Windows to Add Text Extraction from Android Photos via Phone Link

Windows to Add Text Extraction from Android Photos via Phone Link

Windows Phone Link will soon allow users to copy text from images synced from Android phones, enhancing cross-device functionality.

Microsoft is set to roll out a new feature for its Phone Link app, enabling users to select and copy text from images synced from their Android phones. This functionality is currently available in the Release Preview Insider builds and is expected to be released to all users soon.

Phone Link, known as Link to Windows on Android devices, allows seamless synchronization of calls, messages, notifications, and images between Android phones and Windows PCs. It also permits casting your phone's screen to your computer. Although it offers limited functionality with iOS devices, syncing notifications, messages, and calls via Bluetooth is still supported.

This update builds on previous enhancements to Windows tools. Last year, the Windows Snipping Tool gained text extraction capabilities around the same time Phone Link introduced image share notifications. While the Snipping Tool already allowed text extraction from photos, this new feature streamlines the process, making it accessible directly within the Phone Link app. The update is included in Phone Link version 1.24051.91.0 and has been tested in Insider Preview Build 22635.3646 (Beta Channel).

During initial testing, the optical character recognition (OCR) feature performed adequately but showed a higher error rate compared to text extraction tools from Samsung and Apple when using the same photo of a book page. For longer text passages, users might still prefer enabling cross-device copy and paste, extracting the text on their phone, and transferring it to their PC for better accuracy.

Overall, this new text extraction feature in Phone Link is a welcome addition for users looking to enhance their productivity and streamline workflows between their Android devices and Windows PCs. It eliminates the need for third-party applications or additional steps, providing a more integrated experience.

With this update, Microsoft continues to improve the functionality of Phone Link, making it an essential tool for Android users who rely on their Windows computers for everyday tasks. The upcoming release promises to deliver a more efficient way to handle text from photos, adding to the growing list of features that bridge the gap between mobile and desktop platforms.

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