Google Photos is rolling out the ability to search your photos by text
Google Photos is, inarguably, one of the best Google applications for Android in recent memory. This photo sharing and storage service from Google outlasted Google’s own social network, Google+ by a long margin. The use of AI and machine learning within this product allows Google to bake in features that most other solutions simply cannot offer. Over the years, we have seen Photos evolve with features such as document cropping, pet photo sharing with partner libraries, wide-color image support, and even a dark theme! Now, Google has confirmed that users will be able to search their photos by the text matter captured within them, thanks to OCR.
Twitter user @hunterwalk spotted that Google Photos could now pick up text from within screenshots, by utilizing the Google Lens integration. This then allows Google Lens to use OCR (Optical Character Recognition) to translate the text image into text, which can then be modified and used as needed.
Wow, @googlephotos has OCR to turn screenshots into copy/paste text!
A. Open google photos and select screenshot
B. Pick “Lens” feature [image 1]
C. Highlight text [image 2]
D. Pick copy/paste [image 2,3]
Nicely done Google team! pic.twitter.com/Um49ika2yT
— 👨🏻💻☕️ (@hunterwalk) August 21, 2019
The official Google Photos account then responded within the tweet thread to confirm that users can also search for photos by the text in them.
You spotted it! Starting this month, we’re rolling out the ability to search your photos by the text in them.
Once you find the photo you’re looking for, click the Lens button to easily copy and paste text. Take that, impossible wifi passwords 😏
— Google Photos (@googlephotos) August 22, 2019
Google Photos search functionality is one of the most powerful search functionalities integrated within a product, and this change adds on to this by absolutely simplifying searching through screenshots even if you only remember a part of the text within. Once users find the text that they were looking for, they can use the Lens button within the app to copy and paste that text. This feature set is rolling out to users from this month onwards, so you can expect to see it on your smartphone in the near future.