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Tip: Search With Your Camera in New Google Now

With the newest Google Now update, Google built in a new Voice Action that allows you to scan barcodes with your camera. All you have to say is, “Scan barcode” after hitting the voice search button. But if the voice search button isn’t handy or you don’t want to speak out loud to your phone, you can access it another way.

If you open Google Now, scroll to the bottom and hit the 3-dotted menu button in the right corner. As long as you have updated your Google Now, you should see a new option that says “Search with camera.” Tap that, and find something to search for with your camera.

So far, I’ve had good luck snapping photos of text, but logos or objects, not so much. Give it a shot!

Cheers Nishant!

  • Max

    Only works with WIFI for me… What gives?

  • Thats just like Google googles app, but implemented in Google Now. Nice job tho..

  • Daniel Hargreaves

    It also opens apps and can search through them now which I didn’t notice it doing before.

  • jab416171

    Google Goggles had this feature. They’re probably reusing a lot of it.

  • JoshGroff

    Swiftkey Flow Beta emails went out. 🙂

  • Wise_Spinner

    Why does the entire article emphasize “scans barcodes” now? (A very old feature that countless other apps already do. And do far better.)

    Only the article’s last line briefly mentions in passing “oh, yeah, it also works with text” too.

    (And even the headline doesn’t mention “barcodes” or “text” scanning at all.)

    Another article written totally backwards…. without the author understanding the REAL news story at all.

  • enigmaco

    Google is becoming a game changer, Google now is not even on the same planet as siri.

  • Jacky Chan

    I just got the email to download swift key flow! I didn’t think I’d like it better than say but wow! The color changing swipe line, on screen directional buttons, v2t is done with Google instead of dragon, and you can customize the keyboard sizes, change the long press duration necessary, and a bunch of other cool six! Congrats soft key on successfully copying swype’s invention but making it better


    Google Goggles is pretty good, too.

  • wickets

    too bad you cant widget this feature (or can you?) ….it would cut a few clicks out of the process

  • It also seems slightly faster after the update, dunno if thats just me or not?

  • Raven

    Too bad that my Nexus 7 doesn’t have a rear camera so that I can easily try it out.

  • NickAVV

    You can get the viewfinder up by saying something along the lines of “Google, do a photo search” as well

  • I just received a card that asked me if was still researching Voice to Text software (PC).. Yesterday, I was trying to convert Italian voice to English text. Pretty cool seeing it on a card today!

  • ChristianJohnson

    Your turn Siri…pahahhahaha I’m sorry, I can’t take myself seriously.

    • JoshGroff

      Siriously. 😉

  • Covers half of what R barcode scanner app does. But that app stil stays in my GNex since that can ‘create’ R codes for contact, url etc; which NOW can’t for now.

    Somebody please tell me how it is different from Goggles though. Have installed that first day I got my device but haven’t used it ever. If Google Now covers functionality of Goggles, will uninstall that for good.

  • Geo

    “what’s this” also works

  • Jon

    and is it just me or did Google NOw get crazy fast now too? It was already fast, but it seems like it’s noticeably speedier.

  • I took a picture of the Statue of Liberty and it found it. Took a picture of Andy as well and it found Android.

  • Capt. Crunch

    Wow Google impresses me more and more every day. I installed the app on my RAZR MAXX but it’s not the same without JB

  • EvanTheGamer

    Now that’s a fine tip, son!

  • bheider

    it reads QR codes too. See ya later QR droid.

  • codemonkey85

    My question is, what differentiates this from Google Goggles? Actually, I’d love to see the Goggles features rolled right into Google Now – one less app I need to install is always nice.

    • Yeah I know right? What is Google Goggles needed for now?

      • codemonkey85

        Well, it is still necessary for “search from camera”, but it would be nifty if that feature were just a part of Google Now instead.

  • So, this is just going to replace Google Goggles?

    • PyroHoltz

      It doesn’t look like Google Now can capture and recognize structures like Goggles was/is able to. It might replace some things but not all, just yet.

  • So does this mean Google Goggles is starting to be slowly phased out?

  • Firesafetybear


  • Google Now is growing into a powerful tool before our eyes. Love it!

    • Nazzi_Muhammad

      That what she said. My, that’s growing into a powerful tool before my eyes…..

    • Dan

      People like to compare google now to siri…No question in my opinion which is better and I think most agree. One of the perks of it being a google play app and not a system app like siri. Can be updated much more frequently without OS updates.

    • Nex__

      Looks like they incorporated Google Goggles into it.

  • guest

    Isnt that the FedEx logo though?

    • *Facedesk*

    • Well yes, but it’s still text. Like, I took a picture of my Nexus 7 and it had no idea. I also took a picture of my microphone and it was lost. But a Vitamin Water text logo, Google Play gift card, and the FedEx worked, but they are all text.

      • guest

        would you say google goggles does this better or has goggles been combined into Google Now? I havent used the app in a while

        • ChuckDz3

          My guess is this is the new Google Goggles 🙂

          • Jon

            Yep…it’s ingenious. They are folding all of the features of these other apps into Google Now. It makes sense and is the superior way to approach this from a user standpoint. You don’t have to think of a half dozen other apps, you just go to Google Now and it does everything.

            This blew away Siri before, but it’s not even in the same class anymore. Siri is a toy…this is true innovation.

          • Jon i tell that to apple people who brag about siri… Siri is a fun toy but nothing compared to Google NOW!!

      • Jaime

        I took a pic of the nexus 4 you have pictured on the side bar and it couldnt recognize it….yet when i took a pic of the Apple symbol it pulled Apple right up…

        • Dillon Brown

          haha I tried the phones too. The RAZR HD works go figure, but comes up with a case for it not the actual phone. Oh, and the SGS III works, I guess the phone has to be straight on.

      • r0lct

        It’s probably has the same limitations as Google Goggles.