Google Lens 101: A crash-course on (quite possibly!) the coolest tool on your phone

You probably didn't know Google Lens could do all of this -- and that's okay because until recently -- neither did we!
Representational Image
Representational ImageThe Bridge Chronicle

Android is known for its quirky easter eggs, but Google Lens is perhaps its best-kept secret. Most of us have this tool, have seen (read: ignored) it, and there's a good chance we've used it without actually knowing how it works! While there's no user's manual on how to use Google Lens -- we've tried and tested every possible way to use it to simplify it for you.

So, what exactly is Google Lens?

Putting it plainly, Google Lens is a reverse image search that uses your phone's camera to identify objects. Technically speaking, the tool uses augmented reality that helps you search for information about whatever you capture in your camera's lens. Yet, the AI-powered tool is nothing short of magical. You may or may not remember to use it on a daily basis, but Google Lens is sure to make our lives less complicated in the near future.

Solves your homework

The superhero we didn't ask for, but we definitely deserved.

Sounds crazy, right? Almost too futuristic for its own good, if you ask us! But amid the dismal gloom of virtual classrooms and home-schooling, a homework feature is definitely a need of the hour. Google has partnered with Socratic, and it now uses a 'new technology' to help solve math problems -- step by step! (No, you needn't reread the last line, it is what it sounds like.) Socratic uses optical character recognition (OCR) that scans the problem by identifying it in 'patterns'. Later, it allows you to simplify the equation and also gives you other results related to the same. We're only sad this didn't exist back when we were in school -- but well, better late than never?

Identify flora & fauna

Back when watching Pokemon was a thing, all of us at some point were fascinated with 'Pokedex', a tool that helped identify Pokemon in the wild by pointing the device at it. What if we tell you that it is no longer a thing out of your imagination? Flash forward ten years ahead, and we have our very own Pokedex! If you've ever walked by an unusual flower and wondered what it was, you can now point Google Lens at it to identify its type. Apart from this, it can also identify reptiles, animals and insects -- so don't worry about the next time you see a frightful bug in your house.

Copy text for you

A selection of text that can be copied using Google Lens.
A selection of text that can be copied using Google Lens.The Bridge Chronicle

Gone are (frustrating!) days where copying text out of an image was an old-fashioned, manual process. In fact, you don't even have to hand-type your notes into your phone or desktop anymore. Google Lens scans the text meant to be copied and gives you an option to transfer it effortlessly onto your file. Of course, there's the additional responsibility of being legible and maintaining good penmanship. Google Lens can identify patterns but will not convert them correctly if they're unclear to understand. But if being neat can help reduce most of your work, we'd say why not?

Translate text & images

Quick translation by Google Lens on selecting an image in another language.
Quick translation by Google Lens on selecting an image in another language. The Bridge Chronicle

A regular yet significant feature that Google Lens promises is quick translation. And by 'quick', we mean almost instantaneous -- so much that you can walk around in a foreign land without having to worry about reading signs and directions. After uploading or pointing at the image you wish to translate, the lens will give you the closest possible translation. However, keep in mind that you may require a little more scrutiny and grammatical intervention despite being close-to-accurate.

Identify places & show reviews

Having your phone handy on a historic walk around the city can now eliminate the need to have a guide. The AR-powered lens can scan buildings and tell you everything you need to know about the location -- including reviews. Whether it is a restaurant or an old monument, Google Lens will link you to its history as soon as you point at it.

There are too many repercussions to having a tool as powerful as Google Lens at our disposal. But for now, we're glad that it can help make every day life simpler for us!

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