Google Photos is the default image gallery app on a lot of Android devices, including Pixel and Android One smartphones. It’s also particularly useful for its excellent cloud service, and lets users find images through a search bar. The service just got a bit more capable with a new feature, which lets users search for specific text in images; typing text into the search bar on Google Photos will now display any images with that specific text. The new feature is now gradually rolling out across the platform.
The new text search function, which is part of Google Lens’ image analysing capabilities, can further be copied and pasted using Lens’ existing OCR (optical character recognition) functionality. We were able to use the new feature, and the search function worked with even small text and single words for us. News of the feature comes through a tweet by Google, which was spotted by 9to5Google.
The feature improves the search functionality of Google Photos, which can already be used to search for specific images by location, people, and date, among other criteria. Text search would typically be useful to find picture of documents, but can also be used for things such as signboards, restaurant menus, and business cards.
Text search on Google Photos works best with cleanly photographed text in clear fonts, but can be used for virtually any kind of text in images. Google Photos last month rolled out live video previews on the main timeline for Android users.