Search on Your Phone

Let’s talk search.  Google, Siri, Alexa….we have a lot of tools at our disposal.

Everyone knows that Google understands what you type when you want to search the web.

Your phone can also search by what it hears and what it sees.  You can trigger your digital assistant when you say “ hey siri” or “ok google” or “alexa”.

Let’s delve a little deeper, using the Google app as an example.

When you start the Google app on your phone, you’ll see a little microphone and a little square icon. When you tap the microphone, you can talk to Google and it will search for what you say (if you have it configured in your settings, you can say “ok Google” to start your search, on an iPhone too). You can ask it what the score of the Yankee game was last night. You can also ask it to listen and identify what it hears. You can say “what song is this” and the App will listen and tell you the song title!

The search function on your phone can also work by what it sees. So, for example, when you click the little square icon next to the microphone in the Google app, it turns on your camera and you can aim your phone at a thing and the app will identify it.

  • If it’s a sign in a foreign language, the app will translate it in real time.
  • If you see a bird’s nest with eggs and you’re not sure what kind of bird it is, Google will tell you after you snap a photo of the eggs.
  • If you’re in a store or a restaurant, take a picture of an object and Google will tell you what it is and how much it costs on various different websites.
  • If you take a picture of a landmark, Google will tell you all about it.
  • You can use the search function live, using what your phone sees, or you can ask it to look at your photo library and evaluate an image that you captured before. Pretty cool

The app function is called Google Lens and you can read more about it on the web.

Bonus feature: Microsoft has a product called Microsoft Lens that is an expert tool at extracting data from whatever your phone sees, ensuring that it can import the content into your preferred Microsoft document.

Microsoft Lens can scan documents, business cards, whiteboards, books, magazines and other things and make it easy to convert what it sees to editable text.  You can extract data from a table, a page, and more.

Make sure you have the Google app and Microsoft Lens on your phone. Both of them are free and can be a huge help in your business and personal life.


Leave a Comment