Jul 17, 2015
We’ve been working on write ups pertaining to smartpens, and looking at what they bring to the mobile productivity table. For the most part, we’ve found them to be great tools, but only as good as the add-ons that allow them to be harnessed by the platforms they are being used on.
One of the names that continually cropped up during reviews and research was MyScript. MyScript is a name that should resonate with smartpen users; it powers a lot of the image recognition software that some smartpen device makers bundle with their products. The premise is fairly simple: one “writes” with a stylus (or finger) on compatible surfaces with compatible peripherals, and MyScript helps translate the script to formal text.
The potential benefits can be profound. It allows folks who love to write have an opportunity to do so on digital devices. With regards to smartpens, it allows people to write naturally, and convert the collected data to computer-ready text that can be manipulated digitally. It’s fascinating stuff, and seeing it appropriated to mobile devices universally via the MyScript Stylus Beta app for Android is the Next Best Thing.
The app concept is straightforward: it acts like a keyboard, in that it essentially becomes another mode of virtual entry, and when the user wants to enter text, it pops up a window seamlessly (instead of the keyboard one is used to seeing.
Install out of the Play Store is easy enough, as is the initial set up; one then picks a language (it offers support to 64), and then one follows the dialogue to select the Stylus input as the default. After that, as noted, the app is invoked whenever the user looks to enter text. As it was, I had the perfect test bed: this review, via the WordPress app.
Using a soft tip stylus, I was able to get this post going. At the bottom of the screen, a clean, white window appears, and the basic concept is to write. I started of slow, with deliberate strokes; it picked them up quite quickly. Over time, I was able to go even quicker, and defaulted to my more natural cursive. Again, it worked admirably. It utilizes word suggestions at the top, and it picks up punctuation fairly easily. I did run into problems when I typed too fast, but for the most part, it was surprisingly good, so much so that I did the vast core of this draft via the app.
In trials with my finger, the app was also pretty proficient, but my entry was a bit slower, I really preferred the stylus. I came away thinking that a thin-tipped stylus would be the best option for text entry.
Added altogether: functionality, gesture controls, ease of use and customization options, it’s easy to fall in love with this nifty set of software, even before considering stuff like multiple language support.
Beta? Yeah right…