Update – June 16, 2009:
The Chinese character recognition technology discussed in the post below was developed by the very same Chinese firm (Hangwang) that has staked a claim to the “iPhone” name. Was it just a coincidence that Apple demoed their technology at WWDC? Don’t think so. Use of Hanwang technology in future Apple products could be part of a quid pro quo between Apple and Hanwang. This iPhone trademark dispute may very well be worked out amicably.
CNET is now following iPhonAsia’s lead by calling attention to the Chinese character input methods demoed at WWDC ’09. CNET suggests that this is but one of several Snow Leopard tidbits that point to the existence of the rumored Apple iTablet. iPhonAsia agrees …
Below is an excerpt from CNET’s article – Snow Leopard features hint at Apple tablet posted today (June 16, 2009): “Freehand Drawing > And then there’s the addition of freehanding via the touchpad. Apple said Snow Leopard will allow users to draw Chinese characters freehand onto a Mac notebook track pad, and the OS will predict characters for faster writing. This feature could clearly transfer from trackpad input to direct onscreen input if Apple engineers wanted. They already have a similar feature in the iPhone for Chinese characters based on the technology from Hanwang.”
iPhonAsia post June 9, 2009:
“We ship a single operating system [iPhone 3.0] around the world localized into every language we support. That means that a bi-lingual customer writing in English can just tap on this globe button and dynamically and in real time switch to a different language. That’s one of the advantages of our soft keyboard.
Now we’re adding support for even more languages with iPhone 3.0 … We now support over 30 different languages with iPhone 3.0 and every one of these languages has a portrait keyboard and dynamically a landscape keyboard.”
Asian languages supported in iPhone 3.0 include: Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Indonesian, Thai, and Malaysian.
Earlier in the Keynote, Bernard Serlet demoed Chinese character input methods. Quoting Serlet:
“It can be cumbersome to input certain Chinese characters with a keyboard … but you’ve got a track pad [on a Mac] why not use it?! With Snow Leopard you can draw with your finger and the computer predicts the character and even predicts the next character to come.”
This same character recognition and predictive capability already exists on iPhone apps for both Chinese and Japanese languages. Read and see more > Apple acquires Chinese and Japanese character recognition app for iPhone