Last May, Google announced and rolled out a major redesign of its visual search tool. Google Lens is now adding three productivity-focused features, including Search results from the web and a “Copy to computer” shortcut.
One underrated Google Lens capability is fast access to optical character recognition (OCR). It’s a convenient way to get text from books/magazines and posters, as well as handwriting, that you encounter in the real world.
After you select text in Lens (either through the “Auto” or “Text” filter), there will be a new “Copy to computer” option. That suggestion chip — complete with blue icon — appears next to the existing “Copy text” shortcut, and opens a new dedicated panel that lists your signed-in laptops and desktops with Chrome installed.
This integration leverages a capability first introduced on the browser, with other mobile devices not shown. On Mac, Windows, Linux, and Chrome OS, you’ll see a notification to copy the text to your clipboard.
Meanwhile, you can now hear any piece of text recognized by Lens. A “Listen” button, which doubles as play/pause, in the actions carousel will pronounce a selected phrase with a visual indicator on each word as it’s being read. This is similar to a Lens capability found in Google Go for lower-powered Android devices.
The biggest new feature today adds Google Search results to visual Lens lookups. When you highlight text, Lens will perform a regular query that includes cards for “Top Stories” and “Videos” when relevant. The standard 10 blue links appear below, with websites opening in a Chrome Custom Tab and clips in YouTube. Previously, you had to manually trigger a search.
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