Google Lens: Everything to know about the Pixel 2’s AR feature


Google on Wednesday announced a long list of new products and service improvements. One of those services is called Google Lens, a new tool for Android devices. It’s not the first time we’ve heard of Google Lens, but with wider availability starting to roll out, let’s recap and take a look ahead. 

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What does it do?

We first saw a preview of Google Lens during Google I/O in May. Then, during a special event on Wednesday, Google took time to show off more of Google Lens. Here are some examples of what Lens can do:

  • Identify the type of flower in a photo 
  • Provide details about a movie based on a poster 
  • Show reviews and ratings for a business based off the storefront.
  • Scan a flyer or document and identify email address, phone numbers, etc. 

In short: Lens will scan photos you’ve snapped or saved and provide additional information about what is in the photo.

Right now, the only devices with access to Google Lens are the Google’s Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. Lens will begin slowly rolling out in preview in the near future. It will come to other Android devices down the road, but right now, if you want to use Lens you need to be a Pixel ($599.95 at user.

How to use it

The Lens app isn’t an app at all. In fact, it’s built directly into Google Photos and Google Assistant. As Google continues to push out Lens, you’ll eventually see a Lens icon in the Photos and Assistant apps. When viewing an item, tap on the Lens icon and the service will do its magic.

A card with links and a brief list of details will show up, where you can then view more details in another app or share the results. We’ll continue to update this post as we test Lens on the Pixel 2. 

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