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Google Lens: A new icon on my phone


After a recent update of the camera on my phone, I noticed a new icon: Google Lens. Perhaps I am one of the last to see this phone technology as it has been around since October 2017. From the recent queries I am seeing on Twitter, I suspect many people are discovering this feature for the first time right now.

I see this being a useful tool for teachers, students, scientists or anyone who is curious. Just point your phone camera at the thing you want to know about and Google will tell you what it is and give you links to follow to learn more. I've tested it with a number of different objects from books (it links to reviews) to flowers (it reveals the common name with links to binomial nomenclature - scientific name) . When I have pointed Google Lens at flowers I do know, I have been pleased with the results. With flowers I don't know, it has taken me to identification websites with verifying photos of the same flowers. My success with leaves or with entire shrubs has been less successful. I can't wait to try this feature out with historic monuments and sites of interest on my next vacation.

Google Lens is available for both android and iOS systems. Mine came with an android phone camera app update. If you did not get it this way, you can download the app through Google Play for your android phone. I cannot say for certain, but I read that if you are using iOS, you will need a Google account to access Google Lens.

This is how easy it is to use:
  • Photo I shows the open camera app. Rather than tapping the shutter button which would take a photo, you touch the Google Lens icon just to the left (in this example).
  • Photo II illustrates several highlighted buttons on the screen. Tap one of these to make use of Googles AI photo recognition software.
  • Photo III shows a quick identification and it is the link to further information.
Is this a useful feature? It sure is for me! I hope it is a useful tool for you as well. Send me an email, I appreciate your thoughts on this or any other feature/app you have found useful for students, scientists, or teachers.

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Google Lens: A new icon on my phone

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