Report: Apple buys handwriting code for iPhone 2.0

“A Chinese third-party developer claims that Apple has bought his software for recognizing handwritten input on the iPhone. Screenshots of an iPhone OS 2.0 build incorporating handwriting technolgy as a method for entering Chinese characters surfaced a few weeks ago, but it now appears that Apple may have acquired this function rather than developed it in-house,” iPhone Atlas reports.

“Dubbed ‘HWPen,’ the third-party handwriting recognition application was developed by to allow Chinese character input on the iPhone, but the program works equally well with English input. Apple has reportedly stripped English character input from the tool, sieving for only Chinese character recognition for iPhone OS 2.0,” iPhone Atlas reports.

Full article here.


  1. Sorry, I mean for the English portion. It’s just a lot easier to manipulate text in the Newton vs. iPhone OS. Deleting a large block of text was a breeze. Not to mention copy n paste.

    As for Chinese, it would’ve been a matter of time had Steve not killed off the Newton.

  2. Bogus. That would imply the inclusion of a stylus for the iPhone. I doubt I’ll be able to write with my finger tip on the small iPhone display – not to mention the unnaturalness of writing with my finger tip as opposed to ‘touching’ and ‘tapping.’

  3. @iPhone User

    I agree about looking to the Newton OS for handwriting technology. I’ve said it several times before myself. The later iterations worked well. I have a MP120 with only the 1.XX OS on it. I found the recognition to do rather well, especially within 3rd party apps. And as you said, copy, paste and delete were a breeze !

  4. The Newton was KEWL, and the handwriting was pretty darn amazing, but I don’t want to write, draw…maybe…write…na.

    I missed the Newton until I got an iPhone and now there is no turning back. The iPhone is the coolest piece of tech I have picked up in ten years. Beg, borrow or steal but get an iPhone you won’t regret it.

  5. @GranitW
    That’s what I thought too, but I can no longer find it in Leopard. Nor does a search of Inkwell or Ink return any information on Apple’s web site. Anyone know the skinny on what happened to Inkwell? Is it tucked away somewhere that I can’t find?

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