Google Lens is an AI-powered technology that leverages your smartphone’s camera and deep machine learning to detect objects. Moreover, the system understands what it detects and offers follow-up actions based on what it sees.
Google Lens was unveiled by Google in 2017 and at launch, it was a Pixel-exclusive feature. But since then, the feature has made it to more phones.
For example, handsets like the OnePlus 6T come with Google Lens integrated into the camera app. Select models from Sony, LG, Motorola, Nokia, ASUS and more also benefit from this feature.
The option is also available in Google Photos and via the Google Assistant. What’s more, Google also offers a standalone Lens app which you can download via the Play Store.
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As you can see the feature is widely available and you haven’t tried it out until now, we suggest you do because it’s pretty cool. Here are some things you can do with it.
Easily copy text
Google Lens allows you to copy text in the form of phone numbers, dates, addresses and email addresses, as well as text from the real world.
A lot of people still use business cards and Google Lens will help you save all the info to your address book and beyond. Simply tap on a phone number/address from the camera app and Lens will suggest what to do with the info. For example, it will offer you the option to add the number as new contact/call/text/email or visit the affiliate website (if any).
Want to copy a random piece of text? Point the Lens at it and you’ll be given the option to select the text you want to copy. It’s that simple.
Find similar products
Google Lens easily lets you find similar products. Just snap a photo of something you love (example: your favorite lip scrub) and Lens will immediately suggest alternative products, complete with link. Just tap and buy!
Get quick info about books
The Holiday season is coming, and books make for great presents. So if you find yourself in a bookshop looking at a book trying to decide if your aunt Susan would like it, Google Lens can give you a helping hand.
Simply point the camera at the book cover and you can easily get access to a short summary of the book, reviews and more via a link to a full Google search.
Sure you can always take the classic route. Open your browser and type in the name of the book manually, but the Google Lens way is a lot faster.
Browsing something on your PC and you want to continue doing so on your smartphone? Use your phone to snap a photo of the address and Google Lens will immediately serve up the link which you can open on your mobile device.
Lens can also recognize links available on any kind of print media including posters and business cards. Just point the camera at it and you’re good to go!
Access review/ratings of restaurants/bars/venues
Point Google Lens towards a café or restaurant (from the inside or outside) and it will show you ratings/reviews of that place. So when you’re not sure whether you should stay or not, Lens has your back.
Identify plants and animals
Google Lens is a fun tool if you’re a nature observer. Snap pictures of plants and animals and the AI-driven system will recognize them for you. Or simply point the camera at images of living things, the effect will be the same.
Found some old records around the house that used to belong to your ex, but you can’t identify the name of the band? Snap a picture of the cover and Lens will serve up that info immediately.
Scan QR Codes
Let’s say you’ve spotted a QR Code somewhere and you’re curious to what it may lead. Well, take out your phone and point Google Lens towards it and you’ll find out, instantly.
Add an event to your calendar
You’ve come across a poster around town while talking a stroll for an event you really want to attend. You can easily add it to your calendar by pointed Lens at it.
After the feature will scan the flyer, you will be offered a variety of options including to add the event to your calendar, check the website of the venue or see it in Maps or learn more about the organizer.
Traveling in a foreign country and can’t understand the signs? Google Lens can help you easily translate them. Take a picture and then tap the Translate button to view the translation.
Discovered some other cool functionality of Google Lens we haven’t covered? Let us know in the comment section below.