Google’s new ML Kit will help developers add AI features to mobile apps

By | 8th May 2018

  • During Google I/O 2018, the company revealed ML Kit, a new set of APIs that will add various AI features to mobile apps.
  • ML Kit will be available for both Android and iOS app developers for adding features like  text and face recognition, barcode scanning, and more.
  • A small number of app partners are already using ML Kit, and other developers can try it out now.


Google is making an effort to allow mobile app developers to quickly add AI features to their software, announcing ML Kit during the Google I/O keynote address. The new APIs are specifically made for Android and iOS developers.

It will allow those app creators to add features such as text and face recognition, barcode scanning, landmark detection, and more to their apps with ready-to-use models. It will also support TensorFlow Lite, which Google first launched in a developer preview back in November.

Even at this early stage, Google says a small number of app partners are using ML Kit to add AI features. One of them is the calorie counting app Lose It, which uses ML Kit to add text recognition features that allow users to scan nutritional information from food products. Those features also the app to identify and offer info on over 200 different types of foods just by taking a picture of them with a smartphone camera. Developers can try ML Kit out now in Google’s Firebase console.

Stay tuned for more announcements from the Google I/O 2018 keynote.