Google Lens can now recognize over a billion items in the world around us, the search engine giant announced this week.

That's four times as many things that the AI-powered feature could identify when it was first launched last year, thanks partly to a huge number of Google Shopping products which have been added to its knowledge base.

how to use google lens 5
While its optical character recognition engine has been optimized to read more product labels, Google has also honed its machine learning and AI to recognize more animals, including common pet breeds.

how to use google lens 2
In addition, you can use Lens to get more information about places as well as word definitions and translations of words. Google Lens can now also recognize people, Wi-Fi network names for auto-connecting, and geometric shapes. And if it isn't sure what an object is, it will offer up similar photos that match.

Google Lens originally appeared on iOS as part of Google Photos and could only be used on pictures you'd taken. However, last week Google added the feature to its flagship search app, and this implementation is better since it allows you to aim your phone's camera at things in your environment in real time.
Follow the steps below if you'd like to give it a whirl.

How to Use Google Lens on iPhone

  1. If you don't have it already, download the Google app [Direct Link] from the App Store and launch it.
  2. Sign in with your Google credentials or create an account.

  3. Tap the Lens icon to the left of the microphone in the Search bar.
    how to use google lens 4

  4. Tap the blue button that says Turn on camera to use Lens.
  5. Tap OK in the permissions alert to allow Google to access your camera.
  6. Aim your device's camera at an object that you'd like more information about and tap on the circle that appears. If light is poor, you can activate your phone's flash using the lightning bolt button to illuminate whatever is in frame.
    how to use google lens 1

  7. If you want to use Google Lens on photos you've taken, tap the picture icon at the top right of the camera view, tap OK in the permissions alert to allow Google to access your photo library, then select a photo.
    how to use google lens 3

If you want to withdraw Google's access to your camera and photos you can do so anytime by following these steps.

How to Disable Google Search App Permissions

  1. Launch the Settings app.

  2. Select Google from the list of third-party apps.how to use google lens

  3. Turn off Google's access to your device's camera by toggling off the Camera switch.
  4. Tap Photos.
  5. Tap Never.
Tag: Google

Top Rated Comments

dominiongamma Avatar
37 months ago
One can only wonder (shudder) how Google monetizes you with every picture you take using this service.
While Google is actually making use of AR for real world uses, Apple is making kids games with it.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
burgman Avatar
37 months ago
Not hot dog, very useful.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Kanyay Avatar
37 months ago
I pointed it at my wife's booty and it brought up her Wiki page. DAMN. Google's gone too far.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iPlayStation Avatar
37 months ago
Yea...very accurate....

Attachment Image
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
djlythium Avatar
37 months ago
“Son, looks like we need have to have another ‘privacy’ talk.”
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Lazrhog Avatar
37 months ago
Not sure this is worldwide. No lens icon in the uk as yet

Edit: icon appears after closing the app and reopening it as [USER=204136]@ventmore[/USER] suggested
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

iphone 11 night mode photos

Apple Reveals New Night Mode Photo Feature Exclusive to iPhone 11 Series

Tuesday September 10, 2019 12:23 pm PDT by
Apple today announced the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and the iPhone 11 Max, all-new models that boast improved cameras, and specifically, a dramatic new Night Mode photo feature. Last year, Google introduced its impressive Night Sight camera mode, a software-based feature that allows users to take detailed pictures in dark environments using Google Pixel smartphones. Apple's new Night...
maxresdefault

Craig Federighi and Greg Joswiak Discuss iPadOS 15, macOS Monterey, Privacy, Shortcuts on Mac, and More

Saturday June 12, 2021 6:12 am PDT by
As is tradition, Apple executives Craig Federighi and Greg Joswiak joined Daring Fireball's John Gruber in an episode of The Talk Show to discuss several announcements that Apple made over this weeks WWDC, including iPadOS 15, macOS Monterey, and a large focus around privacy. Federighi kicks off the conversation discussing the common architecture, now thanks to Apple silicon, across all of...
affinity designer contour tool

