Top ways to use Google Lens

A review of the app’s features and opportunities

Top ways to use Google Lens. Source: shutterstock.com

In the age of the Internet and mobile technologies, being ignorant about a subject is really a personal choice. After all, if you don’t know something, you can just google it. However, the good old web-search toolbar is becoming obsolete already. Don’t worry; Google has not met another omniscient rival. They have simply surpassed themselves with their new app – Google Lens.

Its basic function is the same – search. However, the critical difference is that you use images instead of words. You direct a camera at an object or a living being, the app scans and identifies it, and gives you plenty of information about it.

Moreover, it does not work just as a separate app. Google initially integrated the Lens function, which quickly gained popularity, into their most used apps – Google Assistant and Google Photos on flagship Android devices and partially on iOS.

Surely a picture search can be more convenient in some cases, but is it really so useful? If you think that, just check these few everyday experiences which Google Lens can transform forever.

Top ways to use Google Lens

Shopping

Imagine you see a beautiful girl with a perfectly matched set of clothing and accessories, or in an incredibly flattering dress. You say “wow” to yourself and silently wish you could create a similar look. Perhaps, you even want to approach her and ask where she bought those stunning things, and then feel too embarrassed to do so. With Lens, all you have to do is take a picture. The app will show you similar items available online. You can quickly browse through prices, places to buy, and discounts.

A picture of a perfect home found in a magazine can quickly transfer to your own apartment with Google Lens. The app will help you find similar décor, furniture, or wallpapers.

It’s hard to remember the exact models of the gadgets or domestic appliances you’ve seen or tested somewhere. There are all these random numbers and letters. Well, you don’t have to remember them or even know them now. The image is enough for Google to find them online. You can check out their additional characteristics, compare them with other models, and order what suits you best.

How often have you heard from your children: “Mom/Dad, I want the same toy/T-shirt/collection item, you name it, this boy or girl has”? Most of the times, it’s just a fancy. Yet sometimes they don’t get over it, they dream about it day and night, and you really want to please them. Google Lens will help you capture the exact image of the cherished object and prepare a perfect gift for your child.

Sightseeing

Excursions are a great thing. Yet many people prefer to travel and roam around cities alone or with intimate company. Individual guide services may be expensive. Sightseeing with a group is often annoying and can be rushed. It can also be quite costly for the budget tourist. With Google Lens, you can see any information you want about the buildings, monuments, public places, and streets. This way of sightseeing is more customizable than excursions. Some people are interested in the history of the sights, others look for artistic and architectural peculiarities, and then there are some who just want to know all the names.

Gardening

I’m sure I’m not the only one who has ever lost a home plant due to inadequate care. Every plant needs a different watering schedule, sunlight exposure, replanting conditions, etc. It’s difficult to bear that in mind, especially if you don’t know exactly which plant that is. When my plants get sick I find it hard to find a solution, as I keep forgetting their names.

Google Lens can distinguish types of trees, plants, and flowers. It is very helpful for the amateur gardener.

You can also check whether a plant is poisonous or may cause allergy. Sometimes our friends and neighbors give us flowers or plants in a pot with no name tag. It may become dangerous for pet owners since some pets like to chew on the leaves. Many plants, which are harmless for humans and look very beautiful, can cause serious health problems for our beloved cats and dogs if they eat them.

However, it is not only cats and dogs who may attempt tasting poisonous plants. People often come across unknown berries or mushrooms in the woods and wonder if they are edible. Sometimes, they may have an unknown tree or a bush in their own backyard (e.g. planted by the previous owners), and hesitate as to whether they can eat the fruit. Google Lens can help them there too.

Cooking

Finding numerous recipes for delicious food has never been easier. You don’t even have to know the name of the dish. Using a picture from the menu, Instagram, or a real-life photo, you can find the information about it. You can also find out the ingredients of a salad or a specific national dish without asking.

Learning languages

You can also picture a piece of text for Google Lens to find. Then you will be able to identify the source of the quote, find the book in a library or web-store, as well as check the definition of any unknown words. Taking a photo of the text is much easier than typing. It is especially true for foreign languages that you learn, as some of them have letters absent from the usual Latin keyboards. With Google Lens, you can search for foreign texts and translate them online. Since copying and pasting are not always available for scanned books, this option is also good for students and researchers.

Google Lens currently supports English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Korean.

Note taking

When you take a picture of a visiting card, advertising leaflet, billboard with company contacts, event invitation or a ticket to the concert, you can tap on the text to quickly copy it to the calendar, notes, or contact book.

Refreshing memory

Google Lens can remind you the name of that actor or singer, the brand hidden behind the familiar logo, or the breed of a dog you can’t currently recall.

Checking reviews

You can use a poster of a movie to find its rating and reviews. Corporate advertising will also help you find feedbacks about the company or a product.

Remember, that this is only a minimal list. Your creativity and experiments with Google Lens may bring out dozens of new areas where you can benefit from the search based on image recognition.

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