A Guide to Accessing and Utilizing Google Lens on Android and iOS

Google Lens is an incredible tool that combines Google Search, translation services, OCR, and more, all through the use of images. By simply opening the Lens app and pointing your camera at objects such as plants, animals, or even text, you can identify and learn more about them. Want to find and purchase a specific item? Just scan a dress, furniture piece, or toy to find and buy it online. Google Lens can even translate unknown languages into ones you can read, copy text from anywhere, and so much more. In this article, we'll explore all the ways to access Google Lens on Android and iOS, and how to use it efficiently.

1. Google Lens App (Android)

Android users can easily access and use Google Lens by installing the dedicated Google Lens app. While Google Lens is already integrated into the Google app and Android OS, the standalone app provides the most convenient access. To get started, simply download the Google Lens app from the Play Store and install it. You can also place it on your home screen for quicker access.

2. Google App (Android and iOS)

Another simple way to access Google Lens is through the Google app. On Android, the Google app comes preinstalled, while on iOS, you can download it from the App Store. Once you have the Google app installed, open it and tap on the camera icon in the search bar to instantly launch Google Lens.

3. Google Assistant (Android)

Google Assistant is already enabled by default on Android devices and works from nearly anywhere. While accessing Google Lens through Google Assistant on iOS is a bit more challenging, it is available. To access Google Lens on Android, simply open Google Assistant by saying “Hey Google” or swiping from the bottom corners diagonally. Look for the Google Lens icon at the bottom and tap it to access Google Lens. If you can't find the icon, just say “Open Google Lens” to access it.

4. Google App Widget (Android and iOS)

Both Android and iOS support Google app widgets. On most Android phones, the Google search widget is already placed on the home screen by default. If it's missing or has been removed, you can add it by long-pressing on the home screen, selecting the Widgets option, searching for Google, and tapping to add it. On iOS, long-press on the home screen, tap the Plus icon at the top left corner, search for Google, and add the widget. Once added, simply tap the widget's Lens icon on both Android and iOS to open Google Lens immediately.

5. Camera (Pixel and OnePlus)

Some OEM brands with stock Android, such as Pixel and OnePlus, have integrated Google Lens directly into their Camera apps. To access and use Lens on these devices, open the Camera app, select the More option, and you should find the Lens mode. Selecting it will open Google Lens instantly. Samsung phones have Bixby Vision instead of Google Lens, which offers a similar service and experience.

6. Google Photos (Android and iOS)

Google Lens isn't just for scanning the real world; you can also scan images stored on your device, such as photos and screenshots. Open the Google Photos app on Android or iOS, select the image you want to scan, and tap on the Lens option at the bottom. This will open Google Lens and start scanning objects in the selected image.

How to Use Google Lens on Android and iOS

Whether you're using Android or iOS, the user interface of Google Lens remains consistent, ensuring a seamless experience across both mobile operating systems. Here's how to use Google Lens effectively, with some examples:

  • Upon opening the app, you'll see all the photos stored on your device. Select any photo to begin scanning. To choose photos from a different folder, tap on the drop-down icon at the top.
  • You can also use the camera in real-time to scan objects. Simply point the camera at something you want to scan and tap on the Search icon (magnifying glass) to scan.
  • The Search option identifies objects or subjects in the photo, provides possible answers, and displays similar photos.
  • The Text option extracts text from the photo, allowing you to copy it and send it to your desktop. You can also listen to the text using Lens's text-to-speech technology.
  • The Translate option translates text from one language to another. You can select the input and output language or let Lens automatically identify the scanned language. Additionally, you can copy and listen to the translated text.
  • The Homework option allows you to scan questions, such as math problems, and get instant answers.
  • The Shopping option scans products and provides links to purchase the exact item in the same color and pattern.
  • The Places option is useful for scanning and searching famous monuments and places. Lens will direct you to a Google Search page where you can learn more about the scanned location.
  • The Dining option allows you to scan food items to find restaurants and hotels that offer similar dishes. You can also scan a restaurant's menu to find the best-reviewed dish.

Once you've finished scanning, swipe up and click on the “Add to your search” button. From here, you can provide additional input. For example, if you scan a dress, you can specify a color, and Lens will show you results for that dress in the requested color.

Google Lens on Android and iOS

In addition to the above features, Google Lens offers many other useful functions, such as scanning QR codes, listening to books, saving calendar events, and more. For a full list of tips and tricks, check out our comprehensive Google Lens tips and tricks article.

Google Lens is a powerful tool that brings together various Google services into one convenient app. With its ability to identify objects, translate text, and provide valuable information, Google Lens is a must-have for anyone looking to explore the world around them.