This week Google quietly confirmed an insanely cool AI feature that is beginning to roll out on Google Lens.
It allows users to not only search for text in Google Photos image library, but actually copy and paste it.
Here. For. It.
Google Lens can already
This optical character recognition (OPR) functionality was originally spotted by @hunterwalk on Twitter, who detailed how to use it.
All you need to do is open Google Photos and select your screenshot of choice. You then select ‘Lens’, highlight the text you’re after and ‘copy’ it.
You can then paste the text to your destination of choice, such as a doc or email.
Wow, @googlephotos has OCR to turn screenshots into copy/paste text!
A. Open google photos and select screenshot
B. Pick “Lens” feature
C. Highlight text
D. Pick copy/paste
Nicely done Google team! pic.twitter.com/Um49ika2yT
— ????????????☕️ (@hunterwalk) August 21, 2019
While Google didn’t announce the new functionality itself, the Google Photos account did confirm it to another user.
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
According to 9to5Google the update has begun rolling out on some Android devices, but is yet to come to iOS.
This deeply convenient addition is just the latest OCR function that Google Lens is adding to its repertoire. It already allows you to select, copy and save text through the camera, translate text to multiple languages and scan QR and barcodes.
While the Google Photos add-on seems quite similar to the already-existing camera-functionality, being able to snap text to copy and paste at a later date is a damn fine update – especially if you don’t want to be copying and pasting in real time.
Boy do I wish I had access to this sorcery when I was taking shots of texts books in the uni library back in the day.