Are there still folks among you who, like me, prefer handwriting to typing? If you’re in this group, you’ll love this new feature on Google Lens. The app now lets you scan your handwritten notes, copy them, and paste them straight to your computer. I gave it a spin, and I bring you my impressions as well as more information.
Google Lens already offers quite a few interesting and helpful features, and this latest one is perfect for folks who like writing things down “the old fashioned way.” It’s pretty simple to use it: open Google Lens, go to “Text” option and point the camera to the handwritten text on paper. AI will recognize your notes automatically and highlight them. From there on, you can choose to select the entire highlighted text, or just parts of it. The new option is that you can copy and paste it to your computer with just one tap. You can also copy and paste it to any app in your phone, which is a feature that’s already been in the app.
Another option that you have is to listen to what AI selected. From a longer text, I realized that it reads most of it well – but not in the correct order. You’ll see more about it in my results below. Google Lens has also introduced automatic the “Listen” icon to its “Translate” feature. This way, you can listen to phrases if you’re learning a new language. I find this very useful too considering that I constantly go back to renewing my rusty Spanish and Italian. And I could even use it for English, considering that it’s not my first language.
While I absolutely love both new features, it’s important to note two things about the one copying your handwritten text. First, it works only if your handwriting is neat. And two, even then it doesn’t always do the perfect job. I think my handwriting is pretty neat, even in cursive, but maybe I’m being subjective. See for yourself, and take a look at my experiments.
This is more my regular handwriting in cursive. And Google Lens nailed it here:
I write like this when I’m in a rush. It’s very untidy, and Google Lens appears to have the same opinion judging from the results I got:
I tried writing in all capital letters, Google Lens nailed it once again. I only selected the sentence below: as I mentioned, you don’t have to select the whole text:
Now I got a bit goofy. I tried Serbian Latin, even got some results on Google Search (I wrote “This is really fun”):
Well, I just had to try Serbian Cyrillic too. The result is such a nonsense, but I didn’t really expect anything, this was just for fun. It says “testing new options,” by the way, nothing spectacular. :)
Now I tried a longer text, a part of The Outlaw Torn lyrics. As I mentioned above, Google did a terrific job recognizing the words. I even got the correct Google search results. But for some reason, it didn’t read them in the correct order. Consequently, it didn’t copy and paste them in the correct order, either. When I listened to it, I was utterly confused.
Here’s what I got when I copied the text and pasted it to my phone’s notes. Where the “RST” came from remains a mystery:
Now, despite all the hiccups, I absolutely love this tool. It needs some more work, sure, but I think I’ll find it really useful in so many scenarios. What do you think? Do you think you’ll make this use of this feature?