How to use Google Lens on your phone

The AI recognition tool is now readily available...
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How to use Google Lens on your phone

Google Lens is here

We’ve got some great news for all you non-Pixel phone owners out there. You can now use Google Lens, the AI-powered visual recognition technology tool, to reveal more about your photos. It’s no longer a Pixel phone exclusive, and can be found on the Google Photos app (iOS and Android).

What does Google Lens do?

If you’ve got Google Photos on your phone, you can now use Google Lens. It works on loads of different types of photos including landmarks, books, plants, works of art and animals. Apparently, it can even recognise different breeds of cats and dogs.

Depending on what Google Lens recognises in your photo, you'll be given useful information along with prompts to take action if applicable. For example, if you use Google Lens to look at a business card, it’ll recognise the email address, phone number and job title of your contact. You’ll then be given the option of saving all the information with a single tap – very handy indeed.

How do I use Google Lens?

Go into your Google Photos app, and choose a photo. Then simply tap the Google Lens button at the bottom of the screen (it’s a big dot with a broken square around it. Kind of like the Instagram icon), and it’ll automatically work its AI magic. If Google Lens recognises what it sees, you’ll get more info underneath the photo.

How well does it work?

It’s worth pointing out that the version of Google Lens currently on Google Photos is an early preview, with “more functionality coming soon”. It doesn’t recognise everything - it didn’t give us any additional information on a simple photo of a pen, for example. And our photo of Brad Pitt was met with a response of “Lens doesn’t recognise people”, along with a few suggestions for things to try it on: text, places, artwork and media.

But to give it credit where due, whenever we used Google Lens on a landmark it was spot on with the answer.

Let us know what kind of success you’ve had with Google Lens so far. Has it impressed you by identifying something unexpected? Did it get the breed of your pet correct? Post your comment below.

What are your thoughts? Join the conversation here…

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