Google Lens rolling out in iOS via Google Photos app

As promised, Google’s machine learning and artificial intelligence-powered visual search feature, called Lens, is now rolling out on iOS via the search giant’s free Google Photos app.

Lens is a staggered release so iOS customers can expect to see it in their Google Photos app over the next week. With Lens, the Photos app is able to analyze what’s on your photos and offer quick actions to help you discover more about the world around you.

Before you get started with Lens, be sure that your device language is set to English. Next, open the Google Photos app, select any photo, then tap the Google Lens icon to learn more about landmarks, see ratings, hours, historical facts and more.

If you don’t see the Lens icon, that’s because the feature is now available yet in your country so give it a few days before trying again.

For instance, you can use Lens to look up a book you’l like to read, check online reviews and get a quick synopsis. Or, Lens makes it easy to recognize text on your photos, allowing you to copy it and take action based on the text, like visit a website, get directions, add an event to your calendar, call a number, copy and paste a recipe and more.

Another great feature is the ability for Lens to automatically create a contact from a business card you photographed or get more info about a famous landmark on your photo.

Here’s everything you can do with Lens if you take a photo of a:

  • Business card: You can save the phone number or address to a contact.
  • Book: You can get reviews and other details about it.
  • Landmark or building: You can get more details about it.
  • Painting in a museum: You can get details about it.
  • A plant or animal: You can learn more about it.
  • A flyer or event billboard:  You can add that event to your calendar.

According to Google, the Lens feature requires the latest version of Google Photos (3.15 or later).

If the Web & App Activity feature is turned on in Google Photo, all your Lens activity—including the image—is saved to your Google Account. To see your Lens activity, visit Google’s My Activity dashboard.

Shown off at Mobile World Congress earlier this month, Lens is currently in preview. Again, Google Lens requires that you set your iOS device’s language to US English in Settings.

Google Photos is a free download from App Store.