Google on Monday said Google Lens, an app that uses artificial intelligence to identify objects using a phone’s camera, is now rolling out to all Google Photos users on Android. Previously, Google Lens was only available for the Pixel lineup.
Google Lens’ wider support is rolling out on a gradual basis, and everyone should have the update in the next few days, Google tweeted. During MWC in February, Google detailed the Lens app, which can scan a business card and turn it into a contact, will be more widely supported.
Google is officially rolling its Lens out to Android phones that have Google Photos installed. This means users will be able to scan things through the app to receive information, like a dog’s breed or a flower type. Users can also create a contact from a business card or identify a landmark. Certain phones will eventually be able to access Lens through the Google Assistant, too, including flagships from Samsung, Huawei, LG, Motorola, Sony, and HMD / Nokia. Google says Lens is rolling out in batches, so you might not get the update right away — sorry!
Google Lens introduced at Google I/O 2017 is now available on every Android phone via the Google Photos app. (Image: Google)
We knew this expanded launch was coming, as Google announced it at Mobile World Congress last week. We didn’t have an idea of timing then, though, and we still don’t have a clear timeline on when iOS devices will receive Lens. Google Lens senior director of product Aparna Chennapragada explained to Verge reporter Adi Robertson that Lens is designed to make sense of the visual world. Eventually she hopes that Google’s visual search function could easily identify and annotate all objects, which sounds helpful but also slightly dystopian.
Google’s aim for Lens is understanding what you’re looking at and take actions based on that information. For example, you could launch the Google Photos app and point your phone at a flower and learn what kind of flower it is. Or you could point your phone at a restaurant and get contextual information such as its hours of operation.Google said support is “coming soon” to the iOS version of Google Photos. It didn’t provide any specific details.Google Photos for Android is available through Google Play. On non-Pixel devices, Google Lens is missing Google Assistant support.
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