Google Lens coming to Android devices with Google Photos

A man holds his smartphone which displays the Google home page. (REUTERS/Regis Duvignau)

Google has announced that its advanced visual search engine software that allows smartphone cameras to read text and recognize objects and landmarks, named Google Lens, is coming to all Android smartphones utilizing the Google Photos app.

The move will allow more users to enjoy the software’s advanced, machine learning-powered functions, which include recognizing objects in the users’ images, as well as reading texts and saving them.

The announcement was made by Google Photos via its Twitter account. “Rolling out today, Android users can try Google Lens to do things like create a contact from a business card or get more info about a famous landmark,” it said in the tweet. “To start, make sure you have the latest version of the Google Photos app for Android.”

Previously, Google Lens was only available to users of Google’s second-generation Pixel flagship smartphones. Aside from the expansion to more Android phones, Google also promised that Lens would also be available via the Google Photos app for iOS users. However, no timeframe has been given for that release.

For Pixel 2 users, Google Lens is also available through the Google Assistant software. However, this feature will continue to be exclusive to the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL and not available on other Android devices.

With the Google Photos update, Lens will gain the ability to recognize popular landmarks that are included in the photos saved in Google Photos. Lens will also provide some useful information about the landmark, including its description, hours of operation, reviews, and Google search results on that particular landmark.

Additionally, Lens will allow users to take a photo of a business card and create a new contact information with the information on the card. The feature is made possible by Google’s text recognition and will save users time and effort from manually typing the information on the business card.