Google Photos Misses This One Feature

The feature for millennials.

I own an Android phone, so Google Photos is my go-to photo management application. I’ve been using Google Photos since its release in 2015, and my experience with the application has been largely flawless.

Except this one thing.

You see, being the millennial that I am, most of the images stored on my phone are memes. (No, not selfies. Chill it.) Last I checked, the number of memes on my phone exceeds one thousand. Most of my quality memes tend to get buried under other memes.

So, what do I want?

Optical Character Recognition, or simply, OCR. This technology enables the recognition of text in image files.


As mentioned above, a lot of my quality memes get lost in a pile of other memes. So, when a phenomenon akin to a meme occurs, I usually try to dig out the appropriate meme. However, this usually results in me awkwardly scrambling to locate the meme on my device.

In fact, this happened on Friday, when my Physics teacher accused a peer of manipulating/faking data in an experiment. I hurriedly tried to find a pertinent meme that was stored on Google Photos (below) before it was too late. I did eventually find the meme, but the hassle left my heart rate at 1,000,000,000,000 beats a second.

Source: ‘IB Memes for Risk-Taking Teens’

So, I’m suggesting that text in images be ‘tagged’ with the corresponding image. The search feature in Google Photos should also sift through these tags. Google Photos already does this with objects and faces, but searching through text would be even more nifty.

I can also think of so many more uses for in-built OCR in Google Photos. Finding pictures of old bills (also called ‘checks’ in the States), tickets, documents, and more will be a breeze. There already are numerous applications whose sole purpose is to recognise images in text using OCR. However, it would be really convenient if such a feature was built into my primary photo management application.

So, Google Photos team, make your service more millennial-friendly now!

(Psst, you can also gather more data on your users by scanning text in their images!)