If, on the one hand, Google has not presented any truly innovative services in recent months, on the other, it has been working in part of what it already has: Google Photos just received another update, this one to allow the service to automatically identify texts within photos or screenshots.
Google Lens OCR (character recognition) technology has been integrated with Google Photos for some time. Thanks to this, it is possible to extract a phone number that appears in the photo of a business card, for example.
Now, the integration between the two tools is being expanded to allow the user to perform searches within Google Photos based on the existing texts in the images.
Two details stand out here. The first is that you don’t have to choose a photo and then activate Lens to recognize text. With the update, you can simply search for a particular phrase or word and, in the sequence, Google Photos will list the images that have that content.
Going back to the previous example, suppose you want to find the photo of Beltrano’s business card. Then just type that word in Google Photos and the service will list all the images in which the name appears.
The other detail that draws attention is that the character recognition seems to work well even in texts that are not in the foreground in the photos or appear with some inclination due to the angle of image registration.
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
When the desired image has been found, just press the Lens button to copy the text and paste it elsewhere. Google itself says that this can be useful, for example, to extract the password from a Wi-Fi network placed on a card or card.
The new functionality is being implemented this month, gradually. According to 5to9Google, the feature is now available on some Android devices. Google Photos for iOS looks like it hasn’t been updated yet, but it shouldn’t be long before it gets done.