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Google Lens rolling out to more camera apps as real-time, smart text selection now available

At I/O 2018, Google announced a host of new features for Google Lens, the company’s visual search feature launched last year. That new functionality is now fully rolled out while several manufactures are adding Google Lens right into the camera app.

Google Lens began rolling out last week with a redesigned UI that is more compact and features a sliding panel to lists results. With real-time search, users can just point Lens at objects and have Google automatically load results.

Thanks to on-device and cloud machine learning identified objects are marked with dots that stay anchored as you move. When tapped, the result immediately loads. Meanwhile, with Smart Text Selection it is easier to select and copy results, while Style Match is useful when shopping for fashion or furniture.

These features and redesigned interface should now be fully available on compatible devices after a staged release.

At the developer conference, Google also announced that Lens is going to be directly integrated with the camera apps of devices from LG, Motorola, Xiaomi, Sony Mobile, Nokia, Transsion, TCL, OnePlus, BQ, and Asus, as well as the Pixel. As seen on the LG G7, which already features a physical button that can invoke Assistant and Lens, there is a new mode in the default camera app.

Sony is now the next company adding (via Android Police) Lens to its flagship Xperia XZ2, XZ2 Compact, and XZ2 Premium. Already available on the latter phone, it’s rolling out now to the former two devices. Sony notes that users can update the Google app to access Lens.

On Sony’s devices, the interface looks identical to Lens when it is activated from Google Assistant with the new panel at the bottom of the screen. Meanwhile, Google noted yesterday that some kind of Google Lens app was coming soon to the Play Store. This is likely an app shortcut similar to the one that provides quick access to Assistant.

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Avatar for Abner Li Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: