It’s hard to concisely explain Google Goggles to someone unfamiliar with the app (it does smart things… with pictures) given all its disparate functions. Maybe you use it as your go-to app for QR code reading, or for translating the labels when out shopping in a foreign food store. When Google updates the app, the changes can affect bits of pieces of all thees abilities, making it seem almost like a grab-bag of new functions. The latest set of changes gives you a new language option, adds some geolocation, and makes its OCR function a whole lot more useful.
With version 1.5, Google Goggles now speaks Russian. Point your smartphone’s camera at a Russian sign, and the software will cut straight through that Cyrillic text, work its translation magic, and come back with something you can understand. While it could read romanized Russian before, this marks the first time it can handle Cyrillic characters.
Goggles can save copies of the images you’ve analyzed in the past, and now it will let you view these selections overlayed on a map showing where you took each. If you’ve got a lot of pictures in your history to sort through, separating them by where they were taken might be a lifesaver when trying to find one in particular.
Lastly, you can now copy & paste text from the app’s results to the clipboard; frankly we’re surprised we never noticed this missing before. If you don’t want to visit a URL that it finds straight away, you can copy the text and save it for later.
Google Goggles 1.5 is available in the Android Market now.