Screen shots posted on Chinese site wretch.cc allege that iPhone firmware 2.0 has added support for Chinese handwriting recognition in addition to a revamped (albeit non-recognition) Japanese interface. While that's still light years from an Apple admission that not everyone is in love with the on-screen keyboard, it's one small step toward functionality that seems to make boatloads of sense -- in any language -- given the phone's generously proportioned touchscreen and its reluctant but unavoidable nomination as the Newton's spiritual successor. What isn't clear is how folks are expected to draw characters, seeing how there's no provision for an on-board stylus, the entire interface is designed for finger use, and we don't see many owner rushing out for a Pogo. However Apple intends for this feature to be used, the implementation looks pretty hot, capable of operating in both portrait and landscape modes. Sadly, it seems that Chinese is the one and only language supported at the moment; sure you don't want to let everyone in on the Graffiti-esque retro fun here, guys?

[Via Mac Rumors]

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iPhone firmware 2.0 adds Chinese handwriting recognition, Newton sweats