Have you ever been out and about and wondered what kind of flower or species of bird you spotted? Now there is a way you can find out, with the help of your smartphone’s camera.
Google Lens allows you to search for an item with your camera or with an existing photo. It is available on both Android and iOS (Apple) devices.
On Android devices, there are a few ways you can access Lens. On most new Android devices, Lens is enabled by default and can be accessed directly from the camera app. Open the camera app, aim at the item (be it a flower, animal, type of water bottle, etc), and then tap the Lens button. Next, tap the magnifying glass icon to search for the image in your camera’s viewfinder.
Depending on your device, you may need to tap the modes button to access Lens. To learn how to add more modes, check out this helpful video.
If you don’t have Lens within your camera app, you can download it from the Google Play Store.
Searching using the Google App
Alternatively, you can search a live photo view and a previously taken picture with the Google app.
Open the Google app and scroll down to Discover. Next, tap the Google Lens icon in the search bar. The Lens icon is shaped like a camera.
You can search for either a live view of an item in your surroundings or by using a previously taken picture. To search a live view, point to an object with your camera and tap Search To search with an existing image, tap Photo picker and select a photo. You’ll have the option to search the whole photo or part of a photo.
To search for a specific object in the image: If available, on the object, tap the Select icon . To search for part of an image, tap Select image area , then drag the corners of the box around your selection. Next, scroll to the bottom to see your search results. To refine your search, tap add to your search and add keywords.
To use Lens on an Apple device (iPhone or iPad), download the Google app from the App Store.
Next, give permission for the app to access your device’s camera and if you would like to also photo search using pictures from your photo library, allow access to your photos as well.
Once you have granted the appropriate permissions, you can choose to search a live view or using a previously taken photo.
You can start your search by tapping the camera at the end of the search field . Once you have the item you want to search in view, tap the magnifying glass icon to search.
Next, you’ll see your search results. Scroll down to view more results.
The tabs (homework, shopping, places, etc.) will give you more specific types of results.
Have you used Google Lens to search? Let us know in the comments!