Windows 11 will soon let you grab text from images on your Android phone

May 27, 2024
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Phone Link (called Link to Windows on the phone side) lets you sync calls, messages, notifications, and images — and cast your entire phone — from your Android phone to your Windows computer. It also works in a more limited fashion with iOS devices, which only sync notifications, messages, and calls over Bluetooth.

Phone Link will now let you select and copy text from images synced from your Android phone.
Screenshot: Nathan Edwards / The Verge

The Windows Snipping Tool got text extraction last year around the same time Phone Link got image share notifications, so it’s been possible for a bit to extract text from phone photos with the Snipping Tool. This update just saves you a step and lets you do it in-app. The feature is live in Phone Link 1.24051.91.0 and I gave it a quick test in Insider Preview Build 22635.3646 (Beta Channel).

In my testing, the OCR was decent, though it made more errors than either Samsung or Apple’s text extractors with the same photo of a book page. For longer passages you’re probably better off enabling cross-device copy and paste, extracting the text on your phone, and sending it to your PC that way.

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