Google shared a lot of plans for its Google Lens feature at the last I/O developers conference and it looks like they’re all rolling out to compatible devices already. The latest one was the availability of a shortcut app which should let you have easier and one-tap access to the photo identifying feature which was only previously available with Google Assistant and Google Photos. But that doesn’t mean that they are stopping with adding even more abilities to Lens, as we may soon have AR stickers availability if an APK teardown is to be believed.
But first, here’s a summary of the new things that you can do with Google Lens which they’ve rolled out the past couple of months:
* You can now access Google Lens through the native camera of supported devices, including flagships from LG, Motorola, Xiaomi, Sony, Nokia, OnePlus, etc. Basically, it’s almost everyone except Samsung.
* Smart Text Selection lets Lens “read” text from real life so you can get the translation, meaning, or other information you may need about it. Plus, you can even copy and paste your selected text into other apps.
* Style Match lets you find similar items to the dress or furniture or accessory that you’re pointing your phone at. And if you actually want to buy something, it will give you links to online stores where you can get it.
* Google Lens now has real-time detection of the items that your camera will be able to identify. It will show colored dots on objects that it will have information about and when you tap that object, the relevant information comes out.
And now, you will be able to add an icon of the Google Lens to your launcher and home screen. When you tap on the said icon, you will immediately see the revamped viewfinder interface of the app. It will remove a couple of steps with what you are able to do now, which for some is already a big deal. It can also do all the other things that Lens was already able to do, including learning more about the places around you, identifying plants and animals, and all the things we listed above.
An APK teardown from 9 to 5 Google shows that we may be getting AR stickers in Google Lens soon. But in what capacity, that’s what we don’t know. Currently, only Pixel and Pixel 2 devices are able to use these augmented reality goodies and you are able to add them to a “live scene” and they adapt and interact with the environment. How it will work with Google Lens is still a mystery but what we see are strings describing an “AR sticker mode” with a “sticker gallery”.
Another interesting thing they were able to dig from the codes is a mention of the “blueline” in the list of over 100 devices that has Google Lens support. If you didn’t know yet, blueline seems to be the rumored codename of an upcoming Pixel 3 device. Obviously a new Pixel phone will have Lens, but it’s only significant as it’s one of the earliest reference to the upcoming smartphone from Google. But in the meantime, enjoy adding the Google Lens shortcut to your device. You can download it for free from the Google Play Store.