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WRITEit from Lenovo – A Close Up Look

This week Lenovo introduced another new software product they call WRITEit. It allows users to write using a stylus, or fork if your device has AnyPen, in any text block in virtually any program on a Windows tablet or laptop. Today, the app is only compatible with a small list of Lenovo products; Think Pad Yoga, Think Pad Helix, Think Pad 10 & Yoga Tablet 2 w/AnyPen. The video is very nicely made, but I thought I would share some hands on experience using my Yoga Tablet 2 w/AnyPen.

The app loaded without any issues and created an icon in the Taskbar hidden icons bin. You can set the app to load automatically on boot. I would suggest setting the icon to appear on the Taskbar all the time, making it easy to toggle on and off. You’ll definitely need to be doing that. As with most new software today, there are pretty much no instructions, as I guess everyone now is highly intuitive. Well, maybe except me. After installing the app, I was able to write in an email. But playing for a few minutes I grew tired of error corrections and wanted to see the keyboard again, but couldn’t figure out how to do that. A long press on the icon opened a context menu taking me to settings. As you can see below, the radio buttons at the top of the Settings dialog have options for Hand Input or Pen Input. Switching between the two changes the size of the Settings dialog, so I assumed that this just changed the dialog’s appearance. As I was using my inkless pen with my AnyPen screen, I switched to Pen Input. When I went back to the mail message the good old popup keyboard was back again. Didn’t quite know why, but I was happy anyway.

I then tried to write a search term in Internet Explorer, but I couldn’t get the search box border to turn green (to write, tap a box on the screen and a green border appears – write anywhere inside the box). I went back to settings and decided to switch back to Hand Input. Sure enough, the green frame appeared in IE. At the same time I discovered that a short tap on the WRITEit icon toggles it on and off, so you could quickly switch from keyboard typing to writing. That definitely made things better. The Pen Input setting is for devices equip with a Wacom or N-trig pen. The Hand Input setting is for everything else, including AnyPen.

Writing in a small search box on my 8” tablet is no easy task. Although all of the letters don’t have to be within the box, a good portion needs to be in there to properly convert to text. So for me, the logical option was to zoon out a bit, making the box big enough to write in. As you see in the screen shots, the app was pretty good as detecting what I wrote, although I was forcing myself to write lower case letters, rather than small caps as I am accustomed to doing. You can set the app to automatically convert words after a timeout period, or after you tap the T icon. A carriage return will (there are several gestures for; Delete, Erase, Tab, Return, Insert Space, Backspace & Replace text) also convert your writing to text.Tapping the picture icon will move your writing as is, into the highlighted box. Good for adding a doodle or signature, although I could make that work in the Bing search box.

Working within an email gives you a much larger writing area, basically the entire message body space. But I would find it extremely laborious to write/convert several paragraphs. As you can see in the screenshots below, you can select a specific word and a list of options will appear to replace your misspelled/incorrect word. Drawing a line right to left through a word and pausing for a second will delete the writing, allowing you to start over.



Like most of the writing apps I have played with, I find this more a novelty than practical in the real world. But I applaud Lenovo for trying. You can find out more about WRITEit here.