Google has been rolling out its Lens smart camera feature to Android phones over the last week. The tool first arrived as a feature of Google Photos, allowing users to tap on images to get actionable information on the objects that Lens identifies.
Besides the Google Photo feature, Google promised certain high-end devices would also receive Lens as part of Google Assistant. As first reported by Droid Life, Samsung’s Galaxy 8/8 Plus, Note 8, and S9/S9 Plus have now received this feature. Users in the comments section of the source post report Lens is also available on the LG V30.
Having Lens integrated in Google Assistant lets you identify objects straight from the viewfinder, by simply tapping on them. That’s both easier and faster than to take a picture, go to Photos, and activate Lens from there.
Lens was first released via the Google Assistant app on Pixel phones in November 2017. The feature allows users to find out information about objects that the camera “sees” in real time. It can do things such as identify objects, link to other apps on your phone, translate text, save notes, or add business card information to your contacts.
For example, when I showed Google Lens a picture of the Eiffel Tower on my laptop, it showed me a fact about the tower (50 tonnes of paint are added to the Eiffel Tower every seven years, apparently), links to Google products such as Maps, Search, and YouTube, as well as links to the latest news articles about the tower on the Guardian app.
Of course, Samsung Galaxy phone users receiving the update will likely be aware that Google Lens offers a similar set of functions to the Bixby Vision feature that already exists on their phones. However, Lens’ integration with both Google and non-Google apps does seem to differentiate it somewhat.
Besides Samsung and LG, flagship phones from Huawei, Motorola, Nokia, and Sony will also get Google Lens through Assistant.
To use Google Lens, you simply have to download the latest version of the Google Assistant, fire up the app, and then tap the Google Lens logo in the bottom corner.