Google's artificial intelligence-powered imaging technology expands its availability to all Google Photo users on Android. An iOS version is reportedly on its way as well.
The announcement that the internet search firm decided to enable the feature on smartphones outside of the Pixel series is a welcome surprise. User feedback concerning the tech is mostly positive since it supposedly does exactly what it was built to do, which is offer image recognition. The app is intended to provide users with relevant information about any subject in a photo, and it apparently does a good job, according to reports.
The app made its debut during the 2017 Google I/O conference and was initially integrated with Google Assistant and Google Photos. The former was previously an exclusive feature only found on Pixel smartphones, which limited the image-recognition app to the Google-branded smartphone catalog. The recent update from the developers means that all Android users now have access to Google Lens.
Rolling out today, Android users can try Google Lens to do things like create a contact from a business card or get more info about a famous landmark. To start, make sure you have the latest version of the Google Photos app for Android: https://t.co/KCChxQG6Qm
Coming soon to iOS pic.twitter.com/FmX1ipvN62 — Google Photos (@googlephotos) March 5, 2018
What makes Google Lens useful for smartphone users is its ability to recognize what is framed in a picture. Powered by the company's artificial intelligence network, the app can pull data for just about anything that is available on its servers.
The tech used by the app can recognize and provide relevant information about architecture, plants, books, written language, artwork, icons, and more. The user just needs to take a photo of any subject and click on the Lens icon to retrieve important details.
It can likewise recognize text from business cards or any printed media and offer the option to save as a contact, access a website, call a phone number, send an email, and more. Product barcodes can also be scanned to get detailed information about the item.
Google Assistant Version
For now, Google Lens is only available alongside Google Photos. Google Assistant is currently limited to some Android devices outside of the Google Pixel and Google Pixel 2 smartphones. However, as the virtual assistant spreads to more Android-running devices, users should be able to access the image-recognition feature in the near future.
Google Lens is a fairly new app released for Android. Thus, its adoption is not that widespread. Most users on Pixel smartphones are not even aware of its existence. As developers continue to improve the recognition algorithm of the platform, Google users might eventually find it indispensable when it comes to several applications such as travel, research, and more.