Apple Includes Chinese Handwriting Recognition in iPhone 2.0 Beta

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Apr 12, 2001
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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. Wretch.cc (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
 

msharp

macrumors regular
Jul 10, 2004
209
0
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...
 

Romanesq

macrumors 6502a
Jun 16, 2003
905
68
Hoboken
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
 

mzlin

macrumors member
Jul 22, 2002
33
0
Awesome

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.
 

AlphaAnt

macrumors regular
Sep 9, 2006
120
5
MD, USA
So since they've added Chinese, is it safe to assume that Japanese, Korean, etc. will be in the final version?
 

Virgil-TB2

macrumors 65816
Aug 3, 2007
1,143
1
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.
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.
 

Shasterball

macrumors 6502a
Oct 19, 2007
874
44
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?
 

Simmerl

macrumors member
Aug 25, 2007
69
0
Kanji recognition and Leopard's Japanese/English dictionary, and even I'd buy an iPhone!
 

arn

macrumors god
Staff member
Apr 9, 2001
15,157
3,034
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?
You mean this keyboard? http://www.slate.com/id/2136757/

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

arn
 

JimmyDreams

macrumors 6502
Jul 24, 2007
296
0
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!)
:D
 

mainstreetmark

macrumors 68020
May 7, 2003
2,228
293
Saint Augustine, FL
You mean this keyboard? http://www.slate.com/id/2136757/

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

arn
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.
 

redrabbit

macrumors 6502
Aug 8, 2006
320
0
Have you ever seen a Chinese keyboard? 1,200 keys should just about cover your needs.

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.
 

TimelessWind88

macrumors newbie
Aug 9, 2007
7
0
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.
 

angelwatt

Moderator emeritus
Aug 16, 2005
7,852
7
USA
Have you ever seen a Chinese keyboard? 1,200 keys should just about cover your needs.
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)
 

hahajose

macrumors newbie
May 5, 2008
2
0
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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