Google Lens is getting much-awaited new features surrounding optical character recognition. Now you can copy and paste text from both print documents and handwritten notes, as well as learn how to pronounce new words.
Google Lens has come a long way in just a few years, from being a showcase of AR and machine learning applications to now being able to recognize billions of objects and making restaurant menu recommendations while sporting a redesigned interface that’s slowly being tweaked to make it easier to use.
Lens’ latest productivity features include copy-and-paste for saving text from paper documents to your phone or PC. The latter option works for any device where you have the latest version of Chrome installed and signed into your Google account. And if your handwriting isn’t too messy, it can also recognize text from your handwritten notes.
The beauty of it is that it works simply by pointing your phone’s camera at the text you want to copy, wait for Lens to recognize the text, and highlight how much of it you want to copy. From there you can use it any way you want, for a Google search, copy it to a document, or copy it to your PC. Typos are a given with OCR, but it’s much better than having to type everything back by hand.
Google has also added the ability to get a word highlighted and hear its pronunciation via a “Listen” button. This functionality is only available on Android as of writing. The iOS version of the app will also get this functionality in the coming weeks.