Google today will make widely available a new “search by image” feature. It’s up and running and I typed “Ed Rendell,” former Guv of Pennsylvania. This was the first image that came up. I did a search-by-image and came up with this. Pretty cool. The Google Goggles image-recognition function on its mobile app is very impressive: Analyze a picture of, say, a Coke bottle, and you get a link to a Google search for Coke. There are limitations. With the new image-search feature, it would be interesting to search a photo of an unidentified person you are trying to identify. However, Google is not keen on such a feature, according to

Google says it won’t be using any facial recognition technology and that the search works best when an image has some sort of “fame” — so that for instance, Google wouldn’t be able to tell you who lived in a given house in a photo, unless it was something like Graceland.

Google also has begun to offer voice search for desktop computers using Google’s Chrome browser. I use voice search on the Google mobile app and, as Steve Jobs would say, it just works. I now rarely type a search request on my iPhone. I assume it will work just as well on a desktop with a microphone. The roll-out will last for several days until the feature is available for every Chrome user.

Google introduced faster search, but that didn’t do much for me. Google is fast. Now it’s faster.

Here’s a video for Google search-by-image: