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what’s on my screen


Google Assistant's 'What's on my screen' makes a surprise comeback after disappearing last May

Google Assistant has become quite notorious for its fickle features. One day something works, the other not. An excellent example of that is "What's on my screen?" which has disappeared and reappeared so many times we've nearly lost count. The last time it went away was in May of 2019, and now nine months later, it's making a surprise comeback.

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Google Assistant can read your screen and offer contextual info, just make sure you want it to

Google Assistant does a lot of things. This invisible artificial intelligence residing (partly) inside our devices can answer all kinds of questions, control our homes, help us plan our day, play our favorite music, and, with the addition of features like What's on my screen and Google Lens, glean more from what we're looking at and provide contextual answers. What you may not be aware of, and something I recently discovered (though it isn't very new), is that Assistant can read your screen even when you don't explicitly ask it what's on your screen. That has the potential to be very handy, but also extremely creepy if you didn't know it was possible.

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[Update: Possible solution] Google Assistant screen search isn't working for some

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.

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