Google focuses on mobile
Google has added a trio of new features to Goggles as it continues to concentrate on mobile search.
Launched in December 2009, Google Goggles is an app that enables mobile users to obtain search results from pictures taken on their smartphone camera. Users can take pictures of items such as text, logos, contact information and barcodes, and the service will then try to provide relevant information based on the query.
Google Goggles 1.7 for Android
This week has seen the launch of the latest iteration, Google Goggles 1.7 for Android. The app, which is downloadable from Android Market, can be used by all Android devices. Google Goggles 1.7 introduces the following features:
- Continuous mode - Google Goggles is now able to continuously scan scenes and provide search information without the need for users to take a photo snapshot. This new mode apparently works best with books, products, artwork and landmarks, and is designed to integrate the service more fully with day-to-day life.
- Enhanced text recognition - Google Goggles is also able to recognise portions of text from the real world, such as magazine articles. By pointing a camera at the text, the app will then try to find a link to the same information online so it can be shared more easily.
- Crowdsourced suggestions - Finally, Google Goggles has begun to return suggestions provided by users for objects. Google claims that 'hundreds of thousands' of these crowdsourced suggestions have already been sent in since the facility appeared on Goggles 1.4, but it is only now that they will be used to improve the quality of results.
Adrian Mursec, senior developer at theEword, commented: "Google has been making a big name for itself in mobile, with a raft of improvements for its Android operating system recently. The launch of Goggles 1.7 shows once again how Google is able to use its search background to enhance Android, and this is why it represents such a serious threat to the likes of Apple and BlackBerry."