you can now incorporate handwritten notes into your Google Docs

Google has announced the release of a new markup capability for people who have been dying to annotate directly on a Google Doc.  Customers of Google Workspace, subscribers to Google Workspace Individual, and users of personal Google accounts can utilize this functionality, which lets users write directly on a Google Doc using a stylus or their finger.

Users can add their own colors if they’d like. The function comes with typical pen and highlighter colors (black, blue, red, green, and yellow) as well as an eraser. This function has a wide range of uses in terms of age groups, sectors, and personal and professional activity. Google provides a list of noteworthy use cases, mostly related to education, where teachers can provide students feedback on their essays, reports, and short stories. This capability, which smoothly combines more conventional ways of sharing paper copies with contemporary computer technologies and classroom management systems that interface with Google Drive, like Canvas or Blackboard, is extremely helpful for instructors and students studying creative writing.

It does away with worries about lugging around a ton of paper for class or running out of print credits at the library, which brings back memories of the difficulties students have encountered in the past. Creative writers, who frequently choose to handwrite development notes on their colleagues’ work, will also find this new feature appealing as it caters to their tactile preferences. Because it adds a personal touch and reduces possible clutter on Google Docs from the system’s editing and comment tracking, handwritten input is highly valued. The writer’s capacity to process feedback can be improved by the contrast between handwritten notes and typed text, particularly when vivid colors are used. But with the initial release, a major flaw appears: hand annotation is only available on Android devices at this time.

No matter the device, users on Windows, macOS, iOS, ChromeOS, and even Chrome Browser can only view documents with markups and control their display and deletion. Compatibility is thus limited to Android tablets and phones. Notably, older students are more likely to utilize Windows or macOS clamshell laptops, and many K–12 students use non-touchscreen clamshell Chromebooks for coursework. The relatively low uptake of tablet or 2-in-1 devices for writing among colleagues and students over the last ten years is another important factor to take into account. Although Google’s feature appears to be helpful for teachers and kids, most might not have access to gadgets that are compatible.Including Windows, macOS, and iOS devices in the feature expansion could help to lessen these difficulties. As per a Statista estimate from October 2023, Apple has over 55.9 percent of the tablet market.

Additionally, expanding compatibility beyond Android devices could better suit the growing demand of 2-in-1 computers, especially among college students.

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