New Google Lens update brings real-time object recognition and text select

Google Lens

Google Lens is already fantastic for identifying objects in a still photo, but a new update is in the process of rolling out that will make it even smarter.

First seen at Google IO 2018, the update brings Lens’ powers to the forefront of the camera app, introducing real-time object recognition, as well as smart copy selection. Simply put, your phone will soon be able to automatically recognize a whole lot of places and things without having to Google it.

We’ve seen hints of brilliance from Lens before. It has been able to identify unique points of interest from a photo that we took in South Korea, as seen above, but the new update will let us see the result immediately without having to snap a photo.

Google Pixel 2 users have been able to copy text from an image and paste it elsewhere, but from the look of photos from 9To5Google, this Google Lens update brings the almighty power of context, and actually knows what’s in the photo and can do things like execute a search or translate on-the-fly. 

Google’s smart camera software recently launched on the LG G7 ThinQ and is in the process of making its way to more phones. The photos shared with 9To5Google were supposedly captured on a OnePlus 6, so signs are looking good for Lens to hit more third-party Android phones.

Cameron Faulkner

Cameron is a writer at The Verge, focused on reviews, deals coverage, and news. He wrote for magazines and websites such as The Verge, TechRadar, Practical Photoshop, Polygon, Eater and Al Bawaba.