Google Lens’ landmark, text recognition expands to all Android devices

google lens on all android coming to ios dxjupprx0ai3jos png large copy

Google Lens turns a smartphone camera into a keyboard, handling tasks from reading text to recognizing objects and landmarks — but those capabilities are expanding beyond Google Pixel Phones with expanded Android availability and a promise for an iOS launch, too. On Monday, March 5, Google announced expanded features for Google Lens inside Google Photos on Android that will allow the smart camera to add business cards and recognize landmarks. Google says that the tools are also coming soon to iOS users.

Google Lens could already recognize landmarks and save business cards, but before the latest Google Photos update, the feature was only available on Google Pixel phones. The latest update brings those features across Android devices.

With the update, taking a photo of a business card and heading into Lens will create a contact using the information from the card. The app uses text recognition to import the data from the image, saving users from manually typing out the information on the card.

The second new addition for non-Pixel Android users is the ability to recognize landmarks. Inside Lens the camera will identify popular landmarks, using, of course, Google search data to provide data like a description and even the hours of operation. Lens will also pull up the reviews on the location, and if that’s not enough, Google Search results on the landmark.

Google’s tweet announcing the new features also confirms a Mobile World Congress announcement that the smart camera mode will also be coming to Google Photos on iOS. Google hasn’t yet shared a timeline for when the update will be available in the App Store.

First available only on Google Pixel phones, Google Lens uses a smartphone camera (or existing photographs) to give the Google Assistant “eyes.” Machine learning on Lens allows the camera to identify objects and pull up related search data for when you just can’t think of the name of that flower or another object. The feature can also scan movie posters, barcodes, and book and album covers. Lens is also programmed to read text, which creates a shortcut to skip the typing by taking a photo of a link.

Android users can find the feature inside Google Photos after an app update, while on Pixel phones, the feature is also inside Google Assistant.

Product Review

Google’s Pixel 3 is a hair away from pocket-sized perfection

Google’s Pixel 3 smartphone is the best Android phone you can buy. It doesn’t have the best looks or the best hardware, but you’ll be hard pressed to find better software and unique A.I. functionalities.
Mobile

Google rolls out Night Sight to Pixel 3 and 3 XL camera app

Google's latest flagships, the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, are now official and we have all the details from the October 9 event in New York City and Paris. Here's everything we know about the Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL.
Product Review

Mediocre battery and a big notch slight Google's otherwise perfect Pixel phone

Google’s Pixel 3 XL has two big flaws: The gigantic notch on the front, and mediocre battery life. That being said, this is the best Android experience you can find in a smartphone today.
Mobile

Which smartphone has the best camera? We found the sharpest shooters

They say that the best camera is always the one you have with you and that makes your smartphone camera very important indeed. Join us for a closer look at the best camera phones available right now.
Home Theater

What is MHL, exactly, and how does it work with your TV?

There are more ways to mirror your smartphone or tablet to your TV than you might think. Check out our rundown of MHL for everything you need to know about the wired protocol and its myriad uses.
Deals

All the best Amazon Black Friday deals for 2018

Amazon may be an online-only retailer, but that doesn’t mean its Black Friday sales are anything to sniff at. In fact, due to its online status, Amazon has huge flexibility with the range of products and deals it can offer. Here's our…
Social Media

Facebook is rolling out a Messenger ‘unsend’ feature, and here’s how to use it

Facebook is starting to roll out a "remove message" feature for its Messenger app. It lets you delete a message in a thread within 10 minutes of sending it, and replaces it with a note telling recipients that it's been removed.
Mobile

You can now message businesses straight through Google Maps

Google has been updating Maps with a ton of new features over the past few months, and now it's back with another one -- the ability for users to message businesses directly through the Maps app.
Mobile

No cash. No talking. What goes next? Welcome to your ‘app-tive’ digital life

Bank of America's 2018 Trends in Consumer Mobility Report found mobility has changed our lives. Mobile tech influences how most of us communicate, meet people, build relationships, and handle money as we move toward a cashless society.
Mobile

The Motiv smart ring is coming to 20 more countries and physical stores

Remember Motiv's activity tracking smart ring? It's back with a raft of new features that adds biometric identification and token authentication, all on a device that fits on your finger.
Wearables

Everything you need to know about Garmin’s GPS watches and trackers

Garmin jumped into the GPS smartwatch and fitness tracker market five years ago and has built a portfolio of devices that rivals competitor Fitbit. Here's your guide to the latest and greatest fitness devices that Garmin has to offer.
Mobile

Sharp doubles down on the notch trend with Aquos R2 Compact

As if one notch wasn't enough, Japanese manufacturer Sharp unveiled a new smartphone that has two -- one teardrop style notch at the top, and a bigger notch at the bottom. Here's what the world's first dual-notch smartphone looks like.
Mobile

Verizon has made its first 5G video call … with a phone that’s already out

Verizon has announced that it has successfully made its first video call, using a smartphone that's already available: The Motorola Moto Z3. To make the call, Verizon used the 5G Moto Mod.
Mobile

Samsung patents show what Infinity-O display could look like on Galaxy S10

While we still may be months away from an announcement, there's no doubt about it: Samsung is working hard on its successor to the Galaxy S9. Here's everything we know about the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S10.