All Android phones are now getting one of the Pixel 2’s most useful features: Google Lens.
The object recognition functionality built into Google Assistant was previously exclusive to Google’s Pixel phones, but is now rolling out to all Android devices that can run the latest version of Google Photos. If you don’t see a Photos update yet, don’t worry, it’s coming. According to The Verge, Google is also bringing Lens to iOS devices, though no word yet on the timeline for that launch.
With Google Lens, you’ll be able to turn images into action. A photo of a business card can be turned into a contact in your address book, a photo of a book can turn up reviews and a photo of a link can be turned into a shortcut to the web address without having to enter it in your browser.
To tap into Lens, open Google Photos and tap on the Lens icon. The options displayed will depend on the information Google gleans from your photo.
Google is broadening the audience for Lens just as Samsung is making Bixby smarter on its Galaxy S9 and S9+ devices. Bixby Vision gains new features on the S9, including a shoppable makeup application filter, image-based language translation and calorie estimates for food photos. Bixby isn’t available on other Android devices.
We’re fans of Google Lens on the Pixel 2, but we haven’t tested it against Bixby Vision or tried the feature on a non-Pixel device. Stay tuned for those comparisons.