According to a recent discovery from an APK teardown by 9to5Google, Gboard for Android is introducing an exciting addition called ‘Scan Text.’ This functionality enables users to utilize their phone’s camera for text scanning. To make use of this feature, you’ll be required to grant camera access to Gboard.
Although Google is not the first to bring this capability to a keyboard app. Samsung has already done it with their Samsung keyboard. In its latest software update, One UI 5.0, Samsung already introduced a feature that enables users to insert text directly through the camera using the Samsung Keyboard.
Gboard for Android Teases ‘Scan Text’ OCR Feature
It seems that Google has been working on integrating OCR functionality into Gboard. Although this feature is not yet officially released and is currently in a hidden testing phase, a few individuals have successfully uncovered it and shared screenshots. You’ll notice a ‘Scan Text’ tool in the toolbar, which activates the camera. But, prior to its activation, it requires permission to use the camera. Once you grant permission, the camera occupies the lower half of the screen, and you’ll spot the camera shutter button accompanied by the message, “Take a photo of words to scan.”
Gboard will proceed to identify and highlight the text present in the captured image. You have the option to either tap to select a whole line or make adjustments to the selection. To insert the chosen text, simply utilize the ‘Insert’ button.
The ‘Scan Text’ tool remains readily accessible on the screen, allowing you to conveniently make additional selections. It offers a straightforward and efficient method for text scanning, eliminating the necessity to open Google Lens, especially if you include it in your shortcuts.
Nonetheless, it could be somewhat distracting to effectively divide the screen between a viewfinder and another application. There are certain benefits to utilizing a full-screen user interface, even though this particular process does not save the captured image.
Google Chrome Will No Longer Work on Android Devices Running on Android 7
In the meantime, Android Nougat users will face a loss of access to Google Chrome, the widely used mobile browser, starting from December 6. This change is attributed to the forthcoming release of Google Chrome 120, which will cease to support Android 7.0 and 7.1. Google Chrome made its debut on the Android platform back in 2012 and has been providing support for Nougat since 2016.
At present, the ‘Scan Text’ feature is accessible in the most recent beta version (13.6) of Gboard for Android, but its availability is restricted to a specific group of users. Unfortunately, there is no information regarding when it will be rolled out to all users.