The thing with technological trends is, they are always evolving and making life simpler than ever. Google lens for iPhone is one such trend as it is a futuristic system for bridging the physical world around you and the digital universe on your device. It is one of Google’s best-kept secrets and can save you tons of time and effort. So, let’s learn all about Google lens for iPhone in this guide.
What is Google Lens?
Google Lens is an AI-powered technology that uses your smartphone camera and deep machine learning to not only detect an object in front of the camera lens, but understand it and offer actions such as scanning, translation, shopping, and more.
This image recognition technology was developed by Google and designed to bring up relevant information related to objects it identifies using visual analysis based on a neural network that was first announced during Google I/O 2017. It was first provided as a standalone app, but later became integrated into Android’s standard camera app.
At its core, Google Lens is best described as a search engine for the real world. It has been designed to use artificial intelligence in identifying text and objects both as images and in a live view from your phone’s camera.
After getting that done, it then lets you learn about and interact with those elements in all sorts of interesting ways.
The catch is while Google Lens can identify a flower, look up a book, or give you info about a landmark, those are some of the system’s mundane features as it has more mind-blowing capabilities.
How Google Lens was Introduced
According to Wikipedia, 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 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. Then 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.
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. This is why this article will be focusing on Google lens for iPhone.
Five Features of the Google Lens
Google Lens has some unique features which including the following.
1. It Copies Text from the Real World:
Remember when I said technology makes life simpler, this is one undebatable way, as Google Lens can copy text from the real world directly.
What we mean is, it can grab text from a physical document be it paper, a book, a whiteboard, or anything else with words on it, and then copies that text onto your phone’s clipboard. From there, you can easily paste the text into a Google Doc, a note, an email, a Slack chat, or anywhere else imaginable.
To get that done, all you need do is, just point your camera at the text you want to copy and head into the Google Lens mode. Tap on the text, and Lens will highlight it.
You can then simply drag to select whatever you want to copy, and then tap on the ‘Copy text’ button and that does it.
2. Add Contacts, Find Businesses by Scanning Visiting Cards :
If you are one to always meet people who always hand you visiting cards, perhaps due to your job or business, then you should activate Google Lens’ abilities on your iPhone as it helps you to add contacts by simply scanning a business card.
This feature also helps in getting directions to a business by scanning their business card itself provided the businesses that are listed on Google Maps.
3. Book Review and Summary
If you are a book lover, then you’ll surely love this feature. Google Lens has added special support for books just like animals and plants. If you scan a book with Google Lens, it will throw you a summary, buying link, eBook suggestion, and of course, reviews and if the book is available in Google’s repository of Books then it would even allow you to read certain sections from the particular book.
This feature will also come in very handy for academicians and students as well.
4. Add Events by Scanning Tickets
This is another very important reason why you should have Google Lens on your iPhone because it enables you to keep a track of events, especially if you are an event vendor of some sort.
Google Lens is a sure way to keep you updated and better reminded of the events you have coming up from most recent to least recent. That way, you can get prepared and never disappoint your clients.
All you need do is, simply scan the ticket to the events and it will automatically suggest adding the event to your calendar. It’s a pretty handy feature that can save you the hassle of last-minute reminders.
5. Get Restaurant Reviews and Ratings
If you are to explore a city or maybe you travel often(work takes you around cities), then I guess you must have found yourself in situations where you’re looking at a bunch of restaurant store-fronts, unable to figure out which one to head into.
Google Lens or Google Maps find food can help there too. Simply point Google Lens at the store-fronts and it’ll identify the restaurants and bring up their ratings and reviews from Google Maps. So with the reviews you get to read first hand, it makes deciding whether to stop over that restaurant or to move along easy.
How to Setup Google Lens on iPhone
Google Lens doesn’t have its dedicated app on Apple’s App Store. Instead, its functionality is designed into two different Google apps, and deciding which one is best for you depends on how you plan to use Google Lens and on which device.
The first option is the Google app, which is the one we will be focusing on because it is the best option for an Iphone.
