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Android users can now use Gboard's 'Scan Text' feature for easy text input via camera

This feature allows users to easily input text using their phone's camera. By capturing an image of text, the app employs optical character recognition (OCR) technology to recognise and input the text into any text field.

Written By: Vishal Upadhyay New Delhi Published on: February 24, 2024 10:38 IST
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Image Source : FILE Representational Image

Gboard, Google's keyboard app for smartphones, is getting a helpful update. Now, you can easily insert text using your phone's camera. The new feature, called "Scan Text," uses technology to recognise text from images and input it into your text field. This feature is also available on iPhones running iOS 15.4 or newer.

How it works

With Gboard, you can use your phone's rear camera to capture text from documents, screens, or objects. The app then extracts the text using optical character recognition (OCR) and inserts it into your current app.

How to use it

To use the Scan Text feature, make sure you've updated your Gboard app to version 13.9 beta. Then, grant the app access to your phone's camera. Once enabled, you can point your camera at text, tap the capture button, and select the recognised text to insert it into your app. The captured image is deleted afterwards.

Other features

The Scan Text feature will appear alongside other features like Translate, Sticker, One-handed, and Theme in your keyboard settings. You can also move it to the toolbar above the keyboard for easier access.

Comparison with iOS

This feature on Android follows a similar one introduced by Apple in iOS 15.4 two years ago. Apple's feature allows users to select text using their iPhone camera and insert it into apps or the Notes app in real time.

Using Google Lens

If the feature isn't available on your device yet, you can use the Google Lens app to extract text from images and paste it into other apps. However, having it directly in Gboard simplifies the process, eliminating the need to open another app.

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