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When Words Get In The Way…Of a Google Search

201103-b-google-1jpgEver wished you could hold up a photo to a search engine and say, “Hey computer! Find me this, and make it snappy!”?

With Google Search (free; iPhone, iPod, iPad), a picture is worth a thousand keywords. The newly upgraded app makes it even easier to scour the Web with images straight from your smartphone camera.

The marquee feature, a point-click-and-search ability called Google Goggles—say that ten times fast—not only recognizes landmark buildings, artwork, and storefronts, but now translates words from five languages (English, French, Italian, German, and Spanish). Google Search even identifies New York City’s lesser-known architectural gems, such as the Grace Building and Bryant Park. The practical uses of such a travel tool are endless, especially for exploring cities abroad without fear of being linguistically up a creek.

Darren Tobia is a research assistant at Travel + Leisure.

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