One of the coolest party tricks you can perform with an Android smartphone is to fire up Google Goggles and snap a photo of a real world object and watch the app identify it. Sure, Goggles makes mistakes sometimes, but it’s pretty good at judging a book by its cover (or at least identifying it), as well as recognizing landmarks, buildings, and scanning bar codes. It can even translate text from one language to another. And it’s something that Android users can do that iPhone users can’t… yet.

ReadWriteWeb reports that Google has confirmed that an iPhone version of Goggles should be available soon.

Google will also be releasing the image recognition APIs use in Goggles by the end of the year, which means that we could see third party apps that use the ability to recognize and identify real world objects in interesting ways. While Goggles can already help you comparison shop or look up information about the items you can scan, I can imagine image recognition coming in handy for geographic games, check-in services like Foursquare, or other apps.

Brad Linder

Brad Linder is editor of Liliputing and Mobiputing. He's been tinkering with mobile tech for decades and writing about it since...