How to Use Google Lens on iPhone

Discussion in 'Guides, How Tos and Reviews' started by MacRumors, Dec 21, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Google Lens can now recognize over a billion items in the world around us, the search engine giant announced this week.

    That's four times as many things that the AI-powered feature could identify when it was first launched last year, thanks partly to a huge number of Google Shopping products which have been added to its knowledge base.


    While its optical character recognition engine has been optimized to read more product labels, Google has also honed its machine learning and AI to recognize more animals, including common pet breeds.


    In addition, you can use Lens to get more information about places as well as word definitions and translations of words. Google Lens can now also recognize people, Wi-Fi network names for auto-connecting, and geometric shapes. And if it isn't sure what an object is, it will offer up similar photos that match.

    Google Lens originally appeared on iOS as part of Google Photos and could only be used on pictures you'd taken. However, last week Google added the feature to its flagship search app, and this implementation is better since it allows you to aim your phone's camera at things in your environment in real time.
    Follow the steps below if you'd like to give it a whirl.

    How to Use Google Lens on iPhone
    1. If you don't have it already, download the Google app [Direct Link] from the App Store and launch it.
    2. Sign in with your Google credentials or create an account.
      Tap the Lens icon to the left of the microphone in the Search bar.

      Tap the blue button that says Turn on camera to use Lens.
    3. Tap OK in the permissions alert to allow Google to access your camera.
    4. Aim your device's camera at an object that you'd like more information about and tap on the circle that appears. If light is poor, you can activate your phone's flash using the lightning bolt button to illuminate whatever is in frame.

      If you want to use Google Lens on photos you've taken, tap the picture icon at the top right of the camera view, tap OK in the permissions alert to allow Google to access your photo library, then select a photo.
    If you want to withdraw Google's access to your camera and photos you can do so anytime by following these steps.

    How to Disable Google Search App Permissions
    1. Launch the Settings app.
      Select Google from the list of third-party apps.

      Turn off Google's access to your device's camera by toggling off the Camera switch.
    2. Tap Photos.
    3. Tap Never.

    Article Link: How to Use Google Lens on iPhone
  2. djlythium macrumors 6502a


    Jun 11, 2014
    “Son, looks like we need have to have another ‘privacy’ talk.”
  3. Lazrhog, Dec 21, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2018

    Lazrhog macrumors regular

    Apr 16, 2010
    Not sure this is worldwide. No lens icon in the uk as yet

    Edit: icon appears after closing the app and reopening it as @ventmore suggested
  4. 69Mustang macrumors 604


    Jan 7, 2014
    In between a rock and a hard place
    I've played around with Lens. It's pretty slick. Glad to see them integrating it more.
  5. Kanyay Suspended


    Dec 14, 2018
    Mar-a-Lago, Russia
    I pointed it at my wife's booty and it brought up her Wiki page. DAMN. Google's gone too far.
  6. ventmore, Dec 21, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2018

    ventmore macrumors 6502a

    Jul 13, 2008
    I had to sign in with my google account. The lens icon still didn’t appear, but closing the app completely and restarting it fixed that.

    Edit: It seems that logging in probably wasn’t necessary......just close the app completely and restart it.
  7. benroberts3 macrumors member

    Oct 18, 2012
    Kansas City
    Doesn’t work with iPad. Works great on iPhone.

    Update your story title...
  8. riverfreak macrumors 65816


    Jan 10, 2005
    Thonglor, Bangkok
  9. Will do good macrumors 6502a

    Will do good

    Mar 24, 2010
    My Google app doesn't show the lens icon?
  10. now i see it macrumors 68040

    Jan 2, 2002
    One can only wonder (shudder) how Google monetizes you with every picture you take using this service.
  11. mikestpierre macrumors newbie


    Dec 21, 2018
  12. macsimcon macrumors member

    Dec 3, 2008
    Google Lens launches, but whenever it shows me the results of something I've pointed at, the app quits a few seconds later. Lame.
  13. dominiongamma macrumors 68000

    Oct 19, 2014
    Tempe, Arizona
    While Google is actually making use of AR for real world uses, Apple is making kids games with it.
  14. BornAgainMac macrumors 603


    Feb 4, 2004
    Florida Resident
    I downloaded it and confirmed the the release notes of Google Lens. In Settings the Camera option is not available and the App has no hint this feature exists.

    Deleting it. First World Problems.
  15. vatter69 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 4, 2013
    Same issue on iPhone XS with latest iOS in germany. Cant even set camera permissions.

  16. Gary Z macrumors newbie

    Feb 12, 2012
    --- Post Merged, Dec 21, 2018 ---
    In SF with 10 XS and no lens in the app
  17. jagolden macrumors 6502a


    Feb 11, 2002
    No lense icon next to microphone. I’m in US. Just downloaded app.
  18. ebika macrumors 6502

    Nov 17, 2008
    I'm in the US. No camera icon when I launched it. I killed the app and then launched it, and the camera icon is there now.
  19. everlast77 macrumors regular

    Nov 20, 2007
  20. Baumi macrumors regular

    Mar 31, 2005
    It’s very impressive from a tech POV, but I personally can’t see me getting much use out of it. I can’t think of many situations where I would have needed an app to identify an object for me.

    I imagine this technology could be extremely useful for people with visual impairments, though.

    Of course, I don’t really use Apple’s AR much, either.
  21. HJM.NL macrumors 68020


    Jul 25, 2016
    I haven’t installed it yet but I surely will do. This seems to be a very useful innovative programm. Wish Apple would build something like that instead of stickers and emoji.
  22. BeforeTheMeds macrumors 6502


    Jun 26, 2016
    Edomx, MX
  23. djgamble macrumors 6502a

    Oct 25, 2006
    Agreed. While I admire the tech and don't wanna be a luddite, my iPhone is proudly Google free (DNS, VPN and ad/tracker blockers to make sure) and I won't be using this.

    To me privacy is important and this kinda tech bugs me when I know the only purpose of it is to be able to track people, so you can sell them out. Not interested...

    This makes me wonder whether some day soon, privacy will come at a premium. For example, while travelling I love finding random little niche places that are untouched. A 'stuff you can't find on Google' tour would be pretty cool... I'd pay for it :D
  24. djlythium macrumors 6502a


    Jun 11, 2014
    Yep, all of my stuff is always VPN’d, and I only use Google products if absolutely necessary (let’s be honest: their search engine algorithm is the best, for a reason), and even then, for only as long as absolutely necessary.

    Your travel idea seems like a great business idea, but then it’s immediately ironic, so, :rolleyes:
  25. burgman macrumors 68000


    Sep 24, 2013

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