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Google’s Added a New Way to Easily Translate Hand-Written Notes into Text for Use on Your PC

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Google has added some new tricks to its Lens visual identification tool, including an option which will enable users to scan in hand-written text, then share it for use across various applications in one-tap.

Google originally added the capacity to scan hand-written notes within Lens back in 2017, but this new addition enables users to share that digital text translation across their connected Google surfaces – so you can immediately access your handwritten reminder within Gmail for example.

Google Lens handwriting translation

As you can see here, the option is available as ‘Copy to my Computer’ within your Lens sharing options. You can then save your text to another signed-in device with Chrome (both devices need to have the latest version of Chrome installed).

It could be a big time saver for those who still take hand-written notes. That is, of course, if it’s able to translate your handwriting – I’m guessing it’d have some trouble understanding my scribbled mess.

In addition to this, Google has also added a new option to look up terms within text via Lens – so if you come across something in a book that you don’t understand, you can scan it in and do a quick Google search.

Google’s also added a new ‘Listen’ option within its translate tools to help you understand what a term sounds like when spoken.

It’s interesting to note the evolving usage of visual identification and AR tools, and how they could eventually become more significant elements in our day to day process. Really, that’s what they need to take them to the next level – right now, tools like this are interesting to have, but at some stage, one of these applications will crossover to become a key utility, which could rapidly speed up the adoption of such technology.

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These new options from Google hint at that next stage. At present, they remain interesting, and handy to have. But more use cases will mean such tools will become more critical elements of how people interact with their devices moving forward.

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The new Lens features are rolling out from today, though Listen is only available on Android at this stage. You can download Google Lens on both Android and iOS

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Meta Adds Updated Congressional District Data to Location Targeting Options for Ads

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Meta Adds Updated Congressional District Data to Location Targeting Options for Ads

Meta has announced an update to its US location targeting options for ads, with US congressional districts, as defined by the 2020 census, to be added as additional geo-targeting options.

As explained by Meta:

Starting May 19, 2022, an additional set of location targeting options will be available for updated US congressional districts following the US 2020 census. These will be added to all ads interfaces (including the API) and will be denoted with “2020-census”. For example, North Carolina’s updated district 5 will be available in location targeting as “North Carolina’s 5th District-2020-Census, United States”.”

It’s a small change in the broader scheme, but could have big implications for those targeting ads based on political announcements or movements, with the more specific location qualifiers providing more considerations for your ad approach.

Meta also notes that as new congressional districts are finalized, it will make them available in its ads interfaces.

“If a state’s updated congressional map is currently in litigation, there will not be a new targeting option for it yet. If an updated congressional district isn’t available yet, we recommend using other location targeting options based on locations such as, such as targeting postal codes, cities and counties.”

So you have various options for geo-targeting your ad campaigns, but the updated districts will provide more accurate audience estimate data, and more specific focus on electoral zones.

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The current, pre-2020 census congressional district targeting options will remain available to advertisers through to the beginning of 2023.

“These districts’ names and boundaries will remain the same. For example, North Carolina’s pre-2020 census district will be available as “North Carolina’s 5th District, United States”.

Again, it’s not a major change, but it does provide more insight into how Meta’s US ad targeting regions are defined, which could have specific value for businesses looking to target ads based on political impacts, interests, regional preferences, etc.

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And with Apple’s ATT prompts taking a chunk out of Meta’s data tracking, you need all the tools you can to maximize ad performance. Up to date location and population data can only help in assessing potential impact.

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