Business Columns & Blogs

Image searching on the go

Q: On a computer, you can use Google’s reverse image search feature in several ways, like dragging and dropping an image file in the search box or right-clicking on an image file on a webpage. But how can you do reverse searches for pictures using a mobile device?

A: Third-party apps and sites for hunting down images are available, but Google offers its own way to use its image search engine if you are using a tablet or smartphone at the time. On a computer, you drag a file into the search box (or right-click it) to do a reverse search for similar images on the web. On a mobile device with the Chrome browser for Android and iOS, you start with a photo that has already popped up in the search results.

When you have an image you want to research in the Chrome app, tap it to open the photo to a full-screen view. Next, press and hold your finger on the screen and choose “Search Google for this image.” The results page returns other webpages where Google has found that particular image, often with text accompanying it for additional information.

Another method in the Chrome app involves switching to the desktop version of the Google image search page by tapping the menu button in the top-right corner and selecting “Request Desktop Site.” Once you are on the desktop version of the page, tap the camera icon in the search bar. You can now choose a file to upload from your device’s photo app or from an online file-storage site.

You can also take a picture of something and instantly upload the photo to the Google image search. (The process might be seen as a rudimentary precursor to the new Google Lens tool, announced at the company’s I/O conference last month, which uses a smartphone’s camera to gather more information about your surroundings in real time.)

Keeping an eye on battery life

Q: Is there a way to always show the battery-life indicator in the Windows 10 taskbar?

A: If the battery icon has retreated into the hidden icons section of the taskbar’s Notifications area or disappeared from view altogether, you can restore it quickly. Right-click the taskbar area and choose Taskbar Settings from the menu; on a tablet, press and hold your finger on the screen for a few seconds to get to the menu.

When the Taskbar settings open, scroll down to the Notifications area. Click or tap either “Select which icons appear on the taskbar” or “Turn system icons on or off.” On the next screen, tap the button next to Power to On from Off. (If you wish to display icons from third-party programs, choose “Select which icons appear on the taskbar” to turn on notification icons for apps like Dropbox or an online backup service.)

Once you have restored the battery icon to the taskbar, you can tap it, click it or hover the mouse cursor over it to see the percentage of battery life left on the current charge. The Windows Store has several free or inexpensive apps available to display the charge percentage and other details; open the Store icon from the Start menu and search for “battery.”

Mac users who want to display the battery icon in the top menu bar should open the System Preferences by clicking its icon in the desktop dock, or by selecting System Preferences under the Apple menu in the top-left corner of the screen. In the System Preferences box, click the Energy Saver icon and then turn on the checkbox next to “Show battery status in menu bar.”