Google Lens is currently making its way to Google Photos on millions of Android devices, but that’s old news. Now it appears that Google Lens is arriving as part of the Google Assistant. Have a 2017 or 2018 flagship smartphone, you might be in luck!
According to Droid-Life, certain Android flagship devices are now receiving the camera-based Google Lens functionality. The devices we have in front of us at the moment are all Pixel phones, so it’s hard to confirm exactly which devices are being updated, though our source has been trustworthy in the past.
The functionality has been limited to Pixel and Pixel 2 up until now, so it seems, with Galaxy Note 8, Galaxy S8, and Galaxy S9 getting access server-side. The functionality is much like the Google Photos ability with Lens, whereas your device scans what’s displayed and finds relevant information. It’s much like Bixby Vision and a feature Amazon once had, which allows users to point their phone at a storefront, landmark or object and have their camera recognize the subject and pull up information cards. Over the weekend for example, I used the feature on my Pixel 2 to recognize a dog breed and car model.
To see if you have the feature, boot up the Google Assistant and look for the Google Lens icon that’s a square with two dots. Tapping on it should open a camera interface where Google Lens works its magic to scan objects on your command. It can also turn images into text for you to copy and paste somewhere else.
Since Pixel owners only account for only a small proportion of the Android world, this is big step for Google and it’s amazing the company has been able to do it for so many of its users despite all the fragmentation. There’s a lot of hype surrounding Google Lens and what it could become capable of. We’ll just have to wait to learn more.
Having access to the feature for a number of months now as a Pixel owner, I can say that it comes in handy. It’s currently unclear as to the requirements that you need such as Android version, device and/or Google app version since this is being applied through Google Assistant. If you have an Android device other than those mentioned in this post, take a look and let us know in the comments if you have access and the device you’re using. Since Google has not made a formal announcement like it did when Google Lens came to Google Photos, it’s probably on a limited basis for only high-end Android hardware right now, but this could be a sign of a larger roll out that might happen soon. Hopefully, all devices that have the Google Assistant will eventually gain support for Lens. More should be coming.