This feature was among the most anticipated new features of Google in 2017, the year of its launch. It thus completed its collection of tools, in particular voice recognition with the Google Assistant equipped with innovative technology dedicated to images. But it has evolved a lot since its inception, especially when it comes to accessibility, and is now much more accessible. With Google Lens, point your phone at something like a plant and ask Google Assistant what it is. Not only do you get relevant answers, the tool also offers you actions based on what it sees.
Let’s find out about Google Lens and how it can benefit you.
What is Google Lens?
Google Lens is a powerful image recognition tool that lets you search using an image instead of a keyword. It is an artificial intelligence-based technology that uses deep machine learning and your smartphone’s camera to work. Its role being to detect an object placed in front of the camera lens, analyze it and understand it.
But far from being limited to the simple recognition of what he sees, the application offers you actions such as:
- translation, etc.
You can use it, for example, to automatically connect to a Wi-Fi network just by pointing the router’s label with the camera. Better, you can copy and paste the text of a handwritten document or scan a QR code.
Google Lens: a free application
Google Lens is gradually being rolled out to iOS and Android smartphones. And if the only possibility to access it was to go through the Google Assistant for Android, this is no longer the case today. In fact, Google Lens now has its own dedicated app which is completely free. Some devices like Pixels, OnePlus, LG, Xiaomi, and Pixel phones already benefit from this feature.
Unfortunately, banned brands of Google products like Huawei are not compatible to use this app. In addition, the availability of the application on your Android phone depends on the compatibility and update of your device. If you don’t have it on your phone yet, you can download the Android version from Google play store and the iPhone version on theApp Store.
You can also download the Android APK file and install the application with the APK installer from your file manager. You will find the Google Lens application in the applications installed on your Android phone or Android tablet.
How can Google Lens help you?
Google Lens offers a revolutionary way to search using an image captured by the camera of your Android smartphone or tablet. This feature offers many advantages and simplifies many everyday tasks such as finding a word or an object.
Identify an element present in an image
Whether it’s a work of art, a place, a person, an object, etc., Google Lens, launches a search trying to identify the subject present in your photo. Most of the time, the results he presents to you are astounding. With such precision in finding images, you can easily identify any animal or plant that you have discovered in a friend.
You can also search for a personality, a work of art or a monument on the internet and have relevant and precise information on these things. The application will also recognize cafes, clubs and restaurants by showing you, for example, the opening hours, reviews and addresses of these places.
If you see a tool, an item of clothing, and almost any other item that you would like to purchase, Google Lens can identify this item. He can also find it or find something very similar to it. The application also directs you to online shops who offer this item so that you buy it quickly if you want.
It works great with shoes, bracelets, books… with just about any item. You can even try your luck by trying to identify a cooked dish that you would like to eat. You may be directed to a restaurant that offers this dish on their menu.
Copy and paste text
While image search is a revolutionary thing, it’s not the only feature Google Lens offers. For example, you can use this app to scan documents. You will keep a copy of the document in PDF format which can be transferred directly to your computer.
You can of course copy the text present on an image by carrying out a OCR character recognition with Google Lens. You just need to highlight the desired part of the text. This option is also valid for physical documents. Point the camera of your Android or iOS smartphone at the text then highlight the text with Google Lens to copy it.
The copied text can then be illustrated on your phone and you can paste it into a chat or into a word processing application like Google docs Where Microsoft Word. This possibility is very practical for copying:
- an address,
- a number,
- or a password.
If the content of the text box is a date, the application will offer to save it in the calendar.
Find a text
When the text is highlighted in Google Lens, you can make a smart search with Google. This is a very handy feature for searching for the definition of a word or for searching for the name of a personality.
In addition to copying and searching for text that you just highlighted in Google Lens, you also have the option to perform a intelligent translation of this text. This is possible thanks to the connection with Google Translate.
Thus, you can live translate the text you have in front of your eyes and which is written in another language. But what makes this feature even more interesting is the possibility of translating texts offline, that is to say without an internet connection..
Get detailed homework help
Google Lens can also be useful if you get stuck on an exercise or assignment. Just scan the exercise and search online to find out what Google has to offer regarding your exercise. You can find relevant results and videos in history, chemistry, math, etc.
How to use Google Lens?
Google has reserved a fully autonomous app for Google Lens on Android. It is also the fastest solution to directly access all of its features. However, you can also access it through other apps. This gives you the opportunity to go faster. Let’s take a look at the other ways to access Google Lens features.
In Google Assistant
If you don’t have the Google Lens app on your phone, it’s still possible that it can be accessed through other apps. To make sure, long press the home button on your smartphone or tablet to start the Google Assistant.
If you notice thegoogle lens icon displayed at the bottom right of the screen is that you can use this feature. Note that theGoogle Assistant gives you access to the same possibilities as when you go through theGoogle Lens independent app.
Whether in the Google Assistant or in the Google Lens application, you need to access the photo module and aim your smartphone camera at the desired element. A few seconds of waiting will be necessary for the colored circles to appear. It is thanks to its small circles that you can select elements with a finger pressure (objects, articles, text).
Accessible in Google Photos
Google Lens can be used in real time, but also on images or photos stored on your phone. Now integrated into the Google Photos app, all the features of the app can be used with much more ease. You can use them directly on your old photos including those you downloaded from the Internet.
You’ll see the Google Lens icon appear at the bottom right of the window when browsing your images in the Google Photos app. Then just press the icon to see the circular dots appear on your image. Google then offers you suggestions for performing the desired action.
With the camera
Google Lens is directly accessible from the camera on some Android phones for quick and easy use. All the features of the tool are directly used on elements of your entourage such as:
- the people,
- or on the documents.
You can even search the internet for the shoe your friend is wearing from your phone’s camera. The location of the Google Lens icon in the camera will be different from manufacturer to manufacturer. You will therefore find it among the first options that appear on the interface of your photo application or in the additional options section.
How to use Google Lens on iPhone and on PC
There are certainly not as many apps from Google on iPhone as there are on Android. Thus, Google Lens is accessible from the Google application on iPhone. The latter covers a lot of features present on Android.
Once the application is installed, you just need to grant it the necessary permissions to have access to the same features as those mentioned above. The procedure is the same for using Google Lens on a computer.