If your Android smartphone doesn’t have Google Lens working through the Google Assistant and Google Photos apps already, there’s good news for you. The Google Lens feature is now available as a standalone app on the Google Play Store, and can be downloaded on Android smartphones now. According to the listing on the Google Play Store, the app requires Android 6.0 and later to run, and promises the full functionality of Google Lens on devices where it isn’t already integrated into existing apps.
Google Lens is similar to Samsung’s Bixby Vision, and allows the smartphone to carry out a visual AI-based search of what’s on screen. When used with Google Photos, it can scan the image, and give you contextual results based on what it detects in the image. In Google Assistant, it uses the phone’s camera, which you can then point at objects or scenes to have them scanned. It does this by detecting patterns, logos and text in the images, and then provides contextual Google Search results.
However, reports suggest that the app does not work with all smartphones, even if they are running on Android Marshmallow or higher. The Verge reports that the Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus, Moto Z Play, Nokia 7 Plus and Xiaomi Mi A1 don’t have the app functional, while the Samsung Galaxy note 8 has the app working. We tried it on a OnePlus 6 and it works as well, although the OnePlus 6 already has native support for Google Lens through the Google Assistant and Google Photos apps.
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So far, Google Lens has been available only on select Android devices natively through Google Assistant and Google Photos. If you have a compatible device, you can tap the Google Lens icon in either of the apps to do a Google Lens scan. The current devices with native support include the Google Pixel range, and select OnePlus and Sony Xperia devices. With this roll out, Google will make Lens available for a larger number of devices, but the functionality on all devices listed as compatible does need to be fixed first.