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New Google Goggles app solves Sudoku

January 10, 2011 | 11:53 am

Sudoku Google Goggles is now faster, can read newspaper ads, and, more important, will solve that stubborn Sudoku puzzle.

The new version of the visual search application, released Monday, has a couple of features geared toward shoppers: improved bar-code scanning and the ability to recognize print ads in major U.S. newspapers and magazines to return information about the products (this feature is similar to a marketing experiment Google announced in November).

There's another new feature aimed at the Sunday-morning-newspaper crowd: If you get stuck on a particularly knotty Sudoku, the app can now analyze and provide the answer to the popular number puzzle -- useful perhaps in a situation in which someone spilled coffee on the answer key.

A video on Google's blog shows a phone with Google Goggles beating the time of 2009 national Sudoku champion Tammy McLeod at a Sudoku fest.

However, the phone was disqualified from formally competing because it's, well, a phone.


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Photo: Tammy McLeod of Los Angeles, who won the first-place title, smiles while standing beside her puzzle at the Sudoku tournament in Philadelphia on Oct. 24, 2009. Credit: Joseph Kaczmarek / Associated Press