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AppleInsider reader Kenneth notes that build 5A258f of the impending software update adds several new Chinese input methods under the international keyboard settings, including handwriting recognition.
"Unfortunately, handwriting recognition is only avaliable in Chinese (Traditional and Simplified) and doesn't support English," he told AppleInsider.
In his own write up on the subject — translated — Kenneth posts several screenshots from the software, which show the handwriting interface functioning in both portrait and landscape modes.
As the user draws symbols on the screen, the iPhone's handwriting recognition interface begins to suggest possible character matches in a column to the right of the input area.
Apple had previously posted a job listing for a handwriting recognition engineer, and AppleInsider reported last year that the company's upcoming Newton/Web tablet would arrive with support for the input technology.
A recent patent filing has also suggested that Apple is working on a next-generation multi-touch 'surface' that would combine typing, pointing, scrolling, and handwriting capabilities into a single ergonomic design aimed at replacing traditional input devices such as the keyboard, mouse, and drawing tablet.