When directing the phone’s camera at an object, Google Lens will attempt to identify the object or read barcodes, QR codes, labels and text, and show relevant search results and information.
For example, when pointing the device’s camera at a Wi-Fi label containing the network name and password, Google Lens will automatically connect to the Wi-Fi source that has been scanned.
Google Lens is also integrated with the Google Photos and Google Assistant apps.The Google Lens App is similar to Google Goggles, a previous app that functioned similarly but with less capability.
Google Lens uses more advanced deep learning routines, similar to other apps like Bixby Vision (for Samsung devices released 2016 and after) and Image Analysis Toolset (available on Google Play); Lately, the Google Lens app has gained the ability to copy text, make calls to recognized phone numbers, read handwriting, identify objects, plants, animals, books, movies and landmarks.
During Google I/O 2019, Google announced four new features. The software will be able to recognize and recommend items on a menu. Google Lens will have the ability to also calculate tips and split bills, show how to prepare dishes from a recipe and can use text-to-speech.
Google officially launched Google Lens on October 4, 2017 with app previews pre-installed into the Google Pixel 2. In November 2017, the feature began rolling out into the Google Assistant for Pixel and Pixel 2 phones.
A preview of Google Lens has also been implemented into the Google Photos app for Pixel phones. On March 5, 2018 Google officially released Google Lens to Google Photos on non-Pixel phones. Support for Lens in the iOS version of Google Photos was made on March 15, 2018.Beginning in May 2018, Google Lens was made available within Google Assistant on OnePlus devices, as well as being integrated into camera apps of various Android phones. Google Lens App here
A standalone Google Lens app was made available on Google Play in June 2018. Device support is limited, although it is not clear which devices are not supported or why. It requires Android Marshmallow (6.0) or newer. On December 10, 2018 Google rolled out the Lens visual search feature to the Google app for iOS.