Google Goggles

App review by
Leslie Crenna, Common Sense Media
Google Goggles App Poster Image
Effective visual web search through your Android device.

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

Not yet rated

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational value

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.

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."

What 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.

User Reviews

Adult Written byrosebud2196 July 17, 2015

Not helpful whatsoever

It doesn't recognize anything that i need it to. only very common things. if it doesnt recognize it then you'll see images of the same color type of y... Continue reading

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

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?

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.

Talk to your kids about ...

App details

  • Device: Android
  • Subjects: Social Studies: exploration
    Arts: painting, photography, sculpture
  • Skills: Communication: asking questions, conveying messages effectively
    Tech Skills: evaluating media messages, using and applying technology
    Self-Direction: initiative
  • 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

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