Thanks for a little help from Samsung
You know how school sometimes likes to throw together a bunch of group projects? Well, you could say that Android and Chromium (of which there are ChromeOS, Chrome browser, and other web browsers) are essentially just big ol’ group projects. Thanks to Google, their open-source nature has brought together all kinds of features from all kinds of contributors. Samsung is probably the biggest one and it looks like we’re about to get another feature courtesy of the company for Android 13 – it should surprisingly add to its advertised tablet friendliness.
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Arizona Technical Editor Mishaal Rahman is tracking several threads in Chromium Gerrit, written by a Samsung engineer who wants to implement stylus handwriting-to-text input on Android T – which is Android 13 – editable on at least Chrome and the derived webview, on the non-password text field.
It appears that Samsung devices with S Pen running Android 13 may already take advantage of this feature. They use a home-built API called DeviceDirectorying and a commit that enables handwriting-to-text input with this API (relying on the use of the Samsung keyboard) has been merged into Chromium.
Samsung is still working on integrating S Pen gestures into handwriting-to-text mode via Chromium Gerrit.
Other Android devices will rely on a set of platform-level stylus writing APIs to be introduced with Android 13. As it stands, it appears that a Developer Options toggle needs to be set and that the wider input method supports the API. That means we’ll have to be on the lookout for when Gboard and other keyboard and input apps are updated for this.
Google has been busy optimizing its own brand of apps for larger-screen device formats, but graphic user interfaces have come a long way, with enabling a variety of input methods on a larger canvas certainly takes Android the extra mile. will be promoted. It also opens the way for ChromeOS to support handwriting-to-text at the platform level – being stuck with only keyboard input seems antiquated for 2022.