You Can Use Your iPhone to Find a Specific Book on Your Shelves

You Can Use Your iPhone to Find a Specific Book on Your Shelves

Some people organize their book shelves by author name, book title, or even by color—but if you take a more chaotic approach and can never find the book you’re looking for, the optical character recognition (OCR) feature on the iPhone can help you out. Just take a photo, wait a few minutes, and search for the book title in the photos app. Your phone will point to the book.

Reddit Gtapex user pointed this out last week and I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I tested it out by taking a picture of my book shelf, waiting a minute for the OCR processing to happen, and searching for the word “Plato”, intentionally choosing one of the physically smaller books on the shelf. The result came up right away.

I tapped the photo and, sure enough, there was even a yellow marker showing me where the exact book is.

Not bad, especially considering that this wasn’t a very good photo—the angle was awkward and the lighting was bad. I could imagine this being even more useful if I had a much larger bookshelf.

And it’s not just useful for bookshelves. You could use this to browse your DVD, Blu-Ray, or CD collection. It could also come in very handy if you ever find yourself looking for something specific in a thrift store, or any other chaotic space with a lot of media—just take a photo, run a search, and see where the thing you’re looking for is.

The Redditor speculated that this feature could also work on an Android device, and there’s no reason I can think of why that wouldn’t be the case. When I tried using both a Samsung phone, however, searching for book titles in Google Photos gave no results whatsoever. I tried again using the web version of Google Photos and it still didn’t work. I would love to be wrong, though—if any Android users get this working, please let me know.

The Cheapest NBN 50 Plans

Here are the cheapest plans available for Australia’s most popular NBN speed tier.

At Lifehacker, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. BTW – prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.


Leave a Reply