Google Now on Tap Gets Optical Character Recognition to ‘Read’ Photos

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Google has quietly pushed out a new feature to its Google Now on Tap service – optical character

recognition (OCR). The search giant additionally rolled out a small but useful feature in an update for

Google Docs.


Initially spotted by some users on Reddit, the OCR feature on Google Now on Tap seems to be in its very

early stages as it gives different results every time. Most of the times it does not deliver any results at

all. All you have to do is to capture an image from the Android 6.0 Marshmallow based device’s camera

and simply scan it with Google Now on Tap feature. The service would then show you results or even

recognise phone numbers from the captured image.


We tried the OCR feature on a Nexus 6P and it worked a couple of the times, as seen in the images

above. While some Reddit users scanned a book and TV info and got the results, some scanned phone

numbers and were shown a Google Card as a result. Google is yet to officially announce the feature and is

possibly not promoting due to its unfinished state. Nonetheless, it is a welcome feature for most Android



As for Google Docs, the search giant would now let you export your files as .epub files – a widely used

open format for ebooks. One of the features of .epub files are that they format according to the device’s

screen size, something missing in pdf file formats. The file is supported by almost all the e-readers in the

market except for Amazon Kindle devices. Users can save files as .epub by going in to File>Downloa

as>EPUB Publication. The update will gradually reach all users in next three days.