Google is debuting “Cursive” on the HP Chromebook x2 11 that gives Chrome OS a dedicated app for handwritten notes. It lets users — of stylus devices — create, edit, and organize their thoughts. 

Behind the scenes, Cursive is a Progressive Web App, just like Google’s drawing-focused “Canvas” PWA. It starts with a homepage that has a blue “New note” button in the top-left corner followed by a carousel of notebook covers that let you file and categorize notes.

There are defaults for “All” and “Unfiled notes,” while users can create custom folders and set different colors. Everything is backed up to the cloud for cross-device access. 

Below that is a grid of “All notes” with each item represented as a card. A preview appears at the top and title — which is automatically recognized — below, while the label is displayed in the corner. 

When you’re in a note, there’s a bar at the top of the screen to access different tools: pen, highlighter, eraser, select, image insertion, etc. Lastly, you can adjust — and access recent — color(s) and pen width, while high-level undo/redo is at the right.

Available gestures powered by on-device handwriting recognition includes circling to move, scribbling/crossing out to delete, and drawing a line across the page to insert more space.

Google Cursive is first launching on the HP Chromebook x2 11. It will be pre-installed on other stylus-enabled Chromebooks later this year.

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Abner Li

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