What is Google Files' new "Smart Search" feature that can find text and objects in images and documents?

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Google’s Files app is undergoing an upgrade to introduce a new Smart Search feature, which is believed to be aimed to simplify file organization and retrieval.

This feature utilizes on-device scanning to extract text and visual elements from PDFs, enabling users to locate specific documents by searching for relevant keywords or identifying visual features. Additionally, Smart Search will enable searching for photos based on objects and locations depicted within the images.

Currently, Files only allows searching based on file names, which can be inefficient for users with numerous files and unstructured file naming conventions.

For example, you can easily search for a restaurant menu saved on your phone by typing the restaurant name, even if it’s not in the file name. Additionally, you can search for specific photographs of landmarks or events by identifying and recognizing objects or locations within the images. Furthermore, you can locate historical documents by searching for keywords, key figures, or locations mentioned within the texts.

The Smart Search feature is currently being tested and is not yet widely available. However, it is expected to be rolled out to a wider audience soon. Google has emphasized that scanning will remain on-device, ensuring user privacy and data security.

More about the topics: Google Files