Google enhances Files app with a powerful Smart Search tool

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Google’s file manager app for Android, called Files by Google, is getting a powerful search tool. The Smart Search feature makes finding files easy even if you don’t know the file name. It lets you use text from an image or document to search for the file. You can also find audio and video files using the artist or album name.

Google adds a Smart Search tool to its Files app

Files by Google received an update to version 1.1421.575590873.0 on Tuesday. The official release notes published on the Play Store say the update introduces advanced search capabilities that make finding files easy. Aptly called Smart Search, the new tool scans the content of a file to give you relevant results for your search query. You don’t need to enter the file name.

For example, if you need to find your flight e-ticket but don’t remember the file name, you can enter any text found in it. This can be your name, airline name, place of origin, place of destination, or even the travel date. Files by Google will work its magic to pull up the file that contains the text provided by you. It will work for any file whose title isn’t known. All you need is a text present in the file.

Google doesn’t limit the tool to documents. It can find text in images too. Better yet, Smart Search can find the image if you provide its location info or name an object present in it. Finding all cat images in Files by Google has never been easier. On supported phones, you can view images in Ultra HDR. Music buffs can pull up audio and video files using the name of the artist, album, or title.

The latest update for Files by Google isn’t available widely yet. The folks over at Android Central received the update on one of their phones and could use Smart Search. Searching for the text “you” returned a bunch of screenshots with numerical file names. All of those screenshots contained the word “you” somewhere in them. Likewise, searching for “phone” brought up photos containing a phone as an object.

Google is still working on the tool

Google says it is currently testing the Smart Search feature for Files. It may not always work perfectly. For example, the tool couldn’t find the location in images for some users. Moreover, the app doesn’t seem to proactively run this on-device scan all the time. So newly added files may not show up in search results. It might take a few days until the tool is fully functional after turning it on.

Smart Search appears to be enabled by default once you install the latest update for Files by Google. You can check for it from Files settings under the left hamburger menu. “If you downloaded the latest version of Files by Google and waited for a few days, but still can’t find files based on their content, Smart Search isn’t available for your device yet,” Google explains. You can click here to download the latest version of Files by Google.