Google Continuous Gesture patent points to easier touchscreen text management

Got a beef with trying to pick out text with your meaty fingers? Google’s hoping to edit the process for you

Tablets are like Brazilian girlfriends: sexy, spirited and fun, but not altogther practical. In fact, the reason most of us have dirty weekend relationships with our tablets while maintaining a sober marriage to our laptops is that tablets just aren’t very good at the more odious tasks to come our way during the working week. To be blunt, our fingers are too blunt to make touchscreen typing and editing easy.

Google senses that the current swell of tablet models bearing its Android OS needs to break up this boring marriage, finally allowing us to work properly on our tablets alone (the gadget equivalent of eloping with some South American totty). To that end, it’s developing Continuous Gestures to help our fat fingers more easily pick out text and tell our touchscreens what to do with it – all with a single swipe.

The gist of Continuous Gestures, according to the patent uncovered by Patently Apple, is a process of Swype-esque gesturing that not only allows you to intelligently select text, but also ascribes a function to it: copy, cut or search, for instance. You’d draw a ‘g’ on the screen before circling a word and it gets Googled. Draw an ‘s’ and it uses an alternative search engine. Google hopes Continuous Gestures will put an end to processes that currently take several steps (place cursor, select text, select function, etc) and make them a fluid part of our touchscreen computing future.

Having tried (and failed) to do any but the most basic work duties on tablets, we welcome the Big G’s patent. Whether Google can implement this in a way that genuinely makes us consider ditching the laptop remains to be seen. As do our chances with that Brazilian.

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