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Amazon Kindle Scribe replace lastly brings handwriting recognition

When we reviewed Amazon’s Kindle Scribe we were impressed with the device generally but there was one big omission – handwriting recognition. So while the Scribe was great for making notes, it wasn’t so good for doing anything with those notes, unless you wanted to get an image of the note (as opposed to being able to do anything with the text itself.

Now an update for the Kindle Scribe includes the ability to convert handwritten notebooks to text when you export in addition to a lasso select tool and PDF reading improvements.

In the Share menu, you will now have the option to ‘Convert to text and quick send’ and ‘Convert to text and email’ your scribblings as a .txt file. For the latter option, you will be able to edit the text before it’s sent/

The lasso select tool works anywhere you can write: notebooks, sticky notes, as well as PDFs uploaded to your Kindle library via Send to Kindle. Simply circle your handwritten text or pen strokes, then you can resize or move your selection within a notebook, sticky note, or PDF. You can also cut, copy, and paste your selection, too.

Finally, for PDFs uploaded to your Kindle library through Send to Kindle, you can now switch between portrait and landscape view mode, crop margins and select text to make structured highlights with your finger or pen. You can also add text notes, or look up dictionary definitions, translations, and Wikipedia results.

In our Kindle Scribe review, we said that while it was a “truly groundbreaking Kindle… it’s hampered by its iPad-esque price and the lack of ability to recognize your handwriting. So it’s best to think of what’s on offer here as a premium large-screen Kindle with the extra feature of being a rather amazing notepad.”

However, this latest update goes a long way toward sorting out those initial problems. Which rather begs the question why Amazon didn’t wait until it had perfected the software before releasing it.

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