Forget ChatGPT Vision — Google looks set to supercharge Lens with two major upgrades

An image showing the Samsung Galaxy S24 with the Circle to Search feature being used on screen
(Image credit: Future)

Google Lens has improved a lot in the past few years, especially with the recent addition of Circle to Search. But it sounds like there’s still more to come, and Google could add features called “Search with video” and “Search with voice” to Google Lens’s arsenal.

Last year Google added a way to add some additional context to Lens searches, in the form of "Multisearch" and "Multisearch near me". The idea here is you can use either voice or text to help narrow down the search results, and hopefully find the thing you’re looking for more easily. Which, while useful, isn’t the easiest process in the world.

According to an APK teardown from AssembleDebug (via Android Authority), Search with voice could streamline the whole process. And with a system that isn’t that dissimilar from how you trigger a Circle to Search query. 

How it seems to work is you open Google Lens, then press and hold the shutter button. Instead of snapping a picture, Lens starts listening for a voice command and snaps a picture of the subject. In this case “find similar chargers” meaning Google would know to look for chargers like the one in frame, but not necessarily that exact model.

AssembleDebug notes that Search with video was only referenced in the code, and that they couldn’t get the feature to actually work. Judging from a code string that says: “Hold to record a video and search with your voice” it likely works in a very similar fashion. Though the advantage of video is that you can view something from multiple different angles, giving Google Lens more information to work with.

The features aren’t live right now, and there’s no telling if and when Google will roll them out to the public. However it’s good to see that Google Lens’s functionality is continually improving, especially after how impressive Circle to Search proved to be at simplifying the whole process. So for now we’ll just have to be patient and see whether these features roll out in the coming months.

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Tom Pritchard
UK Phones Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.