Android gesture search extended to wider market

Users outside the US and those with older handsets will have access to the touch search application

Google has made its new gesture search application compatible with smartphones based on Android version 1.6, and is also opening it to users outside the U.S., the company's said in a blog post on Tuesday.

Gesture Search lets users find contacts, installed applications, bookmarks or a music track by drawing letters of the alphabet on the touchscreen, according to Google.

The application was launched two weeks ago, but only available for devices running Android 2.0 or above in the U.S. It is now available in all countries where there is an Android market. However, it only recognizes letters used in English, according to the blog post.

Gesture Search is an experimental Google Labs application, and is under development. The new version also includes some performance improvements and bug fixes, the blog post said without going into detail.

The technology is the latest example of how Google is developing how its search engine for use on mobile phones. The most notable example is search by voice. In January in the U.S., Google added search suggestions based on the phone's current or last location, with the goal of making the suggestions more relevant.

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Mikael Ricknäs

IDG News Service
Topics: mobile applications, search, Google, Android, gesture search, search engines
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