Is expanding Google Lens, Google’s AI-powered image-recognition service, is pushing beyond mobile devices and making its way to desktops with optical character recognition (OCR).
Besides the fact that the service has its own standalone application, Google Lens is also available for image search and Google Photos, and it integrates via Android.
Google has now brought Google Lens to the desktop within the web version of Google Photos to easily copy text through OCR.
Currently, Google Lens lets you copy text from an image just with OCR.
When you go to Google Photos from the desktop and open an image that contains text, the “Copy text from image” suggestion appears with the Google Lens logo in the upper left corner.
Clicking this button will start analyzing the image using the familiar raster animation seen on Android.
Once the analysis is completed, the entire content of the text is displayed in a window on the right-hand side.
By default, the text is selected with the “Copy Text” button directly above it to help you quickly copy important elements from the image.
You can also select or deselect all text or select specific parts of the results.
Google Lens offers very limited functionality across the desktop at the moment, as the service doesn’t help you yet in recognizing people, monuments, plants, etc. the way a mobile service does.
You can just extract text and copy it from an image, however, this is a big step forward for a service that was so far exclusive to Android phones.
A practical application of having Google Lens on the desktop would be to scan written text documents and paste them into something you write on a desktop computer.
Google will likely expand its capabilities by adding new features over time.
It should be noted that Google Photos on Android supports OCR capability to easily copy text from photos.