It feels as though Google has held the market on “point your camera at it to learn more” technology for some time now, first through its Translate app, which let you target signs in foreign languages with your smartphone’s camera and receive translations on the fly, and now via Lens, which expands this technology to give you plenty of information about the objects in photos you’ve taken (or are about to take).
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Google Lens, once a Pixel-only feature, is now a part of the Google Photos app (or a standalone Android download). During Google I/O this year, Google announced a number of new features for Google Lens, and you can play with them on both iOS and Android right now - assuming your device now supports Lens in its Camera app (or the standalone Lens app, if it doesn't).
Lens is Google's experimental, camera-powered search engine, but up until today, the service was buried inside Google's Assistant and the Google Photos app. Lens still isn't getting its own standalone app, but now Google is merging the feature into the default camera apps on a handful of Android devices, including the Pixel. With new prominence, Google is updating Lens with a handful of features that should land on your phone sometime "over the next few weeks".
Google I/O is around the corner, and while the company has already teased us with some revamped services, we're expecting to see a lot more. Personally, I'm hoping to see improvements to Google Lens, the image recognition tool the company has put into a few of its apps. Because right now, my friend, it ain't great.
Last month, Google rolled out its innovative Google Lens app to most Android phones. Here's how to get the most out of its visual-recognition abilities.
Google Lens is a visual analysis app that provides additional interactivity to your phone's camera and photo roll. For example, you can use it to instantly create a new contact in your address book by taking a photo of a business card, or access online reviews by snapping a product in a shop.
Originally only available for Pixel 2 (and later added to the original Pixel), the tool is now being rolled out to all Android phones with Google Assistant and Google Photos. Hurrah!