10 things you didn’t know you could do with Google Lens

With so much competition in Big Tech, developers have to keep rolling out new features and updates. Apple and Google are constantly vying for your interest in the huge mobile market. One way to get your attention is to have big annual events showcasing what’s to come.

Google recently staged its annual I/O (Input/Output) developer conference with news on Android 12, 3D calls, privacy and new Maps features. Tap or click here for the roundup.

The conference also showed how Google Lens can now help you with your purchases. There’s a lot going on with this image recognition technology that you probably didn’t know about. Simply put, point your phone at something (object, image, text, etc.) to learn more about it. This can include prices, translations, identifications, descriptions, and more. Check out our list of things to do with lenses.

1. Translate
Want to know what these signs say when you’re traveling abroad? What about impressing your date by decoding a menu written in a foreign language? Google Lens can translate text in real time using augmented reality. It’s a neat and useful effect that comes in handy in countless situations.

2. Find Photos
Whether it’s a photo you took yourself or a photo sent to you, Google Lens can identify the item within the image and provide you with details and options for finding more. For example, you can snap a picture of a billboard for an upcoming concert and add the event to your calendar. If you photographed the cover of a book written in a foreign language, Lens can translate the text and tell you more about the book.

3. Scan Barcode
You can scan barcode without heavy scanner. A barcode in itself provides a lot of information about a product, and Lens can bring it all for you. Simply point the lens camera at a jumble of numbers and lines, and you’ll get the product name and link to where to find it.

4. Search Near You
What breed of dog is he? What do you call those lovely flowers? Lens lets you explore the world around you. Simply point your camera at an object and tap on it to get more information. You can also tap Speak and ask a question, such as “How big is this?” or “Where does it come from?”

5. Learn More/Get Recipes for Menu Items
Even a menu written in your mother tongue can post some questions. For example, what actually goes into a dish. Use the lens to scan the menu item and get its details. You can also see what’s popular on the menu and get hands-on recipes for making dishes at home.

6. Read the text aloud
Thanks to Google’s text-to-speech technology, Lens can read text aloud, which is useful for people with visual impairments. And anyone can use this feature to help with pronunciation of native or foreign languages. Open the Lens app, select text, and point the camera at the text you want to hear aloud and tap Listen.

7. Help Price Shop
An advertised deal may not always be the best. Lenses can help you with this. The Shopping tab lets you get more information when you snap a picture of an item or its tag. You will get a list of prices from other sources and you can shop in your spare time.

The new Amazon Echo models are here. Tap or click here to view them or get great deals on past models.

8. Learn About Works of Art
If you have a lens you don’t need a guide to tell you about an art. Point your camera at a painting, sculpture or an artistic display and find out more about the work, creator, and history, plus more examples like this one.

9. Find Text
Lens lets you search for text in pictures and screenshots. It’s handy for receipts, Wi-Fi passwords, business cards, and more. Open Photos, type the text you’re looking for and select the image you want. You can also copy and paste text from a photo by tapping the lens icon, highlighting the text, and tapping Copy.

10. Look for Reviews
It’s a good idea to check reviews when browsing through shops and restaurants. Lens lets you do it instantly. For example, you might see two Italian restaurants on the same street. Use the Locations tab to scan each one for more information as well as available Google reviews.

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