The search functionality in Google Photos is already a powerful tool, allowing you to find certain objects, locations, pets, events or even people within your snaps thanks to some clever AI, but it’s now been made even smarter.
Utilizing the Optical Character Recognition (OCR) tech found in Google Lens, you can now search for text from within Google Photos. Once it finds any images that contain that text, you’re able to use Lens to select and copy it in order to paste it elsewhere.
While it’s especially good at finding text within screenshots and other obviously-aligned words, it can also work wonders with non-standard fonts that are skewed and distorted, which is rather impressive.
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 😏August 22, 2019
As mentioned in the tweet, the feature is rolling out “starting this month”, and in the TechRadar office, both Android and web users found that they had received the feature – although its success varied across different devices – and there was no sign of it on iOS.
The implication of this is that Google Photos is automatically applying the OCR tech to all of your images, and possibly storing the metadata about the text contained within the photo in some way, although we’ll need to hear more from Google directly to confirm how this feature fully operates.