Google Goggles officially available for the iPhone

6 Oct 2010

The day has come. The millions of iPhone users around the world who have been waiting for Google Goggles to make it to the device will be delighted to learn that the picture search tool is now in the Apple App Store.

Google last night announced that Goggles is now a feature of Google Mobile App for iPhone. Google Mobile App already lets phone users speak their queries as well as use their phones’ GPS to deliver more relevant search results.

Google Goggles was introduced to Android devices in December.

Google Goggles enables smartphone users to simply take a picture with their phone’s camera and instantaneously a search based on the image is performed on Google’s search engines.

For example, take a picture of the Eiffel Tower in Paris or the GPO in Dublin and instantly a Google search would come up with the most relevant results.

With the new version of Google Mobile App, users just tap on the camera button to search using Goggles, which will analyse the image and highlight objects it recognises. Then a user just clicks on the objects to find out more.

Milan Broum, software engineer at Google Mobile, said that computer vision is still a hard problem and Google Goggles is still a Labs product.

“It works well for things such as landmarks, logos and the covers of books, DVDs and games. However, it doesn’t yet work for some things you might want to try, like animals, plants or food,” Broum said.

The free app is enabled only for English-speaking users and because it requires an auto-focusing camera, it is supported only on iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 devices running iOS 4 or above.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years