Google Lens retrospective analysis now in Photos and in Lens itself

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Google Lens has been an Android staple for the last decade and much copied, not least by Microsoft with err.... Microsoft Lens. But it's all good, the image search services being free across the board. And I thought it notable that Google Lens has just gotten a big update to prioritise analysis of existing images - in the past it's been more about analysing something 'live' in front of you in the viewfinder. Also worth noting is that this same restrospective functionality is also now in Google Photos, which has its own 'Lens' tab.

From 9to5Google:

This Google Lens redesign sees tapping the homescreen icon — available by downloading an “app” from the Play Store — open to an entirely new view. The top third of this screen belongs to a “Search with your camera” section that shows a live preview. You can either swipe down or tap to get to the previous Google Camera-inspired UI, which has one small tweak that shows a preview of your gallery in the bottom-right corner. One nice design detail sees the bottom corners curved. 

This change presents an interesting departure for Google Lens, but at the same time this could be part of a simplification. Google Lens has always focused on “live” analysis after seeing something in the real world. However, after existing for several years, Google could have come to the conclusion that if people see something interesting in the real world, they’ll take a picture first for posterity. In the past, you could not save a picture from Google Lens.

I tested this out and was impressed. Even small details can be picked up and the information surfaced is largely accurate and helpful:


A garden shrub proved a trivial test; (right) this plane shot brought up one of my own camera comparisons as the top match - ROFL! Helpfully, it also tells people where to actually find the plane.


A snapped squirrel, from a week ago, proved an easy recognition test too; (right) commercial properties also bring up relevant information, reviews, and links.

Google Lens is in the Play Store for Andrioid, of course, if you don't find it already on your smartphone. The beauty of being able to recognise (or extract text from) photos from times past is that you can just snap everything of interest (as if you don't already!) and worry about processing and analysis later. So a menu or logo or sign or, as above, animal or flower. All very clever!

Source / Credit: 9to5Google