Google Lens OCR text recognition comes to the desktop with Google Photos on the web

Google Lens has been adding some cool features in recent years. A curious tool that allows you to analyze photographs or take live images from which to extract information or recognize items. However, it is something that has always been limited to mobile phones. Now one of its functions also reaches the web and the desktop: the recognition of text in images.

Google Lens allows you to extract information almost instantly from photographs or what is being pointed with the mobile camera. To do this, Google’s AI analyzes what it is seeing and can recognize plants, objects, text (by computer or handwritten ) or even solve mathematical equations.

Google Lens was initially an independent app, although later Google decided to integrate the service into Google Assistant. Later, also on Google Photos. Now we also have it in the Google image search, although only from the mobile app.

From smartphone to computer

Through Google Photos, the company is experimenting with extrapolating Google Lens functionality from smartphones to more traditional computers as well. The photo storage service now automatically recognizes text in photos and allows it to be copied digitally from the web, 9to5Google revealed.

The functionality is available only in the web version of Google Photos for now. When opening a photo that contains some type of relatively legible text, the photo will display a small copy icon. When you press it, Google Lens will begin to analyze the image more in depth and later the option to copy the text of the image in a sidebar will appear.

Google Lens OCR text recognition
Google Photos

At the moment Google Lens on desktop is limited to the function of recognizing text. It does not work with handwritten text, does not identify objects, and does not solve equations. We will see in the coming months if new functions also reach the desktop and beyond the smartphone. Although it is true that where Google Lens is most useful is on mobile devices.

The alternative is to use online services that also perform these types of functions on the desktop. One of the most popular is Although it is free, does not require registration and unlimited … it generates intermediate steps such as having to upload a photograph to the web and process it. It is not as straightforward as analyzing the image directly from Google Photos. Be that as it may, all the alternatives are welcome.

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