Long before Google Lens could be used to understand text and objects in photos you take, a feature called Now on Tap was introduced to analyze what was on your screen and bring you relevant search results relating to what it found. Of course, Google Now is no longer, and Now on Tap has morphed into a screen search function as part of the Google Assistant. It appears to be broken for some people at the moment, however. Read More
Google Now on Tap was introduced alongside Android 6.0 Marshmallow, which used context on your screen to help you find information. Google Assistant replaced Now on Tap (for compatible devices), and carried over most of its functionality. Now Assistant is making it slightly more obvious that it can search your screen and take screenshots. Read More
Google got in a habit of dumping all sorts of features and incomplete ideas into Google Now on Tap. With the move away from On Tap, Assistant focused more on voice control and connected services. However, some of the useful features of On Tap were left behind too. In the case of screenshots, it looks like Google is bringing it back in Assistant. Read More
Google Screen Search, formally known as Google Now on Tap, is a feature I don't use often - but it's incredibly helpful when I need it. If you're unfamiliar, it provides information to you based on the text on your screen, and works on any Android 6.0+ device with the Google app. For example, a few days ago I received a text message confirming an appointment, and Screen Search created a calendar event from the message contents. Read More
Hi Google, it's me Rita. I believe we've met before. Somewhere between Gmail, Google Photos, and Chrome, you must know a lot about me. Things I might not want others to discover, so hushhhh. (There are thousands of people reading us, let's not tell them about my love for Winnie The Pooh.) But our relationship doesn't feel equal; I barely have any information about you. Your new guy, this Assistant you've sent here to talk to me, I'd like to get to know him better. He looks a lot like the other guys you've sent before, Now and On Tap, but he seems special. Read More
Version 6.5.26 of the beta Google Search app rolled out last night, and while at first the changes seemed minimal, we're seeing one thing this morning that is of particular interest: all references to Google Now have been removed. Google Now cards have been renamed to "Feed," and Now On Tap (as some of you told us) is now referred to as "Screen search." Given Google assistant's forthcoming launch, this isn't exactly surprising. Read More
Google Now On Tap has been, to put it gently, less than totally useful to most people. While the high-minded concepts behind Now On Tap were quite impressive, Google has had a harder time than I think many of us thought it would actually making it into a consistently helpful and intuitive product. It appears that in the last couple of days Google has been rolling out an all-new set of features to Now On Tap that honestly make it a bit more of a virtual assistant than a contextual search engine.
What you see in the hero image above are two new card streams, one for nearby places, the other for common tasks you might ask of your phone. Read More
One might assume that anyone who's enthusiastic enough to enable Google Now On Tap, the contextual search engine that uses screenshots and optical character recognition, would also want access to Google Now cards, which depend more on location, time, and search history. But you know what they say about making assumptions. Previously Now On Tap did indeed depend on the more vanilla Google Now, or at least was linked to it, but the latest version of the Google search app for Android seems to have reduced the interdependency of these two tools. Read More
Google's Goggles is all but abandoned now. We've seen Google resurrect apps from the dead and update them after years of neglect, but it's hard to imagine the company putting a fresh coat of paint on Goggles at this point. If only because the app has been superseded by others from Google, with its functionality cut off into little pieces and moved to various places inside the ecosystem.
But that doesn't take away from the fascination and respect that Goggles deserves. It could recognize landmarks before Google Photos, read and translate text before Google Translate, use OCR on images before Now on Tap, and even solve sudoku puzzles, scan and add contacts from a business card, and find and suggest similar products — all options that have yet to be transplanted into any other Google app. Read More
The Now On Tap portion of Google Search, still limited to Marshmallow and the Android N developer preview, is getting some new bells and whistles. A few readers tipped us off about the ability to select text in any app, activate the Now On Tap gesture, and get results only about the selected text. It's a great way to narrow the text recognition portion of the tool (which bowed earlier this year) down to only what you want. As we were preparing to report on the new feature, Google went ahead and announced it in a blog post, along with some other neat additions. Read More