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Google Lens, which uses AI to identify real-world objects, is now available as a standalone app

Google Lens is now available as a standalone app — allowing anybody the chance to use the all-seeing recognition software for the first time.

Lens uses the smartphone camera to scan and identify real-world objects.

It can recognise species of flower, translate menus in a foreign language, and add phone numbers from physical business cards into the contacts app on a phone.

Until now, the feature was only available on smartphones that had been updated to include support for Lens within the native camera app.

However, Google has now launched a standalone app in the Play Store, enabling anybody with an Android smartphone access to the AI recognition features.

The standalone app has exactly the same functionality as those phones which have Google Lens built directly into the operating system.

 

Google Lens can recognise species of dog, translate menus in a foreign language, and add phone numbers from physical business cards into the contacts app on a smartphone

Google Lens can recognise species of dog, translate menus in a foreign language, and add phone numbers from physical business cards into the contacts app on a smartphone

Opening the Lens app for the first time brings up the viewfinder through which Lens can ‘see’ and identify nearby objects, landmarks and text.

‘If you run into something and you want to know what it is, you can point your phone at it,’ Google CEO Sundar Pichai explained when he announced Lens last month.

The AI software powering Google Lens is able to recognise different species of dog, and even log onto a Wi-Fi network simply by pointing the phone at the password. 

Google Lens also lets smartphone owners copy-and-paste text from the real-world into their handset, allowing them to quickly grab a recipe from a book, or a gift card code.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai first unveiled Google Lens and a slew of new features for Android during the Google I/O keynote address at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View

Google CEO Sundar Pichai first unveiled Google Lens and a slew of new features for Android during the Google I/O keynote address at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View

Another tool called Style Match lets users hold their camera up to store mannequin or clothing item and Google will surface options for similar items to buy online.

‘With Google Lens, your smartphone camera won’t just see what you see, but will also understand what you see to help you take action,’ Google clams. 

So far, Google Lens has been included in the native camera app of a number of smartphones, including the Google Pixel and the Pixel 2, Sony Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact, OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 5.

Smartphone manufacturers including LG, Motorola, Xiaomi, Nokia, TCL, and Asus have pledged to integrated Google Lens into their camera apps in future, although they have so far stayed tight-lipped about when the update will materialise.

Until then, any of these smartphones running Android 6.0 Marshmallow or newer can download the standalone Google Lens app.

According to The Verge, some users have experienced compatibility issues with the standalone app, with some models, including Nokia 7 Plus and Samsung Galaxy S8, unable to open Google Lens at all.

MailOnline has reached out to Google for comment, and will update this article with their comments on any issues running Google Lens on certain phone models.

Google Lens is now available as a standalone app, allowing anyone with an Android smartphone to run the AI recognition software for the first time 

Google Lens is now available as a standalone app, allowing anyone with an Android smartphone to run the AI recognition software for the first time 

iPhone owners are also able to access Google Lens, however, this is handled within the Google Photos app rather than a dedicated Lens one. 

Unlike on Android devices, Google Lens on the iPhone does not work in real-time.

Instead users will need to open a saved photo inside Google Photos (updated to version 3.15 or higher) and tap on the square Google Lens button at the bottom of the screen to start a scan.

If users have their web and app activity setting switched on, Google says it will store some information from their Google Lens activity.

However, details from these scans can be deleted at any time by heading to the My Activity page in the Google settings hub.

Google first unveiled its Lens technology at its annual developer conference, Google I/O in Mountain View, California last year. 

WHAT IS GOOGLE LENS AND WHAT CAN IT DO?

Google Lens uses the firm's AI to process images, and can do everything from reading a sign, translating a menu in a foreign language, and buy tickets for an event advertised on a billboard 

Google Lens uses the firm’s AI to process images, and can do everything from reading a sign, translating a menu in a foreign language, and buy tickets for an event advertised on a billboard 

Google Lens uses the built-in camera on a smartphone to scan and identify real-world objects.

It’s like a Google search, but for the objects in the world around you. 

The Californian company’s AI can recognise species of dog, translate menus in a foreign language, and save phone numbers listed on a physical business card.

Google Lens also allows users to point their phone at a sign for a concert and automatically add that event to their online calendar, or even purchase tickets right then and there.

The software is able to recognise plants and even log into a new Wi-Fi network simply by pointing the phone at the password.

Google Lens also lets smartphone owners copy-and-paste text from the real-world into their handset, allowing them to quickly grab a recipe from a book, or a gift card code. 

Another tool called Style Match lets users hold their camera up to store mannequin or clothing item and Google will surface options for similar items to buy online.

‘With Google Lens, your smartphone camera won’t just see what you see, but will also understand what you see to help you take action,’ Google clams. 

So far, Google Lens has been included in the native camera app of a number of smartphones, including the Google Pixel and the Pixel 2, Sony Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact, OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 5.

Smartphone manufacturers including LG, Motorola, Xiaomi, Nokia, TCL, and Asus have pledged to integrated Google Lens into their camera apps in future, although they have so far stayed tight-lipped about when the update will materialise.

Until then, Google has launched a standalone app in the Play Store, which enables anyone with an Android smartphone access to the features.

Google Lens is free to download and will run on any smartphone running Android 6.0 Marshmallow or newer.

The standalone app has exactly the same functionality as those phones which have Google Lens built directly into the operating system. 



Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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