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Google Lens could soon make it easier to add context to searches (APK teardown)

You will soon be able to long-press on the shutter button to add voice context, making the process fairly seamless.
By

Published onJune 4, 2024

Google Lens stock photos 5
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority
TL;DR
  • Google Lens lets you start an object search and, once the image search is complete, add more context through text or voice.
  • In the future, Google could simplify this process by letting you long press the shutter button to add voice context to your photo or video. There is also a new animation similar to Circle to Search.
  • This feature is not currently live and may or may not roll out in the future.

Google Lens is a nifty tool that makes it trivial to image search objects around you. It’s great for reading barcodes and QR codes and for looking up web results by just pointing your camera at something. While Google Lens is pretty good and gets the job done, sometimes an image search query could use some added context. Google is working on improving Google Lens’ ability to accept additional context with some key changes.

An APK teardown helps predict features that may arrive on a service in the future based on work-in-progress code. However, it is possible that such predicted features may not make it to a public release.

When you access Google Lens and conduct an image search, you need to press the shutter button to start a search. After the image search is performed, you can add context to the search by tapping on the voice search icon. Additional context can take the form of voice or text.

We’ve spotted some changes that Google could soon make to this process. As part of the Google app v15.22.29.29.arm64 (beta), through which Google Lens is served on Android phones, Google is making it easier to start a search and add additional context to it. You can press the shutter button to start a search, but now you can also tap and hold (i.e., long press) the shutter button to simultaneously add additional context through your voice.

Google Lens Search with Voice

Here’s a demo of the upcoming functionality:

As you can see, adding context to the image search is now easier. There is also a new animation similar to what we see for Circle to Search.

We also spotted additional strings in the app that talk about upcoming functionality:

Code
Explore how people use Lens
Search with video
Hold to record a video and search with your voice

We have not yet been able to get Search with Video working, but it seems like a nifty addition to Google Lens that would allow you to record a video (instead of just clicking a picture) and then add additional search context through voice.

These new features are not currently live within Google Lens, which is available through Google Search on Android. The features may or may not roll out in the future.

If we are allowed to speculate, the easier context search seems like a good stepping stone to a future Google Glass-like product, similar to the smart AI Glasses that Google used in a Google I/O demo.

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