Google Photos is easily one of the best apps you could have installed on your phone, especially if it’s an Android device, and especially a specific type of Android that comes with unlimited storage. Even if you prefer a different cloud or storage device for your photos, you should still consider getting the Google Photos app on your Android or iPhone right now, because the service is about to get a super convenient feature.
That’s optical character recognition (OCR), a feature that allows Google to read the text in photos and turn it into text that you can search for, and even copy and paste into documents. That’s a handy feature to have on a phone, especially if you find yourself taking lots of photos of things that contain plenty of text that you’d want to be able to access later. You know, like that secure, but very complex password of your home Wi-Fi. There are other ways of saving that password, of course, but who hasn’t taken a photo of a Wi-Fi password at least once in their lifetime?
Pulling text out of screenshots you’ve saved at some point on your phone is one other great example of what OCR tech can do for you. Being able to find that screenshot by search is also going to be a lot easier than browsing your photo gallery.
According to 9to5Google, it’s the OCR feature that already exists in Google Lens powering the new feature. Google Lens is an AR app that delivers more information based on the visual data it captures from your surroundings. And now you’ll be able to search Google Photos for text by text using the OCR feature, and then copy and paste the information you needed.
Google quietly confirmed the feature on Twitter, saying it’s rolling out to Photos users this month the ability to search photos by text.
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
The new Photos feature will roll out to Android first but should be available on iPhone and the web as well.