Google Lens, a visual search feature previously accessible through Google Photos, is now available through Google Assistant for some owners of the Pixel and Pixel 2 smartphones.
It appears that Google Lens is now gradually rolling out to owners of Google's previous-generation and current-generation flagship smartphones. Will the feature also arrive to other Google Assistant-equipped Android devices?
What Is Google Lens?
Google Lens is a feature that allows users to perform a visual search through the camera of their smartphone, instead of typing words or using saved pictures. Google Lens will identify whatever users are pointing at with their camera by matching the image with what it can find online. The feature will also open apps that may be connected to the search results, which will receive feedback from users to implement necessary improvements over time.
In Google Photos, Google Lens can identify information, including phone numbers, addresses, and URLs, from screenshots and previously taken photos. The integration of Google Lens into Google Assistant, however, takes a different approach.
What Can Google Lens Do With Google Assistant?
To activate Google Lens within Google Assistant, users will first have to call up the digital assistant and then tap on the new camera button at the bottom-right corner of the screen. Users can then hover the camera above the object that they want to perform the visual search on and then tap on the viewfinder to freeze it. Google Lens will then return search results and possible actions, which will appear as a carousel of cards.
It is not a huge change to how Google Lens works, but it eliminates the extra step of having to take a picture of the object in question and then activating Google Lens through Google Photos.
The Google Assistant feature has rolled out to some Pixel and Pixel 2 owners, but for those who have not yet seen Google Lens in their digital assistant, there is no need to worry. The feature is likely being rolled out gradually, so it should appear very soon.
Pixel 2 Software vs Hardware
Reports on the integration of Google Lens into Google Assistant comes right after news that the digital assistant will be able to troubleshoot problems that Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL owners might experience with their smartphones.
Google is continuously improving the software of the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, which is a huge bonus for owners of the smartphones. However, for some customers, particularly those who purchased the Pixel 2 XL, the additional features might not be enough to offset the hardware problems that have plagued the devices. Some of the issues are related to the Pixel 2 XL display, though there are some other concerns outside of the screen such as slow charging times.