Google Gboard now lets you copy images and scan text: Here’s how you can do it

Google has been adding new features to Gboard ever since it became available for Android. Even though it comes as the default keyboard in most Android smartphones, Gboard offers several customisation options and a few more for added convenience. One of the recent additions to Gboard was auto prompt of pasting text from the clipboard once the keyboard popped out. Google has now enhanced it further.

Spotted by Android Police first, Gboard has now got an update that allows users to copy and paste images. Gboard has an in-built clipboard that allowed copying text so far. However, users will now be able to copy images from Chrome or supported apps. The image will be stored temporarily in the Gboard clipboard. Users can then paste the image into a text field that supports image embedding.

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The feature is currently working on devices running on Android 10 and newer. Users can long-press on a photo in Chrome and they will see an option to copy the image. Once copied, the image can then be pasted in supported apps as an attachment. Users need to open the app and tap on the text field to bring up Gboard. Once it opens, head over to the Clipboard option and select the desired photo.

In Android 11, one can even copy images from the Recent page. Users need to select the desired app preview and long-press on the image they want to copy.

You should know that this copy-paste functionality works only on a total of 21 apps as of now. XDA Developers revealed a couple of apps supporting image pasting from clipboard. These include AOSP messaging, Facebook, Google Docs, Google Messages, Hangouts, Helo, imo, Line, Messenger Lite, Motorola Messages, OK, Samsung Messages, Skype, Snapchat, Twitter, WhatsApp and more.

The feature is rolling out slowly to various devices as you read. I tested the feature on my Motorola One Vision and it worked.

Google Lens in Gboard

The other feature new to Gboard is Google Lens integration. Gboard initially allowed Google Search from within the keyboard. However, the feature has now been phased out in favour of Lens. With Lens, users will now be able to scan text from either a website or a photograph.

To use it, tap on the Lens option and once you select the desired portion of the text, select the “Send to keyboard” option. After this, Gboard will automatically paste the text in the text field.

Both of these are fairly new features and it may take time to reach you. In case it hasn’t reached your device, check for Gboard updates from the Play Store.