Gboard Tests ‘Scan Text’ Feature to Insert Text from Captured Images: How it Works


Gboard — Google's keyboard app for smartphones — is picking up a useful new feature that will make it easier to insert text using your smartphone's camera. The latest version of the Keyboard app adds support for a new “Scan Text” mode that uses optical character recognition (OCR) technology to recognize text and enter it into a text field. A similar feature of scanning and inserting text is also available on iPhone models running iOS 15.4 or newer versions.

An image of the feature shared by Mishal Rahman on X (formerly Twitter) shows how the new Gboard feature works. Using your smartphone's rear camera, Google's Keyboard app will let you take an image of text — it could be a document, a screen, or an object with words — and then extract the text and insert it into your current app. Uses OCR technology. ,

For the feature to work, you'll need to update the Gboard app on your Android phone to version 13.9, which is currently in beta. According to Rahman, users have claimed the feature is rolling out now, but Gadgets 360 staff were unable to try the feature on multiple Android smartphones — so you may have to wait until the company officially announces it. .

When scan text This feature is available on your smartphone, it should be listed with other features Translation, barb, one handedAnd Subject, The keyboard will prompt you to grant access to the camera permission, after which you can start using the feature.

You can point your phone's camera at some text and tap the capture button when you get inside the half-screen viewfinder. You can then select the text identified using OCR and insert it into your current app – this image is removed after the text is inserted. If you plan to use it often, you can also move it to the toolbar that appears at the top of the keyboard.

The feature's arrival on Android comes two years after Apple brought a similar feature to iOS 15.4, letting users point their phone at text and add it to text fields in the Notes app and other apps. It lets users automatically select text using their iPhone camera – without capturing an image – and displays the text being inserted as it updates in real time.

If this feature is not yet enabled on your smartphone, you can also open the Google Lens app and point your camera at some text to extract the text, copy it, and paste it into another app. Adding the feature to Gboard will simplify this process by eliminating the need to open the Lens app.

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