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Smart Google Lens upgrade lets you analyze any image on your phone

The feature, first made available via Google Photos, is said to be rolling out to Google Lens now.

Published onOctober 17, 2018

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Google Lens
  • Google Lens could soon let you analyze existing images saved on your phone.
  • The feature, available in the beta app, is said to work in the same way as if you took the picture with Google Lens.
  • It is already possible to use Google Lens to search existing images through Google Photos.

Google Lens may soon allow folks to perform searches on previously snapped photos. 9to5Google says it found the feature in versions 8.24 and the 8.28 beta of the Google app. The feature is said to appear both when using the Google Lens app and when accessing Google Lens through Google Assistant.

The Google Lens app allows you to identify specific objects in a photo to find out information about them or select and translate text. The new feature adds a small photo icon on either the top right or top left of the screen, which 9to5Google says will allow users to import an image from their phone to perform the search, rather than snapping it live.

You can see the icon in the photo below left, and the previous version of Google Lens beside it.

The rest of the experience apparently works the same as if you took the photo using Google Lens.

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Using Google Lens to search existing images isn’t exactly a new idea — you can already do so by viewing the image in Google Photos. However, this would be the first time you could do it without using another app. Google is also thought to be bringing a similar search feature powered by Google Lens to its image search.

The feature should roll out to in the full version of the app soon. If you want to see what else Google Lens can do, click the button below to download it on Google Play.

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