Google recently announced that even users without their premium Pixel phones could try Google Lens, that lets you learn more about real life objects. It’s able to recognise landmarks, flowers, animals and food and can grab text from business cards or anything else for that matter.
With the latest version of Google Photos, you can tap on a photo and then the Google Lens icon, and the app will attempt to automatically recognise what it sees.
Only Android devices are currently supported, although support for iOS is coming soon [Update 20th March 2018 – now supported on iOS too]. If you have a premium Android phone, you can get live recognition via the camera app, without going through Google photos.
But for everyone else, you’ll need to take a photo using any smartphone including an iPhone, so long as you have your photos automatically synced to Google Photos. I’ve discussed Google Photos in detail in my recent article.
Then you can open the latest version of Google Photos, and try Google Lens on the the photo you’re interested.
I tried Google Lens on a few photos assembled in a Google Photos album with generally good results.
Here Google Lens correctly identifies the Valle de la Luna in Chile. Take a look my video for more examples, including grabbing text from a photo.
Overall Google Lens is quite impressive, although I’m not sure how much I’ll ever use it again after trying it out. But quickly pulling text from a document is handy, and being able to identify a flower for example, may keep me one step ahead of the children for just a little while longer.
Give it a try, and let me know what you think in the comments.
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