Google at its annual I/O developer conference made several big announcements, one of them being the Google Lens. The visual search engine officially debuted at the Pixel event earlier this month. But while the Google Lens was announced as a ‘preloaded feature’ on the new Pixel 2 series it seems to be rolling out to the first-generation Google Pixel and Pixel XL as a “preview” version.
Android Police notes that several users have spotted the feature in the Google Photos app. A Reddit user /u/LaceratedCantaloupe said that Lens appeared on Pixel XL’s Photos app without any Play Store update which suggests that it is one of Google’s server-side rollout. The intro page of the Google Lens on Pixel reads “Pixel preview”. Further, this isn’t the Assistant version but rather the Photo version of Lens.
In case you’re wondering what Google Lens is, it basically enables you to point the smartphone’s camera at an object and automatically provides information related to that object. Google Assistant utilises Lens to analyse your surrounding and offer relevant content on the phone screen.
Interestingly, the Lens can also automatically connect to a Wi-Fi network. Users just need to point the phone camera at the network’s SSID and password, the Android phone will then be able to log on to that network.
The update is rolling in a phased manner, which means it will take time to reach compatible smartphones. If you are a Pixel user, you can check for the update by opening the Photos app. Android Police points out that following the update, the Lens icon will have replaced the info icon in your pictures.