The Google Lens roll-out has been really slow and the limited number of officially available devices makes it even worse. An old feature called Google Goggles was popular in the early days of Android, but Lens was announced as a better version at Google I/O 2017. The goal of Google Lens is to leverage the company’s massive machine learning platform to try and predict what you’re pointing the camera at. It was initially released as a preview build and began rolling out to a select number of Pixel devices. However, we just recently noticed on Twitter that the Google Photos team announced a wider rollout to supported devices.
We previously covered how to force the feature so the community could get their hands on it early, but this loophole was quickly blocked by Google. You’ll find an example list of what we can do with Google Lens below.
- Media covers
- Music albums
- Points of Interest
- Video games
- Add contacts from a business card
- Language translation
- Look up product information
- Open web addresses in your browser
- Plant and animal identification
- Save dates to your calendar from a poster
It makes sense that Google wanted to keep this feature in a preview state with limited devices. It was not as polished as they’d like for a wider roll-out around the world. In October of last year, it was brought to the Pixel 2 in both Assistant as well as Google Photos. We then showed another way to get Google Lens working in Google Assistant as long as you had root access. Again the change was brought to the attention of the Mountain View tech giant who disable the method we discovered.
Since then, Google has put a lot of focus on bringing the feature to more devices. This started with a wider rollout including the original Pixel and the Pixel 2 units, but now Google has announced it’s coming to even more devices.
Rolling out today, Android users can try Google Lens to do things like create a contact from a business card or get more info about a famous landmark. To start, make sure you have the latest version of the Google Photos app for Android: https://t.co/KCChxQG6Qm
Coming soon to iOS pic.twitter.com/FmX1ipvN62
— Google Photos (@googlephotos) March 5, 2018
The Google Photos Twitter account announced this new wider rollout. They didn’t mention specifically which devices will be getting the feature. Instead, they just tell us to make sure you’re running the latest version of Google Photos for Android with a promise that it’s coming to iOS soon.