Google Lens, what is it and how does it work

Google often launches interesting projects, Google Goal is one of them, it has a lot of useful functions, but it is often unknown to most of the people who use mobile devices.
In this article, we’ll take a look at what Google Lens is, how it works, and how to best use it.

To give you an idea right away, Google Lens is a smart camera app, capable of using the huge Google search engine database to recognize objects, products, buildings, animal and plant species and much more..

Since its launch in 2017, Google’s support for the project has never waned and new features are constantly being added.
Often, even those who use Google Lens do not know its full potential.

In this in-depth study, we will first explain how to install and launch Google Lens on Android devices, iPhones, and iPads.
Later we will see how Google Lens works by indicating what it is able to recognize thanks to a series of functions, often little known, which will surely be very useful to you.

How to install Google Lens on Android

Google goal logo

If you have a recent Android smartphone, Google Lens features are already integrated into the camera app.
In this case, it is enough to press the button with its logo, characterized by a circular point in the center, surrounded by a quadrangular frame broken on three sides (you can see the logo in the figure).
At this point, the camera will start to use the service data and give you access to the functions, it is understood that the device must be connected to the internet for the application to work properly and provide search results.

If you don’t have a shortcut in the camera app, there’s nothing to worry about.
It only takes a few simple taps to install the application, just go to the Google Lens page on the Play Store and press the “To install“.

Google lens interface

Once the installation is complete, you can start the application.
After starting it, you can choose to use the search function using the pictures already taken or to search for the framed object with the camera.

Camera search has an interface that looks like the camera app, below are the different categories that Google Lens can analyze (“Translation“,”Text“,”To research“,”Tasks“,”purchases“,”Places“,”Where to eat“).
Just frame an object and press the shutter button to get information about it.

Use Google Lens on iPhone and iPad

To use Google Lens on iPhone and iPad, compared to Android, the situation is different, it is not possible to access the service from the camera or download a special application.
On iPhone, Google Lens is integrated into the Google app
, to use the service, simply open the Google app and click on the Google Lens logo, located on the side of the search bar.

Also in this case, an interface will open that resembles that of the camera application, with which we could frame the subject to be submitted to the service and take the photo.
Also in this case, you will be able to browse the categories, which are the same in the Android app, except for “Tasks“.

The coolest features of Google Lens

Having understood how to install and start Google Lens, now let’s see what the most interesting features of the service are and how they work.

The most popular features of Google Lens

Here are a few functions that everyone is familiar with, which are also given when downloading the app and therefore won’t need their own detailed paragraph.

Just point the camera and take the photo to get real-time information on:

  • plant;
  • animals;
  • the monuments;
  • masterpieces.

Now let’s focus on lesser known, but more advanced and useful functions.

QRcode and barcode

QRcode barcodes

QRcodes have recently started to become an integral part of our lives, we meet them everywhere.

With Lens, all you have to do is frame a barcode, or a QRcode, and click to see it immediately recognized and have access to information.

Handwritten text


When writing a note by hand, you often expect to waste a lot of time typing it on the keyboard. Today, if you have fairly understandable handwriting, and the note was written legibly, it may no longer be needed.

Google Lens provides similar functionality to OCR programs and takes it a step further, in fact, Google Lens is able to recognize and convert handwritten text to scanned text.

Simply frame the text with Google Lens and click the “Copy text“Having a virtual version, as if we had typed it, that it will then be possible to paste into a document or into an email.
In addition, you can choose “Copy to computer“To be able to share the text with a PC running the Chrome browser.”

Read reviews of the places you visit

Places of interest and reviews

As mentioned, Google Lens allows you to identify points of interest and monuments directly by framing them.
Once you have framed a point of interest, for example a museum, thanks to the Google databases you will have information on the opening hours, on the highlights of the collection and you will have access to the opinions.

Likewise, also thanks to the data of our position, by supervising a restaurant or a company with Google Lens, it will be possible to know the opinions, and sometimes even book directly online.

Google Lens is invaluable in the restaurant, in addition to allowing, through the appropriate form “Where to eat»To easily find restaurants near us, by taking a picture of the menu, you can find out what the dishes are and what they contain.
Thanks to the intersection with the data from Google Maps, we will finally be informed of the best dishes.

Translate texts

Google Lens translation

Speaking of restaurants, when you’re abroad it’s not always easy to know what’s on the menu.
Fortunately, Google Lens also comes to the rescue on this occasion thanks to the translation function which uses the Google Translate system, in fact, it is enough to press at the bottom of the tab “Translate“And then take the picture.

The tool is just as useful when shooting in a foreign city (especially if you are using an alphabet other than ours), or, for example, when visiting a museum.

Google Lens is also very useful for learning a foreign languagebecause it allows you to see the meaning and translation of sentences or phrases almost instantly. In addition, you can decide to listen to one or more words to know the pronunciation.

Check the prices

Check purchase prices

You want to go shopping, but that item of clothing or that bag that you love so much seems overpriced to me? There is a very easy way to find out what they cost online, and therefore shopping in a store is convenient.

Just open the Lens camera, go to the “purchases“And take a picture of the item of clothing, or the object that interests us.
At this point, the app will search all stores online. So you can see if the same item is available at a better price elsewhere on the net.

To do one’s homework

To do one's homework

This function is only available on Android, by launching the application and going to the “Tasks“, we will be asked to frame the question or formula for which we want to have the answer or the solution.

The Google application, combining text recognition technology, with its huge database is able to answer questions, or solve mathematical problems (or to indicate a link where the solution is present).

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