Google app gives you access to a whole range of Google services on your iPhone, including personalized news stories, sports updates, and timely information on the weather, as well as a full suite of Google search tools – including Google Lens.
Once you install the app, you’ll be able to use Google Lens with your camera in real-time on iPhone and can also search with images already saved to your camera roll.
- To get started, you need to download the latest version of the Google app from the App Store.
- After installation is done, you will open the App but it will request access to your photo library the first time you open it or try to use the Google Lens tool. It’s necessary to grant this so that Google can run your snaps through its servers. Even if you’re using Google Lens in real-time, several of the features still require that you shoot a still photo of your subject first, before the software can analyze it.
How to use Google Lens Real-time on iPhone
If you want to search in real-time using your iPhone(real-time is the actual time during which something takes place), you start by;
- Launching the Google app on your iPhone from the app’s home screen. Or download the Google lens for your iPhone from this source.
- Tap the camera icon to the right of the main search bar
- If it’s your first time using the app, you may be asked to grant Google permission to access your photos.
- You may also see a dialogue box explaining that Google Lens will continuously try to identify objects whenever it’s running.
- With Google Lens open, you can swipe left and right to switch between the various modes, the names of the modes will be showing along the bottom of your screen
- Each of the labels is relatively self-explanatory. For example, translate will allow you to translate writing from one language to another. Text lets you take a photo of text, which can then be read aloud to you or copied into a different app. Dining allows you to take photos of food, for identification and recipe suggestions.
- Once you’ve selected the relevant mode, all you need to do next is simply aim your camera at the object which you would like Google Lens to search, white circles will appear across the screen as Google analyses the contents of the live image.
- When it identifies an object in the frame, a larger white circle will appear over it. If it recognizes multiple objects, each will be marked with a white circle.
- To select the object you want to search with, just aim your camera at the appropriate circle until it turns blue.
- A message will appear saying ”tap the shutter button to search”.
- So just go ahead and tap the shutter button, then Google will take a moment to communicate with its servers, before presenting you with a list of results tailored to the item detected and the mode you selected. You must be sure that your device has an active data connection for this process.
- The image you shot will also remain on screen. If the object you selected could fit within different categories – say text, translation, and homework – you can switch the search mode from this screen, by tapping the white button on the left containing three horizontal lines. The list of results below will update accordingly, without needing to take another photo.
How to Use Google Lens on Photos on your iPhone
Sometimes, it could happen that you already have the picture sitting pretty in your gallery. For instance, you spotted a mysterious insect when you didn’t have a strong data connection or you were hanging out with a group and something was served that seemed strange to you, so you took a picture.
Worry not, as you can easily use Google Lens to search with photos saved to your iPhone’s camera roll, any time. Using the Google app, start by
- Tapping the camera icon next to the search bar on the home page.
- With Google Lens activated, tap the picture frame to the left of the shutter search button. This will bring up your photo library.
- Where you can select any photo and Google will analyze it for objects.
- Google will present a range of results relevant to what it detects in your chosen image.
- As earlier explained, you can change the search mode by tapping the button on the left or re-framing the scene to zero-in on a different object using the button to the right.
- Again, if Google detects several objects in the scene, you can switch between them by tapping the white markers which label them
How to Improve Google Lens on iPhone for Search Result
Sometimes, it could happen that the lighting available either in real-time, or when you took your still photo was low, or perhaps, the object in question has an undefined shape, that will make Google struggle to understand what it’s looking at.
As expected, Google might not be able to identify the object and this can either render the suggested search results useless or not accurate.
If you find that this is the case when using Google Lens on your iPhone, you can help to improve the tool by giving feedback.
To get that done, you need to scroll down to the bottom of the list of search results and you’ll see a query saying, “Did you find these results useful?” You can then tap ”yes” or ”no”. Saying no, then allows you to air your feedback detailing your issues, which should help make performance better in the future.
Pros of Google Lens for iPhone
- Well developed interface
- Super easy to use
- Isn’t glitchy at all.
Cons of Google Lens for iPhone
- Not always being able to recognize an object
- No extra components or options other than searching
- Would like to see this as an online tool rather than an ap