Android to get gesture recognition

Google has announced a new Labs application for its Android operating system. It's called Gesture Search, and allows you to draw letters on your touchscreen to search through content on your device. It works like the universal search - meaning that you can sift through contacts, apps, bookmarks or music stored on the device. It's even clever enough to detect when a glyph is close to two different letters, and offer both of them up as options.

It's interesting to see Google experimenting so much with alternative input methods. The company has integrated voice input widely across its most recent Nexus One handset, and appears to be beginning to eschew the keyboard as a means of text entry. It'll only work on Android 2.0+ phones, though. That will put it out of reach of all but the most recent handsets available - the Hero, Magic, and G1 are all out of luck at the time of writing.

If you've got a 2.0+ Android device, and you'd like to install it, just head on over to the Android market, hit the search button, and type in "Gesture Search", then hit the download button. While some are reporting that it's only available in the US, we had no issues downloading it on a handset in the UK.