Google now lets you search with an image and text at the same time

Finding the right sneakers, jacket, or sunglasses on Google can be tricky; either you cannot find the exact ones you want, or if you do, you get the wrong color or last year’s model (the problem I most often face is finding the item in stores that will ship from Europe).

For such occasions, Google has created a new way to search on Android on iOS. The company calls it multisearch, and it enables you to search using an image and text at the same time — something that was never available on Google before.

The idea is to snap a photo of something (or use a photo on your phone) and then add an additional text query to it, in order to narrow down the results.

Examples that Google provides include searching with a photo of a dress and adding “green” to get it in a different color, taking a photo of your dining set and adding the query “coffee table” to get a matching table, or snapping a photo of a plant and adding the query “care instructions.” 

Google Multisearch

Just like this one, only green. Credit: Google

How to use multisearch on Google

To use multisearch, open the Google app on Android or iOS, and tap on the Lens camera icon. From there you can take a photo of something in real life or browse through one of your screenshots to select an image. Then, you can swipe up and tap the “+” symbol, and then “Add to your search” button to add the text query.

While the multisearch feature isn’t something I’d use daily, it certainly sounds like something that could be useful in specific cases; Google says it will presently work best for shopping searches.

Multisearch is available today as a beta feature, only in English, and only in the U.S. There’s no word on when the feature might be expanded to other languages and territories.

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