Google has confirmed that their image recognition application, Google Goggles will be available for the iPhone soon. Available on Android devices running version 1.6 and up at this point, the debut of an official iPhone version of Google Goggles would certainly give the visual search application a much wider reach.
The iPhone currently has a similar application, called oMoby. It does its job rather well, but it’s slow. My tests with oMoby on the iPhone 3G worked, but took over a minute for almost every search conducted. One of which was a bag of M&Ms. Results from the Goggles app on a MyTouch 3G were instant, and actually recognized that that the picture was of peanut M&Ms, whereas oMoby just picked up the M&Ms logo. Not bad, but as Goggles demonstrates, there’s room for improvement. With an alternative coming down the pipes with much added functionality and “snappiness”, the developers of oMoby need to hurry up, or maybe just give up.
Google Goggles was updated not too long ago to support text recognition, and translating text from another language. Tests of this feature are not the best, and I have yet to get a piece of text fully translated correctly. This will surely change with updates, and for now, you can always use Google Translate.
While possible, it’s unlikely that Goggles will get the same treatment that Google Voice received from Apple’s App Store. There’s nothing duplicating functionality, as the iPhone does not have anything similar enough for the application to face such issues.
Google now packages the visual search app in their updates, starting with Android 2.1 OS. It will be interesting to compare the usage for Goggles between the two platforms.
Let’s hope Goggles makes it to the iPhone soon, it’s a great application, and fun to use! Any of you iPhone users ready to get your Goggles on?