Google just OCR’d all your photos

Google Photos has quietly introduced a new feature that provides automatic character recognition on all your photos and screenshots. This lets you search your Google Photos library by any text string and copy and paste the results into a document or form.

The feature can be used to search for text that appears in screenshots or no matter where the phrase appears, on a T-Shirt, a street sign or shopfront.

According to 9to5Google, the feature is available now on some Android devices, although it does not appear to be active quite yet on iOS. It is active for Web searches of your Google Photo library.

The OCR capability builds on the “Crop & adjust” feature introduced recently that allows for automatic cropping of photos of receipts and other documents so they can be removed from a background.

The official Twitter account quietly announced the OCR feature the afternoon after it was spotted by a user.

Starting this month, we’re rolling out the ability to search your photos by the text in them,” Google wrote in response to prominent venture capitalist Hunter Walk, who noticed earlier this week that the Lens feature had been turned on for his account.

“Once you find the photo you’re looking for, click the Lens button to easily copy and paste text. Take that, impossible wifi password.”





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