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If you’re a fan of Google Lens, you now have another avenue for accessing the feature in iOS, because it’s now included in the Google Search app on the iPhone. Here’s how to use it.
Google Lens is a neat little feature that can identify real-world objects, like signs, buildings, books, plants, and more using your phone’s camera. And it gives you more information about the object. It’s available in the Google Photos app, but if you don’t use Google Photos, you can now access Google Lens in the regular Google Search app. We’ll show you how to use Google Lens in both apps.
In the Google Search App
If you don’t already have the app, you can download it here. Once you’re up and running, just start by tapping on the Google Lens icon inside of the search bar.
If you don’t see the icon, try closing out of the app completely and the re-opening it.
On the next screen, tap “Turn on camera to use Lens” at the bottom.
Hit “OK” when the app asks for permission to use the camera.
With the camera up, simply point it at an object that you want to identify or learn more about and tap on it.
From there, Google Lens will do its best to identify what’s in the frame and give you results based on what it knows.
In the Google Photos App
One big difference between the Google Search app and the Google Photos app as far as Google Lens is concerned, is that you have to snap a photo first, and then open it within Google Photos to launch Google Lens. However, it’s still easy to access.
If you don’t already have the Google Photos app, you can download it here. Once you’re up and running, start by selecting a photo in the feed. We’ll select this photo of my cat.
Once the photo is opened, tap on the Google Lens icon down at the bottom.
Select “Continue” at the bottom.
This will launch Google Lens and will immediately bring up whatever information about the photo that Google can find.
Google Lens can now recognize over a billion items in the world around us, the search engine giant announced this week.
That’s four times as many things that the AI-powered feature could identify when it was first launched last year, thanks partly to a huge number of Google Shopping products which have been added to its knowledge base.
While its optical character recognition engine has been optimized to read more product labels, Google has also honed its machine learning and AI to recognize more animals, including common pet breeds.
In addition, you can use Lens to get more information about places as well as word definitions and translations of words. Google Lens can now also recognize people, Wi-Fi network names for auto-connecting, and geometric shapes. And if it isn’t sure what an object is, it will offer up similar photos that match.
Google Lens originally appeared on iOS as part of Google Photos and could only be used on pictures you’d taken. However, last week Google added the feature to its flagship search app, and this implementation is better since it allows you to aim your phone’s camera at things in your environment in real time.
Follow the steps below if you’d like to give it a whirl.
How to Use Google Lens on iPhone
- If you don’t have it already, download the Google app [Direct Link] from the App Store and launch it.
- Sign in with your Google credentials or create an account.
Tap the Lens icon to the left of the microphone in the Search bar.
If you want to withdraw Google’s access to your camera and photos you can do so anytime by following these steps.
How to Disable Google Search App Permissions
- Launch the Settings app.
Select Google from the list of third-party apps.