Again and again, Google’s developers are testing new features with a small group of users, and this is apparently true for apps at the beta stage. In the beta version of the Google app for Android, some users now find a new search function called ‘Visual Search’, which offers detection of objects with the camera. These can then be used again to search the web.
There are several ways to start a web search using the Google app, all of which are done in text form. Basically it does not matter whether it is carried out by keyboard input or by voice, because the result is in most cases the same. Soon there will also be a visual search that can be tested by some users.
In the beta version of the Google app, the new ‘Visual Search’ entry can be found in the page menu, which can be used to trigger the new type of search. When this is activated the camera and the smartphone can be held on the desired object. With a further touch on the camera image a photo is taken and this is used for the search. After a short analysis the contents appears at the bottom.
The picture remains in the upper part of the display and you can scroll down through the maps with the search suggestions. These are each equipped with a symbolic image and a keyword and then start a web search with exactly the same keyword. This function can also help to recognize objects by answering the question. In the above example you can see that even a simple text and logo can be read out.
The function is still in the beta stage and is also marked accordingly by a label at the upper edge. It is also suggested by the fact that the function is currently well hidden in the menu and so only a few users could be found at all.
The whole reminds very strongly of the long-forgotten Goggles app, which is still available in the Play Store. This has already offered almost the same functionality for more than six years and has not been further developed for several years.