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Now on Tap update: Text Select and Image Search

When we introduced Now on Tap in Android Marshmallow last year, our goal was to make your phone a little bit smarter and help you get things done quicker. With Now on Tap, you can touch and hold the home button for helpful info about what’s on your screen, without having to leave what you’re doing.

With today’s update, we’re taking things one step further: you can now select the exact word or phrase that you’d like help with and get info about images or photos.

Select exactly what you’re looking for

If you use Now on Tap in an app, email, chat, or news article with a lot of text, sometimes the results aren’t as precise as you’d like. Starting today, you can give Google a nudge by selecting exactly what you want help with, and you’ll get the right information, right away.

For example, if you’re reading a news article you can select a specific word, like crustacean, and get a definition and links to relevant apps.

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Search by Image

You can also get quick info about images on your screen. Let’s say you’re scrolling through the Google Photos app and see a photo you can’t quite place. Simply touch and hold the home button to get a helpful card with more info. This works across all your apps, not just Photos. If you’re browsing Pinterest and want to learn more about cool artwork, just touch and hold the home button for a helpful card with more info 

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And for certain images or objects, you can also search via your camera app in real time. If you’re standing in front of the Bay Bridge, you can hold up your phone, open your camera app, touch and hold the home button, and get a helpful card with deep links to relevant apps. This works for more than just famous structures like the Bay Bridge, you can even point your camera at a movie poster or magazine and get additional info about what you're looking at.

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All of today’s updates are available everywhere you can already use Now on Tap. Word definitions are currently only available in English but will be rolling out to other languages over the coming weeks.

We hope these updates help you find what you’re looking for and get things done just a little faster than before.