. craigverse macrumors 6502


    Dec 8, 2006
    Reno, NV
  8. twoodcc macrumors P6


    Feb 3, 2005
    Right side of wrong
    seems like great technology. glad to see apple working on this
  9. AlphaAnt macrumors regular


    Sep 9, 2006
    MD, USA
    So since they've added Chinese, is it safe to assume that Japanese, Korean, etc. will be in the final version?
  10. Virgil-TB2 macrumors 65816


    Aug 3, 2007
    It's also much more likely that this technology is not so much for the iPhone but indicates Apple moving back into tablets in a big way.

    Right now there isn't a single mobile OS that can touch them. It will take years for Android to produce anything like a viable alternative to Apple's multi-touch.
  11. Shasterball macrumors 6502a


    Oct 19, 2007
    I'm confused. If you can use a computer using a keyboard to input in Chinese, why do you need handwriting recognition? Why not just use the same keyboard?
  12. Simmerl macrumors member

    Aug 25, 2007
    Kanji recognition and Leopard's Japanese/English dictionary, and even I'd buy an iPhone!
  13. arn macrumors god


    Staff Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    You mean this keyboard?

    I don't know if Apple will introduce English Handwriting Recognition, but I'd still like to see it. I really liked the Newton.

  14. skunk macrumors G4


    Jun 29, 2002
    Republic of Ukistan
    Have you ever seen a Chinese keyboard? 1,200 keys should just about cover your needs.
  15. Novaoblivion macrumors member

    Jan 13, 2006
    Very very cool! I would love to see this working for English and Japanese too! :D
  16. Gasu E. macrumors 601

    Gasu E.

    Mar 20, 2004
    Not far from Boston, MA.
    And I, for one, welcome our new Chinese overlords!
  17. JimmyDreams macrumors 6502

    Jul 24, 2007
    We don't really need this in an iPhone...

    I mean, c'mon! How hard is it to say "I'll have the #9, extra spicy"?

    (that's humor folks...let it go!)
  18. mainstreetmark macrumors 68020


    May 7, 2003
    Saint Augustine, FL
    I'm mixed. I'm pretty proficient with the soft keyboard as it stands. A handwriting interface, while neat, seems less efficient, especially without a "pen" to write with. It's be like finger painting. Imagine how may "Eat Up Martha"'s it could make.

    But, what does it hurt to put a handwriting option in there for those who would use it? Rosetta already exists, so pop that engine into the iPhone and bob's yer uncle.
  19. Bobdude161 macrumors 65816


    Mar 12, 2006
    N'Albany, Indiana
    I don't see why we would need an English handwriting system, I can understand the Chinese part though.
  20. redrabbit macrumors 6502

    Aug 8, 2006

    Typing in Chinese on a QWERTY keyboard is fairly easy once you learn how to do it. That said, this on the iphone is AWESOME.
  21. roach macrumors regular

    Feb 13, 2006
    Tablet PC had this feature for eons


    Check the end of the vid
  22. TimelessWind88 macrumors newbie

    Aug 9, 2007
    Japanese Too?

    This is really interesting. I wonder if they could also implement the same programming toward Japanese, too? I'm taking Japanese in college so I may actually have a use for this if American iPhones could get it. Both languages use many of the same characters. In fact, the character being drawn means "inside/in the middle of" as a kanji in Japanese.
  23. tmelvin macrumors 6502


    Mar 17, 2008
    Don't tell can learn how to use it in "15 minute!" LMAO:D
  24. angelwatt Moderator emeritus


    Aug 16, 2005
    Not really. Chinese and other languages like it will generally have a romanji (roman letter based) spelling for words. This romanji form can then be transformed (with the space bar generally) into the 'complex' character forms of the language. When there's more than one character for that romanji (which there generally is) you'll be prompted for which character you really want, just like the screen shot shows at the right side of the screen. This is how I'm able to type in Japanese on my Mac while having a US keyboard. There are more specific keyboards like the one arn linked to, but it can all be done with a standard ascii keyboard.

    喝采 (cheers)
  25. hahajose macrumors newbie

    May 5, 2008
    iPhone 4 ROC

    The handwriting support is only for Traditional Chinese of the Republic of China (commonly known as "Taiwan") .. There will be no keyboard support for Traditional Chinese. And no handwriting support for Chinese of People's Repbublic of China.

    Apple developed handwriting recognition only for Traditional Chinese, so does it mean that iPhone will be sold "legally" in Taiwan soon??!!

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