Apple’s iPhone Dons Google’s Goggles

Google made its Goggles visual search app a part of its Google Mobile Apps refresh for Apple’s iPhone. Apple recently bought Polar Rose to compete

Google has released a version of its Google Goggles visual search application for Apple’s iPhone, the latest in a string of iPhone-related software releases from Google since Apple relaxed its developer licensing terms.

Google Goggles is a mobile application that lets users take a picture of a location or objects, such as a product or painting, from their smartphone and do a Google search that pulls up information associated with the image.

Last December, Google made the application available for smartphones based on its Android operating system Version 1.6 and up. Since then, Goggles has been a popular draw for users of the Motorola Droid, Google Nexus One and HTC Droid Incredible.

Rumours Were True

As recently as June it was rumoured Goggles could be coming to the iPhone and now rumour has become reality.

Goggles, as part of the refreshed Google Mobile App, should please iPhone users thirsty for visual search. Users tap on the camera button to search using Goggles and the app will analyse landmarks, logos, books, DVDs and games.

The app cannot yet distinguish between animals, plants or food. Google is working to increase its object coverage with Goggles.

Beginning today, iPhone users can find and download Google Mobile App with Google Goggles, the English language version, free from the Apple App Store by searching for “Google Mobile App”.

The app requires an auto-focusing camera, which means it will run on iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 running iOS 4 or above.

Like Google Voice, which aped some of the functionality of Apple’s iPhone, Goggles was shut out of the iPhone because of Apple’s proprietary stance to protect its competitive advantage. Apple has now bought its own visual search company, Polar Rose, so perhaps Goggles is not the threat it first appeared to be.

Google’s official Voice app for the iPhone is rumoured to be close to completion. Until then, Goggles should keep Google app fans happy.

In Europe, Android is making inroads on market leader Nokia. In the US, the iPhone is easily the most popular smartphone, though Android is gaining serious market share from both Apple and RIM, making Android handsets a viable threat.