The previous apps from Vision Objects have been a little magical – they had better handwriting recognition than a lot of expensive desktop software suites. MyScript Stylus brings that handwriting recognition to all apps by replacing the keyboard on your phone or tablet.

MyScript Stylus gives you a small writing space where the keyboard usually is. Whatever you scribble in there will be turned into text and dropped into any field on the device in real time. It also makes use of intuitive gestures to edit text. The app supports an incredible 54 languages at launch, including several that use non-Latin characters like Traditional Chinese and Hebrew.

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This is a beta version of the MyScript Stylus app, so you can try it out for free. It runs on any Android device, but it really only makes sense to use with a stylus of some sort (capacitive or otherwise). The Galaxy Note devices with their inductive stylus tech will probably work the best. Samsung has its own handwriting recognition software built into the Note devices, but maybe Vision Objects has it beat? Only one way to find out.

Update: Turns out the Note devices use handwriting tech licensed from Vision Objects. There might be some added benefit from using the new MyScript app, though. [Thanks, Nik Turner]

Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play.

  • wolfkabal

    So, we're back to the days of the Palm III again? Whoo!

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

    I love everything this company makes, but no way on hell is writing recognition faster than typing with a smart keyboard like SwiftKey. I just don't see any value in something like this.

    Anyone else?

    • Ricardo Neves

      Agree. I'd rather use speech recognition that this. I just hate hand-writing, be it on paper or with a stylus :P

    • Kenny O

      When I got my hand stylus from kickstarter I tried just about every single hand-writing app, no matter how good the recognition it was always much faster for me to use a keyboard.

    • Imparus

      well using stylus on switkey or google keyboard or Swype is actually quite nice and pretty fast, but then again you are just swyping with the stylus so it doesn't take as long time.

    • mlj11

      I suppose this might be useful for people with jobs that require them to write in shorthand, or students whose lecturers might think they were slacking off if they were poking on their mobile devices with their finger?

    • animejay

      Well considering you said on hell instead of in hell (keyboard prediction i assume), it might be more accurate.

      I use SwiftKey btw.

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii


        • Chris

          Using the JEDI variant of Touchwiz on my Note II, I can set it up so that SwiftKey is my default keyboard, but if my SPen is removed from the device, MyScript is the default keyboard.

          This new app is ideal for me and makes this Jedi feature work exactly like it seems to have been intended -- an automatic keyboard switcher based on Spen status.

    • Matthew Fry

      Does seem very... uh 1996.

  • Darren Henderson

    I can't handwrite 80 wpm. Now granted, I can't type on a mobile device at the same speed I can on a keyboard either. But... using TouchPal I'm usually sitting between 200-400 char/min, with auto-completion to kick in and save time here and there. This is useless for actual content creation. Handwriting recognition is great for jotting something down like a phone number etc, but writing a full email on something like this? No thanks.

    • Eva Rinaldi

      I can't get up to speed on my tablet and have a hand free to do other tasks, which is why I'm looking into it, especially since I have a lot of issues getting autocompletion to work for me on most keyboard apps.

  • Typongtv

    About time we ( Android users ) had this one too :D
    I always wondered when will I be able to type SLOWER yet with style :P

  • Dave

    Looks cool.

  • RitishOemraw

    I'll only consider handwriting if I can effortlessly switch to doing drawins in the middle of my sentences and switch back....seriously if you are only going to write, than typing is FASTER, if you want to doodle in between, then this might stand a chance

  • imsoupercereal

    Oh lord, I can't wait to see some hipsters using this pretending like they're on some old Palm Pilot...PDA. PDA, wow that word died off quickly.

  • alexcue

    Value I can see in this: Use Tasker in conjunction with something like Note Buddy to detect when S Pen is detached and switch the keyboard to this, then switch back on stylus reinsertion. Wonder if it's worth trying to get set up..

  • Kit

    Only appeals to women with long-ass nails.
    They have shiftily increased the speed of the video a little too when the hand writes to make it look like it's not going to be slower. FAIL.

    • Lumi

      I don't think touchscreens (at least, the ones you find on phones) responds to nails. You are thinking old-style resistive screens here. And no woman would be daft enough to scratch a screen with her nails, risking both the screen (protector) and her nails.