Handwriting Recognition Inside Scrivener iOS

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Silverdragon
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Sun Oct 28, 2018 9:03 am Post

I'm using a new (to me) keyboard replacement app for iOS---Mazec. It's a bit more awkward to use than the older handwriting recognition keyboard app, MyScript Stylus, but it's not bad. I've used much worse. Mazec looks like it's the last app standing in this small niche, though. Not only MyScript Stylus, but also Penquills and Write Pad for iPad have all disappeared from the App Store. Here's a screenshot using Mazec within Scrivener on an iPhone 6S:
D74E2A5C-F022-4CDA-8211-40C08E59F232.png
D74E2A5C-F022-4CDA-8211-40C08E59F232.png (142.38 KiB) Viewed 5148 times
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Hugh
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Sun Oct 28, 2018 5:40 pm Post

I think you're correct, Silverdragon - Mazec is the last such app standing (although I believe that I've read somewhere that the withdrawal of Stylus by MyScript is in preparation for a replacement app - and certainly I've seen MyScript do that kind of thing before).

It's a shame about Stylus, but I've found Mazec pretty acceptable - certainly by the standards of other handwriting recognition apps. Doesn't it use "a" MyScript engine?
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Silverdragon
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Mon Oct 29, 2018 4:02 am Post

I just looked this up, and yes, Mazec uses a MyScript engine, according to Business Week. That doesn't surprise me, as MyScript seem much more interested in licencing their engines than in selling apps. I've noticed for a while now that the purpose of MyScript apps is really to showcase their technology---they don't update older apps much. Instead , they're abandoned and MyScript release a new app with better recognition.

Which is fine and a splendid business model, I'm sure. I like to have a workflow that doesn't include MyScript apps, though. 8)
  • Fiction-writer curled up on her silicon hoard
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Hugh
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Mon Oct 29, 2018 2:32 pm Post

Silverdragon wrote:I just looked this up, and yes, Mazec uses a MyScript engine, according to Business Week. That doesn't surprise me, as MyScript seem much more interested in licencing their engines than in selling apps. I've noticed for a while now that the purpose of MyScript apps is really to showcase their technology---they don't update older apps much. Instead , they're abandoned and MyScript release a new app with better recognition.

Which is fine and a splendid business model, I'm sure. I like to have a workflow that doesn't include MyScript apps, though. 8)


Thanks for the info, Silverdragon. You've just made sense of MyScript's business plan! With the possible exception of Apple and MS, it's difficult/maybe impossible to think of a handwriting-recognition application on any platform since the Millenium that has not used MyScript technology.
'Listen, some quiet night, when you've shirked your work that day. Do you hear
that distant, almost inaudible clicking sound? That's one of your
competitors, working away in the night in
Paris or London or Erie, PA.'

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Silverdragon
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Mon Oct 29, 2018 11:22 pm Post

PhatWare (who produced two third-party keyboards and innumerable note-taking apps) did not use MyScript engines. I could tell because the approach to recognition was so different—PhatWare was definitely taking strokes into account, whereas MyScript appears to look at final form only. (PhatWare's recognition improved markedly once you told the engine how you did or did not draw characters.)

I still have my PhatWare and MyScript third-party keyboards, and I'll likely keep using them until some iOS update or other breaks them. Mazec—no dark mode, have to tap the enter key to clear the recognition buffer—is a slight step down from PhatWare, and a noticeable step down from MyScript Stylus. Don't get me wrong—it's definitely usable, but I hope I can keep it as a backup entry method instead of having to have it as primary.
  • Fiction-writer curled up on her silicon hoard
  • Mac Scrivener 3.2.2, MacBook Air 11, MacOS 10.15.7 (Catalina)
  • iOS Scrivener 1.2.1, iPad 6, iPhone 12 pro, i(Pad)OS 14.5
  • Website: https://silverdrag0n.wordpress.com

Hu
Hugh
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Tue Oct 30, 2018 11:36 am Post

Silverdragon wrote:PhatWare (who produced two third-party keyboards and innumerable note-taking apps) did not use MyScript engines. I could tell because the approach to recognition was so different—PhatWare was definitely taking strokes into account, whereas MyScript appears to look at final form only. (PhatWare's recognition improved markedly once you told the engine how you did or did not draw characters.)

I still have my PhatWare and MyScript third-party keyboards, and I'll likely keep using them until some iOS update or other breaks them. Mazec—no dark mode, have to tap the enter key to clear the recognition buffer—is a slight step down from PhatWare, and a noticeable step down from MyScript Stylus. Don't get me wrong—it's definitely usable, but I hope I can keep it as a backup entry method instead of having to have it as primary.


Thanks for the reminder about Phatware, which I'd forgotten. Currently the developer offers an iPhone virtual keyboard, but as you say, nothing for the iPad. I never had much success with Phatware's applications, but now I know that I should have persisted, to train the application.
'Listen, some quiet night, when you've shirked your work that day. Do you hear
that distant, almost inaudible clicking sound? That's one of your
competitors, working away in the night in
Paris or London or Erie, PA.'

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Silverdragon
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Wed Oct 31, 2018 5:53 am Post

Really? I just searched for "phatware" in my iPhone 6S's app store and all I came up with was a drinking game. I searched for the keyboard (Penquills) and came up empty as well.
  • Fiction-writer curled up on her silicon hoard
  • Mac Scrivener 3.2.2, MacBook Air 11, MacOS 10.15.7 (Catalina)
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  • Website: https://silverdrag0n.wordpress.com

Hu
Hugh
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Wed Oct 31, 2018 8:17 pm Post

Ha! The link is on the Phatware landing page, but the connections to the UK App Store and then onwards to the US App Store are broken/non-operative as you say. That'll teach me not to believe everything I read on a developer's website that is unfamiliar to me... :roll:
'Listen, some quiet night, when you've shirked your work that day. Do you hear
that distant, almost inaudible clicking sound? That's one of your
competitors, working away in the night in
Paris or London or Erie, PA.'