Google Lens is now available as a standalone app

Google has released a standalone Lens app in Google Play so now you can have yet another way to access the feature if your Android device doesn’t currently offer it. The Lens app has the same functionality as Google Lens does elsewhere: it uses artificial intelligence to deliver information about captured images, such as of clothes, books, and buildings. Once you open the app, it brings you to a viewfinder where Lens looks to identify nearby objects.

Even though you can download it, the Lens app does not seem to be compatible with all Android devices. For example, it will work with Samsung Note 8, but not with the Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus. Other users have reported the app not working on Moto Z Play, Nokia 7 Plus, and the Xiaomi Mi A1. On Google Play, the app says it requires Android Marshmallow and above.

So far, Google Lens has come to the native camera apps of devices like the Pixel and the Pixel 2 (of course), the Sony Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact, and to some OnePlus devices. Google said during I/O that the platform was coming to 10 different Android devices initially, but did not specify which ones besides Pixel devices. Google had only revealed the manufacturers of those additional 10 devices: LG, Motorola, Xiaomi, Sony Mobile, HMD / Nokia, Transsion, TCL, OnePlus, BQ, and Asus.

For the Android devices that aren’t on the list, the Lens app might serve to patch up any holes in coverage. But in its current state, plenty of users still aren’t able to access the new feature.

Comments

I downloaded it fine on my Verizon S8+…having a dedicated app is nice. Previously it was buried in Assistant which wasn’t ideal.

So far, Google Lens has come to the native camera apps of devices like the Pixel and the Pixel 2 (of course)…

Not in the camera app, but integrated into Google Assistant.

It launched in Assistant, but it’s there in the camera app – take a photo and view it from within the Camera app and the Lens icon is there.

Tried it, both the native version on Pixel and the standalone app. Both refuse to work unless I enable Google Assistant with voice recording and activation. So I need to allow my phone to listen to everything I say just so I can scan QR codes with the camera? No.

So I need to allow my phone to listen to everything I say just so I can scan QR codes with the camera?

No, only to listen for the hotword activation.

Will there be a version for iOS too?

I have the integrated version on my Nexus 6P and it works fine. No need to download the app

I tried using Google lens, and it’s kinda useless. I took 3 proper pictures with it, with subjects in the center to make it as easy for the AI as possible.

1) Photo of my curtains —> Lens thought it was the floor
2) Zoom into the LG logo on my TV —> Lens didn’t recognize the LG logo at all
3) A really clear photo with only my toilet in the frame —> Lens didn’t recognize again

The curtain thing was acceptable, but not recognizing the LG logo, and a goddamn toilet was just pathetic.

Image Analysis Toolset (IAT) isn’t well promoted and a niche app at the time, but It is much more complete and useful in real daily use. Google Lens is a bit too similar to the old Google Goggles.

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