Updated: March 7, 2018 2:57 pm
Google Lens, the feature which allows the Pixel 2’s camera to recognise and identify landmarks, objects, etc, is now going to be available on all Android phones via the Photos app. The company had limited Lens to the Pixel 2 series till, where the option was present on the Google Photos and Google Assistant. Lens in Google Photos app will also roll out for iOS users soon, says the company, but there is no clear timeline for the same.
Lens is also part of the Google Assistant on Pixel 2 smartphones. However, it is not clear when the Google Assistant on other Android phones will support the Lens feature. Google Lens works when a user points the camera (via Assistant) at a famous landmark, place, painting, etc and it will show details about it, including the name, opening hours for historical sites, along with directions where needed.
Google Lens can also scan bar codes to search for a product, mobile numbers, save dates and directions to a place. It also has the option of searching for books, music covers and movies as well based on the images. These features are part of the Google Assistant, where the camera is used to scan and identify the object or place. Google Lens also has the ability to create a contact from a business card which is scanned.
In the Google Photos app, there is a Lens symbol that appears below every photo taken by the user, like the one seen on the Assistant. Once a user taps on the same, the photo is scanned and Lens shows the relevant result. It might not always be very accurate though or specific. For instance, in our Google Pixel 2 XL, when asked to scan a photo of a Galaxy S9, it only shows the result as smartphone. However, when it comes to artwork, the Lens feature is particularly accurate, though not everyone will see the need for something like this.
Google has also said that the update for Lens in Photos app is being released in batches. Not all Android users will see it on their device so soon, but it should be available soon. Google Lens relies on machine learning and artificial intelligence to identify the objects.
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