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Google Lens is a powerful tool that can translate text from images in real time, identify objects, find an item in a reverse image search, scan QR codes, copy text from images, and more. It's available on most Android devices, including our favorite tablets, and there are various ways to access it, depending on your device.

We show you how to access Google Lens on your Android device, iPhone, or iPad. While Android users have the most options, iOS users can still access Google Lens through the dedicated app. Read on to find the simplest ways to access Google Lens.

Google Lens: A quick overview

Google Lens is a visual recognition software developed using machine learning technology. Lens looks at saved pictures, screenshots, or your smartphone's camera feed and uses Google's search engine to find relevant results. The result is a tool that offers helpful information about what is displayed on your device's screen.

There are a lot of neat features that Lens supports. You might be surprised by how useful it can be. It has integrated Google Translate support and can identify objects in the real world. If you want to know more about the app, check out our guide on how to use Google Lens for a handy tutorial on the app's functionality.

How to use Google Lens app for Android and iOS

The Google Lens app is the most straightforward way to access the tool. This is the recommended approach for Android and Apple devices.

  1. Download and open the Google Lens app.
  2. Accept the permissions for access to your camera and saved photos.
  3. To use Lens with your live camera, tap the camera icon.
  4. To use Lens with a saved photo, scroll through your photos and select one.

You don't need to download the Lens app from the Google Play Store to use the tool on Android, but it's still a good idea for simplicity. Downloading the app is recommended for users who want to access Lens straight from their homescreen. If you'd rather use integrated Lens options in other apps, read on to discover the best ways.

How to use Google Lens in the Google Photos app for Android and iPhone

Lens is built into Google Photos, which is most Android devices' default photo app. Whether you use an Apple or Android device, you'll need to download Google Photos with images synced to use Lens.

  1. Open Google Photos and select the photo of interest.
  2. Tap the Google Lens icon in the lower-right corner.

This is the simplest way to use Lens for pictures you stored in Google Photos.

How to use Google Lens in the Google app

The Google Search app is another good option for accessing Lens on various devices. This app is preinstalled on most Android devices, but iPhone or iPad owners must download it from the App Store.

  1. Open the Google app.
  2. Tap the Lens icon on the right side of the search bar.

This option isn't different from downloading the Google Lens app, but the Google app has additional features that are great for Google enthusiasts. The Google Lens option can also be found in the Google Chrome app's search bar.

How to use Google Lens in your Android's camera app

The Google Lens feature is enabled by default in the camera app on most Android phones, including Samsung devices.

  1. Open the Camera app and tap the Lens icon in the lower-left corner.
  2. In some apps, tap Modes and select the Lens icon.

This method doesn't require taking pictures of the item you need more information about. You can point your phone's camera at whatever you're curious about and tap the Google Lens icon.

How to use Google Lens via Google Assistant

Google Assistant is a convenient way to activate Lens on Android devices. Just speak these commands, and Lens will be at your service.

  1. Vocally prompt or tap the app icon for Google Assistant.
  2. Say, "Use Google Lens," or tap the keyboard icon in the lower-right corner and type the same command.

You can type the commands if that works better for you, but activating Lens with your voice is quicker.

Learn more about the world around you

Lens is a powerful tool made even more helpful by its broad availability. While it's available on iOS devices, you'll get the most use on Android. You can call upon even more powerful camera tricks if you have a Google Pixel device.