Serif Updates Affinity Photo, Designer, and Publisher With New Tools and Functions

Thursday February 4, 2021 1:58 am PST by
Serif today announced across-the-board updates for its popular suite of Affinity creative apps, including Affinity Photo, Affinity Designer, and the Apple award-winning Affinity Publisher for Mac, all of which were among the first professional creative suites to be optimized for Apple's new M1 chip. "After another year which saw record numbers of people switching to Affinity, it's exciting to...
studio buds family

Beats Studio Buds Debuting Today With Active Noise Cancellation, Stemless Design, and More for $150

Monday June 14, 2021 8:00 am PDT by
We've seen a lot of teasers about the Beats Studio Buds over the past month since they first showed up in Apple's beta software updates, and today they're finally official. The Beats Studio Buds are available to order today in red, white, and black ahead of a June 24 ship date, and they're priced at $149.99. The Studio Buds are the first Beats-branded earbuds to truly compete with AirPods...
iPhone 13 Dummy Thumbnail 2

Kuo: iPhone 13 to Feature LEO Satellite Communications to Make Calls and Texts Without Cellular Coverage

Sunday August 29, 2021 7:39 am PDT by
The iPhone 13 will feature low earth orbit (LEO) satellite communication connectivity to allow users to make calls and send messages in areas without 4G or 5G coverage, according to the reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In a note to investors, seen by MacRumors, Kuo explained that the iPhone 13 lineup will feature hardware that is able to connect to LEO satellites. If enabled with the relevant...
homepod feature blue2

Looking to Grab a HomePod Before They're Gone? These Retailers Still Have Stock

Monday March 15, 2021 6:54 am PDT by
Apple last week discontinued the original HomePod, marking just over three years on the market for the full-size smart speaker. If you're looking to purchase the larger HomePod before it's completely gone, there are still some options online today. The biggest retailer with remaining stock on the HomePod is Apple itself, which has the White HomePod for $299.00 on its website. Space Gray is...
maxresdefault

Apple Releases Redesigned 'Apple TV Remote' App for iPhone

Monday August 1, 2016 11:59 am PDT by
Apple today released an all new Apple TV Remote app for the iPhone, which is used to control the fourth-generation Apple TV along with older Apple TV models. Announced at WWDC, the new Remote app has been available for developers since June and was released to the public this afternoon. The new Remote app, which connects to an Apple TV via Bluetooth, mimics the exact layout of the physical...
youtube apple tv

YouTube Discontinuing 3rd-Generation Apple TV App, AirPlay Still Available

Wednesday February 3, 2021 3:09 pm PST by
YouTube is planning to stop supporting its YouTube app on the third-generation Apple TV models, where YouTube has long been available as a channel option. A 9to5Mac reader received a message about the upcoming app discontinuation, which is set to take place in March.Starting early March, the YouTube app will no longer be available on Apple TV (3rd generation). You can still watch YouTube on...
iwork macos monterey icons

macOS 12 Monterey Beta 5 Reveals Updated iWork Icons

Thursday August 12, 2021 12:00 pm PDT by
Apple is working on updated icons for the macOS versions of its iWork apps, according to images discovered by MacRumors. The new icons are included in the framework of macOS 12 Monterey beta 5 that handles the display of collaboration links in apps such as iMessage. Pages, Numbers, and Keynote icons found in macOS Monterey The images of the new macOS iWork icons for Pages, Numbers, and...
corellium

Apple and Corellium Agree on Settlement to Bring Lawsuit to an End

Tuesday August 10, 2021 11:36 pm PDT by
Apple this week dropped its long-standing lawsuit against Corellium, the security research company that provides security researchers with a replica of the iOS operating system, allowing them to locate possible security exploits within Apple's mobile operating system, The Washington Post reports. Apple filed a lawsuit against Corellium in 2019, claiming the security company was infringing...