Google Lens is blowing my mind, and it’s not even out yet

Google just launched its new Google Lens camera app at Google IO, and it’s already blowing my mind. There are two features in particular that have really captured my attention – and they’re going to change the way we use our phones and snap pictures.

First up is the ability to auto-recognize the Wi-Fi login details on your router (or more likely, a friend or family member’s router) and connect you to the network without you having to do anything more than point your phone’s camera at the sticker.

It may not sound like a life-changing feature, but it’s one that will likely save all of us a lot of time and hassle. 

Of course, it may mean visitors to your home will start hunting round your house to find your router, and then man-handle it to snap the details off the back – but it’s better than having to recite a random string of letters and numbers every time someone shows up.

It’s simple, yes, but also great. But it’s the next feature that’s really got me hankering for some of that sweet Google Lens action.

Later, fence

At Google IO we were shown a picture of a girl playing baseball from behind the safety of the chain-link fence. It’s a nice photo, but the fence does get in the way.

Google says Lens will be able to remove the fence, and seamlessly fill in the spaces it leaves. It sounds almost impossible, but apparently it works – and I for one, cannot wait to try it out.

There is one niggling voice at the back of my mind though. "Hey John, you sure it’s gonna work like that?" 

Well, no… I’m not. There is a spot of doubt. While Google’s demo on stage, at its own event, specially tailored to make the Google Lens features look great, was impressive, there’s nothing like actually seeing it work with your own eyes.

I’ve been burned before, by features that promise something amazing but fail to perform when I get them in my hands. There’s no guarantee Google Lens will be seamless when it comes to removing obstructions from my photos. But if it does, then my word… how cool is that going to be?!

Google Lens will arrive in the coming months, and I really hope it lives up to the billing – because it has the ability to change the way we use our phones.

John McCann
Global Managing Editor

John joined TechRadar over a decade ago as Staff Writer for Phones, and over the years has built up a vast knowledge of the tech industry. He's interviewed CEOs from some of the world's biggest tech firms, visited their HQs and has appeared on live TV and radio, including Sky News, BBC News, BBC World News, Al Jazeera, LBC and BBC Radio 4. Originally specializing in phones, tablets and wearables, John is now TechRadar's resident automotive expert, reviewing the latest and greatest EVs and PHEVs on the market. John also looks after the day-to-day running of the site.