Google Goggles

Common Sense Media says

Effective visual web search through your Android device.

Age(i)

2
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Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Ease of play

Google Goggles is quite easy to use, and the Tips & Tricks page gives a bit of info about capabilities and features.

Violence

None inherent, but the open-ended nature of product could facilitate access. Google Goggles is listed as a "medium maturity" app in Google Play; these apps may include "intense fantasy or realistic violence."

Sex

None inherent, but the open-ended nature of product could facilitate access. Google Goggles is listed as a "medium maturity" app in Google Play; these apps "may include sexual references."

Language

None inherent, but the open-ended nature of product could facilitate access. Google Goggles is listed as a "medium maturity" app in Google Play; these apps may include "profanity or crude humor."

Consumerism

There's a strong connection to commercial products, as bar codes, logos, and even fabric patterns are identified readily. 

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

None inherent, but the open-ended nature of product could facilitate access. Google Goggles is listed as a "medium maturity" app in Google Play; these apps may include "references to drug, alcohol and tobacco use."

Privacy & safety

Parents will want to talk with kids about issues concerning photographing or sharing private information with this app (pictures of credit cards, personal contact info, etc.). Successful searches link to the web, and results can be cloud shared, emailed, or shared via Facebook. The help section links to the overall Google terms of service and privacy policy.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Google Goggles is essentially a visual web search engine. Using their device's camera or an image from their device, users search for a successful match on the web. Parents will want to talk with kids about issues concerning photographing or sharing private information with this app (pictures of credit cards, personal contact info, etc.) Continuous mode uses a lot of mobile data, and the app warns users to "ensure you have a sufficient data plan" before using. Successful searches link to the web, and results can be cloud shared, emailed, or shared via Facebook.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Social Studies

  • exploration

Arts

  • photography
  • sculpture
  • painting

Skills

Self-Direction

  • initiative

Communication

  • asking questions
  • conveying messages effectively

Tech Skills

  • evaluating media messages
  • using and applying technology

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Google Goggles has a decent layout and design, and it can be a fun way to discover new information.

Learning Approach

It's a way to search, not learn, but this empowering app can teach teens to use and apply technology. Google Search resources are unparalleled. Translations sometimes disappoint. 

Support

The Tips & Tricks page covers some basics but lacks conceptual orientation. Accessibility potential is huge but not utilized.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Social Studies

  • exploration

Arts

  • photography
  • sculpture
  • painting

Skills

Self-Direction

  • initiative

Communication

  • asking questions
  • conveying messages effectively

Tech Skills

  • evaluating media messages
  • using and applying technology

Kids can learn to use and apply technology with Google Goggles. They can also learn from content available on Google Search, though in a more restricted manner because in this app, searches are image-based. While Google Goggles has a strong consumer orientation, teens could use it to do research in social studies by capturing photos from their textbooks, or by taking learning to a new height by experimenting with project ideas in their communities. Google Goggles adds an engaging visual element to web searches but lags a bit in noncommercial content.

This Learning Rating review was written by Leslie Crenna

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What's it about?

Camera mode allows users to take individual pictures (or select from device gallery), while continuous mode scans constantly picking up distinct images when it identifies them. These images are saved to history, and a simple tap performs a full Google web search with the normal menu items: web, images, places, news, maps, videos. Images can also be cloud shared. While the app supports text-to-speech accessibility, only navigation is spoken, not the content of results.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Google Goggles is strong with items like logos, UPC codes, book titles, landmarks, maps, business cards, and products in general -- basically easily recognizable stuff with a strong web presence -- but it's not all-encompassing quite yet, since general views, products or companies with a smaller web presence, landscapes, animals, food, and plants bring up images with a similar graphic composition but not necessarily a direct connection. Some really useful applications are product (and price) research while shopping, scanning in contact info from business cards, and nearly hands-free searching -- for landmarks while on a family road trip, for example.

While it's quite easy to use, and the Tips & Tricks page gives a simple, icon-driven list of "app-effective" items, the app lacks any kind of general orientation or explanation of what it does. Of course, users can find a video online at the Google Mobile page, and after a few tries, it'll be obvious to most users. The translation feature integrates Google's superb web-based translation website, but the app seems to struggle with categorizing text as text, so the translate button does not come up every time text is scanned.

Families can talk about...

App details

Device:Android
Price:Free
Pricing structure:Free
Release date:August 22, 2012
Category:Productivity
Size:3.00 MB
Publisher:Google
Version:1.9
Minimum software requirements:Android 2.2 and up

This review of Google Goggles was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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