Have you ever come across something you wanted to know more about, but had difficulty formulating a Google query to search it? Google Lens is the solution to searching, even when you don’t have the right words to do so.

Using AI-powered technology, this app is able to recognise objects, buildings, text and even animals, basing search results on what the camera on your smartphone has captured.

Google Lens can be used in very practical everyday ways that you didn’t know you needed. For instance, Google Lens allows users to take a picture of clothing that they find appealing, and Google will provide a number of alternative options in a similar style. The app can be used in the same way for household décor items.

Smart Text Selection means you can point your phone camera to text of any kind, and highlight the text within Google Lens to copy for use on your phone. The selected text can also be searched on Google, or translated if it’s in a language you don’t know.

On your next excursion, try pointing Google Lens at buildings and restaurants to get operating hours, reviews and historical facts about them in a jiffy. Using Smart Text Selection while you’re reading the menu at a restaurant will enable you to search unfamiliar dishes, and even get recipes for them if you’d like to try your hand at making them at home.

Plants and animals can also be identified using Google Lens, making it easier than ever before to establish just what breed of dog that strange-looking pup at the park is, or whether the plant that he just gobbled down (and immediately regurgitated) is poisonous.

Google Lens was first introduced in 2017, as a replacement for the now-defunct Google Goggles app, which used the same principles to search an image and provide results that correspond with it. Although Google Lens was initially only available on Google Pixel phones, the app has now been rolled out for download to all Android devices via the Google Play Store, and even comes built into the camera app on a selection of partner phones. Apple users can’t download Google Lens from the App store, but can use the functionality of Lens via the Google Photos app.

Check out the video below for a look at the app in action.


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