Google Lens

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Google Lens
Initial releaseOctober 4, 2017; 6 years ago (2017-10-04)
Operating systemAndroid, iOS (Google Mobile), Microsoft Windows, macOS (Google Chrome, only for searching images), web
Included withGoogle Pixel phones
PredecessorGoogle Goggles
Available inLens is able to translate text into most languages supported by Google Translate. Shopping results are available in Austria, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, UAE, United Kingdom, and the United States.[1]

Google Lens is an image recognition technology developed by Google, designed to bring up relevant information related to objects it identifies using visual analysis based on a neural network.[2] First announced during Google I/O 2017,[3] it was first provided as a standalone app, later being integrated into Google Camera but was reportedly removed in October 2022.[4] It has also been integrated with the Google Photos and Google Assistant app and with Bard (now Gemini) as of 2023.[5][6]


When directing the phone's camera at an object, Google Lens will attempt to identify the object by reading barcodes, QR codes, labels and text, and show relevant search results, web pages, and information.[7] For example, when pointing the device's camera at a Wi-Fi label containing the network name and password, it will automatically connect to the scanned Wi-Fi network. Lens can also use images to identify text and can find results from Google Search or translate the text with Google Translate in augmented reality.[8] Lens is also integrated with the Google Photos and Google Assistant apps.[5]

The service originally launched as Google Goggles, a previous app that functioned similarly but with less capability.[9][10] Lens uses more advanced deep learning routines in order to empower detection capabilities, similar to other apps like Bixby Vision (for Samsung devices released after 2016) and Image Analysis Toolset also known as IAT (available on Google Play); During Google I/O 2019, Google announced four new features. The software will be able to recognize and recommend items on a menu. It 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.[11]


Google officially launched Google Lens on October 4, 2017, with app previews pre-installed into the Google Pixel 2,[12] not yet widely available for other devices. In November 2017, the feature began rolling out into the Google Assistant for Pixel and Pixel 2 phones[13] A preview of Lens has also been implemented into the Google Photos app for Pixel phones.[6] On March 5, 2018, Google officially released Google Lens to Google Photos on non-Pixel phones.[14] Support for Lens in the iOS version of Google Photos was made on March 15, 2018.[15] Beginning in May 2018, Google Lens was made available within Google Assistant on OnePlus devices[16] as well as being integrated into camera apps of various Android phones.[17] 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.[18] On December 10, 2018, Google rolled out the Lens visual search feature to the Google app for iOS.[19] In 2022, Google Lens gradually replaced the reverse image search functionality of Google Images, first by replacing it in Google Chrome and later by making it officially available as a web application.[20] A July 2023 update to Google's chatbot Bard integrated Google Lens, allowing users to contextualize their prompts by uploading images and adding image retrieval functionality.[21]


  1. ^ "Google Lens". Google Lens Homepage. Retrieved June 24, 2019.
  2. ^ "Google Lens app gets two new features". The Times of India.
  3. ^ Nieva, Richard (May 18, 2017). "Forget rainbow vomit, Google Lens is AR you can actually use". CNET. Retrieved July 4, 2017.
  4. ^ Schoon, Ben (December 13, 2022). "Pixel phones lost a handy Google Lens shortcut – here's how you can still access it quickly". 9to5Google.
  5. ^ a b Townsend, Tess (May 19, 2017). "Google Lens is Google's future". Recode. Retrieved July 4, 2017.
  6. ^ a b Ong, Thuy (October 24, 2017). "Google Lens starts rolling out to 2016 Pixel phones". The Verge. Retrieved October 25, 2017.
  7. ^ Villas-Boas, Antonio (May 16, 2017). "Google Lens can use your phone's CAMERA to do operations based on virtual analysis, like connecting your phone to a WiFi network". Business Insider. Retrieved July 4, 2017.
  8. ^ Li, Abner (December 5, 2022). "Google Lens replaces Google Translate's camera mode on Android and iOS". 9to5Google.
  9. ^ Conditt, Jessica (May 17, 2017). "Google Lens is a powerful, AI-driven visual search app". Engadget. Retrieved July 4, 2017.
  10. ^ Dobie, Alex (October 6, 2017). "Google Lens: Everything you need to know". Android Central. Retrieved June 5, 2018.
  11. ^ Villas-Boas, Antonio. "Google just showed off 4 major updates to its futuristic Lens technology that anyone who goes out to restaurants will love". Business Insider. Retrieved May 11, 2019.
  12. ^ Grigonis, Hillary (October 4, 2017). "Pixel 2 Owners Get the First Glimpse of Google Lens Computer Vision Possibilities". Digital Trends. Retrieved October 13, 2017.
  13. ^ Li, Abner (November 27, 2017). "Google Lens now more widely rolling out in Assistant on Pixel, Pixel 2 [Gallery]". 9to5Google. Retrieved November 29, 2017.
  14. ^ "Google Lens is coming to all Android phones running Google Photos". The Verge. Retrieved March 6, 2018.
  15. ^ Ong, Thuy (March 16, 2018). "Google Lens is now available on iOS". The Verge. Retrieved March 16, 2018.
  16. ^ Patel, Nilen (March 28, 2020). "OnePlus Phones Now Getting Google Lens Feature in Google Assistant". Google Retrieved March 28, 2020.
  17. ^ Solsman, Joan (May 8, 2018). "Google integrates into new camera app". CNET. Retrieved May 8, 2018.
  18. ^ Liao, Shannon (June 4, 2018). "Google Lens is now available as a standalone app". The Verge. Retrieved June 5, 2018.
  19. ^ Li, Abner (December 10, 2018). "Google Lens visual search now rolling out to Google app for iOS". 9to5Google. Retrieved December 11, 2018.
  20. ^ "Google Chrome drops right-click reverse image search in favor of Lens". Android Police. March 21, 2022.
  21. ^ Li, Abner (August 10, 2022). "Google Images on the web now uses Google Lens". 9to5Google. Retrieved August 17, 2022.