Google is working on Gboard to bring support for text scanning directly inside the app. We have already seen Samsung’s version of it on the Samsung Keyboard and Google seems to have taken some inspiration from it.
The new feature aims to enhance user convenience and streamline text scanning. The Gboard text scanning feature allows users to capture text through the device’s camera and directly input it into their text messages or documents, all within the Gboard interface. This might enhance your workflow, especially if you have dealings with texts in the physical world.
How does this work?
In the testing phase, Google’s OCR feature is hidden within the latest beta version of Gboard (13.6). Users can access it via a “Scan Text” tool within the Gboard’s toolbar, reports 9to5Google. Upon activation, the device’s camera opens in the lower half of the screen, inside Gboard (image below). Users are prompted to grant camera usage permission, after which they can capture an image containing text.
Once the image is captured, the OCR functionality highlights all the text within it. Users can then select the specific text they wish to copy. As they enter the selected text, the camera viewfinder remains open, allowing for continuous text input. This feature significantly streamlines the process of scanning and incorporating text from physical sources into digital formats.
A Boon for Gboard Users
This forthcoming feature has the potential to be a significant asset for Gboard users who frequently need to scan and incorporate text from physical documents, magazines, and other printed materials. While you can scan text using Google Lens, it necessitates switching between apps, making the workflow less seamless.
While the feature is currently undergoing internal testing, Gboard users can look forward to the convenience and efficiency that this OCR text scanning functionality promises. It offers an alternative to those who may not favor Samsung Keyboard but seek this efficient method. As the testing phase progresses, users can anticipate its integration into the stable version of Gboard in the near future.