Unless you’re a serious photographer, you probably don’t carry a digital camera anymore. There’s no need: A typical smartphone comes with at least one camera, and lenses are sharper and more dynamic than ever. Even pro photojournalists often turn to their Samsung Galaxy, and entire feature films have been shot with iPhones.
Your phone’s camera is a powerful tool, capable of far more than regular picture-taking. With the right apps, your phone can absorb visual information and use it for everyday tasks. You can conduct searches, tackle a shopping list, read a foreign language, or solve math problems, all with a lens the size of a marker tip.
CamFind is a bit like a regular Internet search site, except it uses images instead of words. The app is available for both Android and iOS phones. Open the app, snap a photo, and watch as it runs through keywords that identify what’s in the picture. It will then generate a list of similar images and related search results.
CamFind doesn’t always get everything exactly right, but it does take darn good guesses, and sometimes it’s dead-on accurate. It will change the way you think about doing Internet searches.
This is cool. You can also use your camera to scan the shipping label on an Amazon box and find out what’s inside without opening it.
The app’s augmented-reality stickers feel downright futuristic, enabling you to place digital objects into your surroundings. For example, you can see how that turntable-shaped cat scratcher would look in your living room. Naturally, you can order those items if you wish. If you’re a visual person, this is a fun feature to play with.
Find what you’re looking for with ease
You own an object, but you’re not quite sure what it’s called. All you know is that it looks kind of like an artist’s palette and you use it to slice the leaves of kale. But how do you search for that, especially on a sprawling site like eBay?
How accurate is eBay’s image search? It does an admirable job. We tested it out by snapping a picture of a plastic fox figurine, and it returned a list of similar animal figurines. A photo of a metal storage cabinet generated a group of similar filing cabinets.
It’s a great way to search eBay when you’re having trouble coming up with the right keywords to describe what you’re shopping for. Click here for the links to both the iOS and Android version of the eBay app.
The app’s extremely nifty instant camera translation feature works in 38 different languages. Start up the app, tap on the camera icon, and point the lens at what you’re trying to translate. It will magically change the text right on the screen.
This is especially handy for street and store signs or menus in restaurants. The app isn’t just for Android; you can also get an iOS version. This can help turn you into a much more confident traveler.